June 16, 1944

Control Method of Robot
Plane Still a Mystery

None Is Taken Intact for
Examination; Speed Put at
220 to 250 Miles


    LONDON, June 16 (AP) None of the new German robot planes was known tonight to have been taken intact for examination, but the reports of many witnesses agreed well on the following points:
    The pilotless bomber has a wing-spread of perhaps twenty feet and a length of perhaps twenty-five and usually is painted dark brown or black. It is driven by some sort of motor with a distinctive pulsating rhythm, carries a bright yellow light in its tail, shoots flames from its exhausts and sometimes trails smoke.
    The plane's speed was variously reported as "terrific" and between 220 and 250 miles an hour. It flies rather low and on a straight course, making it a good target for guns and fighters. Usually the robot machines come over in groups of two or three, exploding on contact with buildings or within five to ten seconds after landing. The explosive load was estimated as anywhere between 1,000 and 8,000 pounds.
    The control of the robot bombers remained a mystery. The simplest theory was that they merely were aimed and set at the take-off to travel a certain distance in a certain direction. A more popular theory was that they were controlled by radio, either from the ground or from piloted planes.
    The lights on them possibly aid in radio control, probably from piloted planes at great distance.
    The Germans already have used in this war a radio-controlled glider-bomb, mainly against ships, guiding it visually by aircraft, which released it at great height, usually several miles from the target.
    One thing is certain: the new robot plane can be used only once and it would require an immense amount of material and labor to sustain an attack with such machines.

Robot Raids Continue

    LONDON, June 17 (Saturday) (UP). -- The Germans carried on early today with their terror attack on southern England with rocket bombs which streaked across the sky, spitting flame, to crash on towns and farmsteads. Anti-aircraft guns throughout the area went into action in an attempt to explode the flying robots in the air.
    The National Broadcasting Company heard the Berlin radio assert that a big Allied convoy bound for Normandy was almost destroyed by German rocket planes off Spithead, between the Isle of Wight and southern England -- a point about 100 miles from the Normandy coast.
    NBC heard the Berlin radio tell also of another German secret weapon, a new high-explosive bomb, which it said was used against England Friday, hitting the Coventry radio station and temporarily putting it out of commission. No details were given.

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