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Major Scott on skip bombing

8 December, 1942

1.     The new phase of low altitude bombing or skip bombing, we find it compulsory to take several very important factors into consideration. These factors all add up to the most important element of any phase of war, the element of surprise.

2.     The conditions for this type bombing must of necessity be ideal, that is to say, it must be a dark night preferably without moonlight. The approach is made from about 5,000 feet with throttles retarded and the airplane in a steep dive, the bombing altitude of 250 feet is reached, with desired airspeed of 200 mph plus. Upon passing over the target, the element of surprise is lost so it is best to pull all power you can and make a hurried departure. In retiring from the target, a gradual descent with a very shallow turn towards the front end of the objective will give you the safest way out.

3.     One very important factor not yet mentioned is sighting your target. If the target is in a turn at bomb release point, the boat should lead about one-quarter its own length. If the boat is on a straight course, it should lead about one-half its own length. These leads can be judged by the pilot himself after a few runs. We found on our first few attempts that we had a tendency to undershoot the target, and not use enough lead.

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