Operation Aphrodite

Operation Aphrodite

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Operation Aphrodite

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Description:
Aphrodite and Anvil were the World War II code names of United States Army Air Forces and United States Navy operations to use B-17 and PB4Y bombers as precision-guided munitions against bunkers such as those of Operation Crossbow.

The plan called for B-17 aircraft which had been taken out of operational service (various nicknames existed such as 'robot', 'baby', 'drone' or 'weary Willy') to be loaded to capacity with explosive, and flown by radio control into bomb-resistant fortifications such as German U-boat pens and V-weapon sites. It was hoped that this would match the British success with Tallboy and Grand Slam supersonic ground penetration bombs but the project was dangerous, expensive and unsuccessful.

Proposal

By late 1943, Maj. Gen. Henry H. Arnold had directed Brig. Gen. Grandison Gardner's electronic engineers at Eglin Field, Florida, to outfit war-weary bombers with automatic pilots so that they could be remotely controlled. The plan was first proposed to Major General James H. Doolittle some time in 1944. Doolittle approved the plan on June 26, and assigned the 3rd Bombardment Division with preparing and flying the drone aircraft,...
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