SIGHTING AND FIRING SYSTEMS
In the attempt to answer the question as to how to hit the target or get the fighter before he destroyed the bomber, AAF authorities for several years sponsored experimentation which was still in progress in August 1944. Closely connected with this experimentation was the problem of equipment, which has been discussed in a general way in a previous chapter. Ranges had to be constructed during the earliest stages of training, and fighter aircraft had to be secured in increasing quantity as new conceptions of tiring training came into vogue. Jam Handy, Waller, E-8 Spotlight, Tracer, and other trainers were not always available when needed. "The firing at clay pigeon targets with a shot gun mounted to simulate a flexible gun in a plane is entirely feasible, and a layout of targets to give a variety of angles can be readily arranged at any station." The above quotation is a portion of the reply made by Headquarters of the Air Corps Technical School at Chanute Field to a query of the Chief of the Air Corps in regard to some approved aspects of RAF aerial training. Headquarters at Maxwell and Lowry fields were in agreement with the idea expressed, though the latter suggested in greater detail the practical application of the experiment. The mount for the shotgun, Lowry officials suggested, should be centrally located
with respect to a number of different directions from the gunner, so that he would have to watch for clay pigeons from numerous angles.1 The above suggestions were incorporated to same extent in the ground range exercises provided during the early stages of flexible gunnery. Trap ranges were the simplest devices used for trainees, many of whom did not know the rudiments of the handling of guns. It was an easy system in which to instruct and for which to secure equipment. Trap shooting in its simplest form was a straightaway method of firing with shotguns. In an effort to improve the value of the training, guns were placed on a flexible mount, designed to simulate machine gun mounts used on the jeep ranges and on the malfunction range." The experiment did not work out well in practice, and with the development of skeet ranges trap suffered a decline.2 Skeet ranges, constructed according to direction of the American Skeet Association, were constructed in a semicircular fashion with stations on the circumference and one at the center of the semicircle. Firing took place from these stations at targets thrown from trap houses. This practice gave the student not only greater familiarization with the operation of guns but with the important factor of lead.3
There developed differences of opinion over skeet shooting especially after the adoption in 1943 of the system known as position firing.4 In a Training Commend Memorandum of August 1943, provision was made for 10 hours of instruction in skeet, 8 hours of which was regulation skeet, and for the firing of 150 rounds. In the fall of 1943 there were modifications of this program. Skeet firing was reduced to a minimum of 100 rounds and regulation rules were no longer applicable. On both skeet and moving-base ranges the principle of position firing was to be put into effect, that is, as far as possible gunners were to fire at targets when they were in a position corresponding to that from which a plane would make an attack.5 This theory was not very well applied in practice, for One of the main objections after this time to skeet shooting was that it was not in harmony with position firing. In a letter to the Chief of the AAF Training Aids Division, Capt. Lee J. Grattan of the same division criticized skeet firing as practiced it flexible gunnery schools on the ground that it stressed lead ahead of the target and shooting from a stationary position. Shooting from such a position, he claimed, was contrary to the principle of aerial gunnery, and lead ahead of the target was in conflict with position firing which taught "the student gunner to fire between the attacking ship and the tail of his own plane," or behind the target. General Harper replied at length to this letter, which had been transmitted to him. He agreed that skeet
shooting was in conflict with the position firing system of sighting, but pointed out that tow-target firing and the use of rail target oars on ground ranges, in requiring a lead ahead of the target, were "contradictory to the deflections taught in Waller and Jam Handy Trainers, in air-to-ground firing and on gun camera missions." He stated that there appeared to be no disagreement "about the value of high tower and moving base skeet shooting," and that standard skeet, which was being studied, was retained because it taught familiarization with weapons and gave some trainees their first knowledge of firearms.6 This type of firing thus seams to have had both advantages and disadvantages. As late as May 1944, however, a gunnery officer in a theater of action, who had formerly been director of training of a Flying Training Command Gunnery school, strongly condemned skeet firing as not offering the gunner any type of shot he was likely to be able to use in a defensive position on a bomber. He suggested that skeet equipment be used to set up another moving-base shotgun range where the position firing theory could be applied.7 Moving-base ranges, which also made possible skeet shooting, were designed to afford opportunity for firing at moving targets from a moving mount. Trap houses and trucks or oars constituted a part of the necessary equipment, and air-to-ground firing as well as ground firing
was possible on such ranges. Throughout the flexible gunnery program, naturally much attention was paid to sights and the principles of sighting. In early 1942, 20 of the 150 hours of instruction were devoted to those matters. The student was required to study ring and bead, reflector, compensating, and telescopic sights, and matters related to sighting such as bullet deflection, relative speed of opposing planes, and tracer firing.8
1945, 44 of 288 hours of instruction were devoted to sighting. Eight hours were given to range estimation, 12 to the Jam Handy trainer, and six to the Waller trainer.9 The Jam Handy trainer, in providing actual combat conditions on a large screen, was well adapted to range estimation and to an understanding of all ballistic factors. Furthermore, its flexibility enforced the correction of errors. Its defects consisted of a small observing area and a failure to give strictly accurate scores. The Waller trainer, larger and more intricate than the Jam Handy, was also designed to train gunners under the most realistic combat conditions available.10
The problem of the best manner of sighting a flexible gun was a continuous one. In the early stages of the gunnery program the conditions under 'which the trainee operated were not as trying or ampler as later, and yet in 1942 the student seemed confused by the experiments applied. It has been said that "during 1942 gunnery students had
to became familiar with six different types of iron ring sights and four varieties of optical sights." The same authority has given the following excellent description of the relative speed system of sighting, which was the first scientific system:
The gunner was taught to use the following sequence of action in sightings: (1) recognize the enemy ship, (2) estimate the range with 600 yards as the critical distance for opening fire, (3) estimate the difference in speed between his ship and the enemy ship by holding the sight stationary for one second, (4) compute the lead according to a definite table which he had memorized, and (5) open fire. Under combat conditions there was usually no target in sight by the time the student had gone through this involved system of computing the lead.11
The apparent-motion system simplified somewhat the method of computing lead Which was employed earlier, but this system was still complicated.
Another experiment was the use of tracer as an aid to sighting. This had been tried during World War I, but had been abandoned because it gave the gunner the impression he was hitting the target when he was not, and because flight speeds were then slow enough to allow the use of an alternative system of sighting. It was believed, however, that the increased flight speeds during the present war made its use practicable, provided it was used in conjunction with other sighting systems.12 In June 1942 the Plying Training Command felt so strongly the "great need" for a tracer trainer that it urged the acquisition of a British model, if one in the experimental stages in the United
States at that time did not prove satisfactory.13
Approximately one year after this time Headquarters AAF indicated to the Commanding General of the Fourth Air Force that not more than 10 per cent of the ammunition used by an aerial gunner would be loaded with tracer and that it should be fired during the final training phase. It was claimed that when gunners resorted to tracer they depended upon it entirely,and to the complete neglect of their gun sights. After students were proficient as a result of training, they might explore the possibilities and proper use of tracer.14 In the light of the above letter, it is understood why a Training Command Memorandum of August 1943 provided that a brief time should be devoted to the study of the "Limitations of Tracer."15 Tests at the Kingman Army Air Field in the fall of 1943 suggested in a practical way the defects in tracer firing. One of these tests involved the use of an AT-23 for towing a target at high speed and a B-17 for air-to-air firing against the target. The tam plane did all of the maneuvering. The experiment produced poor results, for "in every case the individual whose tracer appeared to be piercing the target and who might be considered to have high scores received no hits on the target, and in every ease the individuals whose tracer appeared not to pierce the target were in all cases the individuals who received hits on the target."16
It is claimed that tracer, if its illusion is controlled, has distinct advantages. It makes possible visual checking of harmonization of guns and sights, and indicates whether there is proper lead in deflection shooting. However, the student "must realize that he sees the light, not the bullet; and he must realize that light does not give the same effect of distance as a bullet. For example, a bullet half the size of another bullet is twice as far away. But a light half the size of another equal light, is not twice as far away; in fact, when it is twice as far away, it is only a quarter the size of the other."17
It should be emphasized that aerial gunnery was much more perplexing to the gunner than ground exercises. Flying, often at great heights and at great speed, and attempting under such conditions to hit a target of small size were far more difficult matters than shooting at a target from the ground or from a moving truck. Moving-base ranges provided a valuable type of experience for the early part of the gunnery course but, of course, did not provide the necessary aerial exercises. In 1943 the Flying Training Command, encouraged by reports from the African theater which indicated considerable success in high deflection shooting through a course in air-to-ground shadow firing, requested the Western Flying Training Command to make a series of tests along that line. The tests which, as pointed out, proved unsuccessful as far as tracer air-to-air firing was concerned were encouraging as regards air-to-ground firing. Ground strafing missions against fixed
ground targets proved that lead was necessary toward the rear of the gunner's own aircraft. A third test was described as follows: "Shadow missions utilizing B-17 firing from two waist guns and lower ball turret and AT-23 making simulated attacks on B-17 by the use of the AT-23's shadow. All missions conducted at an altitude of approximately 300 feet above Red Lake and fire observed by dust or water splashes made by guns firing at the AT-23's shadow." At ranges of from 600 to 100 yards, the bursts of dust which were seen by individuals in the B-17 firing aircraft enabled them to get a reasonably accurate assessment of lead. The experiment showed further the possibility of utilizing a suitable type of pursuit aircraft in such a way that an accurate pursuit curve of attack could be flown.18
Position firing was one of the most important developments in flexible gunnery during 1943 and 1944. This is based upon an under standing of the course or curve which a plane had to fly in order to attack a bomber and consists in firing upon the attacking plane when it is in e position to make an attack. This principle is contrary to that of computing sights and ballistics, except in a limited degree, and as was true of so many phases of the gunnery program, gave rise to differences of opinion. One of the first points which it seemed necessary to settle was the distance at which to fire, for then the student could be taught to estimate that distance on an outdoor range. Was firing to begin before the plane was close enough to attack, or
should it be near enough the bomber to enable shots directed against the fighter craft to have a reasonable prospect of being effective? Under the position-firing system the latter was the answer. Six hundred yards was the distance determined upon by AAF authorities after "thorough consideration."19
High AAF officers differed sharply over the merits of position firing. This was a much discussed topic at the flexible gunnery training conference hold at Tampa in April 1944. Brig. Gen. U. G. Ent, Commanding General of the Second Air Force, declared at that meeting that three main factors were working against standardization and simplification of flexible gunnery training. They were, first, the controversy over methods of sighting flexible guns and the ranges at which they were effective, second, the controversy as to effectiveness of computing sights then in use, and third, the controversy over tow-target practice versus "blank ammunition fired simultaneously with the gun camera." General Ent declared that zone and position firing were practically identical, that they were "based upon firing at fighter aircraft when they are in a position to make an attack." In reply to those who felt that firing should begin at a range of 1,200 yards, although the aircraft was not in a position to make an attack, he claimed that tests conducted at the University of New Mexico and reports from theaters of action indicated that the .50-caliber machine gun could not be fired accurately at a distance beyond 600 yards. It was also pointed out that
reports and experiments indicated that computing sights then in use on B-17's and B-24's were not accurate under combat conditions. It was believed by some, however, that the General Electric Computing Sight used on the B-29 incorporated "all known principles and should give very accurate results."20
There was agreement between General Ent and Dr. E. W. Paxson, of the Proving Ground Command, as to the main problems of flexible gunnery. According to the latter they were computing sights, supporting fire for bombers against mass attacks by enemy fighters, and general gunnery equipment in relation to effective firing.21 Colonel Worden of the Second Air Force strongly defended position firing as the first and only method capable of use in combat. He stated that at the training conference in Colorado Springs, held in September 1943, he had contended that the most pressing need in gunnery training was a sighting system, but that the one in use seven months later was merely a stop-gap. "Please don't think," the colonel continued, "that the Second Air Force, or anyone else today, knows the solution."22
Maj. Gen. Follett Bradley, Sperry Corporation consultant, referred to his own recommendations which had been made to the Chief of the Air Staff and approved, and in them as in his remarks at the Tampa conference he disagreed "violently" with what General Ent had recommended.23 General
Arnold had requested that General Bradley investigate and report on the flexible gunnery situation, and he spent 10 days in March 1944 in so doing. His conclusions were that position firing should be taught, but that the student should have it impressed upon him that it should be used only "if his gums are not equipped with automatic computing or compensating sights" and "if his automatic sights are not functioning properly." Skill, he claimed, could be acquired in operating sights, tracking, and ranging if enough training were given along those lines. He contended that supporting fire was essential to bomber formations, and not fire directed only at fighters attacking on the pursuit curve and within the 600-yard zone. Position firing, in his opinion, was "taught for the same reason that a man is taught to swim--not that swimming is man's method of traveling through water, but to save his life in case his boat is sunk."24
The report, which covered more than the points considered, was termed by Maj. Gen. Barney M. Giles as "excellent," and he assured General Bradley that he had "directed the action required by the proper agencies of this Headquarters to start putting our gunnery training on a paying basis."25
The Tampa training conference did not decide this controversy. A committee representing the Second Air Force recommended that gunners be taught to open fire at ranges of 600 yards or less, but that a
decision on elimination of present computing sights not be made until the completion of current tests by the permanent Committee on Sights, Sighting Methods and Flexible Gunnery Equipment. A Committee on Support Fire recommended a study of the relation between position firing and support fire but held that for training purposes the gunner be instructed to fire only at targets within the 600-yard range.26 In June 1944 the Training Command directed that a study be made of the need to include the relative-speed system of sighting in the flexible gunnery curriculum. This action was taken as the result of a report of representatives of the command who, when visiting combat theaters, had heard it strongly suggested that this system be used as well as that of position firing.27 The unsettled question of sighting was given attention from many angles during 1944. The National Defense Research Committee, which had previously concerned itself with certain specific AAF projects on gun sights, sighting methods, and flexible gunnery equipment, participated with AAF agencies early in 1944 in the formation of a committee to coordinate and evaluate data on sights and other flexible gunnery equipment.28 In March the Training Commands directed by Headquarters AAF to take part in the deliberations of this committee.29
In May the Flexible Gunnery Division of Headquarters, AAF requested
the Training Command to prepare a syllabus of instruction on the K-9 and K-11 sights for distribution to gunnery schools and to the Fourth Air Force, and also to prepare a description of those sights and the K-10 for publication in the first revision of "Gunners Information File."30 During the same month the Sperry company advised AAF Headquarters of progress on the K-13 compensating sight, so as to expedite plans for its early use at gunnery schools.31
Plans were taken to facilitate the use of the K-13, for in June AAF authorities took steps to secure for that purpose eight E-8 Spot light trainers for each training air force station conducting flexible gunnery training. In August arrangements were made with the Navy to train men in the use of the K-15 sight. This was a new device which was to be installed in production aircraft, in the B-24 Martin turret beginning in November 1944, and in the Sperry upper, B-17, and Sperry Ball, B-17 and B-24, three months later.32
Headquarters of the IX Bomber Command stressed simplification of sighting methods as one of the main needs of flexible gunnery, and in some parts of the European Theater, of Operations a special one-week course in sighting was being given.33 At the AAF training and gunnery conference held at San Francisco 31 July to 2 August 1944, simplification
of sighting was stressed as an urgent need. Col. W. G. Garland of the Eighth Air Force, a man who was considered well qualified on the basis of experience to discuss the actual problems and experiences of the various overseas commands, suggested that "gun sights be reduced to a minimum, preferably one for turrets and one for hand held guns." The two which he recommended were the K-13 and the K-15.34 Brig. Gen. Richard C. Sanders, Chief of Staff of the II Bomber Command, suggested the elimination of the "theory of sighting and ballistics as distinct subjects in teaching gunnery."35 The report of a flexible gunnery committee urged that the National Defense Research Committee set up a project at Eglin Field to assist in a service test on sighting.36
The most significant experiment in flexible gunnery training from the summer of 1943 to 1 September 1944 was the gun camera mission. This was regarded as a system which would more nearly approximate combat conditions than any which had yet been devised. As described in a special report prepared at the Central Instructors School, this training phase involved the installation of an AN [Army-Navy] Gun Camera in gun positions on bombardment airplanes, and the assessing and scoring of the film. A detailed experiment was conducted at the instructors school. Fifty-three students who had received training on the Sperry upper Local Turret were allotted 50 feet of film, enough for three to five attacks.
All of the firing was done from the Sperry upper Local Turret of a B-17. The attacking-ship was, in all cases, an AT-6. All of the attacks were made from the been or early quarter. The instructor controlled the camera, turning it on when the AT-6 turned in to attack and turning it off at the breakaway. This gave a continuous picture of the attack from the beginning to the breakaway. The student-subject was instructed to track the attacking aircraft at all times when it was bearing on his own aircraft in a pursuit curve.
The report emphasized two points in particulars (1) that the camera should be turned on when the attacking ship made the turn-in and all during the attack, but off when it made the breakaway. (2) that the scoring technique was not sufficiently standardized to produce satisfactory results.37 As early as the summer of 1943 detailed provisions had been made for 24 hours of instruction on the G. S. A. P. Camera. It is significant, however, that the Training Command Memorandum which required this course stated that "pending receipt of necessary camera equipment the missions listed above will be performed without photography."38 This phase of the program led to increasing demand for special training for photographic personnel because it was essential that gunners see the results of their efforts very soon after the mission was completed. Training officials believed that "the immediate processing of the film, the prompt assessment of the film by the student and instructor, and the maintenance and repair of the gun camera and film processing equipment will require a department staffed with skillfully
trained personnel." It was estimated that this type of personnel requirement for a replacement training unit station would be about 50 per cent of that required at a flexible gunnery school and 25 percent at an operational training unit station.39 The growing importance of the aerial photographer as a part of the crew led to his inclusion in the gunnery training program itself.40 There had been, in fact, before this time a feeling that combat photographers should be given gunnery training. Oftentimes there had been a refusal to include them with the bomber crew on the ground that they were "dead weight."41
The use of the gun camera resulted in increasing emphasis upon fighter aircraft for flexible gunnery training stations. Though the chief emphasis came in 1944, Major Kennedy as early as 1941, after his study of the British flexible gunnery system, had spoken of the necessity of having "permanently assigned fighter type aircraft for making attacks against cinema guns and for teaching proper methods of gunnery control and tactics."42 General Harper declared in March 1944 that in order to simulate fighter attacks in connection with camera gunnery training, which he considered the most realistic training of all, 260 pursuit type planes were necessary.43
In April 1944 Headquarters of the Third Air Force presented an elaborate argument to Headquarters, AAF in favor of the use of fighter assigned aircraft against the gun camera. The true pursuit curve, it was claimed, could not be obtained by the use of towed targets, but by actual attack on bombardment aircraft. It was proposed to have returned combat pilots briefed with bombing crews where attacks previously planned would "be made for the benefit of gunners using non-computing gun sight." Such pilots, it was believed, could impart information of value to the gunners in regard to forthcoming attacks. AAF Headquarters stated that the proposal from the Third Air Force had been received with favor by the four training air forces, but directed that in carrying out the four prescribed gun camera missions training would be performed on fighters making pursuit curve attacks, and not on combined training missions where pursuit planes were acting as escort.44 The policy was further clarified in June 1944 when the commanding generals of the four air forces were directed to accomplish two combined bomber-righter missions and were informed of the permanent assignment of fighter aircraft and pilots at bombardment bases. This assignment was made so that the minimum of four gun camera missions could be performed for each crew member.45
A training conference held at Fort Worth early in January 1944 gave hearty indorsement to AN Camera missions end declared that
Aerial Tow-target Firing
Gun Camera Mission
the procurement of fighter higher priority." The constant agitation for this type of plane helps to explain the attitude of MF Headquarters mentioned above. The conference urged also four air-to-air firing missions at 20,000 feet and eight air-to ground missions against pursuit-curve targets.46
It seems that the value of air-to-ground firing was generally recognized, but air-to-air firing against tow targets was not usually regarded with favor after the development of the gun camera program. Though it has just been pointed out that a training conference in January indorsed air-to-air firing at high altitude, that type of training received sharp criticism at the Tampa flexible gunnery training conference in April 1944. General Ent gave an exhaustive argument on the merits, or alleged merits, of gun camera training and aerial tow target practice. Towing airplanes could not present the towed target on a pursuit curvy, and therefore battle conditions could not be approximated. Much equipment and personnel were necessary to operate a towing mission, and its alleged advantage in offering practice with computing sights was offset by the fact that this kind of sighting was restricted to only one gun position on the B-24 and two on the B-17. The gun camera would afford the realism of combat and would have all of the advantages which were claimed for air-to-air firing. Col. H. P. Huglin, commanding officer of the Kingman Flexible Gunnery School, agreed with General Ent. He claimed that it was now possible not only
to assess film on computing sights, but to assess and score the number of hits on flexible gun positions with non-computing sights. This method he regarded as superior to "such inaccurate and unsatisfactory methods as taw target firing," a system that might be eliminated if sufficient aircraft were made available for gun camera training.47 A Second Air Force recommendation at the same conference was to the effect that tow-target work be eliminated from the training program in the training air forces but retained in the flexible gunnery schools.48
Representatives of the Fifteenth Air Force recommended the abolition of tow-target aerial practice and held that there should be emphasis upon air to ground practice and gun camera exercises. They advanced the usual arguments in respect to the first and the third of these systems and claimed further that air-to-ground firing, in making possible air orientation and handling of guns in an aircraft, secured all of the advantages that air-to-air firing could offer.49
In the spring of 1944 so much confusion existed as to how to fly tow-target missions for flexible gunners that Headquarters AIF gave careful instructions on that point. It was explained that one type of mission was for hand-held weapons and the other for the use of turret weapons. The firing plane should always remain on an even course, and any necessary rotating and maneuvering should be done by the tow plane.50
Thus it appears that the policy was to try to improve rather than to abolish aerial tow-target training. In August, however, the Flexible Gunnery Division stated that "the training value of Air-to-Air firing at tow targets is negligible compared to that obtained from gun camera missions, air-to-ground missions, and performance of the standardized phase checks."51
Two other factors gave additional vigor to the gun camera program during the summer of 1944. The training and gunnery conference at San Francisco recommended the assignment of additional fighter aircraft and Lighter pilots for the purpose of conducting combined training, end the Flexible Gunnery Division expressed approval of standardization of the gun camera program suggested by the Camera Training Committee which met in June at the instructors school at Laredo, Tex. To aid the development of this program, the Flexible Gunnery Division made provision for additional camera installation equipment.52 A recent development in flexible gunnery training is burst control. The first shot from the flexible gun is directed toward the target in normal fashion, but after that, unless control is effective, the shots tend to go wild. At the Tampa gunnery conference in April 1944, burst control instructions were given serious consideration, though before that time much attention had been paid to the matter by
Col. William H. Hanson of Tyndall Field. In Day this type of training was required in the gunnery schools and in the training air forces. The method of procedure has been briefly described as follows:53 "One mission will be flown at medium altitude and one at oxygen altitude with the target held et ranges of one hundred and fifty to two hundred yards at no relative motion. It is desired that the training Air Forces accomplish their high altitude tow target work in the same fashion. At the present time bursts will average between ten and fifteen rounds each." The preceding discussion suggests that the trial and error process was very marked in the development of sighting and firing systems. During the early stages of the gunnery program the student was required to be familiar with too many sights; consequently, the later emphasis, especially in 1941, was upon a reduction of that number. Many felt that the relative speed system of computing sights was too complicated to be practical, and they advocated in its place position firing, which is based upon an understanding of the course or curve a plane has to fly in order to attack a bomber and consists in firing upon the attacking plane when it is in a position to make an attack. Some condemned both skeet and air-to-air tow-target firing on the basis that the gunner did not fire at a target in the relative position of an attacking plane; others defended these two practices because of the familiarity
they offered with the use of arms. Tracer firing afforded a convenient method of locating a target, but in practice it was often illusory so its use was restricted. The most significant development in flexible gunnery during the first eight months of 1944 was the gun camera mission. The use of the camera installed in gun positions on the bombardment plane and the assessing and scoring of the film enabled the student to have a continuous picture of the attacking plane from the time of action to the breakaway and to judge the results of his own firing. This type of training required skillfully trained photographic personnel and a large number of fighter aircraft.
Notes to Chapter IV:
1. Correspondence, between OCAC and Lowry, Maxwell, and Chanute fields, June-July 1940, in AAG 353.9B1, Training, General.
2. History of Buckingham Army Air Field, Installment 1, II, 133-34; History of Kingman Army Air Field, Installment 2, 59, 61.
3. History of Eastern Flying Training Command, Installment 2, II, 962; History of Buckingham Army Air Field, Installment 1, II, 128-40.
4. T. C. Memo No. 50-13-1, 12 Aug. 1943.
5. History of Eastern Flying Training Command, Installment 3, II, 876-77.
6. Capt. Lee J. Grattan to Chief, TAD, 25 Jan. 1944; 1st ind. (Chief, TAD to ACAS, Training, 11 Feb. 1944) Brig. Gen. R. W. Harper to Chief, TAD, 19 Feb. 1944, in AAG 353, Gunnery Training.
7. Hq 15th AF to CG AF May, 1944, in ibid.
8. Program of Instruction for the Training of Aerial Gunners (Flexible), W 4076 AC, 2-20-41, Rev. 1-5-42, W-7680, A. F.
9. T. C. Memo No. 50-13-1, 12 Aug. 1943.
10. History of Eastern Flying Training Command, Installment 2, II, 983-85.
11. Ibid., 1010-11. For further discussion of sights and sighting systems see History of Kingman Army Air Field, Installment 2, 63-91.
12. British Report on use of Tracer as aid to Air Sighting . . . from Intelligence Sec. OCAC to AC/S, G-2, 15 Oct. 1940, in AAG 353.9B1, Training, General.
13. Hq AFFTC to CG AFAMC, 8 June 1942, in AAG 353, Gunnery Training.
14. Brig. Gen. R. W. Harper to CG 4th AF (though CG WDC), 21 July 1943, in AAG 353, Gunnery Training.
15. T. C. Memo No. 50-13-1, 12 Aug. 1943.
16. Hq Kingman Army Air Field to CG AFWFTC, 6 Oct. 1943, in AAG 353, Gunnery Training.
17. History of the Any Air Forces Proving Ground Command, Part 3, Gunnery Training, 1935-1944, 118-19.
18. Hq Kingman Army Air Field to CG AFWFTC, 6 Oct. 1943, in AAG 353, Gunnery Training.
19. For a discussion of this matter see correspondence between Chief, TAD and AC/AS, Training, 14 Oct. 1943-12 Jan. 1944, in AAG 353, Gunnery Training.
20. Report of Flexible Gunnery Training Conference held at Headquarters, Third Air Force, Tampa, Fla., 12, 13, 14 April 1944, 16-20.
21. Ibid., 36-41.
22. Ibid., 46.
23. Ibid., 21 ff.
24. Memo for C/AS by Maj. Gen. Follett Bradley, 28 March 1944, in AAG 353, Gunnery Training.
25. C/AS to Maj. Gen. Follett Bradley, 3 April, 1944, ibid.
26. Report of Flexible Gunnery Training Conference held at Headquarters Third Air Force, Tampa, Fla., 12, 13, 14 April 1944, Appendix, 114, 120.
27. AFTRC Monthly Progress Report, June 1944, 18.
28. R&R, Brig. Gen. R. W. Harper to AC/AS, MM&D, (thru AC/AS, OC&R), 28 Jan. 1944; Brig. Gen. B. W. Chidham to Liaison Officer, AAF, 24 Feb. 1944, in AAG 353, Gunnery Training.
29. AFTRC Monthly Progress Report, March 1944.
30. Daily Diary, Flexible Gunnery Div. 22 May 1944.
31. Sperry Gyroscope Co. to CG AAF, 23 May 1944, in AAG 353A, Gunnery Training.
32. Daily Diary, Flexible Gunnery Div., 19 June 1944, 1 Aug. 1944.
33. Maj. Gen. R. W. Harper to CG AFTRC, 9 Aug. 1944, with attached Report of IX Bomber Command; Maj. Gen. F. L. Anderson to Lt. Gen. Barney M. Giles, 23 June 1944, in AAG 35354 Gunnery Training.
34. Minutes of the AAF Training and Gunnery Conference, 31 July, 1-2 Aug. 1944, Headquarters Fourth Air Force, San Francisco, 3.
35. Ibid., 6.
36. Ibid., Committee Reports, 7.
37. Hq Buckingham Army Air Field to CG AFEFTC, 6 March 1944, including Progress Report (10 Feb. 1944) on Training Committee Report on Gun Camera in connection with Flexible Gunnery, in AAG 353, Gunnery Training.
38. Brig. Gen. R. W. Harper to CG AFTRC, 21 Sep. 1943, in AAG 353, Gunnery Training.
39. Daily Diary, AFTRC, 4 Aug. 1944.
40. R&R, Technical Services Div., OC&R, to Reconnaissance Br., OC&R, 14 Dec. 1943, in AAG 353, Gunnery Training.
41. Daily Diary, AFTRC, 4 Aug. 1944.
42. Maj. Gen. W. L. Kennedy to C/AC, 8 Oct. 1941, in. AAG 353.9C1 Training, General.
43. 1st ind. (Brig. Gen. R. W. Harper to CG AFTRC, 1 March 1944) Hq, AFTRC to AC/AS, Training, 19 March 1944, in AAG 353A, Gunnery Training.
44. Hq. 3d. AF 28 April 1944, in AAG 353A, Gunnery Training.
45. Daily Diary, Flexible Gunnery Div., 2 June 1944.
46. Report, Training Conference Hq AFTRC 10-12 Jan. 1944, 11, 12-d.
47. Those ideas may be found in Report of Flexible Gunnery Training Conference held at Headquarters Third Air Force, Tampa, Fla., 12-14 April 1944, 16, 19, 20, 54.
48. Ibid., Appendix, 114.
49. Hq 15th AF to CG AAF, 9 May 1944, in AAG 353, Gunnery Training.
50. Maj. Gen. R. W.. Harper to CG 1st AF, 24 April 1944, in ibid.
51. R&R No. 2, ACAS, Training to AFTAI, 28 Aug. 1944, in AFACT 353, Gunnery, General.
52. Minutes of the AAF Training and Gunnery Conference, 31 July, 1-2 Aug. 1944, Committee Reports, 4; Daily Diary, Flexible Gunnery Div., 14 June 1944, 2 Aug. 1944.
53. AC/AS, Training to CG's, all Training Air Forces, with inclosures of Report of Col. William H. Hanson, 27 May 1944, in AAG 353, Gunnery Training. An explanation of burst control was given the author by lt. Col. Robert A. Gardner, in an interview 11 September 1944.