Navy' First Guided Missle
In 1938, the Navy employed a radio-controlled N2C-2 target drone to execute dive bombing attacks against the battleship Utah (BB 31). Though the purpose of the exercise was to test an anticraft battery on board the ship, the success of the N2C-2 spurred development of drones with truly offensive capability. Establishing Project Option following the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Navy tasked the Naval Aircraft Factory with designing and constructing the services's first assault drone. The result was the the TDR-1, which was constructed of aluminum tubing and plywood and capable of carring a torpedo (later 2,000 lb. bomb) at a top speed of 189 m.p.h. One hundred were built a follow-on contract let to the Interstate Aircraft Corporation resulted in the production of 165 similar drones under the designation TDR-1. The Navy established the Special Air Task Group (STAG) to operate them. During the period July-October the Stag-1 group launched 46 TDR-1s against Japanese positions in the Solomon Islands. Twenty-nine of them reached the target area, scoring 18 hits. This was the last use of the TDR-1. The TDR1 was the Navy's first guided missle and the forerunner of today's smart bombs. (NMNA)
The TDR-1 in the Solomon Islands.