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Grimes AAF
Signal Light (Aldis Lamp)
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Grimes AAF Signal Light Model K-3

Each B-17 carried a signal light (also called an Aldis Lamp) at the Tail-Gun position. It was used by the tail gunner, who flashed the letter "C" [- . - .) using a white lens, from take-off until assembly was completed. It was also used anytime that there was reduced visibility conditions, or darkness existed. The Aldis lamp was used so that you could see the aircraft in front of you and the aircraft behind you could see your B-17. It also assisted in locating the Lead aircraft and formation with whom you would assemble. The Aldis lamp was also used on D-day to flash the code of the day so the navy wouldn't shoot down Allied aircraft.

Grimes AAF Signal Light Instructions

[photos courtesy of Rich Ketner]