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A nose gunner or front gunner is a crewman on a military aircraft who operates a machine gun turret in the front, or "nose", of the airplane. This position was usually manned by someone who only operated the gun, however, the nose gunner could have a dual role (navigation, bombardier, etc.). Also, stationary guns could be mounted in the nose and controlled by the pilot or co-pilot. Manned nose guns were most common during World War II, employed by both Allied and Axis forces.
- Boulton Paul Overstrand - 1933 - RAF's first aircraft with (powered) front turret
During World War II, many aircraft were equipped with guns for protection against other aircraft. One of those guns was often fitted in a nose turret of the aircraft.
- The British Armstrong Whitworth Whitley (produced 1936 onwards), a medium bomber-type, which had a crew of five: the pilot, co-pilot, the wireless operator/navigator, the nose-gunner/bombardier and the tail gunner. The Whitley employed a single .303 in (7.7 mm) Vickers K machine gun in its nose.
- The Avro Lancaster nose turret was operated by the bombardier as necessary; the bombardiers position being directly below the turret.
- The American B-24 Liberator (introduced in 1939), which carried a lead crew made up of five officers (pilot, co-pilot, dead reckoning navigator, pilotage navigator/nose gunner and bombardier). It also had five enlisted men (engineer/top turret gunner, radio operator/waist gunner, a second waist gunner, ball turret gunner and tail turret gunner). It had a twin .50 in (12.7 mm) M2 Browning machine guns in the nose.
- The German Dornier Do 17 (introduced in 1937), a light bomber with a crew of four (pilot, bombardier/nose gunner, two gunners). It had a single 7.92 mm (0.312 in) MG 15.