JB-2: America's First Cruise Missile
My research provides a historical and archaeological context for this thesis, in which I argue the JB-2 missile is historically significant as a unique example of the rapid duplication of enemy technology for both physical and psychological retaliation, as a crucial link in the chain of development for America's cruise missile program, and for its role in early Cold War deterrence. Jet Bomb model number 2 (JB-2), America's first operationally successful, mass produced cruise missile, developed as a direct copy of the German V-1, with slight variation in manufacture due to differences between German and American components, machinery and tooling. Continuing modifications of the JB-2 during its service life led to improvements in performance, control, and accuracy. From 1944 to 1953, the JB-2 transitioned from a weapon quickly prepared for wartime deployment to an essential test vehicle for the United States Army, Air Force and Navy while supporting the U.S. policy of containment during the early Cold War.