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44-23515

P-38 Lightning

P-38J field modified to 'Droop Snoot*' configuration and fitted out with equipment and aerials for Elint** work. Detached to 192 Sqn*** RAF for Elint** missions.

* The 'Droop Snoot' field conversion entailed the removal of the nose armament and associated equipment to make room for a prone bombardiers position with the installation of a plexiglass nose, a Norden bombsight, side windows and an emergency hatch. The theory was for a formation of P-38's to drop their bombs on the formation lead 'Droop snoots' signal with the precision of the Norden bombsight ensuring the accuracy of the formations bombing. An idea championed by Lt Col Cass Hough and Lt Col Dan Ostrander.

** Elint - Electronic intelligence, the collection for analysis of electronic signals [radio and radar] from enemy transmissions.

*** 'Between September 1944 and February 1945, USAAF two seat lightnings were attached to the squadron and in November 1944 much time was spent in searching for radio signals from V-2s, though these were later found to be uncontrolled' [V2's had on-board guidance systems].

Failed To RFeturn [FTR], 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 North Sea.
A search was conducted by several A/C from 192 Sqn RAF but nothing other than pieces of wreckage was found. Capt Fred B Brink Jr, 2nd Lt Francis Kunze KIA. 26-10-44. MACR 10665.

Service

Units

  • 8th Air Force

    8th Air Force


    Eighth Air Force Bomber Command became the Eighth Air Force on February 1944, it oversaw bombardment of strategic targets in Europe until 1945. ...

  • 7th Photographic Reconnaissance Group

    7th Photographic Reconnaissance Group

    Group
    Based for the majority of their service at Mount Farm, Oxfordshire, the 7th Photographic Group (Reconnaissance) took over three million intelligence photos during the course of 4,251 sorties over occupied Europe. The Group was awarded a Distinguished...

  • 801st Bomb Group

    801st Bomb Group

    Group
    The 801st Bomb Group was established as part of the Eighth Air Force in late March 1944 to carry out 'Carpetbagger' missions. These were night missions over France and other parts of occupied Europes to support resistance forces by dropping in agents,...

  • 13th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron
  • 36th Bomb Squadron
  • Base Air Depot 3

People

  • Fred Brink

    Military | Captain | Pilot | 7th Photographic Reconnaissance Group

  • Francis Kunze

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Special Wireless Operator / H2X (Mickey) operator | 305th Bomb Group Can Do
    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'. ...

Places

  • Foulsham

    Military site : airfield
    Foulsham was built for the RAF in 1940-42, then used by RAF bombers and RAF special electronic warfare aircraft. An Eighth Air Force Radio Countermeasures detachment was based here in 1944-45 (it also used nearby RAF Oulton. The airfield was closed at...

  • Harrington

    Military site : airfield
    Harrington was built by the 826th and 852nd Engineer Battalions of the US Army in 1943. Completed in 1944, it was the furthest Eighth Air Force combat airfield from the east coast.The Eighth's Special Operations Group was based at the airfield, first...

  • Langford Lodge

    Military site : airfield
    Planned to be a Satellite Landing Ground for No. 23 Maintenance Unit at RAF Aldergrove, Langford Lodge was selected in October 1941 to be developed as an air deport for the maintenance and repair of USAAF aircraft. A scheme was devised whereby the...

  • Mount Farm

    Military site : airfield
    Originally a grass airfield satellite for the RAF Photographic Reconnaissance Unit at nearby RAF Benson, Mount Farm was built in 1940-1941. It had three concrete runways, 49 dispersals (24 concrete pan type plus 25 PSP squares), and eight blister...

Events

Event Location Date
Manufactured Burbank, CA, USA August 1943

Built by Lockheed as a P-38J.

Delivered Long Beach, CA, USA September 1943

Delivered to USAAF.

Field Modified Langford Lodge, 55-57 De La Warr Rd, Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex TN40 2JE, UK April 1944 – May 1944

Field modified to 'Droop Snoot*' configuration and fitted out with equipment and aerials for Elint** work.

Assigned May 1944 – September 1944

Assigned to 36th Bomb Squadron, 801st Bomb Group, 8AF USAAF.

Detached Foulsham, Dereham, Norfolk NR20, UK September 1944 – 25 October 1945

Detached to 192 Sqn RAF for Elint** missions.

Transferred Mt Farm Cottage, Dorchester, Wallingford, Oxfordshire OX10 7PG, UK September 1944 – 25 October 1945

Officialy transferred to 7th PRS, 13th PRG, 8AF USAAF. Detached to 192 Sqn RAF.

Crashed North Sea Off Dutch Coast 26 October 1944 – 26 October 1944

FTR, 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 North Sea.
A search was conducted by several A/C from 192 Sqn RAF but nothing other than pieces of wreckage was found. Capt Fred B Brink Jr, 2nd Lt Francis Kunze KIA. 26-10-44. MACR 10665.

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
30 December 2015 20:15:24 Al_Skiff Changes to events
Sources

http://www.geocities.ws/jackilfrey/droopsnoot.html
http://forum.12oclockhigh.net
www.littlefriends.co.uk
http://www.raf.mod.uk/history/192squadron.cfm

Date Contributor Update
30 December 2015 20:14:20 Al_Skiff Changes to description and events
Sources

http://www.geocities.ws/jackilfrey/droopsnoot.html
http://forum.12oclockhigh.net
www.littlefriends.co.uk
http://www.raf.mod.uk/history/192squadron.cfm

Date Contributor Update
30 December 2015 20:04:14 Al_Skiff Changes to production block number, markings, description, events, unit associations and place associations
Sources

http://www.geocities.ws/jackilfrey/droopsnoot.html
http://forum.12oclockhigh.net
www.littlefriends.co.uk
http://www.raf.mod.uk/history/192squadron.cfm

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:41:47 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

MACR 10665 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

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