The Norden Bombsight was the backbone of America’s strategic bombing campaigns in Europe and the Pacific. In the 1930s, military strategists developed the idea of daylight strategic bombing to destroy enemy industry, transportation centers, and other targets of military importance. To accomplish this, the Army Air Force used bombers, like the B-17, B-24, and B-29, that could fly at high altitudes and carry heavy loads over long distances. A highly classified device, the Norden bombsight made it possible to accurately bomb ground targets from aircraft flying at high altitude. The bombsight worked by calculating the trajectory and correct aim point of the bombs. Once they approached the target, the bombardier entered the wind speed and direction, and the plane’s speed and altitude into the bombsight’s computer. As the plane reached the target, the bombsight flew the plane through the autopilot and released the bombs at precisely the right moment. Chicagoan Sam Kruty used this bombsight when he was a bombardier on a B-17. Assigned to the 390th Bomb Group based in England, Kruty’s commanding officer was Col. Joseph Moller of Winnetka. On his 35th mission in early 1945, Kruty’s plane was shot down and crash landed in Belgium. As the bombardier, Kruty was sworn to protect the Norden bombsight and keep it out of enemy hands, so Kruty had to carry the heavy bombsight with him as he and his crew escaped back to England.