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Bomb Sights

By a strange coincidence I was asked this question recently "What is the most unusual use anyone has found for a coathanger?".

I recall reading Paul Brickhill's book " The Dam Busters" many years ago and a reference to the adaptation of a coathanger to address shortcomings in the Norton Bomb Sight used during the raid. After all these years, there is a good chance that my memory is playing tricks on me, but I wonder if anyone else has come across a reference to this. The RAF notes refer to a specially designed bombsight but give no further details. If anyone can throw any light on this could they please email me with the answer or assuage my curiosity one way or another? I would appreciate it.
Tony Maund

Re: Bomb Sights

Hi Tony, The Norden was an American high altidude sight and not used by 617. They did experiment with chinagraph marks on the nose blister, a triangular peice of wood with three nails in it and several other types of crude sight suitable for the low level raid on the dams. The problem was that they needed to get height, heading and distance from the Dams right when they dropped. They probably did try coathangers as well but the triangle seems to have been the most popular on the Dams with towers. Best regards. T

Re: Bomb Sight Development.

Re:- Bomb sight .. My late father (Jack Grace) was a pioneer aviation engineer (starting with Alcock & Brown's Vimy!)who worked for Vickers, later Vickers Armstrong. During the war he was stationed all around Britain repairing, modifying and servicing the R.A.F's Wellington bombers for wartime duties. He was also involved with Barnes Wallis on the development of suitably accurate aiming sights for the bouncing bomb project as he was an ingenious natural engineer and mathematician.I am almost certain that original development/trials took place using Wellingtons. I also know that numerous odd assortments of wire and strip metal frames, triangular in shape were lined up in our garage. Aged 5 or so, I neither asked questions about their purpose nor would the answers, if given, have meant much to me at the time! I do know that after the war at the early Farnborough Air Shows, the two men would often meet up and chat.
My father introduced me to Barnes Wallis and explained that he had made great achievements to date in his life and that I would one day recall having met such a famous man. An under-rated genius.