Francis I Kunze

Military ROLL OF HONOUR

Object Number - UPL 15019 - USAAF patch for Army Air Force Technical Command, Radar Technical School, Boca Raton AAF, FL.

Disappeared on secret mission, no MACR, only he and a sargeant made this trip over the English Channel. Story told his mother, he flew out and never returned, she said 'he was not a flyer', they said 'Oh yes he was'.
Amended 30/12/14 from official records and Kunze family. Francis was accompanied by his pilot, Captain Fred B Brink Jr, highly experienced in the Lockheed F5, on a secret signals investigation flight. At altitude off the Dutch coast, the aircraft suffered a catastrophic double engine failure. Brink attempted to glide the A/C back to the UK but failed and crashed into the sea. Although it cannot be confirmed, it is likely that he elected to stay with the A/C because it was virtually impossible for the second crewmember to bale out. Both died in the crash landing. A search was conducted by several A/C from 192 Squadron but nothing other than pieces of wreckage was found.

Connections

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Units served with

Aircraft

  • Aircraft Type: P-38 Lightning
  • Unit: Base Air Depot 3 7th Photographic Reconnaissance Group 801st Bomb Group 13th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron 36th Bomb Squadron

Places

Events

Event Location Date Description

Enlisted

Atlanta, GA, USA 26 August 1942 Enlisted in U.S. Army at Fort McPherson, Atlanta, Georgia, U.S. - original serial number 14137935.

Other

Training at Sioux Falls

30 January 1943 30 January 1943 - reported in Southern Cross newspaper that subject was under training at the Army Radio School, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, US.

Other

Radio/Radar Training Boca Raton Fl.

12 September 1943 Southern Cross newspaper dated 12 September 1943 reports that Francis was based at Boca Raton AAB, Fl., where he would have been introduced to H2X (Mickey), the British developed radar ground mapping/blind bombing device.

Other

Training with British RAF

5 June 1944 5/6/44 - attended a one week course at No.7 Radio School, Royal Air Force, held at the Science Museum, South Kensington, London.

Other

On Detached Service to Royal Air Force

16 August 1944 On 16/08/1944 F I Kunze was posted on detached service to RAF Foulsham, Norfolk, to work alongside No.192 (Bomber Support) Squadron of No.100 (Bomber Support Group), Royal Air Force. 192 Squadron was an electronic warfare unit engaged principally in signals investigation, now referred to as ELINT. He, and four colleagues, were to become 'Special Wireless Operators' ( 'Spec Ops') monitoring special wireless equipment carried aboard the 'ferret' aircraft.

Born

Atlanta, GA, USA 26 October 1944 1923

Buried

26 October 1944 MIA - lost North Sea - no known grave.

Died

26 October 1944 Killed in action on 26 October 1944 whilst flying as Special Wireless Operator aboard Lockheed P38 'Droopsnoot' 44-23515. Pilot of A/C Captain Fred B Brink Jr - also killed. Crash landed in North Sea during a signals investigation flight into V2 guidance transmissions to Dutch coast.

Revisions

Date13 Apr 2015 18:54:46
Contributorbrx851b
Sources

Official RAF/USAAF records
'Espionage in the Ether' authors Rees and Rees

Date31 Dec 2014 08:42:50
Contributorbrx851b
Sources

Southern Cross newspaper 25/09/1943

Date31 Dec 2014 08:37:11
Contributorbrx851b
Sources

Official US records

Date31 Dec 2014 08:23:44
Contributorbrx851b
Sources

Southern Cross newspaper 30/01/1943

Date31 Dec 2014 07:58:55
Contributorbrx851b
Sources

US NARA

Date30 Dec 2014 09:37:04
Contributorbrx851b
Sources

Official US documents

Date30 Dec 2014 09:30:18
Contributorbrx851b
Sources

MACR 44-23515, 192 Squadron ORB and letters from participants.

Date30 Dec 2014 09:02:41
Contributorbrx851b
Sources

Official US records and Kunze family

Date30 Dec 2014 09:00:10
Contributorbrx851b
Sources

Official US MACR report and ORB for No. 192 (Bomber Support) Squadron, R.A.F.

Date30 Dec 2014 08:56:42
Contributorbrx851b
Sources

Official US service records

Date27 Sep 2014 18:09:43
ContributorAAM
Sources

American Battle Monuments / Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia

Francis I Kunze: Gallery (1 items)