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Ideas that Didnt Work Sea planes on destroyers Seaplanes were so valuable aboard battleships and cruisers for scouting anti-submarine and communications that five destroyers were ordered to be equipped to carry them in May 1940 The idea turned out to be impractical and several planned installations were cancelled and those installed were ordered removed in Oct 1943 Athwartship hanger deck catapults Those authorized for installation on 11 carriers were removed after 17Feb42 and replaced with a second flight deck catapult Towed Fighters The idea was to increase the range of small planes Two F4Fs hooked to tow lines streamed behind a twin-engine Army A-20 cut their engines and were towed for an hour at 180 knots at 7000 feet on 10May42 Cruise Missiles TV guided assault bombs were under development from before US entry into the war They never made it into combat although tests were successful as early as April 1942 22Mar40--Development of guided missiles was initiated at the Naval Aircraft Factory with the establishment of a project for adapting radio controls to a torpedo-carrying TG-2 raining glider However German radio controlled glider bombs were used against the US fleet of Salerno Italy 11Sep43 where Savannah and Philadelphia were damaged DE-137 was damaged off Anzio 15Feb44 LST-282 was sunk by a glide bomb off St Tropez France 15August1944 Smart Bombs 17June42 Development initiated for Pelican an antisubmarine guided missile consisted of a glide bomb which could automatically home on a radar beam reflected from the target 18Sept44--The Pelican guided missile production program was terminated and the project returned to a developmental status Despite reasonably successful during the preceding 6 weeks this decision was made because of tactical logistic and technical problems involved in its use 23April45 --PB4Y Privateers launched two Bat glide bombs against the enemy shipping in Balikpapan Harbor Borneo in the first combat employment of the only automatic homing bomb to be used
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