Davey Crockett Practice Spotter

EOD… Sorry… no I gave or traged all but a cople on the XM74 PAL , to a friend that passed away late last year, Jim O’Brien. He and I traded for about 18 years. He lived in Huachuca City AZ, and I lived about 3 miles away in Sierra Vista AZ. He was an ex-EOD from the 60’s, and was NUC qualified, had worked on W54’s etc, so he and I talked a lot about the way things were done in the 50’s-60’s. He was a “Artillery” collector… I mean the BIG stuff down to 37mm. He wanted for his doc collection all the Crocket stuff I had so I gave them to him in 1996, including a cy of the XM415 doc from DTIC. Jim was the person that got me my XM147 round as I often told him, I was probably the one of the few Crocket guys that didn’t “acquire” a dummy in the 60’s. //Mike//

HERE THEY ARE: MAYBE MIKE COULD TELL US MORE ABOUT THESE GUYS.

I WILL BE PUBLISHING A CDB ON THE DAVEY CROCKETT SYSTEM AND AMMUNITION WITHIN THE NEXT MONTH. MORE INFO THAN YOU WANT.

[quote=“DaveE.”]GaryM,

Nice piece of history you have there.

Falcon,

If you refer to the potential hazzards of DU, as far as it being encased in something, they may have been considered minor compared to the health risks of firing the projectile for which it was spotting!

Does anyone know if these spotter rounds (20mm or 37mm) were the first application of DU projectiles by the US? I assume it was used here for its density to provide desired ballistics rather than any other characteristics of DU. Perhaps there were other reasons?

Thanks,
Dave[/quote]

DU WAS NEVER TACTICAL BEFORE THESE SPOTTER ROUNDS. THERE WAS PLENTY OF EXPERIMENTATION INCLUDING MAKING SHAPED CHARGE CONES FROM THE SUBSTANCE. IT WORKS GREAT BUT CONTAMINATES THE AREA. WE PREFER OUR DEATHS TO BE ENVIORNMENTALLY FRIENDLY.

I would be happy to answer any question about the weapons, and the spotter rounds, but cannot discuss the XM388 Service Projectile. I don’t want to just go on and on about the system, even though it was a unique one of a kind weappon and concept for employment. The only other type weapon in this category I know of, and also had “personal” knowledge of was the SADM. Both Crocket and SADM, unlike all other Nuclear weapons, required getting “rather close” and very personal (lol). The Crocket had two types of fire missions, by the book; Direct and Indirect. Direct fire means you are looking at the target, Indirect means you are firing at a target you cannot see. As I mentioned before there is a great declassified film on the firing of the XM28 during Ivy Flats test. Let me know if you have questions.//Mike//

Mike, is this film available in the internet on youtube or google video or the like?

Do you mean that the projectile is still classed as “secret”, and you are banned from discussing it?

Specific data on all nuclear warheads are normally Classified and fall within the CNWDI (Controlled Nuclear Weapons Data) or previously RD (Restricted Data) and at the very minimum are Limited Distribution unless specifically, by item, declassified and releasible to the public domain. In addition there are Technology Transfer controls that are covered under Public Laws, in many cases even items that are no longer classified, the information cannot be transfered or made public because of the technology. Release of information into the public domain is the same as releasing it to foreign governments that are not our best of buddies. SOOOOO I do not talk about the XM388, other than that it’s component was a W54. This informationj I KNOW is declassified. youtube.com/watch?v=nv_q8q6Z9_I This is a pretty good movie that was declassified. Remember … a WWII MK II Grenade can in 2009 still do what it was originally intended for.//Mike//

DAVEY CROCKETT GUNNERS ARE REALLY RARE BIRDS. I HAVE NEVER MET NOR KNOWN OF ANOTHER. I WOULD LIKE TO HEAR JUST WHAT WENT INTO THE PROCESS OF MOUNTING AND FIRING THESE THINGS. AIRBORNE ? THAT IS NEWS. ANY PHOTOS OF HOW THE DAVEY WAS DRESSED TO DROP? HAD TO BE A HAIR RAISING ADVENTURE JUMPING WITH A NUKE.

CSAEOD… yes the Light System was in Fact airdroppable… Not something you wanted to do… just to keep busy on a weekend! In the early to mid 60’s the Army started to evolve into ROAD system, then Battle Group’s, then Brigades. Airbore units did the same… but with unique requirements for taking the equipment into battle… Air drop, or as we call it “Heavy Drops”, meaning all kinds of heavy items by parachute delivery. I cannot go into specifics but the light system could be delivered in a A22 containers, (essentialy large fancy canvas tarp with lots of starps) as well as the ammunition in a A22… Attempts were made to jump the 279mm projectile. I’ll think a while and maybe remember the dates of the tests at Yuma Test Center //Mike//

Mike, did you have to shield the “SPEC” rounds? If so, how did you jump with the shielding?

is there an actual recoiless casing loaded into the Davy crocket to launch the projectile

Jawasinger…The system is recoiless due to the breach being of the open end gas bypass design, but did not use any type cartridge, like in the 57, 75, 105 or 106mm Recoiless Rifles. A propelant charge contained in a combustable material was loaded through the muzzel down the barrel into the firing chamber, then a piston (long circular tube like) was loaded onto the charge, then the oversize 279mm projectile was attached to the piston and muzzel by shear type lugs on the projectile, into slots on the outside of the barrel. The propellant charge was fired by a special type of detonating cord (Low Energy Detonating Cord -LODC) by a mechanical pull firing device that initiated a LO detonator attached to the LEDC, which inturn initiated a detonator that was imbeded in the charge. The LEDC was about 75 Ft long. The piston would drop off the projectile about 30 meter down range. A real sight to behold… we called it the “watermellon on a stick”. You could see the projectile in flight. //Mike//

Mike,
Not only do we have the “RD” restricted data IAW the Atomic Energy Act of 1956 as amended, and the “FRD” formerly restricted data, CNWDI–Critical Nuclear Weapon Design Information, but now we have UCNI–unclassified nuclear Information, so even if it wasn’t listed as “classifed” you are not to reveal it. Further, for the active duty guys, the fact that info appears in open sources, if you were to “confirm or deny” the same info, you are in breach of your clearance rules.

In one case, we were working to remediate a former weapons accident site, and were told that the actual soil we cleaned up would be classified, since careful analysis of the soil would reveal the specific ratios of nuclear material in the original weapon thus critical design information…

At one time, we could not say “DU” and were directed to use the term “Staballoy” as less likely to cause a reaction.

Taber10… EXACTLY 100% right. And in the world today’s… I’m glad of it.//Mike//

What a terrible terrible idea - a real Harry Potter device …

.

Wasn’t it accepted that you would almost certainly not survive if you fired a nuclear warhead from one of those things at the range that it traveled?

How would they have convinced anyone to fire it in battle, knowing that they would probably be wiped out.

Falcon,

I’m sure Mike could weigh in with a much more informed response, but from what I understand, it wasn’t so much a danger from blast/immediate radiation as there was from the possibility of weather carried fall-out radiation if the prevailing conditions were not in your favor. The actual range of the detonation from launch is an obvious factor. On the other hand, I would think that a pair made of brass (70/30 cartridge brass to keep with the forum intent…) would be standard issue on the brave soldiers who were assigned the task!

Dave

What was the range of the projectile, and what was the yield and blast radius?

Was this warhead a “gun” type with a sphere of fissible material that was hit by a “bullet” of fissible material propelled by an explosive charge?

Falcon,

Based on what I’ve read, (not what the govt’ has told me in confidence) the XM28 120mm had a max. range of about 1.25 miles and the XM29 155mm about 2.5 miles. The yield of the Mk54 warhead was avaiable at 10 or 20 Ton (.01-.02 KT) and was an implosion type device using a spherical pit of fissionable material compressed to criticality by a surronding lensed charge of explosives. The W54 version for missiles, etc. had a yield of 250 Ton and the Mk54 SADM demolition device had a variable yield of 10 Ton to 1 KT. I assume there were logical reasons for using the 10 or 20 Ton yield on the Davey Crockett that may have involved the proximity of the firing crew. Check out the very interesting video link Mike posted to see the blast radius.

Once again, this is all just what I’ve read in public information sources and not anything I’ve been told as classified information…

Dave