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  TDR-1 Assault Drone Bureau Number 27???  

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Justin Taylan 2006

Aircraft History
Built by Interstate Aircraft and Engineering Corporation in DeKalb, Illinois. Delivered to the U. S. Navy (USN) as TDR-1 Assault Drone bureau number 27??? (last three digits unknown) in the range of 27859-27958. Disassembled and shipped overseas to the South Pacific (SOPAC).

Wartime History
Assigned to Special Air Task Force (SATFOR), Special Task Air Group One (STAG-1). No known nickname or tail number. Likely, this aircraft had a three digit tail code.

Mission History
On October 18, 1944 took off from Nissan Airfield (Green Island) armed with a 2000 pound bomb as one of three TDR-1 Assault Drones each controlled by a TBM Avenger "mother ship" on a mission to attack the German Lighthouse at Cape St. George on southern New Ireland. This drone was designated No. 1 and impacted between the Lighthouse tower and the radar installations but failed to detonate.

This TDR-1 crashed into a ridge. Likely, the wreckage was examined by the Japanese and parts removed for technical evaluation. Postwar, local people removed aluminum from the wreckage. Today, only the Lycoming engines plus other smaller pieces of wreckage including the engine mounts pieces of the tubular frame and wiring harnesses.

Navy Serial Number Search Results - Interstate TDR-1 Bureau Numbers 27859-27958
"Naval Aircraft Factory TDN development built in modified configuration by Interstate as TDR-1. Was unmanned remotely-conrolled aircraft for use in combat as assault drone."
NARA STAG-One War Diary 1 September 1944 to 1 November 1944 page 5
(Page 5) "18 October 1944 - Attack by three TDR-1's on Lighthouse, Cape St. George, New Ireland with 2000 lb. bombs. Number 1 drone hit between the tower and radar installations but did not detonate. Number 2 hit 30 feet from the base of the target and exploded. The third drone was lost because of material failure."
The Siege of Rabaul (1996) by Henry Sakaida pages 60

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Last Updated
December 1, 2019


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