Lot 27 (Home & Garden, 20th September 2016)
Sold for £6,000
Toys for Boys: A SA-2 Guideline rocket circa 1960 Titanium stainless steel and aluminium with numerous stencils in Cyrillic and later signed by Senator John McCain 10.9 metres; 37.76 feet long This rocket is part of the S-75 family of rockets which were developed in the late 1950s in response to combat Americas long range bombers. The S-75 and its many variants provided much of the air defence of the Soviet Union and numerous other countries which adopted it. This is a two stage rocket with an initial solid fuel rocket booster which burned for four seconds and a second stage liquid fuel engine that burnt for a further 22 seconds. This enabled the craft to reach altitudes of 66 000 feet and speeds of Mach 3 with a range of up to 22 miles. The system first gained international fame when an S-75 battery using the newer longer-range and higher-altitude V-750VN (13D) missile was deployed in the 1960 U-2 incident when it shot down the U-2 piloted by Francis Gary Powers overflying the Soviet Union on May 1 1960. Seven years later in 1967 during the Vietnam War an SA-2 knocked the right wing off of John McCains carrier-based A-4 Skyhawk forcing McCain to eject and parachute badly injured into Hanois Trúc Bach Lake where he was fished from the water and taken prisoner. It was the SA-2 that delivered what the Vietnamese today regard as their greatest aerial triumph: the destruction of more than a dozen B-52s during the so-called Christmas bombings of 1972. Senator McCain has kindly and courageously autographed one of the rocket panels as a memento of his unfortunate escapade nearly 50 years ago.