[Featured photo: the guided-missile submarine USS Cusk (SSG-348) firing a “Loon” missile in 1951]
1935: As the Navy’s helium-filled rigid airship USS Macon (ZRS-5) flies through a storm, its tail fin and interior structural members are destroyed, puncturing the massive vessel’s helium cells. The “flying aircraft carrier,” which houses five Curtiss F9C-2 “Sparrowhawk” reconnaissance planes, crash-lands in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Point Sur, Calif., and all but two of the airship’s 76-man crew are saved.
The 785-ft. Macon and her sister ship Akron (which crashed in 1933) are the largest aircraft ever produced by the United States – just 20 feet shorter than the ill-fated Hindenburg, which will famously be lost in 1937. Incidentally, Macon‘s commanding officer, Lt. Cmdr. Herbert Wiley, was Akron‘s executive officer and one of only three men to survive that crash.
1947: The USS Cusk launches a KGW-1 “Loon” missile, which is a reverse-engineered German V-1 flying bomb, becoming the first U.S. submarine to fire a guided missile.
1991: The Pentagon announces that U.S. warplanes have flown 65,000 sorties during Operation DESERT STORM. The battleship USS Missouri (BB-63) fires 60 of its 16-in. projectiles in support of a combined-arms attack against Iraqi infantry, armor, artillery, and a command bunker in southern Kuwait.