Bombardier’s Kit

Bombardier's Kit and Tools


The bombardier’s kit is a cloth case containing computers, tables, and pertinent working materials for use in maintaining bombing records and calculations. It is provided for every student and graduate bombardier through regular supply channels.

It includes: C-2, G-1, J-1, and E-6B computers; set of dropping angle charts for use with E-6B computer; stop watch and wrist watch; pen-type flashlight; bombing flight record holder, tools; drafting pencils; eraser, dividers; Weems plotter; parallel rule; transparent triangles; bombing tables.

REFERENCE: Technical Order 00-30-38-2.

Source: Bombardiers’ Information File, U.S. War Department, March 1945.

B-29 Remote Control Turret System

Another entry from the Bombardiers’ Information File, War Department, March 1945:


The 4 turrets and tail mount of the B-29 all operate by remote control. The gunners sit at sighting stations inside the fuselage and manipulate their gunsights. Computers, connected to the sights, automatically figure deflections for any fighter within range.

B-29 Superfortress Remote Gun Turrets

A system of control transfer enables gunners to take over control of more than one turret for a single gunsight. For every turret there is a gunner who has first call. The nose gunner is given first call on the upper and lower forward turrets. This affords him the greatest possible fire power with which to meet a frontal attack.

If he doesn’t need the lower turret, he can let one of the side gunners take it over. For instance, he might be using the upper turret to shoot at an enemy coming in high, while at the same time another hostile plane may be coming in low. In such a case, he would give one of the side gunners control of the lower forward turret. Similarly, he can release control of the upper forward turret to the top gunner.

In the nose sighting station there are 3 units of gunnery equipment that are of concern to you, the bombardier:

1. Control box with the necessary switches for operating the turrets and gunsight.

2. Gunsight and controlling equipment.

3. Transfer switches.

An auxiliary switch on the control box starts the compressor motors that operate the gun chargers. A computer standby switch turned to the IN position cuts the computing mechanism into the forward turret circuits.

B-29 Superfortress Bombardier Gunsight for Remote-Control Turrets

To operate both forward turrets, turn both transfer switches to IN and press down on the action switch. The guns in both turrets then follow your gunsight and fire when you press the trigger.

To give up control of one turret, use the transfer switches. When the upper forward turret switch is OUT, the top gunner has control of the upper turret. When the lower forward turret switch is OUT, one of the side gunners takes over the lower turret.

If you take your hand off the action switch, control of both turrets passes automatically to top and side gunners regardless of transfer switch settings.

Warning — Always sound a warning over the interphone before you give up control of either or both turrets. If you don’t, the gunner who takes over may have his finger on the trigger and the guns will spray bullets into your own formation as they swing into line with his sight.

It is your duty to stow the lower forward turret when it is not in use. Run the turret around so that the guns point aft; then turn off the designated switches. The guns will automatically stow at the correct elevation.

A friction adjustment gives the gun sight just the right touch. You will find there is only one right setting for you. Set the sight so that you can track smoothly. Once you have started tracking, don’t change your grip on the hand wheels. Don’t jerk your point of aim. Move it smoothly and don’t fire until you’re on the target.

Cool the guns at every opportunity. If you fire as much as 50 rounds within a short period, look for a chance to move the guns into the slipstream of the airplane—and hold them there.


Bombardier Chin and Nose Turrets

From Bombardiers’ Information File, War Department, March 1945:

B-17 Chin Turret and B-24 Nose Turret - Bombardier Turrets

The bombardier is concerned primarily with those gun turrets he is most likely to operate. He is almost always responsible for control of the nose turrets in heavy and very heavy aircraft.


The chin turret of the B-17 operates electrically by remote control from the bombardier’s seat directly above it. It moves 86° to either side in azimuth, 26° above and 46° below horizontal in elevation. It uses the N-8 or N-6A optical gunsight. The bombardier’s seat remains stationary; as he turns the gunsight, the guns swing around beneath. The bombardier’s control unit, housing the gunsight, pivots out from its stowed position on his right and locks in place in front of him.


The nose turret of the B-24 is an all-electric turret which uses the N-8 or N-6A optical gunsight. It moves in azimuth about 75° either side of the airplane’s center line, and in elevation from 50° below horizontal to 60° above. It has 2 speeds, normal tracking and high. It contains armor plate, and bulletproof glass plate which moves with the guns.


Bombardier Duties

From Bombardiers’ Information File, War Department, March 1945:

Bombardier Duties: Bombardier to Crew


Cooperate with pilot: Explain to him the principles of the bombing problem. Emphasize importance of not changing altitude or airspeed radically during bombing run and of informing you before reaching bomb release point if altitude or airspeed is off. Tactfully assist him in preflight and adjustment of autopilot. Give him information on other aircraft ahead and below; talk him into formation. Report flak bursts and frontal fighter attacks.

Cooperate with navigator: Explain bombardiering to him so that he can assume role of bombardier in an emergency. Help in DR and pilotage navigation. Obtain drift and groundspeed from bombsight. Warn of approach of bad weather.

Cooperate with armament crew: Report accurately and promptly any malfunction of bombsight or other bombing equipment. Assist them in preflight of bomb racks and controls, and in loading and fuzing bombs. Assist in flight checking autopilot.

Cooperate with gunners: Assist in loading ammunition, and in preflight of guns and ammunition. Inform them of frontal fighter attacks at which they best can fire. When using remote control turrets, maintain closest coordination in transferring control.

Cooperate with radar operator: Explain the bombing problem to hun; stress importance of supplying accurate data for bombing run. When visibility permits, give him check points and keep him informed of his accuracy. Work in closest coordination when bombing through overcast; notify him if visibility allows you to take over bombing run.

Bombardier Duties: Crew to Bombardier


Pilot and copilot cooperate with you: They must coordinate closely in obtaining pre-set data, in making turn over IP, and in taking evasive action. They must adjust autopilot to obtain maximum performance for bombing. Pilot should not jockey airspeed or change altitude radically during bombing run. Before reaching bomb release point, they should notify you if altitude or airspeed is off. Pilot must make prompt but smooth, coordinated turns in following PDI.

Navigator cooperates with you: He should explain navigation to you, so that you can assume role of navigator in an emergency. He should check your computations of true airspeed, bombing altitude, wind, groundspeed, and drift. Navigator should check trail and disc speed found from bombing tables and set into bombsight. He helps to identify IP and target. On the bombing run navigator gives you the variations of airspeed and altitude and assists in making computations for offset bombing.

Armament crew cooperates with you: They assist in preflight of bomb racks and controls. They must load and fuze bombs carefully and accurately. Armament crew ground checks autopilot. They must maintain bombsight, bomb racks and controls, autopilot, guns and turrets with care and thoroughness and keep them in best possible condition.

Gunners cooperate with you: They assist in loading ammunition and in preflight of guns and ammunition. They report frontal attacks at which you best can fire. Gunners should report bomb rack malfunctions and bomb hit data.

Radar operator cooperates with you: He must work in close coordination with you on bombing run, especially when bombing through overcast. He should give you accurate information on check points, drift, bombing altitude, groundspeed, dropping angle.