Every week the TV news highlights the routine use of drones and guided missiles against terrorist enemies and the recreational use of drones has become commonplace. The Nazi WWII development of guided missiles and bombs is often given credit for America’s Cold War success in this realm. However, it was during that war that America, and the Air Force, in particular, also began the development of systems and weapons that laid the foundation for today’s technology. ‘Off Target’ relates in detail the then “Secret” research, development, and combat employment of these early guided bombs, missiles, and drones from 1917 to 1948. Using formerly Secret/Confidential manuals, reports, microfilm print outs, and photos, collected over 40 years, author Wolf, gives the air war historian and enthusiast a detailed look at this unknown topic that progressed from biplane drones to sophisticated post-WWII guided missiles. Among the subjects discussed are Sperry’s aerial torpedo and the Kettering “Bug” of WWI to WWII’s early rudimentary GB Series Glide Bombs to the more sophisticated VB Series that evolved from radio, heat, light, or television guidance. The Aphrodite/Joseph Kennedy B-17, BQ, TDR, and target drones are discussed as are the SWOD, GLOMB, GORGON, and JB Jet bomb series.
OFF TARGET American Guided Bombs, Missiles and Drones 1917-1950
A comprehensive overview of US guided missiles and drones of the pre-Cold War era. Usefully covering early US guided missiles, including the Sperry Aerial Torpedo and Kettering Bug, both of which are seen as forefathers of all cruise missiles.