Tabasco Heat-Seeking Missile

Tabasco does not openly advertise its history with the U.S. Armed Forces. During the Spanish-American War, John Avery McIlhenny, son of Tabasco’s inventor and the second president of McIlhenny Company, served in the 1st U.S. Volunteer Cavalry Regiment, better known as Theodore Roosevelt’s Rough Riders. His son, Brigadier General Walter Stauffer McIlhenny, USMCR, a World War II veteran and recipient of the Navy Cross, presided over McIlhenny Company from 1949 until his death in 1985. During the Vietnam War, BGen. McIlhenny issued the The Charlie Ration Cookbook. (Charlie ration is slang for the field meal given to troops.) This cookbook came wrapped around a two-ounce bottle of Tabasco sauce in a camouflaged, water-resistant container. It included instructions on how to mix C-rations to make such tasty concoctions as “Combat Canap├ęs” or “Breast of Chicken under Bullets.”

Infrared homing refers to a guidance system which uses the emission from a target of electromagnetic radiation in the infrared part of the spectrum to track it. Missiles which use infrared seeking are often referred to as “heat-seekers”, since infrared (IR) is just below the visible spectrum of light in frequency and is radiated strongly by hot bodies. Many objects such as people, vehicle engines and aircraft generate and retain heat, and as such, are especially visible in the infra-red wavelengths of light compared to objects in the background. NATO brevity code for a heat-seeking missile launch is Fox Two.