The Honest John was developed in the early 1950's as the model
M31, which was the first U.S. tactical (i.e., battlefield or
close-support) nuclear weapon. It was a free-flight artillery
rocket, as opposed to a guided missile, with a range of 12 miles.
The Army in Europe began receiving the improved model M50 in
1962. It also used a solid propellant but had a range of 30 miles,
with a ceiling of 30,000 feet, and a speed of Mach 2.3. It was
26 feet long, 30 inches in diameter, and weighed 4,330 pounds.
The M50's nuclear warhead came in three sizes: 10KT, 20KT, and
40KT. It's high explosive conventional warhead weighed 1,500
lbs. Starting in 1973, the M50 was phased out in Europe and was
replaced by the MGM-51 Lance nuclear-armed battlefield missile.
[Sources: U.S. Army Redstone Arsenal &
Bill Gunston: "The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Rockets and