A real life rocket sighting: Honest John

The Rocketry Forum

Help Support The Rocketry Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


Well-Known Member
Sep 11, 2002
Reaction score
Hello All,

My wife and I were driving to the Jersey shore last weekend. After a 7 hour drive, we were about 10 miles north of Wildwood NY on the Garden State Parkway when she pointed amd said....'Hey, there's a funny looking rocket!' It was an Honest John on a launcher outside a NJ Guard armory.

As the HJ was on the other side of the highway, I pulled the Mini into the fast approaching 'NJ jug handle' U-turn lane, and we turned around and headed back. The place was completely deserted. (I am guessing that the unit is deployed right now). Anyway, I jumped out, and quickly took a few pictures with the digital camera.

I took 2 overall views, then a detail shot of the tail, airframe, and warhead (spin rocket) areas respectively. In true ARMY 'If-it-does-not-move,-paint-it' tradition, the rocket has a fes obvious coats of paint, but is in otherwise generally good condition.

I have posted the pics on my Yahoo briefcase. Feel free to view, or download them.


That's really awesome that you stopped to take pictures. It's one thing to read about rockets and to build ones that look like the real ones, but it's certainly another thing to be up close to the REAL THING! Nice pictures.

It's kinda sad seeing it sit there weathering.
yea, there's one around here too. Also a Nike Ajax. If anyone wants I can probably get scale data from them.

Good find Fred! Ya never know where you're gonna see something good.

Ya know, I was saddened at first, but the rocket is not in that bad of shape.

Also, I was stunned at how SMALL it was!!

every year we go down to the jersy shore... last year we were driving somewhere and we passed the exact same rocket:D:D
we allso pulled over, and took a couple of pics... close ups and whole views, as well some from the front and aft ends.
Originally posted by gerbs4me
awesome pics:)
What kind of warhead does the HJ have? nuclear?
It had options for both. Conventional and Nuke.

How many spinners are on that one? I thought the Estes HoJo's had only four but I could be wrong since I don't have one.
I'm curious about the spin rockets. Did the spinners each use an individual rocket, or did the ports all connect to one motor? Solid fuel, or liquid?
There are four spinner fairings, each with two little spinner rockets. The HJ was very primitive. It was a 'free rocket over ground' artillery piece, with no guidance system. The spinner motors provided the same affect that the spin provides to a nice spiral footbal pass.