Operation Bumblebee

     On Sunday, April 13th, David Stallman will discuss North Carolina's role in the nation's missile program. The program begins at 2:30 p.m. at the New Bern Public Library Auditorium.

       Topsail Island was one of the sites selected for Operation Bumblebee, a top-secret experimental project of the United States Navy, to develop and test ramjet missiles. The operations, named after the bumblebee which should be unable to fly, was undertaken to counter the threat of German U-boats and their successful rocket programs.
       Approximately 200 experimental rockets were fabricated and launched over an 18-month period beginning in 1946. Early rocket and guidance testing at Topsail Island paved the way for the development of the TALOS missile. This missile, successfully used in Viet Nam, evolved into a sophisticated homing rocket used to intercept and destroy other missiles.
     Stallman, an Ohio native and current Topsail Island resident, has written several books about the island's history, including ECHOES of Topsail, A History of Camp Davis, and Operations Bumblebee, 1946-1948. His most recent book is Women in the Wild Blue...Target Towing WASP at Camp Davis. Copies of his books will be available for sale following the program.

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