Skip to main content

tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  August 25, 2015 12:39am-2:01am EDT

12:39 am
men marched for a few more miles to look back if there is anything they could eliminate because the feet were blistered there were hot day and a comfortable so even though they brought a victory book to wherever they were dispatched to. that there is said to me theaters in in north africa so that they have entertainment they have to carry it with them but after days of marching and fighting they were reluctantly set aside because they could not carry the weight. it was too much.
12:40 am
so if the victory book campaign collected ted million in 1942 a very small portion would be paperback and that was on the publisher's they did not want to do print paperbacks that accosted river between $2.50 and $3.50 so they to make of better profit with the card books of day did not want to print a hard book even the bookstore could make more of a profit off of hard cover but they
12:41 am
realized this is a special circumstance we need to do our part for the men who are fighting. so they decided they poured pretty special book just for the troops just for those overseas so they would sell the books really to read army and navy and they could distribute them around the world. sova had to look like a book that never existed before so they got rid of the hardcover and also reduced the size of books and the larger size paperback was four and a half by six and half. they could not print them this tiny as most are eight by 10 inches the publishers had to figure out how to print them and turn to a magazine press it would
12:42 am
prevent two books on top of each other then slice them in half. the magazine presses could not use book paper so the publishers decided that is great to make a tender votes and it was the thickness of newsprint. and the book on the left is a hard cover of the right to do is the armed services addition. so i have one in my pocket right now. this is mark twain's mysterious stranger it is a complete book and does fit inside of a pocket it is
12:43 am
very lightweight so was a huge boon for the soldiers because they had books that were true the pocket-sized and did that have to fit into a backpack it could fit into the pocket of a standard military uniform. each month they published 30 titles later day ended up publishing 42 titles a month so the entire set would be sent to the servicemen never fighting each month than they would receive one full set. and wanted to share you about the inside because it is pretty remarkable. of back cover had a short summary to figure out if they had something to read they could pass it on.
12:44 am
but then they would not be able to read or to turn on what they were in a foxhole. but if they made the columns shorter it was eas2 easier to r. the double columns made it easier for soldiers to read. in the back side cover of the edition, printed all of the books that were printed that month. and so if a person had a favorite title, a favorite author, and they wanted to make sure they didn't miss it, all they had to do was check the back of each book and if their favorite author was there they know someone in the unit had
12:45 am
that book and they just had to track them down. there was a strict unspoken policy to swap books. as soon as you were done with a book you had to pass it on to the next person who wanted to read it. poplar books had waiting list. so you could sign up to be the next person in line to read a specific title if you heard it was a good one. now the books are incredibly popl poplar. i like to have the men themselves tell you how they felt about the bkthha me >> >> so the first broke the one to start off with is the
12:46 am
very first armed services addition to be printed it you know, that because the a series was the first day of the book number one. basically it has the bunch of short sketches not difficult reading but meant to entertain to talk about what they admit to the unit and i want to figure profoundly for myself and more importantly for the men here is in this godforsaken parts of the world. we fly by day near the persian gulf no one knows. last week we received your book i read it in and roared
12:47 am
with laughter as experiment i read it one night at camp fire in the men were calling for cry have not heard such laughter in months now they demand i only read one story a night it is a ration on pleasure. for the men who first received the first 30 votes was a total surprise no one had told the there was start receiving monthly shipments for december 1943 most assumed it was a christmas present. so basically they received bundles of books they would rip them open and distribute them among themselves as fast as possible. and identified another shipment of books that this
12:48 am
would become a monthly phenomenon so the men started to look forward to it. stars and stripes was printing a book last to let them know what was coming next one of them next books that came was chicken every this was also with thisp mother boarding house and reports on what is happening. the mother is booking guest that are crazy and asking for strange things to happen and the mother is always trying to appease the request. she happens to be a fabulous cook as well and there are descriptions of the mother's cooking and that is what did it for most men. when they are eating tin cans of rations reading about the
12:49 am
dinners drove them crazy. one man wrote even the talk of ice water was enough to set him aquery. what was great was the very vivid images of mothers cooking reminded them of their mothers and what they cooked. this book brought many back to what it was like to be a civilian. one man wrote reading this book took him home a couple hours and >> >> a final book i want to highlight is said in brooklyn.
12:50 am
to grow up in in brooklyn the odds are stacked against her. her father is an alcoholic and adores him then dies in high-school. she is forced to get out to support the family as it was her dream to go to college. it seemed impossible under those circumstances she does she intend to get to college and she ended up succeeding and a lot of men saw this as they face the war and possible death with tremendous odds against them and then just four members of the services she was good
12:51 am
enough to write back and then to be transported back to their childhood that day also told her how the book helped them survive the war. mentally and emotionally. there was one group that stood out from me from 1 million in the first letter he wrote policies like his unit kept facing missions that were suicide missions and none of them should survive into the middle of a battle and field "this is it". in a desert to think about this young girl and somehow to find courage and he would
12:52 am
fight and survive. and he said you hope to inspire to the with battle fatigue then it went into battle again and he wrote to say once again it escapes me than the final letter arrived he told betty smith that he went to battle again in this time was wounded and he would be discharged but he wanted to tell her one more time what that meant to him that they recorded to start a family and name her betty smith if that was the girl in honor of the woman that caused him to live.
12:53 am
>> when the war ended the exact did not end. for the reproduction of the book's first of all, the american paperback industry exploded. publisher saw there was a segment of the population that would never buy a hard cover but they would buy paperbacks. and withhold different parts of the population that wanted to read in 1939 only one had a thousand by 4,795,000,000 were printed and tooted 50 million were printed 1952 and 1959 for
12:54 am
the first-ever mower paperbacks were printed than hardcovers so they got the message they could make a profit. the second thing that on the individual level those that did not read books before the war there was one man who went to west point you may time he went to the library is he had a direct order to do so. but college was too expensive for most people but with the gi bill everyone honorably discharged had the opportunity to go for free. so it was a possibility but simultaneously day started books lot more they enjoy to do something a scholarly as
12:55 am
readings on the opportunity opened up they decided to take it into a ridge of that. so many were the first member of the family and so these books change the way we as readers in united states and the way we are educated. for many people to read shakespeare and dickens in a foxhole and in the bottom of the ship we could succeed at college. that is my presentation i would be happy to answer any questions.
12:56 am
[applause] [inaudible conversations] >> where to find these books? >> the answer is yes the answer is they were supposed to stay overseas but most people buy a book or to home because the ride take two weeks and it would be boring without any military maneuvers on the boat over. they brought to books home with them and kept up as mementos for stealth people were so desperate to make sure they with have access
12:57 am
to the armed services addition south after the war they to a good group of books and mailed them so they would be waiting when they got home. u.k. and find them on-line or sometimes on ebay and other web sites. i have felt -- had some look at flea markets that my experience is over the titles that our less popular could be as cheap as the dollar but those like a tree grows in brooklyn or "the great gatsby" goes for much higher. >> were there any titles
12:58 am
proposed but then decided were not appropriate? >> a republican in 1944 was read fdr might win a fourth term also the government could send propaganda to this 60 million people and that was enough to swing the election so legislation was passed so if i had a political viewpoint was prohibited and could not be sent to the troops if purchased by the government so all the armed services edition was purchased for distribution so all love of books are wonderful history could not be printed as the armed service edition because if you violated the al blige were fined $1,000
12:59 am
or imprisoned for one year or both said they did not want to be arrested but they didn't think they should have to censor themselves with the freedom to read even as fdr's acknowledge. said they decided to wage a war on censorships of views publicity departments with major american newspapers talk about for congress to pass legislation at a time of four. within a matter of months they no longer would be prevented from publishing books with a political viewpoint.
1:00 am
but of those under fire were a strange group but the books were controversial because they had sex scenes. and then we got to give them book with sex scenes but then groups that they did not want them to go to the servicemen. and one of the publishers made this greater to distribute the bay and books to their soldiers. [laughter]
1:01 am
and then there's a river if you want to get into the armed services addition bba and in boston. [laughter] but favor not very successful. >> we are out of time. she will be signing after this presentation. thanks for joining us.
1:02 am
1:03 am
>> they told us they would take us to shelters to get help and bloated us up on the military trucks then declared the city of new orleans and the jefferson parish a war zone and it still did not seen again we were the prisoners of war. >> you can describe it that is your whole life.
1:04 am
not only your house but all your friends and family and everybody is gone and now it is one year later it is one hell of a feeling. you never forget that the rest of your life. >> with the state level or federal level or all other levels i voted for you to represent me on a local level. i don't know where else to go. i don't know what else to do.
1:05 am
fifth rickrack. [inaudible conversations] >> this evening there from the carter library i am glad you're here we have a wonderful program tonight. i encourage you to pick up the sheet that talks about other authors that are coming white harper the
1:06 am
releasing of the second book that she wrote and i wish we had heard here we do have the author who moved next door and she writes about harper lee and getting to know her it is called mockingbird next door. and will be signing his new book of full life later in the year we have the swimmer who swam from cuba to florida. so i am pleased to have alan here to talk about joe kennedy, jr.. during the '50s and '60s and was caught up with though whole kennedy campaign as
1:07 am
the kid coming home from high school i remember president kennedy motorcade going by a person so i have followed the kennedys all along and to me it is fascinating so those who had planned to be the candidates he got his doctorate from the university of iowa and has written a gazillion bucks in his stead the whole series one for the napoleons ceo and winston churchill was with military books eisenhower on the leadership in tonight takes us into a
1:08 am
fascinating time of world war ii of drones in the best known political family in this country's history. [applause] >> thank you for coming. i think to orient to you to this subject of this book it is probably goes to do this but on august 12th heir to one of the most glamorous fortunes son of the disgraced former ambassador to great britain hosts
1:09 am
themselves into of mat of thought -- modified bomber kennedy's mission was part of mission aphrodite a desperate american en effort from the assaults of the german. [inaudible] missiles. the lieutenant general the charismatic leader of the tokyo raid it championed a plan and would pack the planes of high explosives to fly them by remote control directly into the concrete german watches. the catch is that life pilots were needed to get them off the ground. the first naval aviator to fly such a mission and what was likely the biggest man-made explosion before
1:10 am
hiroshima killed him. so i will read psalm passages and then we will get to the fatal mission itself. although now designated simply "the shock doctrine" painted on the fuselage the there is still plenty of work to be done in the aircraft had to be stripped bare then reinforced with timber to be assured the structure cannot be compromised from high explosives all of the gun turrets were removed and a gesture intended to give the appearance was not totally defenseless this older
1:11 am
aircraft received a coat of white paint to heightened visibility been further very soon after james smith met joe kennedy in with the commanding officer present at long last they explain the mission they began by describing what they had done that is the navy designation of the b24. with a radio controlled to descend and dive. and it would not be allowed even if it could to tell kennedy the airplane is
1:12 am
loaded with 21,000 pounds of torpedo explosives and 347 pine creek's that they said was 12 times the explosive load of the single bomber the western first used three weeks earlier to take the aircraft in a designated pattern with a remote control private to fly into a hardened weapon facility on the coast of france after handing back off kennedy and a crew member would bail. at that point the mission was over before handing off
1:13 am
control they would have to arm the explosive payload. joe kennedy arrived at the base which the navy shared a small section of the army air force right after for army missions to do this same kind of thing into said german facility to fail miserably and by the time he took off a total of six army air corps missions had failed with two killed in the arm was ripped off as he bailed. then it was joe kennedy's
1:14 am
turn to try. embittered with the failures many of the army air corps personnel with the mission move to of this small naval contingent. the lieutenant-colonel however was intensely interested in the navy's approach when they walked deadpanned climbed into the cockpit he was impressed to be far more sophisticated than what the are reproduced but then it was called the our main panel a makeshift circuit board made out of plywood prepare he turned to commander smith. this looks like something
1:15 am
you would make with the number two erector set and lincoln logs. he was not an electronics expert but he knew a brittle joined when he saw blood if he knew screwing a ply would circuit board to a steel aircraft invited of mess of short circuits and he knew what a piece of chocolate like and he also appreciated the success of the mission the lives of the air crew held the life fran limb of every man depended on that ply would. he would grill as good-natured the as he could peddle smith could say is a cave straight from the naval aircraft factory that knew what it was doing. so to come up from the officers' club that evening
1:16 am
in the colonel listened. what did he third know about the navy panel? it is their problem. to separate the man in then to have a full colonel from a brigadier-general. it was time to shut up and he could not stop himself said to be a matter of conscious and a guide to mitt they got it wrong. within our means system that is about as safe as a basket full of rattlesnakes. he could have pulled rank that the lieutenant colonel was out of line but instead he raised the toast to you
1:17 am
and your wild imagination wintun baby blows up call me nobody wanted the navy year in the first place. either they would succeed before he died chia's to fly the mission or the war would didn't. on august 6 and 1 source was eliminated when to missions failed miserably in they grounded operation aphrodite for the air force mission until such time when the system was ready to be displaced. the rationale for moving living personnel was too full first radio control technology was limited at
1:18 am
this time the system that the airforce used had not been designed to take off on its own and in contrast the navy succeeded to take off and even landing by radio control but it was far from foolproof there was a high possibility of failure that brings up the second rationale no way was anyone going to trust radio remote control to guide the plane of explosives over a portion of england that included the densely populated cities even london was not far. so kennedy is waiting to take off day after day and it is too cloudy. and the mission is one in which the robot plane has to be controlled by a to
1:19 am
control planes the touche twin engined planes and at all times it has to be able to see visually the robot planes from thousands of feet away see you cannot have any clouds and if you fly out of finland it is hard to have the data does not have clouds. so they crept by with that visibility of ltd. remained elusive. he would go to a practice flight and would wait for loading when they began to load the plane kennedy and simpson his roommate unwatched. the work party consisted of the black gi that is how was of the day being segregated
1:20 am
to form a human chain between the ammo carriers and the aircraft the first man lifting a box lined with beeswax been passing slowly to the next man in the chain who weighed take it and swivel to pass it on a was much harder than it looked each box past as in a solemn ritual contains 60 pounds of a small box of what looked like butter. not quite translucent at the end of the chain was a man with his head is sticking up hands extended and palms up waiting to receive itch run dash each box and he would face forward been slighted on to the deck incited a
1:21 am
naval officer kerry each box forward to lower gingerly into place billing every conceivable space even beginning with the co-pilot seat and working back to there we are of the 65 bomber. it was a slow motion machine until the end to man caught the bottom of one box scraped the knuckles of another and lost the grip and then slid free falling to the tarmac instinctively he thrust out his foot to take the full weight of his stowe it had to hurt the but he kept loading and a good thing the explosive the
1:22 am
royal gunpowder factory was developed from a german recipe mixing the old standby with tnt an old truck fine aluminum powder to have a high explosive 50% more powerful than nt and t. alone it made a 42% to gather they generated the initial release of energy while the aluminum powder made the explosive polls last lunker to enhance the destructive force. beeswax was thrown in to reduce the sensitivity of the impact but the sixth of all would put it to the test. 347n crates would be loaded the equivalent to more than 18 tons and tell us and
1:23 am
destination of the little boy a atomic bomb almost exactly one year later. said kennedy would be the most destructive weapon in military history. they did not wait for the final crete to be loaded he said let's get out of here. it was loaded and ready by thailand but the dense fog ruled out a flight then he brooded as you listen to the account of the juggernaut want of the third united states army. he took comfort that patten was not pushing for word but he doubted the us postal troops could hold out much to launder. august 12th was cloudy another day without although
1:24 am
there was fog but they noted it was just ground fog less than a foot off the earth into the air felt dry and there was a strong light blue dash likelihood it would part and clear they went to the officers' mess as they ate their breakfast they heard the auxiliaries starter in the coffin of the engines they use. the crew chief was starting their preflight check. he was told to prepare for a mission that day. the following bellow anticipation to finish their breakfast to study the sky. the great cloud cover had blue it was apparent the ground fog had burned off. they pulled up to say there was a final briefing at 1500.
1:25 am
that was hours away but in the meantime they both bounced from the operational mission to perform a thorough preflight focusing on the radio equipment at 1030 he was handed the latest forecast a looked promising but the target he had not yet been informed he was going to bail long before the drone that was not piloted went to its target he had written to his mother and father on august august 4th after the first failed aphrodite's missions. i am working as something different that is terribly interesting but secret and i have done nothing but it is far more interesting than patrolling then he wrote a
1:26 am
sentence of or the designed to allay anxiety don't get worried as there is practically no danger. he apologized for having volunteered beyond the mission quota but assured his mother he volunteered for two 1/2 times the emissions than decided to do this. but to assure them that when i tell you the whole story idea q will agree it was a mission worth staying for for all the boys who did go home and wish they would have stayed. with time on his hands joe would phone the second wife of william randolph hearst a sometime war correspondent she kept an apartment at the exclusive london hotel and piaster to pass a message to
1:27 am
his father i'm about to go into my act if i don't come back tell my dad despite our differences and love him very much. like so many others and it is moving and touching it also perplexing despite our differences. what did he mean? it sounds like a statement of the son who had fallen out but nothing of that kind happened before he joined the navy he would toe the isolationist and there is no argument over that and while the father wanted to secure him an appointment he did not protest when he became a naval aviation cadet although he recognized the dangers joe sr. put his wings on the uniform did
1:28 am
that express resentment? or the feeling never put into words the ex embassador relentless public defeat in what seemed heroism and sacrifice and democracy that forced him into risking his life? at 1500 the and in rare at the first mission of that special aviation unit would gather to serve as their briefing shack. the mother ship crews were present with john anderson and serving as control private he actually controlled it from the mother ship and also present was the personnel of the auxiliary aircraft the
1:29 am
fortress navigation plane and carrying smith as the observer. to be flown by roosevelt. into carefully take notes on the kneepad he would carry with him. he personally deliver the mission and is out there with the help line to take off and fly over the village that was 23 minutes southeast and it was expected the control plan would establish radio controlled by the time it was over and kennedy would remain on board to make sure
1:30 am
it was fully operational. anderson would turn a 20 minute flight during this time he would continue to check all controls before it was turned to the departure point to take it across the english channel. as they flew above the estuary of the designated bailout point they would test the circuit the people and he was satisfied the circuit was safe he removed the safety to move it to be alarmed position assuming all went as it should he would squeeze through the nose wheel doorway the only way out. joe would follow immediately just before thrusting himself through the door right there would parachute down a short distance north.
1:31 am
iran and died cover elsewhere to a tiny opening with the opening from the nose real it was going to hundred miles an hour and at this point we speefifteen hundred feet above the ground. when the paratroopers was in normandy it was going 100 miles per hour. >> in the navy's project they would work to get there closely. in touche dash if to 700 feet over the channel to lower the horizon of the
1:32 am
radar. but then he would be within flak range he would be quite close to the coast and at that plant as they drew the fire he would transfer control in one successful they would shear off. one more cruz attended the briefing the crew of the aircraft jim simpson assigned to scout the area one. the much feared squadron was the objective of the aphrodite mission on august august 5. it was a mystery at this point it was rumored to be possibly a guided missile that could fly across the
1:33 am
atlantic ocean and get washington or new york and rumored to be so called the american of bomb that was transcontinental to hit across the coast of of really it was 334 cannon that is permanently implanted to fire a huge projectile at great velocity because there were separate charges and to have enough of her range with the idea they would aim 50 or 75 guns at london to bomb 24/7 with high explosives they could very the range by changing the charge.
1:34 am
a vanishing dineley hamlet populated by no more than 50 people easy to overlook because five years earlier they had driven in the chrysler convertible his father had given him down the road that passed within 2 miles. at any event have focused on the work of the controlled pilot not the jumpers but their task was straightforward. and tried to locate the bumper and to guide into the main doorway. the target by 5916 feet by
1:35 am
which it was the most vulnerable assuming they could use that video image everything had to be timed with the utmost precision to contact the target when the sun would be behind the bedroom while bringing the flak gunners and likely felt so much a burden of success or failure was keyed up when they filed out of the briefing shack. you have your insurance paid up? he must have regretted that instantly. he delivered an answer worthy of the rich man's son i have twice as much as i need and i don't need it and nobody connected with the need to was an ironic or the truth but he gave a warm
1:36 am
handshake. so long. not eyes will see you. the air force launched bombing missions almost daily. they were as routine is highly dangerous enterprise but the launch was not an everyday occurrence in print if they would do whatever to watch the takeoff and with the military organization the occasion gives the appearance itself with mechanics and technicians drivers and the edgy i up to end including the top brass by 1700 hours everyone was watching. "the shock doctrine" was taxing to climb aboard the
1:37 am
box read year to set the frequency to those designated for the mission. been to give the final preflight check outside the mechanic performed a slow and painstaking walk around there were all expecting to fly the mission and were bumped whether they were presenting this or felt the relief we will not know but it is clear that none of them surrendered a stake in the mission each made himself responsible to ensure their readiness of the aircraft perhaps no military combat plane had been so meticulously or obsessively had a preflight when kennedy arrived in must have struck them as superfluous to add their
1:38 am
walk around but that is what a pilot and co-pilot do pausing only to shake hands with the commander who was present though walker round was completed then they shook hands and holding his hand talking about the magneto on the number three engine he nodded in the acknowledgement and followed him into the aircraft. even though the men carried them with them with the emergency -- the emergency chutes it was a tight squeeze the seat back was already on board show on the pilot seat and also secured near the doorway only the pilot had a seat joe took his seat and then began to
1:39 am
read aloud the checklist to confirm all personnel vehicles and objects were clear and then position himself and would block size in flip up his thumb he began the start of sequence. the in june turned over as it should for 1200-horsepower was pretty dramatic there was initial growl as if lot of inertia in the pitch rose to a scream and the propeller began to rotate as soon as he saw that he engaged the in june to throw some flame with a dense black cloud of smoke and satisfied with the inboard port engine
1:40 am
compounding to listen to the engines to put both thumbs-up and is a lead to ground crewman on both sides of the plane to drag them away to step into his view to extend his flinch his best to beckon the bomber loaded to the 65,000-pound takeoff weight as they would summon a toddler and in response the number four in june to prevent so with that engine the of putting that proper audit sink it began the drum beat of a low frequency deadbeat punctuated by the grown of
1:41 am
metal andapreped a salute it rolled to the end of the runway first the two mother ships circled over the fields then they put the radio control equipment through the paces not yet exiting the drone stood behind kennedy he moved to the peter stick for word to radio the down elevator to the right in this manner each control command was checked then they were cleared to take off, their radio control would be established in they would not be driving 12 tons of tor-ex is in vain or to put lives at risk satisfied with
1:42 am
the testes to reach out and the men shook hands bin he simply said i wish never going with you. he said you can make the next one if i don't come back you can have my a eggs those were like gold and joe kennedy made it his business to collect a eggs for himself and his friends so little is have fresh eggs for breakfast with that he slipped out to try to out to the b-17 to observe the execution of the final stages. and among them a personal aircraft and to thank you
1:43 am
would take off before the departure to take off into groups of three and it was finally his turn. while they stood up from the perimeter he throttled up each engine to an aviator no instrument was more sensitive number three and four to insist that number three did not sound right to but he disagreed in to see how agitated he seemed he said it is a good thing you're not in that plane but he made no attempt to restrain them mechanic to jump out to run out to the
1:44 am
aircraft. he throttled back the engine to waive him up bin the mechanic came up as he listened as he throttle blood engines as he was standing next to the seats he indicated it sounded just fine and less than a minute later he would join them. by now it was approaching 1800 and time to take off if it would approach its target within an hour if the sun would be positioned just right he spent the takeoff not a natural private, he was always methodical to range up and down a procedure round it.
1:45 am
is strained against the breaks in their move forward to a accelerates slowly and it seemed as if show would never take off he watched anxiously in the last few yards of the runway to lift off they watched as they spun in the year before joe retracted that year as the engine is diminished the radioman and mechanic became aware of cheers as the men gathered along the runway they now followed into the blue to focus exclusively on the plane to strain to see longer. 752. there is nothing to do but it gets dinner so that the
1:46 am
aircraft either exploded door crashed on takeoff. 41 in and it was off to an excellent start precisely 18 minutes into the mission with the initial checkpoint to signal the aircraft was set and it was ready for handoff to the mother ship here acknowledge the radio call and begin controlling remotely relying on radar in direct visuals in addition to video from the camera anderson steerage the rest of the way and would turn left for the next checkpoint they used to for what they
1:47 am
ran on the ground. but it is something no one has ever done before but andersen's radar show -- showed off the course. one at this point it was closing in on the river and elliott roosevelt maneuvered a few hundred feet of the drone and began to take pictures and gave commander smith a clear and close view of the drone both could see them through the cockpit windows. then he goes into an estuary that his son the coast of the salt marshes is a home
1:48 am
to a wide variety of water birds conducive to quiet contemplation but on the very margin at 1820, as it began to pass over anderson went to work to put the drone back on course and it was unacceptable especially with the objective was to hit a target measured in feet. he lefthanded exploded one blast was followed by another. eliot to roosevelt was closest when it blew apart but to be clear of the degree. but that is where riveted the attention how roosevelt
1:49 am
mosquitos stood on its wing and a sharp turn away from the blast he did not look to the right to buy he heard day animal grunge then he rode over the blast wave raising and falling hard in a road on sudden the bad. the control pilot saw nothing but the sudden disappearance of the blip that represented airplane carrying two human beings. with the video monitor he saw nothing but what they call grass. the commander smith could look from that plexiglas knows but at the time it was the strange insight nothing larger than a basketball could survive then moving
1:50 am
away from the control consoles and with that he steered through with the blast had resolved into orange columns one to rise to rise toward the history and wood swallows to reject the biggest explosion we ever saw until the pitchers of the atom bomb and had many pieces. >> situated between that and of little town is that the shepherds cottage. and married to enjoy a new delight and standing in the doorway passing the time of day is when she was doing when this guy cracked open
1:51 am
like lightning and she would have thought if the war had not talked her otherwise. she dashed into her house did not notice the door was blown off. her cousin had come to live with her after it was destroyed in london but find her. stunt but not hurt with those who live nearby wooshes even closer to the source of the explosion. with she needed to check the house. it was empty the ceiling was down. that is it.
1:52 am
[applause] >> it is a great opportunity now to ask questions and since we are recording this please wait for the microphone and raise your hand. >> questions? >> where they grew mean joe kennedy to run for political office? that is the story i have always heard they were grooming him rather than his brother john. >> yes. in fact, both joe ambrose, his wife, thought that showed, jr. -- joe, jr.
1:53 am
had a much better chance of surviving into maturity they and the sickly brother jack and more over based on the i.q. test and performance in school they thought joe was far more intelligent and jack not so much. they loved jackie and gave him a good education did did not anticipate you would enter into public life but joe, jr. was to fulfill the and fulfill political edition of his father and these were ambitions that his bother forever destroyed by essentials lee and his two years as ambassador to save democracy is over the
1:54 am
germans will win and we better adopt fascism to get rid of democracy to survive. he said this publicly and he knew he would not be reelected. but to answer your question is yes. >> had they ever considered using a different plane for such a very explosive mission? is seen as it was a well constructed for what they wanted to do what was the rationale? >> the army air force did something even riskier to use planes that were through a lot of combat and not worry the anymore. and loaded them with explosives.
1:55 am
the b24 then tv used was almost brand new but the reason it was used is they are sturdy but it is the biggest one they had you can pile it full of explosives. the problems were they kerry heavy explosive loans at the bottom of the plane as these were stacks and stacks piled up to the overhead and there was a real problem with dutch defender of gravity and was in mission done in this same spirit as tokyo raid at the beginning. in the improvised way to take weapons not intended to
1:56 am
be used this way with the hopes that it would work year force wanted to keep the program going to use against japan and. >> was this the last attempt where were they ever successful? >> the second to last attempt at ben and need be made in to there were 18 attempts. last that they gave up and which i explained in in the book.
1:57 am
they're already every intent by the germans. from the aerial reconnaissance to be built in such of way that looks like the rest of functional and the germans put people out there to do busywork. it was a with the i tore the suicide mission but judy coy bombing missions if you want than to fire them you care shoot them down but to give up after wine more attempt it would go after cities and factories in every succeeded to do any damage and in the
1:58 am
end you have several injuries and those are minor but one ended air amputation and four fatalities and it was in vain. >> did they ever determine what caused it to explode? >> not with any certainty at all and there was much talk about a cover-up that may have originated with joe sr. who wanted his son to be known as a war hero in a secret mission did not want them to know of failure. one is that the plywood circuit board was so poor
1:59 am
they constructed it shorted out and to prematurely detonate another possibility a stray signal it was very crowded airwaves long before digital that could have detonated a there was instability with us tor-ex also a safety device that was supposed to hold back an electromagnet in it was to mechanically hold back precisely to prevent a premature detonation of a holding that back it would get very hot and if you
2:00 am
plugged in a iron with a bad circuit tickets warm. the. >> it could ignite his with there was half a dozen things that could have gone wrong but sitting on 12 tons of high explosive and airplane not built to do that with crappies circuit boards and a radio in primitive shape it is amazing it didn't happen more often. . .


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on