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Francis I Kunze

Military

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.

Service

Units served with

  • 305th Bomb Group Can Do

    305th Bomb Group Can Do

    Group
    The 305th Bombardment Group (Heavy), nicknamed "Can Do" was activated 1-March-1942 at Salt Lake City Air Base, Utah which was their primary training base until 11-Jun-1942 when they relocated to Geiger Field, Washington until 29-Jun-1942, then on to...

  • 364th Bomb Squadron

Aircraft

  • 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. ...

Associated Place

  • 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...

  • Sioux Falls Field

    Military site : non-airfield

  • Boca Raton Army Airfield

    Military site : airfield

Events

Event Location Date
Born Atlanta, GA, USA 26 October 1944

1923

Enlisted Atlanta, GA, USA 26 August 1942

Enlisted in U.S. Army at Fort McPherson, Atlanta, Georgia, U.S. - original serial number 14137935.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Buried 26 October 1944

MIA - lost North Sea - no known grave.

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
13 April 2015 18:54:46 brx851b Changes to place associations
Sources

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

Date Contributor Update
31 December 2014 08:42:50 brx851b Changes to events
Sources

Southern Cross newspaper 25/09/1943

Date Contributor Update
31 December 2014 08:37:11 brx851b Changes to events
Sources

Official US records

Date Contributor Update
31 December 2014 08:23:44 brx851b Changes to events
Sources

Southern Cross newspaper 30/01/1943

Date Contributor Update
31 December 2014 07:58:55 brx851b Changes to events
Sources

US NARA

Date Contributor Update
30 December 2014 09:37:04 brx851b Changes to awards
Sources

Official US documents

Date Contributor Update
30 December 2014 09:30:18 brx851b Changes to biography and events
Sources

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

Date Contributor Update
30 December 2014 09:02:41 brx851b Changes to role
Sources

Official US records and Kunze family

Date Contributor Update
30 December 2014 09:00:10 brx851b Changes to aircraft associations
Sources

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

Date Contributor Update
30 December 2014 08:56:42 brx851b Changes to middlename, service number and highest rank
Sources

Official US service records

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:09:43 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

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

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