One of the primary goals of this expedition has been to obtain information for a potential book on the XM-28 and XM-29 Davy Crockett atomic weapons systems. And while there have been a few disappointments, on the whole it has been fantastically successful, both in terms of getting actual stuff, and in terms of getting contacts to get more stuff.
Got: Photos of the Davy Crocketts on display at the West Point museum (New York):
Got: Photos of three Davy Crocketts on display at the Watervliet Arsenal museum (New York):
Got: Photos of the Davy Crockett on display at the Infantry Museum at Fort Benning (Georgia):
Got: Two different PDF files of a Davy Crockett Field Manual (“meh” image quality)
Got: Photocopies of most of a Davy Crockett Technical Manual (“really good” image quality)
Got: contacts with the possibility of detailed construction and layout drawings of the recoilless guns
Got: a heads up on a Technical Manual that deals specifically with the ammunition (including M388 atomic warhead) for the Davy Crockett system. More research required. Anyone know of a *complete* collection of Army TM’s? This one might, and might not, be classified.
Didn’t get: Photos of the Davy Crockett at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds museum. Guess what museum CLOSED FOREVER in September of 2010? So all I have on that are photos I took with a lesser camera in 2008.
Didn’t get: photos of *both* Davy Crocketts at the Fort Benning infantry Museum. The museum transferred all their stuff to a whole new building in 2009, and one of the Davy’s is in long-term storage. So all I have on that is a single photo I found online showing the previous setup. If anyone might’ve taken decent photos of the two of ’em prior to the move, please contact me.
BONUS Didn’t Get: good clear and unobstructed flash photos of the Fort Benning Davy Crockett, since flash photography is forbidden (!) and there are irritatingly placed signs in the way. I got a few flash photos when a docent said I could; then a security guard came along and over-rode her. Shrug.
Didn’t get: photos of the Davy Crocket on display at the Don F. Pratt Museum at Fort Campbell, Tennessee. If anyone is in the area and willing to take photos, please contact me. Willing to offer $$$.
STILL TO GET: photos of the practice Davy Crockett round on display at the National Museum of Atomic Science & History in Albuquerque, New Mexico. This will be a separate expedition at a later date, and will also obtain photos of the related SADM “nuclear backpack” bomb.
Unlikely to get: photos of the Davy Crockett on display at the Air Force Space & Missile Museum, Cap Canaveral, Florida; on display at the Atomic Testing Museum in Las Vegas, Nevada. If anyone is in the area and willing to take photos, please contact me. Willing to offer $$$.
The idea of a book on the Davy Crockett has grown from a small, crappy and ill-conceived idea at the end of last year, to now looking like something pretty substantial. It is not my top publishing priority… Orion comes first. But this opportunity to scope out research for the DC book could not be sanely passed up. Of course, everywhere I go, when I talk to people about wanting to write this book, the response has been a pretty uniform “… uh, why?” Hell, damn near nobody has even *heard* of the Davy Crockett, much less are people clamoring to find out more. But for me, that’s prit near reason enough. Maybe I’d sell more books about the P-51 Mustang, saying the same thing that others have said in a thousands prior books, and showing the same nice photos that have appeared a thousand times before… but who’s ever seen *anything* on the Davy Crockett? I mean, come on… who wouldn’t want to read about an M-113 loaded with six nuclear weapons, or an atom bomb launched off a jeep and controlled by clockwork?