B-17 Bomber Flying Fortress – The Queen Of The Skies Project Aphrodite

Translated by David E. Huntley – Author of “The B-17 Tomahawk Warrior: A WWII Final Honor” – Available Soon!

By June, the English had become used to being roused from their morning slumber by the roar of airplane engines. The spectacle of a plane crashing or bursting into flames or exploding was not uncommon in East Anglia in 1944. However, when a Boeing B-17 crashed into a wood on the sunny afternoon of 4th August the explosion was far more than usual . Although the detonation was somewhat softened by numerous oak trees, three road workers still lost their hearing at a considerable distance.

Those arriving at the crash site were faced with a crater about 30 meters in diameter and trunks of mature oak trees were scattered within a radius of 60 meters. All that remained of the B-17 were metal fragments, the largest being the engine cylinders.

The heat from the explosion had melted much of the metal. Not surprising, since this machine was not a normal B-17 with a bomb load of 4,000 lbs (1,814 kg), but probably the deadliest missile to have ever come down over Britain. This and three other similarly equipped bombers formed the opening salvo in an experiment with guided weapons – named after the Greek goddess of love: “Project Aphrodite”.

On June 13, the Germans began their offensive against London from launch pads in Pas de Calais with the “flying bomb” Fieseler Fi 103 (V-1). The V-1 was actually a pulsejet, non-reusable unmanned aircraft specially designed to carry a warhead. This forerunner of today’s cruise missiles was a result of the research work on pulse jet engines begun in 1928 by the aerodynamicist Paul Schmidt.

The project ran under the alias FZG 76; the missile was given the designation Fi 103 and the weapon itself was christened V-1 (i.e. Retribution Weapon 1) by Göbbels’ propaganda machinery. The Londoners named it “Doodlebug” after its first hit on June 13, 1944 because of its unmistakable sound.

While the V-1 was not the first “guided missile,” its mass deployment sparked increased interest in the Allied camp of single-use weapon carriers. Various staffs had already considered the use of unmanned, radio-controlled, conventional military aircraft loaded with explosives. In view of the threat of V-weapons, this possibility was now taken up by Major General Carl A. Spaatz at the suggestion of the USSTAF (US Strategic Air Forces in Europe).

Major General Spaatz, veteran WW1 fighter pilot, returned to England in January 1944 and assumed command of the USSTAF, which had become the 8th Air Force at Bushy Park, Middlesex, and was now the 8th and 15th Subordinate to the US Air Force.

Operational equipment that was no longer required should be removed from obsolete or flown heavy bombers and radio receivers should be installed in their place and connected to the autopilot. Finally, the machines should be loaded with about ten tons of explosives. The aircraft, manned by a pilot and a radio operator, was to be started and leveled normally by the crew. As soon as the radio remote control was taken over from a “mother aircraft” (command aircraft), the crew should leave with the parachute, which would then be steered to the intended target by radio.

However, the rapid disembarkation of the crew of two proved to be problematic, on the one hand because of the very small hatch located directly in front of the engines on the left side of the fuselage and on the other hand because of the extremely strong current. Therefore, at least on some machines, the hatch was enlarged and a wind deflector was attached in front of the hatch.


AZON – At first only a makeshift

On June 20, 1944, Spaatz informed General Henry H. “Hap” Arnold about the start of the project and demanded that corresponding tests be carried out in the USA as well. As a result, a program called “Weary Willie” was launched at the US Air Force testing facility in Florida. However, it appears to have been pursued only half-heartedly, having little impact on the works in England.

Project Aphrodite was ordered by the USSTAF [1]on June 23, 1944 with the provision that the US 8th Air Force conduct development and testing. The Operational Engineering Section, which was directly involved, described the radio control used at the time for testing the steerable AZON bomb (AZON = azimuth only; i.e. only steerable in azimuth) as the most suitable. In practice, however, it was only a makeshift until special equipment arrived from the USA.

Major Henry Rand, the technical expert on the AZON system, was instructed to leave the AZON device at Horsham St Faith and proceed to Burton Wood, while three crews trained on the AZON system went to Bovingdon, where the first remote controlled bombers should be tested.

Old aircraft with new descent behavior

Meanwhile, the US 8th Air Fleet had tasked the 3rd Bomb Division with splitting up the Aphrodite unit. Volunteer pilots and radio operators, recruited from the division’s bomber squads for a “secret and dangerous” mission, were dispatched to Honington Air Depot, where the 1st Strategic Air Depot was busy plowing out 10 war-weary B-17F/G bombers – with a total of 65 planned – to remove the equipment that is not required.

All armor, machine gun emplacements, bomb and oxygen equipment, the co-pilot’s seat and everything not required for the one-off flight were removed. This allowed the weight of the Flying Fortresses to be reduced to around 32,000 lbs (14,500 kg).

However, this weight reduction of 5,000 lbs (2,268 kg) had an impact on the flight behavior, so that data on the changed descent behavior of the B-17 had to be collected. This was largely done with the help of the roughly equally heavy transport version of Major General Earle E. Partridge’s B-17F

On one machine, the B-17F, 42-30595, the entire cabin structure was detached to facilitate loading with torpedoes. According to the latest findings, the German battleship “Tirpitz” was to be attacked with it. However, after the daring undertaking was dropped, the machine with its open cockpit was only used for training purposes, but no longer as a “baby”.

After removing unnecessary equipment at Honington, the B-17s were flown to Burton Wood, where they found two AZON receivers (one for rudder and one for elevator) coupled to the autopilot, an antenna, the necessary wiring and a radio altimeter received for automatic height maintenance. In addition, the bomb bay was sealed and reinforced with crossbeams to accommodate seven tons of the planned ten-ton load of explosives; the remaining three tons went into the front fuselage area. Initially, three AZON-B-24 of the 458th Bomb Group were used as command aircraft. But a B-17G was also fitted with AZON transmitters in Burton Wood.

A suicide mission in the cockpit during test flights

After their conversion, the machines were transferred to Bovington, where the conversion training began on July 1, 1944 in the strictest secrecy. The crews received 25 flight hours of training and intensive training in destination and route navigation. The AZON guidance appeared to work satisfactorily, with the RC bomber’s flight stability appearing to be the only major problem. For safety reasons, there was always a pilot in the cockpit of the remote-controlled bomber known as “Baby” on all test flights, including those with radio remote control.

The construction of the large V-positions at Pas de Calais gave rise to growing concern and calls for the operations to begin as soon as possible grew louder. The RAF agreed to use the extra long runway at Woodbridge as a launch pad. As a result, the commander of the Aphrodite unit, Lt.Col. James Turner, with 10 B-17 “Babies”, one B-17 and three Consolidated B-24 Liberator command aircraft for guidance and observation, and eight P-47 Thunderbolts assigned by a fighter group for escort protection on July 7 to Woodbridge .

Nine of the guided bombers received a payload of 20,000 lbs (9,072 kg) of TNT, the tenth an equal amount of petroleum gel (napalm). The loaded machines were parked scattered among the pines, causing uneasiness among the field’s personnel, who continued to use it as an emergency landing pad for damaged machines returning from missions. Many of these “invalids” spun out of control on landing and the thought of one ramming into one of the loaded Aphrodite planes was frightening.

Because of the limited radio frequencies, only two “babies” could be launched at a time. Two task forces were planned, each consisting of two command aircraft and one remote-controlled bomber. The “Babies” were to take off conventionally and fly a planned route during which the remote control could be checked and the crew had the opportunity to parachute.

After the lead aircraft had steered their two “babies” to the destination, they were to fly back to their starting point, take over two other “babies” that had meanwhile taken off and steer them to the specified destination in the same way. The bomber loaded with the gasoline gel should be kept in readiness to be able to completely eliminate a hit target.

Airport change for confidentiality reasons

However, the basic prerequisite for every Aphrodite mission was clear weather. However, in the days following the arrival of the Aphrodite unit, the weather was never favorable in the intended target areas.

In the meantime, it had been decided to move the Aphrodite unit to a more remote location, Fersfield, for reasons of secrecy. Fersfield was an airfield built for US 8th Air Force bombers, but had not previously been used by any operational unit. The decision itself was made on July 12 and just three days later the relocation of the Aphrodite unit from Woodbridge to Fersfield began.

Fersfield was run as a branch of the nearby 388th Bomb Group. The ground personnel of the 560th Bomb Squadron, 388th Bomb Group, moved from Knettishall to Fersfield as a maintenance unit in August and their squadron commander, Lt.Col. Roy Forrest, became commander of the square. However, the B-17s of the 560th BS at Knettishall continued to participate in regular operations with the support of ground crews from the three other squadrons of the 388th BG.

Among the units transferred to Fersfield was the Special Air Unit No. 1 (SAU-1) of the US Navy with volunteers from the Anti-submarine Squadron based in Dunkeswell, South West England. The US Navy had already considered a similar project for the Pacific region, using radio-controlled drones from carriers for single-use operations, and wanted to be involved in this first US robotic warfare venture. Their work in Fersfield went under the alias “Anvil” (kick-off).

To further complicate matters, a special unit, codenamed “Batty”, who had just arrived in Britain from Wright Field, USA, intended to carry out test missions with TV-guided bombs, was also transferred to Fersfield.

Main target: The V-1 launch pads

Equipped with remote control and a TV guidance system and loaded with 25,000 lbs (11,340 kg) of torpex explosives, the SAU-1’s PB4Y-1 Liberator was piloted by a PV-1 Ventura motherplane. The PB4Y-1 took off with a crew of two, taking the machine to 2,000 feet (600 m) and heading for V-1 positions in France before parachuting.

Despite several alerts over the previous weeks, the first Aphrodite mission took place in the early afternoon of August 4th when two “babies” weighing 64,000 lbs (29,000 kg) each took off from Fersfield 5 minutes apart and large concrete V-1s aimed at launch pads near the French Channel coast.

The two AZON command aircraft had already climbed 45 minutes earlier in order to be able to reach a fixed checkpoint at an altitude of 20,000 feet (6,000 m). The two “babies” were guided to the checkpoints with the help of a B-17 guide plane, where the guide planes took over radio control. Then the “babies” flew a 50-mile square course at 2,000 feet, during which the remote control could be checked.

A B-24 command aircraft was provided for each “baby” as well as a B-17 as a reserve command aircraft in case the radio link should fail en route. The “Babies” had the top of the wings and the fin painted white for better recognition. A Mosquito weather observation plane flew ahead and another B-17 served as a relay station for weather information.

Tumbled to death

The crew of the first “Babies” disembarked between Woodbridge and the coastal overflight point at Orfordness. The flight of the second “baby” ended in disaster:

When switching to radio remote control, the machine went into a slight climb. The pilot brought them back to level flight, but the error reappeared when they switched again. On the third attempt, the climb resulted in a stall and the Fortress went into a spin. The radio operator was able to save himself with the parachute, the pilot 1st Lt. John Fischer, however, was killed when he only got out of the plane immediately before the impact and explosion. The water-filled crater is still there today.

The first “Baby” (B-17F 42-30342) was successfully steered across the English Channel, but then a malfunction in the altitude control occurred and during further control maneuvers the machine crashed northwest of Gravelines some distance from its target, the V- 1 position in Watten. The reason was probably an anti-aircraft hit. The explosion shattered the B-17 into tiny fragments, which were scattered over an area of about 5 km.

As the lead aircraft returned to its home base, two more “babies” took off, this time against V-1 positions at Wizernes and Mimoyecques. The course over the county of Suffolk and the coastal crossing point were the same as before. Both crews were able to parachute; however, two of the men were slightly injured. The “baby” destined for Wizernes went out of sight in the low clouds on approach to the target and only hit the target behind – the radio operator on the mother plane had miscalculated the effect of the elevator.

After anti-aircraft crews reported the downing of B-17s intended for the attack on Watten and their unusual behavior, the crash site was investigated. But despite the lack of bodies and machine guns, and the enormous size of the crater, the incident was not recognized (by the Germans) (sic)  as a use of a special weapon.

Again and again problems with the radio control

The next Aphrodite mission took place on the morning of August 6th with the launch of two more “babies”. Procedures were the same as the first two missions, with a main and reserve command aircraft at 15,000 feet (4,572 m) for each “baby” and a test course over Suffolk before leaving the coast at Orfordness.

The crew of the first “Babies” had parachuted out of their plane. However, when approaching the enemy coast, the lead aircraft lost radio contact and the Fortress, loaded with explosives, fell into the sea. Problems with the radio control also occurred with the “Baby” which followed at an interval of 10 minutes. After the crew jumped off and flew over the Channel coast, the machine went into uncontrollable left turns and also fell into the sea.

Dissatisfaction with the limited capabilities of the double AZON receivers, which were only intended for temporary trials, led to them being replaced by much more sophisticated devices that had meanwhile arrived from the USA, and more precise control with greater sensitivity promised. During the installation work and tests, no further Aphrodite assignments took place for a month. Although the Aphrodite aircraft equipped with the new devices were given the new code name “Castor”, the designation “Aphrodite” was retained as a generic term for the guided missile program of the USSTAF in Fersfield.


Lt. Kennedy in action with his Liberator

The crew of the first “Babies” disembarked between Woodbridge and the coastal overflight point at Orfordness. The flight of the second “baby” ended in disaster:

The US Navy launched its first guided aircraft under the Anvil program on the afternoon of August 12 with the goal of destroying the V-weapon site at Mimoyecques. The US Navy, always concerned about its independence, had brought two of its own PV-1 Ventura command aircraft with it and also equipped them itself. The “baby” was that of Lt. Joe P. Kennedy (pictured left), son of the US Ambassador to Great Britain and brother of the future President, John F. Kennedy, flown a PB4Y-1 Liberator (Bu.No. 32271). The place of the radio operator was taken by Lt. WJ “Bud” willy a.

The start took place at 5:52 p.m. The 150-mile (240-km) route headed southeast across the English Channel. The PB4Y-1 was able to reach a good 150 knots fully loaded, making the 7:00 p.m. estimated arrival time over the target easy to meet. Eighteen minutes after takeoff, flying at 2,000 feet (600 m), Lt. Kennedy trimmed the machine, warmed up and engaged the autopilot. “Spade Flush” he reported the readiness to hand over to Lt. Anderson, the pilot of the lead aircraft flying behind him. From this point on, Anderson carefully steered Kennedy’s machine with the so-called “Peter Pilot” (small joystick) on the console in front of him. He relied on radar echoes and visual observations by the co-pilot of the reserve command aircraft, since his TV screen only showed snow flurries. Together with Kennedy, he began to check the individual controls: elevator, aileron and rudder, just as he had done half an hour earlier with the “baby” still on the ground.

Five minutes later, the aircraft, callsign T-11, was supposed to be on the inland leg of the route, but was 12 miles (20 km) off course towards the sea during controls checks. It was a mile south of the River Blythe near the town of Beccle. Col. Elliot Roosevelt, son of the US President in his Mosquito photo-reconnaissance aircraft, had gotten within a few hundred feet of the machine to take a few pictures. Vapor trails from the accompanying Mustangs dotted the slightly overcast sky overhead.

Commander Smith in the bow of the B-17 Lt.Col. Forrests, which should have landed far to the south near Dover in half an hour and was to pick up the two parachuted crew members, had Kennedy’s plane in front and well below. Forrest began a slight descent and tried to catch up. Both Kennedy and Willy were recognizable in their “baby”: Kennedy in the cockpit and Willy behind his Plexiglas dome in the bow. The TV picture in Anderson’s lead plane from the area below Kennedy’s machine was still poor, but the “baby” provided a good picture to LT. Demlein in the reserve command aircraft. Since it was Demlein who would pilot the “baby” on its final approach for 40 minutes, everything seemed fine.

Explodes in the air

Escorted by P-51 “Mustang” fighters, plus navigation and other support aircraft from Fersfield, the US Navy Assault Unit was on its way to the coastal flyover point at Southwold.

Anderson steered Kennedy’s machine into a slight left turn. At that moment, at exactly 18:20 GMT, the “Baby” suddenly exploded with two massive detonations a second apart at 2,000 feet (600 m) above Newdelight Wood. There was no indication of a possible cause of the explosion in the debris of the machine scattered around near the village of Blythburgh. The detonation of 24,000 lbs (11,000 kg) of explosives had shattered the entire aircraft into tiny fragments, with the exception of the engine blocks. Subsequent investigations came to the conclusion that the most likely cause was a fault in the electrical system, which had been switched on before the crew jumped out.

In August 1944, three baby missions were carried out with radio-controlled GB-4 bombs equipped with a TV camera. These attempts were not exactly a resounding success, mainly due to interference from radio equipment and reflections on the water surface.

Based on a 2,000 lb (900 kg) bomb, the GB-4 featured small wings, articulated tail fins, radio control equipment and a head-mounted TV camera. Two of the bombs were attached to external bomb carriers of a B-17 command aircraft. All operations were carried out with the B-17G, 42-40043 and a crew from the 388th BG.

After three attempts with the GB-4 on English training areas, the first real operation took place on August 13th, the destination was the port of Le Havre. A B-17 observation aircraft accompanied the Batty machine. Each crew included two or five experts from Wright Field who had been involved in the development of the GB-4. Colonel Forrest watched the action from his “Droop Snoot” P-38. A Mosquito photo reconnaissance aircraft got too close to one of the concrete bombs and crashed, hit by shrapnel. The TV receiver built into the lead aircraft, which unfortunately did not work properly, delivered too weak images to be able to precisely control the bombs. So one suggested about a mile, the other a mile to the right of the port of Le Havre.

Camera shutter just didn’t do it

The second Batty operation, conducted a week later against the submarine bunker at La Pallice, was even less successful. When the first bomb was released, the camera shutter closed and prevented further image transmission. The second GB-4 went into an uncontrollable spin. The third and final attempt by the GB-4 took place on August 26 and was aimed at facilities in Ijmuiden. With a cloud cover of 8/10, however, the target area could no longer be recognized and the mission had to be aborted. After this third unsuccessful use, the command decided to postpone the project for further development.

In retrospect, one has to say that the technology at that time was not yet mature enough to ensure the necessary precise control and reliability.

On the other side of the world, Japan deployed its version of the V-1 against US Navy task forces operating in the Pacific. The Yokosuka MXY-8 Ohka (sakura; Allied code name was Baka, Japanese for fool) was carried under the wing of the 721st Kokutai’s Mitsubishi G4M-2 Betty. The first use on March 21, 1945 was directed against US Task Force FV58.

Target Helgoland

The US Navy’s second and last Anvil mission took place on September 3, 1944. After the Allies had already captured the large V-weapons positions, the submarine base on Helgoland was chosen as the target. This time the mission was successful, but the man at the radio remote control had confused the island with the neighboring island dune and had the “Liberator” open there. The force of the explosion destroyed houses almost a kilometer from the point of impact. The FM system used by the US Navy used a TV camera in the bomb’s head, which provided images to the lead aircraft.

Castor operations began in September using a remote control system similar to the US Navy’s FM system with a TV camera in the nose of the aircraft. Helgoland and Heide/Hemmingstedt were chosen as targets, as these only required a short penetration into enemy territory and the danger of being shot down by flak was therefore lower.

Instead of a double AZON device, a standard AN/ARW-1 radio control receiver was installed on the Castor aircraft and the associated AN/ARW-18 transmitter on the lead aircraft. Although the machines still started with a crew of two, a co-pilot now replaced the radio operator. Eureka/Rebecca navigation systems were used to locate the aircraft should it disappear from the observer’s field of view in poor visibility.

Additional aids to maintaining visual contact were a smoke generator in the Castor aircraft that could be switched on and off by radio from the mother aircraft and the eye-catching yellow paint job on the upper side of the aircraft.

Flak fire just before the target

The first Castor launch was on September 11, when a machine loaded with 21,855 lbs (9,913 kg) of Torpex was deployed against Heligoland. The procedure was the same as for the Aphrodite missions using the Doppe-AZON devices, except that the lead aircraft was level with the “Baby” at 2,000 to 2,500 feet (600 to 760 m) but separated by flew two to three kilometers behind and increased this distance to ten to twelve kilometers as it approached the target.

The remote control during the flight over 400 kilometers was called perfect, until the “baby” received an anti-aircraft hit just 10 seconds before the target, crashed into the sea and exploded about 200 meters from the beach.

Even though the Castor system showed significant improvements over the earlier systems used, its use was tragically tragic. When the pilot, 1Lt. Richard Lindahl, left his machine with the parachute, the bridle of his parachute was obviously not properly attached and he suffered a broken neck. Three days later, two Castor machines were used against an oil refinery in Hemmingstedt, but missed their target due to bad weather.

Hit a farm in Sweden instead of Heligoland!

On October 15th and 30th, Heligoland was again the target of two double attacks, but this time the “Babies” missed their target. A machine hit outside of the village of Helgoland, two others fell into the sea. The fourth lost radio contact, flew north-east and exploded on a farm near Trollhättan in Sweden. Apparently, the patient Swedes viewed this incident as another attempt by a damaged bomber to find salvation in their country. This can be concluded from the fact that they reported that the crew had jumped over Denmark.

On October 27, the USSTAF issued instructions to use the remaining Castor aircraft for attacks on industrial complexes in major German cities as far inland as possible. To do this, it was necessary to install an additional engine power control in order to be able to penetrate enemy territory at an altitude of 10,000 feet (3,000 m) and to reduce the flight altitude to 250 feet (75 m) near the target. Although an even higher entry altitude would have been desirable, it was not possible because of the oil pressure-controlled supercharger control, which had a tendency to ice up and thus to fail.

In November, after carving out Projects Batty and Anvil, the 3rd Division decided to move the Aphrodite unit back to the OU’s home base of Knettishall. This was completed by the end of the month and already on December 5th the first two machines started from Knettishall with the destination Herford marshalling yard.

During the flight, however, the weather deteriorated and dense clouds prevented the station from being identified. Gaps in the clouds near the Dummersee enabled a descent in order to be able to identify suitable targets of opportunity. The first “baby” was aimed at Haldorf and exploded south of town. In the second, the engine performance dropped, probably due to carburetor icing and it fell into a square without exploding.

The crew of the accompanying Mosquito scout aircraft appeared to have escaped the machine unharmed. As a result, the escort flying hunters were instructed to destroy the “baby” with on-board weapons, but this was unsuccessful.

While the command assumed the enemy had managed to get their hands on an intact “baby”, this does not appear to have been the case. A report suggests that the Castor bomber exploded shortly after the crash landing, killing some German soldiers who had begun examining the bomber.

Unnoticed by the Germans

German records of the Aphrodite missions show that none of these attacks had been identified as such at the time and gave reason to believe that if the bomber had exploded after landing, it was assumed to be a normal B-17 with a bomb load .

As fate would have it, the USSTAF was not aware that another Aphrodite bomber, albeit damaged, had fallen into German hands. On New Year’s Day, the last two Castor B-17s still available were used against a power plant in Oldenburg. the first of the approaching “babies” received an anti-aircraft hit and crashed into a field on the outskirts of town without exploding, which the escort planes failed to notice.

This enabled Luftwaffe experts to examine the Castor bomber fairly closely and recover much of the radio and guidance equipment. The second “baby”, presumably also hit by flak, crashed a few miles south-west of Oldenburg and exploded. These should have been the last sorties of the Castor planes, largely because they had suddenly become a political issue.

The last missions

In November, the USSTAF had proposed moving the launch site for Aphrodite operations to mainland Europe, from where the B-17s could have been used against industrial targets. When this proposal was put to the British High Command, they expressed concern that using this weapon against densely populated areas could provoke retaliatory strikes against London, which was suffering from V-2 attacks at the time. The British reluctantly agreed to the plan on January 15, despite serious concerns in some quarters.

This concern continued, eventually leading to the withdrawal of consent eleven days later. British fears also stemmed in part from a rethinking of the value of bombing densely populated areas to break popular morale.

The USSTAF, still anxious to proceed with its experiments, made representations to Washington and got President Franklin D. Roosevelt to telex March 29, 1945, demanding British approval of the plan to use Castor aircraft against the Ruhr. to repeat. Churchill’s reply telex, although full approval, was written in Churchill’s own style. that the concerns expressed therein would deter Roosevelt.

However, the death of the President and the collapse of Germany put an end to the plan. No more Castor aircraft were being prepared for takeoff at Knettishall and those involved awaited the project being shelved. The Aphrodite command planes and crews were forgotten for several weeks. It was not until April 27th that the project, which used the largest single amount of conventional explosives against enemy targets in World War II, was finally shelved.

Translated by David E. Huntley

Aphrodite-Missions, Aircraft and Crews

Date Target Baby Crew
04. Aug. 44 Watten B-17F 42-30342 (ex- 95th BG “Taint A Bird) 1Lt F. H. Pool, S/Sgt P. Enterline
04. Aug. 44 Siracourt B-17G 42-39835 (ex-351st BG “Wantta Spa”) 1Lt W. Fisher (KAS), T/SGT E. Most
04. Aug. 44 Wizernes B-17F 42-3461 (ex-92nd BG) 1Lt F. L. Houston, T/Sgt W. D. Smith
04. Aug. 44 Mimoyecques B-17F 41-24639 (ex-91st BG “The Careful Virgin”) 1Lt C. A. Angel, T/Sgt C. A. Parsons
06. Aug. 44 Watten B-17F 42-30212 (ex-388th BG “Quarterback”) 1Lt J. P. Andrecheck, T/Sgt R. Healy
06. Aug. 44 Watten B-17G 42-31394 (ex-379th BG) 1Lt. J. Sollars, T/Sgt H. Graves
12. Aug. 44 Mimoyecques PB4Y-1 32271 (Rufzeichen T-11) Lt. J. Kennedy (USN) (KAS), Lt. W. J. Willy (USN) (KAS)
03. Sep. 44 Helgoland B-24D 42-63954 Lt R. Spalding (USN)
11. Sep. 44 Helgoland B-17F 42-30180 (ex-96th BG “Guzzlers”) 1Lt R. W. Lindahl (KAS), 1Lt D. E. Salles
14. Sep. 44 Hemmingstedt B-17F 42-30363 (ex-96th BG “Ruth L III”) 1Lt M. P. Hardy, 1Lt E Hadley
14. Sep. 44 Hemmingstedt B-17G 42-39827 (ex-306th BG) 1Lt W. G. Haller, /2Lt. C. L. Shinault
15. Oct. 44 Helgoland B-17F 42-30039 (ex-384th BG “Liberty Belle”) 1Lt R. Betts, 2Lt M. Garvin
15. Oct. 44 Helgoland B-17G 42-37743 (ex-94th BG) 1Lt W. Patton, 1Lt J. W. Hinner
30. Oct. 44 Helgoland B-17F 42-30066 (ex-100th BG “Mugwump”) 1Lt G. A. Barnes, 1Lt R. McCauley
30. Oct. 44 Helgoland B-17F 42-3438 (ex-96th BG) 1Lt W. C. Gaither, 1Lt W. M. Dunnuck
05. Dec. 44 Herford B-17G 42-39824 1Lt T. H. Barton, 1Lt F. E. Bruno
05. Dec. 44 Herford B-17F 42-30353 (ex-95th BG “Ten Knights In The Bar Room”) 1Lt R. F. Butler, 1Lt K. T. Waters
01. Jan. 45 Oldenburg B-17F 42-30178 (ex-95th BG “Darlin’ Dolly”) 2Lt J. Stein, 1Lt E. Morris
01. Jan. 45 Oldenburg B-17F 42-30237 (ex-397th BG “Stump Jumper”) Capt J. Hodson, 1Lt L. Lawing