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Air to air submunition


Ordnance approved
Premium Member
Wow, I feel like a new father - A submunitions section! Now for a first post -

I am looking for information/photos on a little known US submunition from WWII. It was known as the 3lb Type C MK32 Air-to-Air bomb. I have so far found reference to this submunition in only one document, NAVSEA Ordnance Pamphlet OP1664, Part 2. The OP has no diagrams, which has probably let the weapon go unidentified for decades. The pub states that the MK32 is identical to its larger cousin, the MK34. Both are delivered from the MK3 Mod 1 Bomb container, which held 20 of the 5lb MK34. The quantity of MK32s is not identified.

I have seen only two of the MK34, I have one and another collector in the US has the other. It is easily mistaken, as it is very similar in size and shape to Navy devices from the 1950s-70s known among other things as sound underwater signal (SUS) devices. There are many different SUS type devices, and it is easy to mistake the MK34 for one. The only way we eventually identified the MK34 was by finding the second one with nomenclature on it.

Ive included a picture of the MK34, as well as some of the SUS type pieces. Any information beyond OP1664 or pictures would be very helpful. A word of caution about SUS devices, there are many different types, in a large variety of sizes and designs. While some are harmless, many contain significant explosive charges. If you cannot immediately tell it is empty or do not have positive identification of the model and its functioning, use caution. JO


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  • Experimental Practice Depth charge.jpg
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  • SUS MK84 Mod 1.jpg
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You're totally confused, but its probably my fault. The Mk 34/32 was designed for use against bomber formations, then supposedly after determining it was pretty much useless it was later used for attacking parked aircraft.

The item that it was confused with is the SUS type pieces, that is a water dropped item.

I knew what I wanted to say, it just got lost on the way to my fingers.
US-Subs, Congratulations, my hat comes off for you Sir.

Now that you have your own thread it is time to ask you a question on the flechetes. What was the largest artillary shell in Vietnam to fire the flechetts.
As far as I know both the 8-inch and the 155mm were loaded experimentally, I was told to be used in the event the gun position was in danger of being over run. I don't have any hard evidence that they were deployed, but keeping in mind that a significant percentage of experimental munitions were deployed to Viet Nam while still carrying an XM designation, I'd be willing to bet on it.

I don't think I've got a picture of an 8-inch flechette, but here is a shot of the XM382 155mm. Behind it you can see a poster for the XM396 155mm, which identifies that the 396 has 27,000 flechettes inside.

Also keep in mind that one of the common loads for the flechette was in 152mm, for the Sheridan tank. It was most commonly seen as a canister type with no fuze, but full up fuzed projos were loaded also.


  • 155mm flechette XM382 2.jpg
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I wish. Another Picatinny shot, so in effect, it already belongs to you. Go see it sometime, hopefully at Aberdeen.
The biggest was the 155mm was as far as I know. This is from extesive studying of the Vietnam War, especialy SOG.