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I am looking for proper proof of the theory that it is called so due to the Norden sight of the B17, which was said to assist the bomber in putting a bomb into a pickle jar, and hence it stuck.

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    $\begingroup$ Seems unlikely, as "Pickle" generally implies the emergency, unaimed, instantaneous release of all ordinance. $\endgroup$ – quiet flyer Dec 13 '20 at 15:10
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    $\begingroup$ @quietflyer No, I think the OP is right, although I don't have a source at hand. To "pickle" is simply to release; ideally with the precision that the bomb lands in the proverbial pickle barrel, but if necessary they land where-ever. (Hopefully, not armed, in the latter case.) $\endgroup$ – Ralph J Dec 13 '20 at 15:14
  • $\begingroup$ Pickle switch reference -- msn.com/en-us/news/us/… $\endgroup$ – quiet flyer Dec 18 '20 at 22:01
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The accuracy of the Norden bombsight was often exaggerated, but it was never claimed it could put a bomb into a pickle jar. The exaggerated claim from the Norden Company was that a bombardier using it under "ideal" conditions could put a bomb into a pickle barrel from 20,000 feet AGL. In reality it could barely get within 100 ft of the target from 10,000 feet AGL. (AGL = Above Ground Level) Some sources claim that it's called a pickle switch because a control handle with many switches almost feels like a pickle with all its bumps, but that would imply the name was given considerably later than WW2.

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    $\begingroup$ I would agree with the later because "pickle" is used in contexts other than releasing bombs, although who's to say it didn't evolve from that... $\endgroup$ – Michael Hall Dec 18 '20 at 20:04
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    $\begingroup$ I also heard another theory, which says that the pickle switch naming was due to earlier submarines that launched Torpedos- which looked like pickles, and it then moves to the aviation world. $\endgroup$ – Stan Dec 21 '20 at 8:53

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