BQ-8 (project Anvil) Flying Bomb

looking for infos about the BQ-8 (project Anvil) Flying Bomb

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29 September 2006
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Hi All,

I am looking for pictures, technical drawings (with the modeler in mind) of the BQ-8 Liberator, filled with torpex and used as a flying bomb against the v-weapons site in France 1944.

There are some photographs of the B-17's (BQ-7s) used for Aphrodite missions, but details remain scarce, probably due to the high level of secrecy covering the missions.

I've never seen photographs of BQ-8's.

are there books or websites useful in this research ?

Thanks for the help !


i have found this : simply, Bq-7 was B-17 converted in flying bomb, bq-8 was B-24 liberator converted as B-17 for Bq-7 in a Flying Bomb radio-controlled !
Found this too:

Project Anvil apparently had some influence on the dramatic history of the Kennedy dynasty:
The first ANVIL mission, on 12 August 1944, ended in disaster, exploding in mid-air with a tremendous blast. The two crewmen, Navy Lieutenants Wilford J. Willy and Joseph P. Kennedy JR, were obliterated. Joseph P. Kennedy JR was the eldest son of the prominent Joseph Kennedy family. Joe Kennedy JR was being groomed for the American presidency, and younger brother John Fitzgerald Kennedy ended up taking his place. The second BQ-8 mission, on 3 September 1944, inflicted some damage on German facilities in Heligoland, but missed its intended target due to poor TV reception. The BQ series was abandoned. The poor showing of the BQ weapons was apparently a contributing factor to the cancellation of the TDR-1.


No drawings or pics found as of yet. As far as I understand these were actually bog standard looking PB4Y's with crates of torpex mounted in the bomb bay. I found no information about the remote controlling devices... Also, it appears that these aircraft were actually flown for a good deal of the mission...
More about the Block III:

And at the end, what's this about a joystick guiding the bomb?

According to some Air Service Technical Command documents I have read, the technology for the "Abusive" or "Weary Willie" drone program was originally demonstrated on the YPQ-12A --

"The possible accuracy of this system was demonstrated in October
1943 when a YPQ-12A airplane, equipped with the inferior Block 1 television
equipment, was expended against a 30 foot square target. The point
of impact was only 30 feet from the target."

The Block 1 television system on the YPQ-12A airplane came from the US Navy's TDR-1 program.

The TDR-1 guidance system was the basis of the PB4Y-1 Liberator drone that U.S.N. special air unit, codenamed Project Anvil, prepared for Joseph Kennedy Jr to fly in 1944.


After Project Anvil literally blew up in the US Navy's face during the Operation Crossbow hunt for German V-1 Buzz Bomb sites (killing Joseph Kennedy Jr in the process) it abandoned the TDR-1 guidance technology to the USAAF.

The USAAF then replaced the "Double Azon" system cobbled together by the 8th Air Force and proceeded with the "Weary Willie" program using the superior TDR-1 TV guidance system, AKA "Castor".

See --

Just before the end of WW2, the "Weary Willie" program was renamed the "Abusive" program. This utterly confused post-war histories as most immediate unclassified post WW2 documents did not include the "Abusive" code words and no one publishing later WW2 histories has bothered to look up the declassified "Abusive" documents decades later.

The Weary Wille & Abusive code word equivalents work out as follows:

Control plane CBQ-17 was the "Willie Mother" under the "Weary Willie" code word and "Bluefish" under the "Abusive" code word.

The B-17 missile XBQ7 or B-24 missile XBQ8 without TV guidance was was known as "Willie Baby" under the "Weary Willie" code word and was "Cottongrass" under the "Abusive" code word. Either name refered to an area target/buzz bomb equivalent that came in three different versions with preset guidance, some or complete ground control by a SCR-584 gunlaying radar.

The same B-17 & B-24 missiles with TV guidance were "Willie Orphan" and "Corticated" under the respective "Weary Willie" and "Abusive" code words. These also came in three versions with a CBQ-17 mother ship and varying degrees of TV and radar beacon guidance.
I have never seen a photo of the converted BQ-8 assault drones, but the television series "Dogfights" did an episode that focused on the BQ-8 and had some very nice CGI of the BQ-8 and the Ventura control aircraft.
I still haven't found a photo of the Anvil PBY4-1, but after consulting with several people, I decided to do a depiction of it based on available information. This shows the 12 Aug 44 mission with Lt. Tunnel's Mosquito in the foreground. By the way, the "BQ-8" designation does not apply to these aircraft. I pulled the USAAF development history of Aphrodite/Caston and the BQ-7 and BQ-8 designations were not authorized until the autumn of 1944 after this mission, and applied to the converted USAAF B-24s with the Castor control system, not the Navy Anvil system. There doesn't seem to be any official designation for this conversion either in the development recrods or in the operational records that I have found.


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