Mystery Photo No 7 presented two photographs supplied by Kim Dunstan and asked the following questions:
Q1. What was the name of the aircraft (an extra point if you can supply the name of the company that built them), and
Q2. What was the real name of the young woman – or, alternatively, what was the name by which she was to become world famous just a few years after this photograph was taken?
The correct answers are as follows:
Q1. Northrop Radioplane KD2R5 Target Drone
In 1962 ten Northrop Radioplane KD2R5 target drones were ordered by the RAN for delivery in 1963. They were acquired for training operators of the ‘Seacat’ close-in anti-aircraft surface-to-air missile and gunnery practice. Built by Northrop in the US, the Radioplane could perform conventional flying manoeuvres, including simulated attacks on ships, eliminating the need for a towing aircraft. Powered by an air cooled, flat-four McCulloch piston engine, driving a two blade propeller, it was radio controlled with a maximum speed of 370 kph (230 mph). The launching system was from a stand using a bungee catapult or rocket, and recovery was via a parachute.
Q2. The Girl’s name is Norma Jeane Dougherty. Here is a picture of her a few years after the photo above. In 1944 she was working in the Radioplane factory when she met a photographer who had been sent there to take morale boosting images of women contributing to the war effort. He suggested she take up a modelling career. This subsequently transitioned into the film industry and she took the pseudonym Marilyn Monroe, which within a few years was to be a household name.