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515

4 August 1944

Official description

Not yet known

Description

Not yet known

Mission details

1. MIMOYECQUES

Description

V-1 MISSILE SITES

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

This is the first APHRODITE mission (388th Bomb Group). 4 war-weary B-17s are packed with 20,000 pound of nitrostarch explosive to make them flying bombs, the largest ever constructed up until that time. The aircraft carry a crew of two, the pilot and an autopilot engineer. The drone would be flown to an altitude of 1,800 feet, then put into a gentle dive and make a final run at the target at 600-700 feet, guided by radio control from "mother ship" B-24s flying above and behind. The targets were all V-Weapon sites that the Germans were modifying to be able to launch the V-2 rocket. The one at Mimoyecques was an underground facility whose entrance was fitted with enormous steel doors that were only opened for 30 minutes each day. The objective was to fly the aircraft bomb through the opening. The pilot and engineer would bail out over England after reaching altitude and set the controls. One of the drones was flown by Lt. Fain Pool with engineer S. Sgt Philip Enterline. Lt. Poll got the aircraft into the air and all was fine for about 10 minutes. Sgt Enterline had trouble setting the autopilot and arming the explosives. The plane began to spin out of control and both Pool and Enterline managed to bail out, Pool going out at about 500 feet. The plane, then under radio control recovered and was flown to the target but would not make the final dive. It was shot down by AA. A moment later the second drone stalled out and went into a fatal dive. The engineer was able to bail out, but the pilot, Lt. John Fischer was killed in the explosion and crash. The other two drones both missed their targets. The crews bailed out successfully but suffered injuries.

Units

  • 388th Bomb Group

    388th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 388th Bomb Group flew strategic bombing mission from Knettishall, Suffolk from June 1943 to the end of the war. During this time, though, detachments were sent to Fersfield, Norfolk to conduct Aphrodite missions. In these Aphrodite missions veteran...

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 20 T

2. SIRACOURT

Description

V-1 MISSILE SITES

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

3. WATTEN

Description

V-1 MISSILE SITES

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

4. WIZERNES

Description

V-1 MISSILE SITES

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

Service

People

  • Eugene Creagh

    Military | Lieutenant | Pilot | 388th Bomb Group
    Pilot of B-17G 42-102696, acting as wireless relay for Aphrodite mission to V1 missile site at Wizernes, France. 4-8-1944. Killed in Action (KIA) 12 September 1944 in B-17G 42-107085 'Little Chum' AM w/ 2 Oak Leaf Cluster PH

  • Cornelius Engel

    Military | Captain | Pilot | 385th Bomb Group
    Volunteer Pilot of B-17 41-24639 'Careful Virgin' on "Aphrodite" flying bomb mission to Mimoyecques, France. Bailed out safely of A/C over UK. Awards: DFC, AM (3OLC), WWII Victory, EAME.

  • James Gabler

    Military | Captain | Pilot | 388th Bomb Group
    Pilot of Aphrodite 'Mother' ship B-24J #43-37793 on mission to Wizernes V1 missile site. 4-8-44.

  • Glenn Hargis

    Military | First Lieutenant | Bombardier | 388th Bomb Group
    Involved in project Aphrodite as a remote control operator of B-17F 42-30342 from B-24J 44-40283.

  • Robert Harrington

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 466th Bomb Group
    Bob Harrington piloted the B-24 "Troublemaker" (#42-95067), stationed at Attlebridge in the summer of 1944. After nine missions with Troublemaker, on August 15, 1944 he was called up to fly an unfamiliar aircraft, Ramblin' Wreck (#4128932), with a...

  • Perry Lewellen

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel | Pilot | 388th Bomb Group
    Assigned 8th AF June '44 - Dec. '44. Ours was a replacement crew - completed tour of combat. Arrived England about time of D-Day and back in states for Christmas. As a lead crew, think tour was 32 missions. ...

  • George Montgomery

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 388th Bomb Group
    Pilot B-17 42-30793 (mission navigation support) on Aphrodite [remote controlled flying bomb] mission to V1 missile site at Wizernes, France. 4-8-44.

  • Clifford Parsons

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Flight / Autopilot Engineer | 385th Bomb Group
    Technical Sgt on Aphrodite [ Drone flying bomb ] mission to Mimoyecques, France. Baled safely out of A/C over UK. 4-8-44.

  • Willard Smith

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Flight Engineer
    Involved in Aphrodite project, part of 2 man 'control' crew of B-17F 42-4361 on mission to Wizernes 4-8-1944. Baled out over UK.

  • Wilfred Tooman

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel | Pilot | 388th Bomb Group
    Wilfred was drafted into the Army in April 1941. He completed basic training at Ft. Ord, CA and was assigned as person chauffeur to General Joe Stillwell. When Gen. Stillwell was assigned to Burma, he wrote orders on an envelope transferring Wilfred to...

Aircraft

  • 41-24639 'Careful Virgin'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 9/9/42; Boise 16/9/42; wrecked on landing with broken crankshaft, rep; Cheyenne 11/10/42; Assigned 323BS/91BG [OR-W] Bassingbourn 29/1/43 and first in group to have AFCE fitted at 2 SAD Lt Staughton 8/3/44; transferred 7/5/44 50+m...

  • 42-102696 'Midge'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 26/3/44; Hunter 16/4/44; Dow Fd 2/5/44; Assigned 560BS/388BG Knettishall 8/5/44; used on Aphrodite training project; Returned to the USA Bradley 3/7/45; 4168 Base Unit, South Plains, Texas 18/7/45; Reconstruction Finance Corporation ...

  • 42-30342 "T'aint A Bird II"

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 19/5/43; Gore 20/5/43; Smoky Hill 30/5/43; Wright 30/6/43; Smoky Hill 20/7/43; Kearney 22/7/43; Dow Fd 25/7/43; Assigned 334BS/95BG [BG-B] Horham 28/7/43; 54m, transferred APH with Azon for Aphrodite missions, Knettishall; Aphrodite...

  • 42-30793 'Tom Paine'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Named Tom Paine after a famous soldier who served in the American Army during the War of Independence after the airmen of the 562nd after they found out that he had been born in the nearby town of Thetford. Was chosen to promote Anglo-American co...

  • 42-3461

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 1/7/43; Dow Fd 29/7/43; Assigned 407BS/92BG [PY-S] Alconbury 23/8/43; transferred with Azon/Aphrodite duties, Knettishall 17/6/44; with Lt Frank L Houston & T/Sgt Willard D Smith of 452BG l/Wizernes 4/8/44.

  • 42-3518 Lady Lillian

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 15/7/43; Rapid City 10/8/43; Assigned 561BS/388BG Knettishall 9/9/43; transferred RCM 803BS Sculthorpe /44; damaged by PB4Y explosion on APH mission 12-8-44; Salvaged 14/11/44. ...

  • 42-39835 'Wantta Spar'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Long Beach 14/9/43; Scott 21/10/43; Assigned 401BG Deenethorpe 26/10/43; transferred 510BS/351BG [TU-N] Polebrook 18/11/43; to 1 Base Air Depot, Burtonwood 8/6/44; Aphrodite/Azon Project Knettishall 7/44; 16m Missing in Action Siracourt 4/8...

  • 42-40043

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Long Beach 11/11/43; Independence 30/11/43 and modified to be capable of carrying GB-4 guided bombs on underwing racks**, was assigned to secret 8AF Batty* Project at Fersfield, Norfolk. Summer of ’44 and operated by 388BG; Independence 30/11...

  • 43-37637

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 6/5/44; Hunter 21/5/44; Grenier 6/6/44; Assigned 332BS/94BG [XM-U] Rougham (Azon controlling mothership) 7/6/44; battle damaged Nurnberg 21/2/45 with ?; force landed continent, Sal; transferred 34BG Mendlesham 9/6/45; Returned to the...

  • 43-37793

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 22/5/44; Hunter 1/6/44; Grenier 17/6/44; Assigned APH/388BG as Azon controlling mothership, Knettishall 6/44; Returned to the USA Bradley 5/7/45; 4168 Base Unit, South Plains, Texas 10/7/45; Reconstruction Finance Corporation (sold...

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Revisions

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:43:07 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Lee Cunningham, 8th Air Force missions research database / Stan Bishop's 'Losses of the US 8th and 9th Air Forces', the Combat Chronology of the US Army Air Forces and the work of Roger Freeman including the 'Mighty Eighth War Diary'.

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