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One of the major factors influencing the success or failure of strategic bombing missions in the European Theatre of Operations (ETO) was the severe weather conditions often encountered over the United Kingdom and mainland Europe. Weather forecasting and reconnaissance was in its infancy and although various aircraft, including the DeHaviland Mosquito, were used to help forecast weather over the target areas, it was still very much a hit and miss arrangement at best. Col. Bud J Peaslee, Commanding Officer of the 384th Bomb Group knew the problem only too well. He had led bomber formations that had been forced to turn back due to impenetrable cloud cover obscuring not just the target but the entire route to and from it. Bud realised that it would be of great benefit to have someone scouting the route out up ahead and reporting back, to enable formation leaders make informed decisions concerning the viability of the mission. Navies have frigates and armies have reconnaissance units to help commanders engage the enemy so why not the bomber formations? Fortunately, Col. Peaslee had the ear of high command and discussed the matter with General Doolitle.

 

 

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