Path Finder Force

Path Finder Force

by Martin W. Bowman


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Charged with the formidable task of locating and marking German targets for attack by the main force of Bomber Command, the Path Finder Force - 8 (PFF) Group and those in 5 Group - was perhaps the most experienced and highly trained elite group created within the Royal Air Force during World War II. Its aircrew members were almost entirely volunteers and despite the terrifying odds against any individual (or complete crew) ever completing the sixty-sorties tour of operations with the PFF, the most feared ‘punishment' was to forfeit their coveted Path Finder wings and be posted away to other units.

This remarkable evocation of a remarkable force is made up largely of narrative and photographs from the men who flew with or were an integral part of the PFF. They alone are best qualified to recount the Path Finder story.

While the subject matter herein largely covers the four-engined Stirlings, Halifaxes and Lancasters and twin-engined Mosquitoes of 8 (PFF) Group, the Path Finding techniques used by 5 Group are not forgotten and there are two chapters detailing the work of the ‘Oboe’ Mosquitoes and other markers in support of the night and day Main Force raids on German and Italian cities and individual targets in the Reich.

This book is a fitting tribute to the PFF and in particular, to the crews who failed to return from the PFF's many operations.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781473837713
Publisher: Pen and Sword
Publication date: 05/24/2016
Series: Voices in Flight Series
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Martin Bowman is one of Britain’s foremost aviation historians and has written many books and articles. He lives in Norwich.

Table of Contents

Prelude LAC Leslie Halward 5

Chapter 1 We Light the Way 8

Chapter 2 The Man for the Job: Wing Commander Bill Anderson OBE DFC AFC 39

Chapter 3 Gamekeeper Turned Poacher 53

Chapter 4 The Battle of the Ruhr 59

Chapter 5 Operation 'Bellicose' 74

Chapter 6 Peenemünde, or the Bashing of the Boffins: Wing Commander Bill Anderson OBE DFC AFC 80

Chapter 7 'The King of the Path Finders' 96

Chapter 8 'We can wreck Berlin from end to end.' 116

Chapter 9 Masters of Ceremonies 139

Chapter 10 Despite The Elements Frank Leather-dale DFC 187

Chapter 11 'You Will Go Back! 202

Chapter 12 'Manna' 229

Appendix PFF Order of Battle 236

Acknowledgments 238

Index 239

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