Deciding who got to be a pilot or co-pilot
This is a question that has been on my mind for some time.
At what stage in training was it decided which bomber pilots would become First Pilots and which would become Co-pilots? And what factored into the decision? Was a co-pilot disappointed with being given that designation?
I do realize that in the course of combat a co-pilot would often end his tour as a First Pilot but it might take him many missions to get to that point.
Elsewhere in this forum, B-17 pilot Jules Horowitz has said that he felt a co-pilot had the most frightening job on the plane in terms of feeling helpless.
Were there any pilots who preferred to become co-pilots?
I'd love to hear from actual WWII vets on this subject, and Jules Horowitz in particular, if he wouldn't mind sharing his knowledge with us.
Ahron Shapiro, nephew of 2nd Lt Ezra Shapiro, co-pilot with the 305th Bomb Group, 364th Squadron. KIA 29 May 1944 on his 9th mission.