The USS Wood County, transport and landing ship tank was launched on 1 October 1956 and commissioned in Norfolk in August 1959.
Initially acted on the Atlantic coast of the USA, then in the summer of 1960 be transferred to the Mediterranean, where it remained in service by participating in military exercises until in 1962 moved its operations to the Caribbean Sea.
While there, is part of the fleet of blockade that was deployed by President Kennedy in the vicinity of Cuba during the so-called "missile crisis" with the Soviet Union.
Over the next two years remains siriviendo the U.S. fleet alternately in the Caribbean and the Mediterranean until in August 1964, is selected as test platform for a joint experiment between the Navy and Air Force that consisitió in launching 4 stratospheric balloons from its deck, while he was off the coast of Virginia (USA). These exercises were intended to test a mechanism created to support and hoisting balloons from launching boats small and medium-size, which developed a new compact vertical launch, which would lower the cost of such missions to use boats minors rather than aircraft carriers. That would be the only time that the Wood County would be used for that purpose.
Subsequently, participated in the coup of 1965 in the Dominican Republic, evacuating American citizens from the island and during the following years continued its usual pattern of service in the area of the Virginia capes, the Caribbean and in the Mediterranean Sea.
Shortly before his retirement from active service in May 1972, participated in a series of exercises to test a new type of gunship vessel for NATO called hydrofoil. After that was put permanently in the reserve before being sold to be scrapped in 1978.
Table of balloons launched from the USS Wood County
|Date||Hour||Flight Duration||Experiment||Payload landing place or cause of the failure|
|8/24/1964|| ||---||VERTICAL LAUNCH SYSTEM TEST||--- No Data ---|
|8/25/1964|| ||---||VERTICAL LAUNCH SYSTEM TEST||--- No Data ---|
|8/26/1964|| ||---||VERTICAL LAUNCH SYSTEM TEST||--- No Data ---|
|8/27/1964|| ||---||VERTICAL LAUNCH SYSTEM TEST||--- No Data ---|