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Corporal Missile

a 1-minute primer produced in the late 1950s From fact sheets dated February 28, 1958 & April 2, 1960. The U.S. Army's CORPORAL, this country's first ballistic guided missile, is about 45 feet long with control fins located on the ends of the large stabilizing fins. It weighs about five tons fueled and ready for launching. Before the CORPORAL is fired, basic firing data is computed for the guidance equipment and entered as settings in the various vans. Then, after the missile is launched, minor corrections are made to the trajectory to insure an accurate impact. Launching procedure is as follows: The missile is erected on its launcher by a large vehicle called the erector. Prior to this the propulsion and guidance components have been thoroughly checked for proper functioning, the propellant tanks have been filled with acid and aniline, and the warhead attached. Guidance equipment vans are placed near the missile launching area for the required electronic instruments that will guide CORPORAL to its target. The battery commander has established his communications for control of the firing in this guidance area. Here, also, the fire direction center has computed and determined the firing data for the target many miles behind the "enemy" lines. After the missile has been erected and final preparations completed, the commander orders all stations to stand by for the countdown to firing time. The surface-to-surface CORPORAL, with a range of more than 75 miles, can be equipped with either an atomic or conventional type warhead. This weapon gives the field commander great firepower on the battle filed and enables him to strike selected targets deep in enemy rear areas. CORPORAL follows a ballistic trajectory during most of its flight to the target. Weather and visibility conditions place no restriction on the use of the weapon. The propulsion system uses a liquid propellant rocket motor. The missile travel through space at several times the speed of sound. A CORPORAL battalion consists of 250 men. Each battalion has two batteries -- a firing battery and a headquarters service battery.


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