There had been a resurgence of Air Raids on London by the Luftwaffe in early 1944 but in late spring officials began hinting that this was a last gasp effort and the danger was pretty much over. I seem to recall newspaper reports that a large number of children evacuated to the outlying countryside due to the earlier air raids were now returning to London. Just about a week after D-Day everything changed! The news media announced that a new kind of pilotless flying bomb was being used to attack London (the first actually fell on London 13 June 1944). It didn't take long before they were given an unofficial name: "Doodlebugs". Initial reports were that they were very fast, carried a huge explosive charge, sounded like a small motorcycle driven at a steady speed and that the engine cut out before it dived to the ground ("you can count to twelve before the bang"). Air raid sirens sounded every time a Doodlebug (now officially announced by Goebbels as the first "vengence weapon" -- the pulse-jet powered V1) was detected -- and that became very irritating as they came by the dozens day and night. At first everybody scurried to their air raid shelters when the siren sounded, but after awhile people went about their business albeit anxiously on the alert for a chugging Doodlebug engine to cut out -- then you had fifteen seconds or so to dive for cover before it unpredictably impacted. I checked the "count to twelve" system to predict impact after engine cut-out -- it worked pretty well! The planned impact point was the Tower Bridge (area) in London. However, their guidance and aiming system was imperfect and a great number crashed shortly after launch, veered off course or undershot/overshot the target area -- sometimes by a considerable distance. It was the gross unpredicability of their impact that rendered them such a terrible weapon. Interdicting V1 Flying Bombs before they reached London was problematical. Their speed was variable between individual units -- 300 MPH+ to 450 MPH -- very fast for the time. Some went down after impacting barrage balloon wires and some were shot down by anti-aircraft guns. Shooting them down using fighter planes was an adventure. V1 pursuit units consisting of modified, fast flying aircraft -- Spitfire IXs & XIVs, Tempest Vs, Hawker Typhoons and later, Gloster Meteors -- were formed, the first V1 being shot down by a Spitfire on 16 June 1944. Statistical analyses vary a little, but in general 2,419 V1's impacted mostly the London area between mid-June and early September 1944 killing approx. 8,000 civilians (men, women and children).