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SSG-348 Cusk

Both American and the Soviet Union were also quick to take advantage of captured German V-1 and V-2 technology from World War II to begin development of both guided and ballistic missiles for tactical and strategic use, with the US Army initially taking the lead in the United States. Not to be out-done, the US Navy converted two World War II fleet boats, USS Carbonero (SS-337) and USS Cusk (SS-348) to carry a US variant of the German V-1 pulse-jet missile, known as the Loon, first launched at sea in February 1947. Loon's nominal range under command guidance was approximately 50 nautical miles, but using a second submarine as a relay, it could be effective out to 135 nautical miles, with a reported Circular Error Probable (CEP) of 6,000 yards.

Cusk (SS-348), a Balao-class boat, was laid down by Electric Boat Co, Groton CT 25 May 1944; launched 28 July 1945; ; and commissioned 5 February 1946. A pioneer in the missile field, CUSK was designated SSG-348, 20 January 1948 and was the first submarine to launch a guided missile ("Loon") from her own deck, a forerunner of the ballistic missile submarines of the future. She entered Mare Island Naval Shipyard for extensive modernization in 1954, but remained in the missile program because of her special guidance equipment although redesignated "SS", 1 July 1954. CUSK arrived at Pearl Harbor, her new homeport, 13 May 1957. Continuing her missile experiments she operated in Hawaiian waters except for a cruise to San Diego in 1957 and duty in the Far East in 1958 and 1960. CUSK continued to operate from her homeport to the Far East and the West Coast, until she was declared unfit for further service. She was decommissioned / stricken 24 September 1969 and sold for scrap on 26 June 1972.

Carbonero (SS-337), a Gato-class boat, was launched 19 October 1944 by Electric Boat Co., Groton, CT. Carbonero received one battle star for service in World War II. One of her two war patrols was designated as "successful." After a simulated war patrol to the Far East early in 1947, Carbonero (SS-337) was assigned to the guided missile program, as a control vessel operating out of San Diego and Port Hueneme, Calif. Fitted to launch missiles in May 1949, and with a snorkel in 1951, Carbonero operated off Southern California, and occasionally in the Hawaiian Islands. German World War II successes in fielding long-range missiles and increasing concern with the growth of Soviet power after the war led to experimentation on launching strategic missiles from submarines in the late 1940s. USS Carbonero (SS-337) launched the Loon - the U.S. ramjet missile patterned after the German V-1. From 1952 to 1957, the submarine performed important service in the evaluation of the "Regulus" missile.



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Page last modified: 22-07-2011 17:42:27 ZULU