Back Bearings: A Navigator’s Tale

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9781848841512: Back Bearings: A Navigator’s Tale
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Eric Cropper’s RAF career started in 1943 and ended in 1968. It covered a period when the navigation of aircraft changed from astro, dead reckoning and drift bearings all plotted by pencil on charts, to press-button radio and satellite information that can instantly pinpoint a position anywhere on the planet to within 5 meters. The then vital skills of a good navigator are now mostly redundant. Ships, aircraft, trucks and cars seldom use maps let alone carry a navigator. This autobiography by one of the RAF’s top exponents of both the ancient and modern forms of the art explains in considerable detail how this rapid and revolutionary improvement occurred in the air.

After his initial training, Eric started his operational career as navigator in a No 103 Squadron Avro Lancaster. During his tour, on 7 July 1944, the squadron took part in a raid on Caen. Immediately after releasing their bombs, the aircraft was struck from astern, losing the tail gunner and turret and a large part of the tailplane. Having regained control from a 3,000 feet dive they nursed the stricken aircraft back to England where it crash landed at Tangmere. They later discovered that they had been hit by another Lancaster. Having completed his tour of operations, Eric was posted as an instructor, completing the Staff Navigator Course. From 1946 to 1948 he moved to HQ Bomber Command on the Air Staff and then moved to the Empire Air Navigation School as a specialist Navigator.

His later career included research and development at RAE Farnborough, an exchange posting with the USAF in Alaska, a staff position at RAF Cranwell, Station Commander at RAF Gan in the Maldive Islands, the command of a transport squadron and a Staff position at the RAF College of Air Warfare. This is a fascinating memoir of one of the RAF’s senior navigational experts that explains both service life and the revolution in navigational techniques that took place during his service career.

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Eric Cropper is an author and historian.

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Eric Cropper
Published by Pen & Sword Aviation (2010)
ISBN 10: 1848841515 ISBN 13: 9781848841512
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Book Description Pen & Sword Aviation, 2010. Hardcover. Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. New copy. Priority orders will be dispatched by 1st Class post, heavier or thicker items by courier. Standard mail will be dispatched by 2nd Class post; heavier items by courier. Overseas orders will be dispatched by priority airmail. Seller Inventory # mon0000006967

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Cropper , Eric
Published by Pen and Sword Aviation, England (2010)
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Book Description Pen and Sword Aviation, England, 2010. Hard Cover in Dust Jacket. Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. Photos (illustrator). First Edition. 2010 First Edition Hardcover book in original dust Jacket; BRAND NEW from 2010 publisher with original publisher's card still laid in. Never opened, Never owned, Never marked; small 1/2" closed tear bottom corner jacket. Handsome book; black textured cloth over boards with Gold gilt title impressed on spine, in photographic jacket designed by Jon Wilkinson. Book size 6-1/2 x 9-1/2 x 1-1/4" thick; 346 pages with index & bibliography + illustrated with 32 pages Glossy B&W photographs, from 1941 through 1966. After initial training, England's Eric Cropper began his career with the Royal Air Force in 1942 as navigator in a No 103 Squadron Avro Lancaster bomber, during the Second World War, an era before advanced systems of navigation. The Lancaster had a comparatively advanced communications system for its time, but still relied on the all-important navigator to get the plane to its destination and back again; most ships and aircraft nowadays still carry charts and maps for emergency use, they rarely carry a navigator versed in both the ancient and modern forms of navigation. Eric could do all of it; from astro, dead reackoning, and drift bearings plotted by pencil on charts, to radio, radar, and other advanced systems. His memoirs here tell of his amazing experiences with the RAF in WWII , including the July 7th , 1944 raid on Nazi targets in the town of Caen, in Nazi occupied France during the Battle for Normandy on the eve of the start of Operation Charnwood. When Eric's plane had just released their bombs, before they could turn around to head back, they were struck from behind, losing a large part of the rear of the plane plane, including the tail gunner as well as the turret. They went into a 3000-foot dive, then the pilot managed to gain control, and get the plane back to England where he crash-landed at Tangmere; only later did the surviving crew discover that they had been hit by another Lanc night bomber. After the war, Cropper completed the Staff Navigator Course , and was psoted as an instructor. He moved to the Empire Air Navigation School in 1946 where he became a Specialist Navigator through 1948. His later career included R&D at RAE Farnborough, an exchanged posting with the USAF in Alaska, a staff postiion at RAF Cranwell, Station Commander at RAF Gan in the Maldive Islands, the command of a transport squadron, and a Staff position at the RAF College of Air Warfare. His long career and autobiography of his life and years with the RAF , during the war, and in peacetime, are compelling reading. Photographs include him in the 9th Battalion Home Guard in North Leeds, in 1941 ; with the No. 2031 Deferred Service Squadron Air Training Corps. in Leeds, 1942 ; with 103 Squadron RAF Elsham Wolds, 1944 ; with No. 1651 Heavy Conversion Unit, Wrattling Common, 1944 ; with No. 5 Air Observer's School Jurby 1944 ; with 7 Squadron Mepal 1946 ; and many many more, including photgraphs of him in Alaska and in the east and with his wife. Photographs of the aircraft include: RCAF Comet 2 , a 53 Squadron Beverley , the first Andover being delivered to Abingdon 1964; with the F-11 and the No. 23 Specialist Navigation course in Fort Worth Texas ; Lincoln Mk2 in and over Khartoum ; Vickers Viscount G-AHRF prototype , Geneva 1951 ; outside and inside at the navigation table Hastings 327 ; midnight sun from a Piper Pacer, Seward 1956; Mount McKinley from a T-33A , wingtip only seen; and a De Havilland Beaver L-20 floatplane on Six Mile Lake near Elmendorf 1956. " Back Bearings - A Navigator's Tale 1942 - 1974 " by Group Captain Eric Cropper , 2010 Hard Cover book in original DJ, published by Pen and Sword Aviation Books, England *** Secure packing for Safe shipping, since 1965 *** Size: 6-1/2 x 9-1/2 x 1-1/4 ". Seller Inventory # 91094

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Eric Group Captain Cropper
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Book Description Pen Sword Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2010. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Eric Cropper s RAF career started in 1943 and ended in 1968. It covered a period when the navigation of aircraft changed from astro, dead reckoning and drift bearings all plotted by pencil on charts, to press-button radio and satellite information that can instantly pinpoint a position anywhere on the planet to within 5 metres. The then vital skills of a good navigator are now mostly redundant. Ships, aircraft, trucks and cars seldom use maps let alone carry a navigator. This autobiography by one of the RAF s top exponents of both the ancient and modern forms of the art explains in considerable detail how this rapid and revolutionary improvement occurred in the air.This is a fascinating memoir of one of the RAF s senior navigational experts that explains both service life and the revolution in navigational techniques that took place during his service career. Seller Inventory # PAS9781848841512

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Eric Group Captain Cropper
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Book Description Pen Sword Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2010. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Eric Cropper s RAF career started in 1943 and ended in 1968. It covered a period when the navigation of aircraft changed from astro, dead reckoning and drift bearings all plotted by pencil on charts, to press-button radio and satellite information that can instantly pinpoint a position anywhere on the planet to within 5 metres. The then vital skills of a good navigator are now mostly redundant. Ships, aircraft, trucks and cars seldom use maps let alone carry a navigator. This autobiography by one of the RAF s top exponents of both the ancient and modern forms of the art explains in considerable detail how this rapid and revolutionary improvement occurred in the air.This is a fascinating memoir of one of the RAF s senior navigational experts that explains both service life and the revolution in navigational techniques that took place during his service career. Seller Inventory # PAS9781848841512

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Eric Cropper
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