Bennett, Air Vice-Marshal Donald, 1910-1986

Bennett was an Australian- born RAF officer. In April 1942 he was given command of No 10 Squadron and while active over Norway he was shot down. He managed to escape to neutral Sweden and after a short period in jail he returned to England. In August 1942 he set up the Pathfinder Force to guide strategic bombers over Germany: this Force consisted of two types of aircraft, the finders and the illuminators. The finders found the target area and dropped flares over an area of ten miles radius. The illuminators pinpointed the target area and dropped a concentration of flares over it which gave the following Bomber Force adequate lighting for their operations. Bennett set up the Light Night Strike force of Mosquito bombers and continued to play a vital role in the strategic bombing offensive over Germany.

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