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The Original "Missile Boats"
by MT2(SS) Jon Bellinfante, SWFLANT, Kings Bay GA

Many of the people I know think that the dawn of submarine rocketry was the "birth" of the FBM program in 1960 headed by Admiral "Red" Raborn. However, this is not true. 

The actual start of submarine rocketry came well before. In 1945, the USS Barb (SS-220) was outfitted with a MK 51 Rocket Launcher designed to launch 5" rockets. During Her 12th War Patrol, on June 22, 1945, CDR Eugene B. Fluckey (Congressional Medal of Honor winner and later Admiral) gave the inaugural command of "MAN BATTLE STATIONS ROCKETS". This will be the predecessor of "MAN BATTLE STATIONS MISSILE". 

The Barb's use of the rockets were so influential and positive, that Admirals Lockwood and Nimitz wanted to outfit other submarines with the Launcher. It's hard to believe that the firepower carried by modern day missile submarines started from a 5", 9.6 pound charge.  

If you have any comments for the author, he can be reached at belly4@net-magic.net