This is the Gargoyle, a radio-controlled, rocket-propelled, air-to-surface U.S. Navy missile. It was designed during World War II for use against ships and was launched from carrier-based planes. The Gargoyle used a 1,000-pound warhead. The range was from five to seven miles with a speed of about 600 miles per hour. The powerplant was a standard Aerojet solid-fuel JATO (Jet-Assisted-Take-Off) unit delivering 1,000 pounds of thrust for eight seconds.
Tests were carried in 1945, and it was too late to be used in the war. But testing was continued, especially of its autopilot and other components until its cancellation in 1947. This object was transferred to the Smithsonian in 1974 by the National Armed Forces Museum Advisory Board.
Transferred from National Armed Forces Museum Advisory Board