After another failed air strike, Gen. Savage devises a new tactic: "bombing the leader," i.e. having all his bombardiers drop their explosives where his keenest eyed airman, Lt. Mellon, does. When the tactic wipes out a Dutch school instead of the target, Savage's superior Wiley Crowe balks at letting him try again. Young Mellon admits he was torn up from his best friend's dying on the prior mission, but Savage points to evidence that Luftwaffe flak wiped out Mellon's sight on the second attack. Is Savage just covering his mistake, or giving Mellon and the tactic a deserved second chance ? Written by
Did You Know?
An interesting side note is that every character in this story was mentioned in the book and movie though in vastly different context. The writer of this episode is Beirne Lay, Jr., co-author of the book. See more
The bomb on the leader concept was not used this early (mid 1942) but was used later and was very successful. In fact by the end of the war, the bombardier (a highly trained officer) had been replaced by a "Toggler", a Sergeant who would act as a gunner as well as drop the bombs when the lead aircraft did (hit the "toggle switch"). See more