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About this collection

The Ordnance WWII Photographic Collection illustrates the development of aerial ordnance at the National Bureau of Standards (NBS) during World War II and beyond. NBS developed ordnance for both the Army and the Navy, which included radio proximity fuzes for rockets, bombs, and guided missiles -- including the “Bat,” the first fully automatic guided missile used successfully in combat. The guided missile project was first code-named “Robin,” and testing of prototypes intended to carry a standard 2000-pound bomb began in 1942 using a television guidance system. The first radio-operated guided missile tested was the “Pelican,” mounted in the nose of a 450-pound glider bomb and tested at Lakehurst, NJ in 1942. The “Bat,” which was developed from the “Robin” project but used radar guidance, began testing in May 1944. It was sent to the Pacific theatre for use against Japanese naval and merchant shipping and against land targets in the forward areas in the final months of the war. [From: Measures for Progress by Elio Passaglia, pp. 399-403] This collection includes the smaller Bat Missile Photographic Collection.

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