Navigational Equipment: Captain Field’s Improved Parallel

Dudley Archer was an outstanding navigator who flew two tours with the Pathfinders (see his impressive decorations in The Pathfinder Eagle).

He was on the 582 Squadron crew of Ted Swales on the operation in which Ted Swales won a posthumous VC; the rest of the crew, including Archer, survived. The date was 23 February 1945; for further details see the Three Pathfinder Victoria Crosses.

Ted Swales, fourth from right; Dudley Archer, third from right.

The Archive has a large number of navigational logs and maps completed by Archer on his many operations, but sadly the log for 23 February 1945 appears to have gone down with the aircraft.

What cannot have been on the aircraft is the small collection of navigational instruments which once belonged to Dudley Archer and which are now in the Archive, amongst them the splendidly named ‘Captain Field’s Improved Parallel’. (See also: A War Artist and the Pathfinders)

Dudley Archer’s Captain Field’s Improved Parallel, with Air Ministry stamp and date 1944

The Dudley Archer archive was donated by Sue Crowle and Stephen Dixon in November 2018.