The VB-1 (VB for vertical bomb) was a 1,000-pound bomb fitted with a tail assembly containing radio-controlled movable rudders. These permitted the bombardier to attain greater accuracy by steering the bomb to the right or left (referred to as azimuth, hence the name Azon) after its release from the carrier aircraft. A bright flare was installed in the tail so the bombardier could watch the trajectory of the VB-1 as it fell earthward.
The Azon was used during World War II with moderate success in the European and Mediterranean Theaters and with greater success in the China-Burma-India Theater where B-24 crews knocked out 14 bridges in seven missions. The Azon was the only radio-guided bomb to reach operational use with the U.S. Army Air Forces during WWII.
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