By Jim Mesko
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7 Two other American experiments in unmanned flight, Operation APHRODITE and Project Anvil, constituted part of the Allied effort to eliminate the menace of the V-1s. In Operation APHRODITE, a twoman crew flew old B-17 bombers with explosives toward a V-1 launch site. With 25,000 pounds of explosives onboard, these remote controlled bombers held the largest nonnuclear payload in history. Before crossing the channel, the crew bailed out and another B-17 controlled the aircraft via radio controls.
63. com/73rd_SAC/73rd_History-66. html (accessed 4 September 2008); “223rd Combat Support Aviation Battalion,” Hawk 1, no. 6 (February 1968): 6. 64. David R. Wood, “Looking for Trouble . . 3/17 Air Cavalry Squadron,” Hawk, (August 1969), 2-5; Jay G. Goldsberry, “Hunting Charlie by Night: Fire Fly,” Hawk, December, 1968, 4-5. 65. Williams, 162, 167, 170. 66. FM 1-15 (1965) and FM 1-15 (1967); Stanton, Order of Battle, 110-11. 67. McGrath, 152; Captain Matthew M. Serletic, “Aero-Scout . . ” United States Army Aviation Digest, February, 1971, 31.
RACs flew in L-19s although in the interim between Korea and Vietnam the Army changed the designation to the O-1. The companies were divided into four platoons and a company headquarters. The TOE (Table of Organization and Equipment) allotted 32 aircraft for each company, although the units often functioned with fewer. Most platoons supported a specific US Army or Republic of Vietnam Army Division. The number of planes per platoon varied from as few as four to as many as nine. When supporting a division, three aircraft were assigned to provide direct support to the division, while the others received a performed observation within a specific area of division’s operations.
Amtracs in action by Jim Mesko