Little Did I Know!

Larry 'n NassauThe USS Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. DD-850 was mostly an anti-submarine destroyer and armed with the latest homing torpedoes of its day. We could deliver torpedoes by traditional launch tubes, via a drone helicopter, or by rocket launcher. Until recently I had never considered that we may have been armed with nuclear warheads. Talking with fellow JPK sailors we got to discussing the ASROC (anti-submarine rocket) delivery system.

One of the former missile specialists said he was glad we never had to use our weapons, “especially the special ones.” I asked if that meant we could assume the JPK had a nuclear option?  His, and another shipmate, replied that such would be a valid assumption.

Sometime in the 80s we learned that some Soviet submarines operating in the Caribbean during the Cuban Missile Crisis were carrying nuclear warheads. Now I learn that we were as well. It has been said the world was never closer to nuclear holocaust as in 1962. The supporting evidence for that claim just got stronger.

Diagram of ASROC delivery sequence.

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