27 June 1945
|From: ||Director, Special Devices Division|
|To:||Head, Design Section|
|Subject: ||Directional Kite Detonator, project request for|
|Reference:||Telephone conversations between Unit Head, Lt. H. Ketcham
of Demonstration Unit and Lieut. Lichtenstein of the Demolition Group, Ft. Belvoir, Va.,
- While discussing the potentialities of the Target Kite with the
Unit Head, Lt. Ketcham expressed the idea that it might be used to
carry charges of explosives to a designated spot.
- Unit Head recalled that he had at one time made the experiment of
carrying a light explosive aloft on the kite, together with a
flashlight battery and had exploded it in the air by looping the kite
and this short circuiting a section of piano wire in the flying line.
This idea was at the time thought to be of use as a barrage defence
against diving airplanes. The light load which can be lifted by the
Mark 1 kite is a limiting factor, but the method is operable.
- Also recalled was the demonstration at American University of various
booby traps and detonators, and the resultant thought that
some of these might be airborne by means of the kite.
- In the referenced conversation Lt. Ketcham told Lt. Lichtenstein, who had become
quite interested in the kite while on a tour of the Division, of
his belief in the possibilities of the kite as an explosive carrier.
In a subsequent conversation with
the Unit Head, Lt. Lichtenstein stated that full facilities for test
and the required detonators would be furnished by the Army at Ft. Belvoir.
He is anxious to see the kite flown with the several means for detonation
at present considered applicable by the Unit Head, these are:
- Electrical detonation in mid air; shorting a circuit by
looping the kite. (Previously tried, paragraph 2.)
- Electrical detonation in mid air by closing a circuit with
a mercury switch, operated by gravity as the kite is inverted.
- Electrical detonation in mid air by closing a switch on the
reel, using insulated wires as flying lines.
- Mechanical detonation against a solid object by diving the kite
against the object and driving an extended pin against a blasting cap
or booby trap detonator, carried by the kite.
- Application of this proposed device would be in use against suicide
airplanes and against ground troops holed-up in trenches or caves. The
unique steerability of the target kite enables it to be directed against
any mark within its area of operation.
- Suggested designation: 5-DKD
Noted and forwarded