Kuiper poses in front of the island (tower) of the USS Midway.

The USS Midway launches a V2 rocket

Seadog Third Class Kuiper J. Doggo reports for duty aboard the USS Midway in San Diego.

Reminder: Unlike his friend @sawyer_the_seadog, Kuiper is not a task-trained service dog; he’s just an exceptionally highly-trained pet. Aircraft carriers do not typically permit “civilian” dogs aboard, so we had to secure special permission for Kuiper’s visit. Thank you @ussmidwaymuseum!!

On this day in 1947, the USS Midway FREAKING LAUNCHED A GERMAN V2 ROCKET from this very deck! This was the first ever ballistic rocket launch at sea! The project was called “Operation Sandy,” and was driven by Rear Admiral Daniel V. Gallery.* The launch was carried out near Bermuda.

The V2 which took flight from the Midway was constructed from rocket parts captured from the Nazis in World War II. You can find more information about the V2’s unsavory origins (as well as a secret found in a Nazi toilet) in our posts from Feb 7 and Feb 4. I’ll link them in story.

At the time of Operation Sandy, the V2 was the longest range missile in the world. However, it could still only go 200 miles (320 km), so you can imagine why the Navy might have appreciated the potential to launch one from a (movable) ship. In addition to the launch, the Navy secondarily wanted to test detecting and tracking the rocket with their own radar systems.

Just 2 years old, the Midway was the largest ship in the world in September 1947. Her fancy new armored steel flight deck was what made Operation Sandy possible. Flight decks had previously been made of wood to save weight. Inspired by armored British carriers used in the Mediterranean during WWII, the Midway’s flight deck was the first of its kind in the US Navy.

Although the V2 launch was carefully designed, tested and executed, a small misalignment caused the rocket to tilt nearly 45 degrees at launch and it broke apart at about 12,000 ft (3660 m.) The project was still deemed a success, and the Midway returned to normal operations within 1 hour of liftoff.

On a separate visit sans dog, I spent 4 hours at #ussmidway and still felt that there was more cool stuff to see. If you ever find yourself in San Diego, I HIGHLY recommend checking out @ussmidwaymuseum!

Original post: https://www.instagram.com/p/B2Fi4Ahlw7l/

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