The deployment of radio guided missiles was well practiced. A bomber would circle enemy ships and activate the missile's guidance system. The commander, pilot or bombardier singled out a target from a high altitude. The port side missile was released first. As the missile was in free fall, the missile's speed and radio guidance were rechecked. The bombardier would attempt to guide the missile onto its target, while the pilot maintained a parallel course to the target. Once the first missile hit or passed the target, the bomber circled again and launched the starboard missile in the same manner. The time spent circling in the air by the Luftwaffe bombers might exceed an hour. This depended on the type of Allied fighter flown in to engage these high altitude bombers.
Luftwaffe bombers equipped with the Henschel Hs 293 guided missiles had to make their runs close to 4,500 feet, which put them at risk of being hit from Allied anti-aircraft shelling or fighter aircraft. The Luftwaffe scored more hits with the Hs 293's close to dusk. The deployment of the Fritz-X could be done at anytime during daylight hours. These specially equipped bombers flew between 18,000 and 20,000 feet and were rarely shot down by Allied forces. When the P-38 Lighting entered service in Europe, the Luftwaffe ended its use of radio guided missiles against Allied ships.
At the commencement of Operation Shingle (Invasion of Anzio), the Allied forces anticipated the deployment of radio guided missiles. As a countermeasure, Naval Command placed US Army fighter-direction teams aboard ships, USS Frederick C. Davis and USS Herbert C. Jones. Their job was to monitor all Luftwaffe radio frequencies and intercept and jam any radio signals sent from a bomber to a guided missile with the anticipation of forcing a miss produced by a lost signal. This strategy started a new trend in aerial aviation.
OPERATION SHINGLE (Invasion of Anzio, Italy - 22 Jan. 1944)