Assembly ship

An assembly ship (also known as a formation ship or Judas goat) were B-17's and B-24's (usually older models) that were stripped down of their armaments and given extra flares, navigational equipment, and unique distinctive paint scheme in order to organize combat box formations more quickly.[1]


First Sergeant B-24D Assembly Ship or Judas Goat
"First Sargent" a B-24 assembly ship with a polka-dot paint scheme

Due to the threat of fighters to US Army Air Force bombers during daylight raids, tight bomber formations began to be employed in order to maximize defensive firepower and to concentrate bombs on the designated target. However, these formations required time to assemble and in 1943 the idea of using older model bombers to guide the others was devised. The US Army Air Force hoped to ideally assemble bomber formations within an hour. However this often required two to three hours as planes from multiple airfields required coordination, all under radio silence so as to not tip off the Germans to the impending raid. The assembly ships had their armaments removed and carried a skeleton crew of two pilots, navigator, radio operator and one or two flare operators. They were given additional flares, flare ammunition (of a particular color), navigational equipment (including navigational lights)[1][2] and unique paint schemes. Each paint scheme was unique and different flare colors carried by each assembly ship in order to more quickly organize the pilots of a particular bomber formation.[1] Once the bomber formations formed up the assembly ships would link up with other groups before returning to base.[2][3] However, there is an instance where a B-24 nicknamed "Spotted Ass Ape" continued with its bomber formation all the way to its target in Germany.[2] The use of combat boxes and thus assembly ships continued throughout the war even after long-range fighter escorts like the P-51 Mustang and P-38 Lightning were developed.[1]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d "⚜ | Why Use Colourful Camouflage in World War 2? - Assembly Ships". Youtube. Military Aviation History.
  2. ^ a b c "Polka Dot Warriors > Vintage Wings of Canada". Vintage Wings.
  3. ^ "The History of Lead Assembly Ships of the Eighth Air Force | Classic Warbirds".
93rd Operations Group

The 93d Operations Group is an inactive United States Air Force unit. Its last assignment was with the 93d Air Control Wing, stationed at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia. The unit was inactivated on 1 October 2002.

During World War II, the group's predecessor unit, the 93d Bombardment Group was the first VIII Bomber Command Consolidated B-24 Liberator heavy bombardment groups to carry out strategic bombardment operations against targets in Occupied Europe and Nazi Germany from RAF Alconbury, England. The group became operational with a mission over Occupied France on 9 October 1942.

In the postwar era, the 93d Bombardment Group was one of the original ten USAAF bombardment groups assigned to Strategic Air Command on 21 March 1946. Equipped with low-hour Boeing B-29 Superfortress surplus World War II aircraft, the group deployed to Far East Air Forces during the early part of the Korean War, and flew combat missions over Korea. The group was inactivated in 1952 when the parent wing adopted the dual deputy organization and assigned all of the group's squadrons directly to the wing.

Reactivated as the 93d Operations Group in 1991 when the 93d Wing adopted the USAF Objective organization plan.


A bomber is a combat aircraft designed to attack ground and naval targets by dropping air-to-ground weaponry (such as bombs), firing torpedoes and bullets, or deploying air-launched cruise missiles.

Consolidated B-24 Liberator

The Consolidated B-24 Liberator is an American heavy bomber, designed by Consolidated Aircraft of San Diego, California. It was known within the company as the Model 32, and some initial production aircraft were laid down as export models designated as various LB-30s, in the Land Bomber design category.

At its inception, the B-24 was a modern design featuring a highly efficient shoulder-mounted, high aspect ratio Davis wing. The wing gave the Liberator a high cruise speed, long range and the ability to carry a heavy bomb load. Early RAF Liberators were the first aircraft to cross the Atlantic Ocean as a matter of routine. In comparison with its contemporaries, the B-24 was relatively difficult to fly and had poor low-speed performance; it also had a lower ceiling and was less robust than the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress. While aircrews tended to prefer the B-17, General Staff favored the B-24 and procured it in huge numbers for a wide variety of roles. At approximately 18,500 units – including over 4,600 manufactured by Ford Motor Company – it holds records as the world's most produced bomber, heavy bomber, multi-engine aircraft, and American military aircraft in history.

The B-24 was used extensively in World War II. It served in every branch of the American armed forces as well as several Allied air forces and navies. It saw use in every theater of operations. Along with the B-17, the B-24 was the mainstay of the US strategic bombing campaign in the Western European theater. Due to its range, it proved useful in bombing operations in the Pacific, including the bombing of Japan. Long-range anti-submarine Liberators played an instrumental role in closing the Mid-Atlantic gap in the Battle of the Atlantic. The C-87 transport derivative served as a longer range, higher capacity counterpart to the Douglas C-47 Skytrain.

By the end of World War II, the technological breakthroughs of the Boeing B-29 Superfortress and other modern types had surpassed the bombers that served from the start of the war. The B-24 was rapidly phased out of U.S. service, although the PB4Y-2 Privateer maritime patrol derivative carried on in service with the U.S. Navy in the Korean War.

Judas goat

A Judas goat is a trained goat used in general animal herding. The Judas goat is trained to associate with sheep or cattle, leading them to a specific destination. In stockyards, a Judas goat will lead sheep to slaughter, while its own life is spared. Judas goats are also used to lead other animals to specific pens and onto trucks. They have fallen out of use in recent times, but can still be found in various smaller slaughterhouses in some parts of the world, as well as conservation projects.Cattle herders may use a Judas steer to serve the same purpose as a Judas goat. The technique, and the term,

originated from cattle drives in the United States in the 1800s.The term is a reference to Judas Iscariot, a disciple of Jesus Christ who betrayed him.

Operation Sandstone

Operation Sandstone was a series of nuclear weapon tests in 1948. It was the third series of American tests, following Trinity in 1945 and Crossroads in 1946, and preceding Ranger. Like the Crossroads tests, the Sandstone tests were carried out at the Pacific Proving Grounds, although at Enewetak Atoll rather than Bikini Atoll. They differed from Crossroads in that they were conducted by the Atomic Energy Commission, with the armed forces having only a supporting role. The purpose of the Sandstone tests was also different: they were primarily tests of new bomb designs rather than of the effects of nuclear weapons. Three tests were carried out in April and May 1948 by Joint Task Force 7, with a work force of 10,366 personnel, of whom 9,890 were military.

The successful testing of the new cores in the Operation Sandstone tests rendered every component of the old weapons obsolete. Even before the third test had been carried out, production of the old cores was halted, and all effort concentrated on the new Mark 4 nuclear bomb, which would become the first mass-produced nuclear weapon. More efficient use of fissionable material as a result of Operation Sandstone would increase the U.S. nuclear stockpile from 56 bombs in June 1948 to 169 in June 1949.

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