Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Lazy Dog Bombs, Mk 44 Cluster Bomb 1950's - 1960's

Here are a pair of very interesting US Military munition items that are seldom seen today.  They are a pair of original "Lazy Dogs", forged steel "bombs".

These "bombs" are not actually bombs at all.  They are solid forged steel missiles that were designed to be dropped from aircraft and used in the Mk 44 Cluster Adapter Deployment System.  The US first started designing and experimenting with these projectiles back in WW2.  They never made it past the experimental designation of antipersonnel missile.  They saw use in the 1950's during the Korean War and during the 1960's during the Vietnam War.

The name "Lazy Dog" came from the secret US armament laboratory that was code named "Lazy Dog".  This lab designed the missiles and as such they were referred to as "Lazy Dogs".  During the Vietnam War, they were often called "Lawn Darts" and  "Buzz Bombs" by the GI's in the field. 

The "Lazy Dog" missiles were dropped in very large numbers, from just about any flying vehicle available.  They were dropped by hand, by the bag, by the bucket, out of the back of airplanes, and from the Mk 44 Cluster Adapter Pod.  

This pod was dropped from an aircraft and it would then open at a set altitude as it dropped, thus dispersing the thousands of "Lazy Dogs" over the Jungle below.  The "Lazy Dog" missiles have been estimated to reach speeds of around 500 miles per hour before hitting the ground, where they could penetrate anything soft and up to 2 feet into the ground......... Deadly and indiscriminate.

Here is a link to a Wikipedia page that gives a great history of these unique missiles:

wikipedia.: Lazy_Dog

The version that I have is the early version that is forged with a parkerized finish.  The later two versions, were shaped by lathe  and were left bright finished or covered in cosmoline.  The early parkerized version is the most sought after by collectors today and is the hardest to find.  They found their way onto the surplus market in the 1970's and early 1980's and could be found at most gun shows by the handful, for cents, not dollars.  I picked mine up in the 1970's, either at a surplus store or gun show.

Without further delay, here is an album of photos of my pair of early version "Lazy Dogs":

No comments: