Titan I Construction

For general discussion with your fellow Titan I crewdogs, maintainers and cops. Formerly based at Beale AFB, CA, Ellsworth AFB, SD, Larson AFB, WA, Lowry AFB, CO, and Mt Home AFB, ID. On alert from 28 Feb 1962 to 1 Apr 1965. Share your stories and meet up with an old friend.

Titan I Construction

Postby 66buggy on Tue Dec 30, 2014 7:46 am

I am trying to locate anyone who was either stationed at or had a part in the construction of Titan 1 Site 1A near Denver. On August 7 my father, Donald Baker, was a general foreman who was killed along with three other men when the north door of silo 2 fell. Through the years I have come across a few men who were involved. I welcome feedback from anyone also remembering the accident, the roll of Titan in the Cuban Missile Crisis or finds this small piece of history interesting. From my research, the heavy construction phase was completed on August 4, 1961 and handed over to the Air Force in a ceremony. The site was to be the first of the Titan 1 system to come on line with a live missile within a week. Needless to say it put the schedule back as the first missile loaded into silo 2 was in the early hours of October 5 two months later. I have found everything from President Kennedy issuing an executive order (10926) addressing labor unrest at missile construction sites, nine men I contacted who were stationed with my father in the early 50's who remembered the accident but didn't know he was in it. The massive steel assembly was torn away and the main cylinder assembly bent because of the force of the accident. Things tend to come apart when a 116 ton reinforced concrete door free falls. I have been researching and writing about the incident and finding some pretty interesting things. The accident report from the Air Force places the cause on the lack of grooves on a 3,000 pound hydraulic pump. They told my mother a bolt came loose from the main cylinder assembly. There are a lot of discrepancies. My father was also an Atomic Veteran who witnessed a detonation on April 22, 1952 in the Nevada desert and wrote a letter about it to his future wife and my mother.
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Re: Titan I Construction

Postby kd4ko on Sat Apr 16, 2016 11:59 pm

Site 1 A was my site.
I was not on duty at the time of the accident, but remember it very well!
I was a member of the evaluation Crew R12. I was told, the during testing of the hydraulics, a valve was leaking, cusing the door to start to mov from it's open position.
When the massive door reached the vertical position, there was no command switch pressure to the other side of the piston. As a result the door sheared off the piston, and slammed down.
It was a terrible travesty! I did not know your father.
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