The lead bombardier was the guy with the weight of the bomb load and the mission on his shoulders. All other bombardiers on the mission dropped their bombs on his cue. He also was responsible for manning the nose guns against head on attacks from enemy fighters. The success of a combat mission depended on his accuracy and skill with the top secret Norden Bomb Site. It was claimed that a good bombardier could put a bomb load into a pickle barrel! It was a lonely job with a massive amount of responsibility and stress.
Shot on board the B-17 Aluminum Overcast at the Arnold Palmer Regional Airport in Latrobe, PA.