Marilyn Monroe Military Drone Connection Revealed

Movie legend Marilyn Monroe reportedly helped build the world’s first drones during World War II.

This “explosive” news perhaps gives a new definition to blond “bombshell.”

Back then (and before she went blond), Monroe was just Norma Jeane Dougherty, an assembly line employee of a southern California defense plant, which was owned by an Reginald Denny, himself an established movie actor in character roles.

The Hollywood star then worked in the factory as one of the assemblers for the RP-5A drone, also called the OQ-2 radioplane, supposedly the first unmanned, mass-produced drone in world history or at least in the US. The devices weren’t called drones (a.k.a. unmanned aerial vehicles) back then of course.

About 15,000 of the radio-controlled aircraft were manufactured and then used for target practice by US anti-aircraft gunners and the like but which importantly enabled our troops to train for the real thing.

Army photographer David Conover was credited with discovering Monroe on the job (see photo below) when he was which taking photographs on official business, but this exposure apparently led to her subsequent modeling and acting career. Conover was working for Capt. Ronald Reagan at the time, coincidentally enough.

Gizmodo has the scoop on the Marilyn Monroe-drone connection.”Though her main job at the factory was spraying down the planes with fire retardant, here she’s seen assembling the OQ-2 radioplane, (sometimes called the RP-5A, TDD-l or the ‘Dennymite’ for its designer Reginald Denny), which was the first mass produced unmanned aerial vehicle in the world. Drones have been in the news so much recently that we often think of them as a new concept in war. But they’ve existed in some capacity in virtually every modern American conflict since WWI — when the U.S. military experimented with the Kettering Bug unmanned aerial torpedo.”

According to the Motherboard website, Denny (who served in the British air force in World War I) “turned his remote control airplane hobby into a military contract.”

Monroe went on to become a Hollywood sex symbol and pop culture icon in movies such as Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and Some Like It Hot.

Contemporary drones have become more controversial as they have been deployed overseas in lethal attacks and used domestically (so far) for surveillance purposes.

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