M. Deschamps - Director
of Terminology and Abbreviations
London, Connecticut, DAY, 7 November 1944, page 1
New Aerial Weapons Used by Germans
(AP) - The Germans are using jet and rocket propelled planes
and various other "new-fangled" gadgets against
Allied night fighters, Lieut. Col. B. Johnson, Natchitoches,
La., commander of a P-61 Black Widow group, said today.
recent nights we've counted 15 to 10 jet planes," Johnson
said. "They sometimes fly in formations of four, but
more often they fly alone."
described a new kind of flak which he said might be a phosphorus
exploded in a large ball of fire at 10,000 feet and I could
see drops of fire dripping away from it," he said.
"The same ball of fire exploded several times, each
time at a lower altitude. The dripping process followed
each explosion," he added.
Germans also have a trick weapon which sends a dummy airplane
into the paths of daylight bombers purely for a "psychological"
looks like the tail or other part of a plane on fire, but
it does not damage," Johnson said. "They merely
intend it to get you excited."
London, Connecticut, DAY, 18 December 1944, page 1
Nazis Use V-Weapon On Western Front
THE U.S. NINTH ARMY IN GERMANY (AP) - The Germans have launched
a new "V" weapon on the Western front and are
bombarding rear areas with it by night and day.
dispatch gave no details concerning the weapon.
Germans have used both their V-1 and V-2 weapons - the robot
bomb and the "telegraph pole" rocket bomb - against
troops and areas behind the front.
headquarters in Paris last week said pilots reported seeing
clusters of "silver balls" over Germany, but gave
no other information. It was speculated the silver balls
might be a new anti-aircraft defense or designed to interfere
with Allied radio communication.
London, Connecticut, DAY, 3 January 1945, page
'Great Balls of Fire!'
Mae of the comic strip Muggs and Skeeter has an expression
"Great balls of fire!" which she uses in moments
of stress. Evidently our night fliers over Germany can well
afford to use the term, too, when they encounter the latest
German "secret weapon" (if that is what it is)
which they are calling "foo-fighter" balls of
fire. No one seems to know what the strange contrivances
are, or what they are supposed to accomplish.
American plane flies over Germany at night and suddenly,
alongside one wing, a large red ball of fire appears. It
maintains its position off the wing no matter what the speed,
never coming closer and never fading away, apparently, until
many miles have been covered. Or the "foo-fighter"
ball of fire may appear as a vertical row of three lights
ahead of the plane. No matter how fast the plane may travel
it never quite catches up with these weird lights. Eventually
they disappear as suddenly as they arrived. The third phenomenon
is described as a cluster of perhaps 15 lights at some distance
from the plane, which flicker on and off "like a Christmas
tree". They, too, keep pace with the racing plane.
are all kinds of speculation as to what these devices are,
and what they are supposed to accomplish. One is that the
effect is supposed to be largely psychological, which frankly
sounds pretty far-fetched, since it has yet to be shown
that any of these things can harm the plane. A more likely
explanation was offered by an AP radio and science expert;
he suggested that perhaps the devices are intended to interfere
with radio transmission from the plane or to help the Germans
operate some detection device such as radar. Still another
possibility, it would seem may be that these devices, whatever
they may be, are intended to act as location finders for
anti-aircraft batteries. If a certain type of "foo-fighter"
ball attaches itself to the flight path of a plane at night,
anti-aircraft batteries might be able to plot the course
of the plane much more accurately, making due allowance
for the distance between the satellite and the plane than
would be possible through the use of search lights.
the moment there seems to be no explanantion as to how these
things work, exactly what . The soundest theory, however,
appears to be that they perhaps contain some kind of gas
activated by the presence of metal in the plane and that
a magnetic attraction keeps them at a pre-arranged distance
from the plane but never -- the plane outrun them until
the force in the contrivance is expended. One flier says
he was unable to shake a "foo-fighter" at 260
miles an hour through the Rhine valley; later he "paced"
one at 360 miles an hour, and still couldn't get rid of
it for 20 miles.
London, Connecticut, DAY, 3 January 1945, page 10
Nazi Balls of Fire Race Along with U.S. Night Raiders
UNITED STATES NIGHT FIGHTER BASE, France (AP) - American
fighter pilots engaged in flying night intruder missions
over Germany report the Nazis have come up with a new "secret
weapon" - mysterious balls of fire which race along
beside their planes for miles like will o' the wisps..
pilots have dubbed them "foo fighters," and at
first thought they might explode, but so far there is no
indication that any planes have been damaged by them.
pilots have expressed belief that the "foo fighter"
was designed strictly as a psychological weapon. Intelligence
reports seem to indicate that it is radio-controlled from
the ground and can keep pace with planes flying 300 miles
Donald Meiers of Chicago, Ill., said there are three types
of "foo fighters" - red balls of fire that fly
along at wing tip; a vertical row of three balls of fire
which fly in front of the planes, and a group of about 15
lights which follow the plane at a distance, flickering
on and off.
and plane-following balls in fire-like color, added to the
silver globes encountered over the German lines by American
airmen, might not be as mysterious as would seem in cabled
dispatches, C. E. Butterfield AP radio editor, says.
is just a guess but on the little information available,
the colored and glowing globes might well be added elements
in attempts to interfere with radio signals and radar detection.
dispatches hint that they are radio controlled, the fact
that they travel along with a plane or stay a certain distance
ahead would tend toward the belief that they instead are
magnetic. Thus the metal of a plane would attract them,
at the same time holding them at a distance. Radio control
from the ground or another plane would not permit such apparent
accuracy in control.
glow, coupled with the possible magnetic action, might come
from the type of gas they contain to aid in their electrical
qualities and to add to their buoyancy.
London, Connecticut, DAY, 20 August 1945, page 1
German Weapons Revealed
BRITISH FORCES IN GERMANY (AP) - The Germans were experimenting
with huge bazookas as field artillery and aircraft cannon
when the war ended and had perfected a new defense system
fantastic weapons which Hitler had for a last try for victory
were taken off the secret list today by a team of American
and British technicians.
had made great strides perfecting guns without recoil. They
were based on the bazooka principle of eliminating recoil
through ejection of gases from the rear of the barrel.
giant bazookas with 11-inch bors were found. These could
have been used as artillery pieces or mounted on large aircraft.
Shells weighed about a half ton and had terrific penetrating
power. The weapon was designed primarily for air attacks
on the thick hides of battleships.
monstrous cannon of this type was found on the channel coast
trained toward London. Gases could hurl shells 120 miles.
At intervals inside the huge barrel were booster points,
through which charges of gas could be introduced to increase
shell velocity. There was no indication the terror weapon
ever was used. The Germans in anxiety to get it mounted
misjudged the angle of elevation, greatly reducing the range
for which it was intended.
defense against bombers was by use of planes which American
fighters called "foo fighters." These were tiny
jet-propelled craft which were "buttoned" to the
base of steel poles and shot vertically into the air at
the tremendous speed of rockets. Pilots inside guided the
planes at 550 miles an hour, intercepting bomber formations
with sprays of rocket shells fired from the noses of the
the pilot had used his two minutes of fuel, he pulled a
lever and was catapulted out to float to safety by parachute.
Simultaneously, the tail of the plane dropped off, releasing
another parachute which brought the craft gently to earth
where the Germans could salvage the jet units. Chains of
stations for these jet craft were stationed all along the
German weapon was the spider bomb - a winged missile fired
from planes and electrically guided to targets by a thread
of wire attached to the bomb and the parent craft. Some
spider bombs were operated as much as 15 miles from the
parent plane, allowing the pilot to remain at a safe distance
while attacking bomber formations.
submarine warfare, the Germans developed a super-speed U-boat
powered by ingolene, the powerful propellant used in V2
rocket bombs. The submarines attained high underwater speed.
perfected a "splash bullet" which was used against
troops with a deadly and horrible effect.
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