THE SECRET MISSION OF JOSEPH P. KENNEDY, JR.
|From 1939 thru 1945 there were many secret missions by the
allies to destroy the Nazi war machine. On Aug. 12, 1944, one of our most tragic secret missions occurred.
A PB4Y-1, the Navy version of the B-24, loaded with 374
[pictured above] German V-1 "Buzz Bomb"
[pictured above] German V-2 Ballistic Missile
|Joseph Kennedy Sr. was one of the wealthiest men in the United States. In the 1920' he reportedly made a fortune bootlegging liquor. He made five million producing low budget movies. In 1938 he was appointed U.S. Ambassador to Britain. He was involved in high society, associating with the Royal Family. But Joe Kennedy Sr. had other problems. He had an admiration for Nazi Germany, and advised the U.S. to remain neutral in the growing conflict. He made no secret about his admiration of Germany. As Hitler became more powerful, he announced that he could conquer all of Europe. Britain was feeling the pressure as Dunkirk was evacuated, and London was viciously bombarded. Hitler planned on Britain being the next to fall. Joe Sr. in his opposition to America joining the war had angered Churchill and Roosevelt. Even his two sons opposed their father. In Dec. 1940, he was removed from office and recalled to the U.S. Politically damaged, his admiration for Germany had been his downfall. On Dec. 7, Japan attacked the U.S. and America declared war. Three days later Hitler declared war on the U.S. Joe Jr. immediately enlisted, entering training as a naval aviator. He started flight training in PT-17s, and after graduation was upgraded to the multi-engine B-24 [PB4Y-1] flying maritime anti-sub patrol. In Aug. of 1943 his younger brother John was involved in a mishap when a Japanese destroyer sliced through his PT-109. The crew made it to nearby islands and all were rescued. John was recognized as a hero. In the meantime ships carrying critical supplies to Britain were being increasingly sunk by German subs. Churchill called for a stepped up effort to destroy the subs. Joe Jr. flew 35 missions in six months destroying many of the U-boats. Joe reportedly fell in love with a married English woman while on leave. It was a top secret affair, with his entire life now veiled in secrecy. On June 5, 1944, an armada set sail across the English Channel, the invasion of Europe had begun. German V bombs were now killing thousands of innocent civilians. This presented a great opportunity for Joe Jr. to see some real action. Hitler continued to introduce his wonder weapons, with Buzz Bombs carrying 2000 pounds of explosives. Over 2000 were launched killing over 5000, it was total devastation. Meteor jets and anti-aircraft guns were able to destroy many of the V-1s, but England had no defense against the V-2. It was 46 feet long with a one ton warhead and was difficult to locate when launched from a mobile site. The V-2 was propelled by liquid alcohol and liquid oxygen, taking it to 315,000 feet, then plunging back to earth at 1800 MPH. Over 1000 were fired at London. The new bunker type underground launch sites were not being destroyed by conventional bombing. The new V-3 Supergun could fire a projectile 95 miles, two every minute, striking London. It was obvious the V-1,V-2, and V-3 had to be stopped.|
England formed an elite group to destroy the launch sites, and asked for volunteers.
Joseph Kennedy's squadron, flying in bitter winter weather over the Bay of Biscay, had suffered heavy
casualties, with Joe losing his former co-pilot and a number of close friends. He was due for a leave
but persuaded his crew to stay on until D-Day. Flying frequently in June and July they were given another
opportunity to go home. Joe felt it would be unfair to ask his crew to remain any longer, so they returned
to the U.S. Joe remained to volunteer for the very dangerous assignment which would require another
month. Joe had completed probably more combat missions in B-24s than any other pilot and was well qualified.
He considered his chances at fifty-fifty. Joe was an expert in Radio Control projects and was considered
a natural to fly the "drone" in the highly secret mission. To destroy the V-2 menace it was
decided to use radio controlled drones carrying massive bomb loads. The U.S. had been experimenting
with R.C. drones, as had Germany, who was developing R.C. glider bombs. The X-1 rocket boostered bomb
released from a German bomber could glide for six miles when released from 26,000 feet.