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Aphrodite
Our Little Friends
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C.B. (Red) Harper
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THE APHRODITE PROGRAM

In early 1944, US and British intelligence sources revealed that Hitler was planning to launch secret weapons on Britain. These weapons were later revealed to be the “V-1 Buzz bomb,” a radio controlled flying bomb, the “V-2 Rocket” and a long range high powered gun with explosive shells, all aimed at London. To counter this threat the British developed the 20,000 pound “Tallboy bomb” for dropping on submarine pens and the launch sites for the V-1, V-2 and the long range guns, on the coast across the channel from England. The US Army Air Force Project Aphrodite was formed in June, 1944 to counter these threats. Targets selected were invulnerable to conventional bombs because of thick reinforced concrete emplacements. These targets were: submarine pens on Heligoland, V-1 and V-2 sites and a long gun at Watten, Wizerns and Siracount and Mimoyecques, France. Two other targets were attacked, the marshalling yards at Herford, Germany and the power station at Oldenburg, Germany. 

Lacking Germany’s rocket technology the US answer was hastily improvised, crude and, in the end, an almost total failure. It did result, however, in a story which is exciting, tragic, often amusing and shrouded in mystery. 

A couple of participants in the Aphrodite program were Technical Sergeant Elmer Most, a C-1 Autopilot specialist from the 100th Bomb Group and Lieutenant Charles L. Shinault from the 96th Bomb Group who brought this once top secret program to my attention. It should be noted that participation in the Aphrodite program was voluntary and crews would be recruited from various Groups...

Next...A Word About Our Little Friends

Continued...

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