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Excerpt from letter [6/18/1944]

Jun. 18 1944

The enclosed clippings will be of interest and I would like to have them saved though in all probability much more lurid accounts have been published in the papers at home. There has been an uncomfortable four or five days, however, as the result of these devilish little things (robots) [V-1s] which have been trying on people's nerves. It seems that a little danger hour after hour, day and night is somewhat harder on the nerves than a larger amount of danger for a short period of time. Also the people had a feeling of helplessness against these robots. You can't get angry with the pilot; there is no use shooting them down over a populated area as they will explode on landing anyway and kill just as many people as they would if they landed naturally. They are completely wanton killers since they cannot be aimed accurately enough to make even a pretense at having any military value. But, as usual, the people have taken them with perfect calm and courage but it has added a bit more to the hatred of the Germans. It has affected me that way anyway because I know that the Germans must realize that this weapon cannot affect the outcome of the war at all or even prolong it except for its bolstering effect on home morale of ignorant people. It seems too bad and too brutal that many civilians have to die for no purpose what ever.

Professionally I have been much interested in them for when I returned from the States in December I found this was a very hot subject and Jackson, Ingersoll and I worked on it nearly incessantly from then until my transfer in March. So I saw the entire development of the Intelligence side of it from start to finish and knew all of our counter measures and how they progressed. It was one of the greatest Intelligence jobs of the war --- thanks almost entirely to the British --- and makes a fascinating story that will some day be told. Many times during the winter and spring you must have read the matter of fact routine statement in the communiqué that American bombers had "bombed military installations on the French coast. " Yet you nor any one else could know that it was to reduce this pilotless aircraft attack. Thank God those measures were effective. Had they not been this might now be a real threat instead of a cruel nuisance.


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  October 26, 2011
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