Operation LUSTY, Team 3
Operation LUSTY (LUftwaffe Secret TechnologY) was the United States Army Air Forces effort to capture and evaluate German aeronautical technology during and after World War II. Operation Lusty began with the aim of exploiting captured German scientific documents, research facilities, and aircraft.
The common knowledge was that the operation had two teams.Team One, under the leadership of Colonel Harold E. Watson, a former Wright Field test pilot, collected enemy aircraft and weapons for further examination in the United States. This team became known as Watson’s Whizzers.Team Two recruited scientists, collected documents and investigated facilities.
What is not common knowledge is that there was a third team, under the command of Colonel William Shelly. This team was classified as top secret and operated outside of all regular command structures. This team was charged with the capture of all machinery, personnel and documents connected with the German flying saucer research.
During 1944 the allies became aware of German experiments with circular winged flying machines, a.k.a. flying saucers. These machines were reportedly powered by some very unconventional power sources and could achieve high speeds and altitudes. The main research centre for this new technology was in Czechoslovakia near the city of Prague.
Hurriedly they formed a third team under Operation Lusty. Their target was to acquire us much as possible of the German saucer technology. They were to take what they could and destroy the rest of the material to prevent it falling into Soviet hands. The Third Army under George Patton was ordered to help the team to reach the research facility.
They managed to reach the site and evacuate all personnel and a number of prototype flying saucers before they had to retreat back to Austria. Just hours later the Red Army found the site destroyed. All captured material and personnel was shipped back to the USA to a base in Arizona, later known as Area 66. There the saucers were reassembled and a number of them were flown. To help with the aerodynamic testing of the saucers the unit also had two prototypes of the Vought XF5U-1 fighter. These were used to gather information on the flying characteristics of circular flying bodies.
The pictures with this article were taken in 1946 when the flight testing
was at its peak.
Also visible in the pictures is the Heinkel Wespe prototype. This was found 70% complete in Germany and also shipped to Area 66. There it was completed and flown at the end of 1946. It proved very unstable however and flight testing was soon abandoned.
It is unknown how long the testing of the German saucers continued and what became of the captured airframes.