FEATURED ARTIFACT: NORDEN BOMBSIGHT
The Norden bombsight could be found in virtually all medium and heavy bomber aircraft in the U.S. Army Air Force during World War II. It was such a closely guarded piece of technology that bombardiers had to swear an oath to protect the secrets of the device by destroying it before letting it fall into enemy hands, even at the cost of their own lives. The USAAF wartime claims of the Norden being able to place a bomb in a pickle barrel at 20,000 feet were greatly exaggerated. In reality, the Norden bombsight was a complex machine consisting of many gearwheels and ball bearings, prone to produce inaccuracies when not in proper calibration, which was often the result of the aircraft’s turbulent journey to the target.
Gift of James Sowell In Memory of Billy Z. Sowell, The National World War II Museum, Inc.