Unmanned Aerial Systems


As reported in this article from Stars and Stripes, Nazi Germany launched the first V-1 drones (pilotless flying bombs) against London in June 1944 only one week after the Allies landed at Normandy.

The Friends helped acquire collections of World War II issues of Stars and Stripes through the generosity of Bill Bealmear and of Rosalyn Knepell and Lynne Brown in memory of Al Israel. The Friends sponsor the work of Melissa Robohn in Special Collections as she acquires material on Unmanned Aircraft Systems (drones) and makes this material available online.



The Stars and Stripes    June 17, 1944

"The Nazis launched a new type of pilotless plane—a flying bomb possibly directed by remote control—at Southern England yesterday in an attack which Berlin trumpeted as "the beginning of retaliation" for Allied bombings of the Reich."

The Stars and Stripes    June 19, 1944

"While alert followed alert and ack-ack guns of all calibers rumbled and banged away at the Germans' pilotless flying bombs over Southern England over the weekend, Allied army and air experts agreed last night that Hitler's robot plane was a flop as an important military weapon."

The Stars and Stripes    June 20, 1944

"While German robot planes attack at Southern England for a fifth day and night, the British Air Ministry announced last night that "many successful attacks" were made on the projectiles by fighter planes and ack-ack guns and that other and secret counter-measures were being taken."

The Stars and Stripes    June 21, 1944

"U.S. Army ground and Air Forces units have destroyed several of Hitler's pilotless planes over southern England, it was officially announced yesterday. Meanwhile, German Overseas News Agency said that one of the measures contemplated by the British to beat the robot was the erection of a dense balloon barrage to serve as an anti-bomb net."

The Stars and Stripes    June 22, 1944

"This is what it is like to shoot down a robot plane. It was told to me by Wing Commander R. P. Beamont, commanding officer of a wing of Tempests, the RAF's latest machine and the fastest fighter in the world."

The Stars and Stripes    June 23, 1944

"A task force of up tp 250 Fortresses and Liberators yesterday gave the Pas de Calais winged-bomb installations their sixth heavy pounding in 36 hours...Not one enemy aircraft rose over the French coast to protect the pilotless-plane ramps, battered night and day by every type of Allied plane since the lethal missiles began to fall in southern England."