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Welcome to a page of "Mare Nostrum" of July 1945
For over a year, it can now be disclosed, pathfinder technique was used by 205 Group of RAF heavy night bombers to lead attacks on special targets in southern Europe. Much of the brilliant success achieved by the Group - operating from airfields in the Foggia area, was due to 614 PFF Squadron, the only pathfinder squadron in the Mediterranean war zone.
From small beginnings in the spring of 1944, when the nucleus of the force was sent to Italy after training in Pathfinder technique in England, it steadily increased its efficiency in target finding until navigational errors at the end of the war reduced to nil, even though targets were sometimes small and difficult to locate.
When the pathfinder force first began its operations from Italy the losses were considerable, owing in part to weather conditions over the mountainous regions and to the strong defences covering the strategic targets selected.
It flew its first mission on March 15, 1944, to the marshalling yards at Sofia, capital of Bulgaria.Five aircraft did not return,one being shot down near the target and the other four were lost in appalling weather conditions on the return journey.
In a normal raid, over 300 white-flares on parachutes illuminated the area, followed by the coloured ground target indicators. The position of these markers was then checked ready for final instructions to be given to the bomb aimers by the master bomber.
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