In the news today (November 2003) there's a story about how the United States is going to use unmanned drones to guard the border. Drones have come a long way since JFK's older brother, Joseph, was test piloting their prototype during WW2. I'm sure he never imagined that one day they'd be used by his own government against Americans at home. ~ Jackie Jura
Strange Death of Joseph Kennedy, Jr:
by Don Dwiggins
from The Kennedy Courage
published by Pyramid Publications, Inc; 1965
Navy Lieutenant Joseph Patrick Kennedy, Jr, felt cold sweat break across his forehead. Apprehensive, he fumbled with his windproof cigarette lighter, muttered under his breath when it didn't work and bummed a light from the Air Force man seated next to him in front of the television monitor screen in southern England's huge Fersfield hangar.
At this moment, 4:47, July 18, 1944, Joe was about to watch a man die.
Lt Kennedy, like others in the small group of officers huddled around the television screen, felt the tension mount as he stared in rapt fascination at the flickering televised picture. It showed the neat hedgerows of southern England and, in the distance, the Dover cliffs and the Big Ditch. The TV camera was planted in the nose of a Flying Fortress deliberately being sent to its own destruction. In the left-hand seat of that B-17, Kennedy knew, was a pilot like himself. A fellow volunteer in a joint services' attempt to launch top-secret Operation Aphrodite.
"When is he getting out of that thing?" the officer beside Kennedy blurted out.
Everyone tensed, ears attuned to radio voices that crackled from a loud-speaker beside the TV set. "Mother to baby, mother to baby," the voice droned. "Set your Azon receiver to remote. We're taking over control."
"Roger, mother," the co-pilot in the B-17 replied.
Mentally, Kennedy ran a swift cockpit check with the pilot, who, he knew, was resting his right index finger on a toggle switch in the Fort's cockpit, at that instant. When he pressed the switch, control of the Fortress would be transferred to the mother plane, flying miles behind; and the B-17 would become a drone, a radio-controlled aircraft loaded with death.
For inside her fuselage were crammed 10 tons of Torpex - a mixture of TNT, dynamite, aluminum powder and wax - the most deadly explosive then known to the Allies.
Again, Kennedy went through each danger-fraught step with the B-17 pilot: shifting from manual to remote control, arming the fuses that would turn the drone into a flying missile ready to explode on the slightest impact. Now Kennedy pictured the pilot and co-pilot ready to bail out, scrambling to leave their unmanned B-17 to be guided into an enemy target by the fly-boy in the far-off mother ship who would watch the target come up on a TV screen similar to the one Joe Kennedy was monitoring in the Fersfield hangar.
The whole idea seemed suicidal, but Aphrodite was our answer to the German scientists' awesome V-2. Admittedly, Aphrodite had been pressed into service prematurely, before the bugs had been ironed out; but in war, pilots were expendable, suicidal missions an accepted practice.
"Mother to baby," the loud-speaker suddenly blared once more. "Abandon aircraft. We are turning you to a new heading, toward Wizernes. No Ball, baby."
Kennedy ground out his cigarette under his heel and then lit another. No Ball - a fantastic target with a strange code name. A V-2 launch site of massive concrete, heavily defended with ack-ack batteries. Hitler's grandiose dream of bringing the world to its knees.
"Something's wrong!" someone shouted.
Kennedy gripped the arms of his chair and, leaning forward in silent prayer, watched the strange real-life drama unfold before his eyes on the television screen. The Aphrodite drone, he saw from the whilling landscape now flashing over the screen, had reacted like a runaway stallion.
"It's gone into a spin," an Air Force officer snapped.
"They've lost control of it!" Kennedy cried. "Get out! Get out! Get out!"
Faster the whirling TV picture spun, until the neat hedgerows and the Channel coastline became a kaleidoscopic blur, rushing up with breathtaking velocity. Patchwork fields grew larger, larger as the earth rushed up; clumps of trees leaped into view, and for a frightening second the neatly piled stones of a fence stood out in startling relief. Then, suddenly, nothing. The screen went black.
A half-dozen technical officers leaped to their feet, rushed to the set. Frantically they tried to bring the picture back to life, though in their hearts they knew it was useless. They had just watched two men die horribly in the explosion of ten tons of high explosives.
Kennedy walked to the set and switched it off savagely. He ground out his cigarette under his heel, left the hangar and strode across the concrete hardstand to a bunker, his face streaming with perspiration. Visibly shaken by what had happened, he couldn't help but wonder if the top-secret Aphrodite - the world's first guided missile project - wasn't born to lose.
In a war, Kennedy knew, death is part of the grisly show. But not this kind of death - not being trapped in a wildly spinning, plunging bomber loaded with high explosives. There was something prophetic in what Lt Kennedy had seen, a glimpse of the future, of a new kind of war in which men in distant blockhouses would push buttons that would send annihilation winging to targets halfway across the world.
Kennedy, combat-scarred, already had lost a number of Navy buddies in flying accidents; but at least they had had a fighting chance; the pilot of the Aphrodite drone hadn't.
Footsteps sounded behind him and Kennedy looked around. It was Lt Wilford J Willy, a Navy pilot from Fort Worth, Texas, who had volunteered with Kennedy for the secret missile project.
"What do you think, Joe?" Willy asked dejectedly.
Kennedy shrugged. "Hard to tell. Something obviously went wrong with the remote control after the pilots turned over control to the mother ship."
"They didn't answer their call," Willy said. "They should have been able to bail out. But they rode it in."
"Come on," Kennedy suddenly cried. "Let's get a drink."
Joe was Navy with a capital N, all man and attractive to women. A good guy, he'd bent backward to live down the fact that he was a rich man's son. His father, the Honorable Joseph Patrick Kennedy, former speaker of the House, U.S. ambassador to England, Back Bay socialite and influential citizen, had given Joe his own name. Joe Junior meant to live up to it.
Born in Nantasket, Massachusetts, July 25, 1915, young Joe was the apple of his doting father' eye. He attended exclusive Choate School in Wallingford, Connecticut, then entered Harvard. There, he played varsity football three years, went out for rugby, served on the student council three years and was elected chairman as a senior. Despite this activity, plus membership in Hasty Pudding and Pi Eta, he graduated cum laude in 1938.
Then began the period of his life when Joe Kennedy, Sr, groomed him for a political career he believed would lead to the White House. The old man was determined to get a son elected president.
Entering the diplomatic service, Joe became a private secretary in the American Embassy in London, a post where he began to see the uneasy course of the world, drifting toward war in Europe. War's inevitability trimmed his isolationist sails, and he girded himself for the future.
He moved into a vacancy in the American Embassy in Paris and heard the rising din from across the Rhine, where Hitler's stormtroopers were rattling sabers. His insights were sharpened by the perilous times. For Hitler had smashed into Poland and, to his consternation, he realized that France was already crumbling politically.
...Privately, Joe hoped America could be kept out of world war, but more realistically he knew strong American leadership would be needed in the troubled years ahead. He returned to Harvard Law School, the presidency still a burning goal.
But by mid-October, 1941, with Europe in flames and Japanese troops building up in Indo-China, Kennedy quit school and joined the United States Naval Reserve as an aviation cadet.
An apt student, Joe was commissioned an ensign in April, 1942, and by January, 1943, was a full lieutenant assigned to PB4Y Liberator bomber squadron. In September, 1943, Lt Kennedy was ordered overseas with the squadron for a dangerous tour of combat duty on anti-submarine patrol, attached to the British Coast Command.
From the Bay of Biscay and the English Channel to the icy waters of the North Sea, Joe Kennedy's Liberator probed through rain squalls and snowstorms, hunting out Hitler's U-boats on one of the war's most dangerous missions. This tour alone would have made him a war hero, but Kennedy wasn't satisfied. When the tour ended, instead of returning to the United States, he talked his Liberator crew into signing up for a second tour of combat patrol.
Weary from flying two full tours, Kennedy was ordered home in July, 1944, and already had his personal gear loaded on a westbound transport when he got wind of Project Aphrodite. Excitedly, he investigated.
"It's a wild idea," the briefing officer told him. "Practically a suicide mission. I don't think you'd be interested. You've flown two tours already!"
"Never mind that," Joe snapped. "I've heard you're looking for Liberator men, and I'm available."
The officer shrugged. "It's your neck."
Arriving at Fersfield, Lt Kennedy joined the hurried activity of technicians and officers scurrying around on secret orders under strange project code names like Aphrodite, Batty, Castor and Weary Willie. When he learned the details of the secret effort he was more amazed than ever.
Project Aphrodite had been activated on June 23, 1944. Its objective: to hurl explosive-laden drone bombers into an impregnable arc of 150 strange concrete missile launching pads strung along the French, Belgian and Netherlands coasts. The sites were so heavily defended, Kennedy learned, that it was out of the question to send conventional manned bombers against them.
Yet it was important to knock them out. German V-1 and V-2 weapons launched from these sites were spreading great fear and causing extensive damage.
Months earlier, Sir Winston Churchill had given the code name Crossbow to the mounting Allied effort to smash Germany's nightmarish long-range weapons program, but actual German use of the V-1, a giant aerial torpedo with tail fins, flamed across the channel from the Pas-de-Calais and exploded on a railway bridge in the heart of London, and a new era in warfare was born.
Beginning at dusk on July 2, German rocketeers had fired 161 missiles over the English coast into London in a single 24-hour period. In that one single deadly week, ending on July 8, 820 V-1 missiles had climbed spaceward to hammer England in the world's first gigantic ballistic missile attack.
More than 16,000 V-1's and 14,000 V-2's eventually would rain down on England in Hitler's final desperate effort to avert defeat.
The frightening thing was - the launch sites had been built so solidly that standard bombing procedures could not knock them out. Hurriedly, the Air Force built duplicate launch sites at the Eglin Proving Ground and discovered their weakness - while medium- and high-altitude bombing was wasteful and ineffective, minimum-altitude attacks could destroy them!
Something was needed that could streak into the massive German defenses in low, suicidal attacks. Something like an Aphrodite drone.
On his first test missions, Lt Kennedy found serious trouble with the primitive television control system mounted in the Navy bomber's nose. It was supposed to relay to the mother ship an image of what it saw, so that the drone could be steered remotely into the V-1 launch sites from a safe distance. But the ATJ television rig showed nothing but snow.
He learned the source of the trouble from Air Force Lt Colonel Joseph Pomykatak, project officer of the Batty television bomb effort, and the man who had launched the first successful GB-4 television glide bombs onto enemy targets in France.
"Your trouble probably lies in the way the antenna is rigged," Pomykata grinned. "We learned that if you mount it above the horizontal stabilizer you eliminate ground reflection."
"Thanks!" Kennedy cried, "Anything the Navy can do for you, tell!"
Pomykata frowned. "You know," he said, "we could use some of those soft Navy mattresses."
"It's a deal," Kennedy grinned. "Two mattresses for two of those television rigs of yours!"
He went outside and walked slowly across the hardstand, past the ugly, black silhouoette of the Liberator he would fly the next day as co-pilot-technician. He nodded to the armed MP, standing guard over the bomber and its lethal load of 21,170 pounds of Torpex.
Other figures moved about the big bomber, intent on last-minute preflight checkouts. The countdown had begun, though take-off time was still hours away. He saw Lt Willy, who'd have the seat to his left on the mission, standing under a floodlight talking to Ensign James Simpson. He walked over to them.
"How's the television working?" Kennedy asked.
Simpson grinned and wiped his hands on a rag. "Not too bad. We still get some snow, but we changed the antenna and it seems okay now."
"Pomykata suggested we put it on top of the stabilizer," Kennedy said. "That stops the ground reflection."
"That's what (Lieutenant Leonhard) Katz told us. We made the change," Lt Willy told him.
Kennedy nodded thoughtfully. At least they had the benefit of experience of the Aphrodite crews and technicians who had brought the project along this far.
"How about some coffee?" he asked.
Willy and Simpson joined Kennedy, and the three went to the snack bar in Operations.
"It's going to be rough bailing out," Willy said thoughtfully. "You know the trouble they've had with the Fortress war wearies."
Kennedy nodded. After that first tragic mission he'd watched on the television monitor, he remembered that other crews had bailed out, but were dead when they landed. It had been a mystery until one man survived with a broken shoulder.
The modifications on the fuselage had changed the slipstream so that it slammed the crews off balance as they jumped, and crushed the life from them when their bodies struck the extrusions.
One week earlier, on August 4, the hopes of the Aphrodite project officers were raised when an explosive-laden B-17 streaked over the Channel after its pilots escaped alive. From the mother ship, flying 20 miles behind, a clear television image was flashed back by the drone. They could see the giant rocket site at Wizernes come into view between a break in the clouds.
"This is it!" the mother controller had cried, but as he remotely guided the B-17 down the sky on its death plunge toward the concrete installation, it ran into other clouds and overshot its target by 2,000 feet.
Two days later, on August 6, the third Aphrodite drone was launched on its deadly mission toward the town of Watten, a German site of strategic importance. One year before, on August 27, 1943, the Eighth Air Force had launched its first Crossbow Mission with an attack by 187 conventional B-17s against this target. British intelligence reports later confirmed that damage was heavy, but the Watten base, they reported with awe, was "more extensive than any concrete construction in the United States with the possible exception of Boulder Dam."
On that third Aphrodite flight, the remote control of the Azon gear malfunctioned, and the mother controller was unable to steer it down to its target. It flew a giant, tantalizing circle around Watten, then finally spiraled into a cow pasture and exploded, killing a herd of cows.
Two more Flying Fortresses were launched, but their pilots died in bailing out, and halfway across the Channel the bombers plunged into the water. Explosives and incendiaries in their bays sent plumes of water and flame into the sky.
After the Aphrodite fiasco, the Air Corps decided to postpone work on its secret glide-bomb effort, Project Batty, and move ahead quickly with Castor, whose B-17 war wearies were guided simultaneously by radio, television and radar. The Castor drones were sent over the Channel almost at wave level after their pilots bailed out with their chutes attached to static lines to insure safe opening.
One Castor drone almost reached the submarine pens at Helgoland but was intercepted and shot down by enemy aircraft. In a second raid, against an oil refinery near Heide, Germany the Castor drone wandered off course and dived into the North Sea 70 miles from the coast. A third drone was steered visually over Heide, but it crashed and exploded without causing serious damage.
Now it was the Navy's turn.
Lt Joseph Kennedy was eager to get going, to end the mounting suspense of the long checkout. Normally, he slept well enough before flying a mission, but this morning, August 12, 1944, he tossed restlessly in his bunk, thinking of the ordeal ahead.
He was up early, carefully running a final check of the PB4Y Liberator, the big four-engine bomber that was stripped of all unnecessary paraphernalia and loaded for death with Torpex.
At noon he took a sack of eggs from his foot locker and invited Willy and Simpson to join him at the mess hall for a special treat - a Kennedy omelette.
He'd brought the eggs from London the day before, on his last visit with his sister Kathleen, who had met parental disapproval of her engagement to marry the Marquess of Hartington because of religious differences.
"So you're a Catholic and he's a Protestant," Joe had laughed. "It shouldn't make any difference. Some day you're going to see a Catholic named Kennedy in the White House!"
He could not have known how prophetic his words were, though neither he nor Kathleen would live to see them come true. Kathleen, working as a Red Cross nurse, did marry the Marquess, who died in action leading an infantry patrol ahead of a tank column. And she was to die in 1948, in the crash of a private plane in the mountains of Southern France.
At 1700 hours Kennedy and Willy climbed into their flight gear, chuted up and rode a jeep to the hardstand. Ensign Simpson, inside the cockpit double-checking the intricate electronic gear, got up as Kennedy crawled in. The two men shook hands.
"So long and good luck, Joe," Simpson said. "I sure wish I were going with you!"
Kennedy shoved him playfully. "Maybe next trip, Jim."
He sat down in the right hand seat and adjusted his parachute straps. "Jim," he called as Simpson turned to go, "if I don't come back, you fellows can have the rest of my eggs."
Quickly and efficiently Kennedy and Willy went through the ritual of the cockpit checkout, calling out each item on the preflight list preparatory to starting engines. Joe switched the selector valve to the left tank. It was going to be a one-way trip - to Helgoland, and the Nazi submarine pens this time. Only Kennedy and Willy planned to parachute out before they crossed the coastline.
Joe moved his right index finger, in a circle and grinned at the ground crew outside. Number one engine belched to life. When all four propellers were turning, he waved to the plane captain to pull the chocks.
"We'll be right down!" he yelled above the roar of the engines. Then he released the brakes and the giant Liberator lumbered slowly forward, gingerly carrying its load of 10 tons of death.
Neither he nor Willy spoke now. They were too busy. Both men were perspiring, feeling every jolt as the flying bomb rolled down the taxi strip and turned into the runway. Willy shoved all four throttle levers forward smoothly. The Liberator picked up speed.
"One hundred!" Joe yelled, watching the air speed indicator. "110...120..." Trees at the end of the runway loomed ahead. He eased back on the yoke with Willy, as if together they were lifting the ship from the runway as gently as possible. He felt the rushing air grip the controls and saw the ground drop away. He hit the brakes to stop the spinning of the landing gear wheels.
"Gear coming up! he called.
So far everything was running smoothly. They were off the ground, above the trees, climbing in a slow turn into the west, toward the setting sun.
Kennedy looked down on the landscape, the neat pattern of hedgerows and farms of the English countryside. The same pattern he'd seen on the television monitor the day the first Aphrodite B-17 spun in. It must have brought fear into sharp focus. Not the paralyzing fear of the coward, but the fear that puts a competitive edge on a hero, primes him for the big play.
Kennedy picked up the mike and called the mother ship.
"Baby to mother," he said. "Climbing through 2000 on a heading of two-seven-zero. How do you read?"
Twenty miles away, in the nose of a PV-1 Ventura, the mother controller heard Kennedy's voice, saw the televised image of the landscape below the Liberator.
"Mother to baby, you're loud and clear. Picture return a bit snowy, but we're getting a workable image."
"Ah, Roger, mother," Kennedy said laconically. "We're turning to one-eight-zero..."
Inside the plane, the two men functioned like the well-drilled team they were. Their hands manipulated the necessary controls, their mouths recorded vital information to the mother ship. But even as they sped toward the enemy, their thoughts at this crucial time had to be of home, family, future...
Willy...The Texan's lean, tanned face screwed up as he squinted into the late sun. Let me live, he must have prayed to his Maker. Let me live to go home to Edna. She was his wife, and he'd talked often of their plans for after the war, when he hoped to go into ranching in a big way.
Kennedy...The Bostonian worried abut Kathleen, hoped she'd be happy with her British husband. Then their was his kid brother Jack. He'd thrown his life on war's dice table just one year before in the Solomons, when his PT boat was rammed by a Jap destroyer.
And now, he, too, was facing death.
A glance over his shoulder into the bomb bay was enough to jolt both men out of any reveries and back to the grim business at hand. For in the bomb bay, both men could readily see, lay stacked can upon can of deadly Torpex. It was hot cargo, all right - first payment for the havoc and screaming-meemies inflicted by the V-1's and V-2's.
Collect on delivery, Mr Schickelgruber.
Kennedy had little doubt that the Liberator would succeed in its mission. He was not mentally geared to accept failure. His job, and Willy's was to set the drone on its course, carefully trimmed to cruise, and turn the controls over to the mother ship, miles behind them. And then bail out.
Still higher in the afternoon sky circled another aircraft, the Project Batty Glide Bomb control plane. At 15,000 feet, Lt Katz adjusted his radio controls and then brought in the dramatic television image from the distant drone.
"Good picture!" he yelled to his pilot. "This one looks like a winner!"
In the Ventura mother ship, the controller came on. "Mother to baby, what is your position?"
"Coming up on the coastline," Kennedy radioed back. "Still getting a good picture?"
Both Katz and the Navy controller watched the white line of the Dover cliffs moving into view, the same breathtaking sight they knew Kennedy and Willy were watching from their cockpit.
On the ground, at the Fersfield hangar, others were watching the same bizarre sight, relayed from the drone. Pomykata nervously clasped and unclasped his fingers, almost as if praying they'd make it this time. Other technicians watched silently, chain-smoking to quiet their nerves.
"Okay, mother," Kennedy's voice came on now. "We're switching to remote radio control. Take over, mother..."
Kennedy, his mouth cottony, reached out and flipped the toggle switch that locked the autopilot control onto the AN/ARW-2 and AN/ARW-3 remote radio control links. He and Willy let go of the controls, and in a second the Liberator's wings slowly rocked left and right.
"Okay, baby...we've got you," the controller's voice called from the Ventura. "Arm your fuses!"
"Roger, arming fuses," Kennedy called back. He slipped off his headset, unbuckled the seat belt and moved around behind the co-pilot seat, where the fuse panel was located.
For a brief moment, he paused to make a final check of the instrument panel, then to glance down at the Channel coast. There was a choice: to parachute into the water or try, as per plan, to bail out over the beach.
"Joe," Willy said. "Need any help?"
"No sweat. You ready to go?"
In the Ventura, in the Batty bomber, in the hangar at Fersfield, men were saying silent prayers now as they watched the drama in the sky unfolding. It was time now, time for the pilots to set the triggers and leap for their lives.
Kennedy moved into the navigator's compartment and reached his hand toward the switches that would arm the detonators. For a fleeting second he hesitated, thinking of all that Torpex in back, 10 tons of death that would go up in one mighty blast at the slightest impact, once the G-load fuses were triggered. He swallowed, moved his gloved hand to the switch.
In his seat, Willy was watching, waiting for the signal to open the escape hatch so they could bail out together.
On the ground, Pomykata nervously checked his watch. Unconsciously he tapped his fingers on the arm of his chair. He said a silent prayer for the two men facing death in the high sky, carrying out one of the war's most frightening missions.
In was 1720. On the ground, in the two control planes, men frowned, held their breaths. The Liberator was over the coast. This was the moment. Another second dragged. Impatiently, the Navy controller's voice broke the silence.
"Mother to baby! Mother to baby! Bail out! Bail out!"
In the Liberator, Lt Kennedy's finger closed on the switch.
There was a sudden jarring on the television screens in the remote control craft, and at Fersfield. Then, with the quickness of death, the screens went black.
"Mother to baby!" the radio cried in a weird, forlorn lament. "Come in, baby!"
But Kennedy's fingertips had brushed death.
The super-sensitive arming fuses, delicately adjusted, closed on impact.
Something jarred them at that critical second, some unseen, unpredicted force. A stretch of rough air? A sudden shift of the dangerous cargo? Kennedy never new. His final act on this earth, in the high sky above the English Channel, sealed his own doom.
As the switch closed, an electrical surge instantaneously flowed to the fuses. There was a single, gigantic explosion. A great ball of orange fire blossomed suddenly and bits of torn metal and human flesh scarred the afternoon sky... And then it was over.
Oddly, so violent was the blast that only a single part of the Liberator was ever found - a ten-inch television antenna mast, the one Pomykata had advised Kennedy to mount atop the stabilizer.
One year and a day later, on August 13, 1945, the Navy posthumously awarded Lieutenants Will and Kennedy its highest awards for valor, the Navy Cross.
For the family of Lieutenant Kennedy - as for Willy's family - a citation read:
"For extraordinary heroism and courage in aerial flight as pilot of a United States Liberator bomber on August 12, 1944. Well knowing the extreme dangers involved and totally unconcerned for his own safety, Lieutenant Kennedy unhesitatingly volunteered to conduct an exceptionally hazardous and special operational mission.
"Intrepid and daring in his tactics and with unwavering confidence in the vital importance of his task, he willingly risked his life in the supreme measure of service and, by his great personal valor and fortitude in carrying out a perilous undertaking, sustained and enhanced the finest traditions of the United States Naval Service."
Later, a new destroyer, the DD-850, was christened USS Joseph P Kennedy Jr at Quincy, Massachussets. Another sister of Joe's, Miss Joan Kennedy, of Hyannis Port, christened it.
Joe Kennedy had died a hero, and in so doing had become a legend. Like the heroes of the Old West who opened a new frontier for America, Joe had died at the dawn of the Space Age, launching the era of guided missiles.
Even if he didn't live to preside in the White House, he'd have been proud to know that his brother, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, had. And perhaps the president had his older brother in mind when, in the spring of 1961, he committed this nation to dedicate the next decade to fulfillment of the Space Age heritage Joe Kennedy had died for - rocketing a man to the moon.
If Joe were alive, he would have volunteered for that mission, too.
DEAD MEN'S SECRETS: THE MYSTERIOUS DEATH OF JOE KENNEDY. The History Channel
He was a war hero whose future had unlimited potential. But a mysterious accident in the skies over Britain took his life. DEADMEN'S SECRETS examines the many questions surrounding the death of Joseph Kennedy Junior, interviewing experts and examining the hard facts in the case. Kennedy was piloting a US Navy Liberator bomber on a top-secret mission to take out a Nazi rocket base when his plane exploded in mid-air. The official cover-up began almost immediately, but we know that the plane had been packed with explosives and the mission plan called for Kennedy and his co-pilot to bail out over Kent, from where the bomber would be flown to its target via remote control. Did something go wrong with the system and cause the premature detonation, or was there a more sinister reason for the explosion? The question only became more puzzling when an official report was released during JFK's presidency. Using computer simulations, archival footage, and in-depth analysis, THE MYSTERIOUS DEATH OF JOE KENNEDY looks at the accident that started the tales of the "Kennedy curse."
Human pilots no longer needed (CIA & Pentagon use remote control). Reuters, Nov 23, 2003. Go to 13.Weapons & 9/11 HI-JACKS OR HI-JINKS?
THE STORY OF PT-109 ("Survival" by John Hersey, New Yorker magazine in 1944)
Drones to patrol USA border (with cameras & missiles). CNN, May 14, 2003. Go to 3.Surveillance & 13.Weapons
JFK TRUTHS & UNTRUTHS
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