Atlas Missile Explosions

For general discussion with your fellow Atlas E/F crewdogs, maintainers and cops. Formerly based at Altus AFB, OK, Dyess AFB, TX, Fairchild AFB, WA, Forbes AFB, KS, Lincoln AFB, NE, Plattsburgh AFB, NY, Schilling AFB, KS, Walker AFB, NM, and Vandenberg AFB, CA, F.E. Warren AFB, WY. On alert from 1 Sep 1959 to 12 Apr 1965. Share your stories and meet up with an old friend.

Atlas Missile Explosions

Postby Tim on Thu Mar 19, 2009 5:23 pm

Curious if some of the "old" Atlas members have any information concerning the early 1960s missile explosions that occured at Walker AFB. As I understand it, these incidents happened during propellant loading exercises. Three Atlas sites were destroyed and subsequently SAC made a decision to phase out both the Atlas and Titan I systems. On another note, I greww up as a AF brat on Dyess AFB. Near the family home, there is an old Atlas site off of Hwy 277 south of Abilene. Any info on that particular site? Point of interest: near said site is an old abandoned Nike site. My father had Army friends that were assigned to the Army unit that manned the Nike system that "ringed" around the Abilene/Dyess area.

Tim, 490th SMS 1981-1985
User avatar
Tim
3 RVs
3 RVs
 
Posts: 136
Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2007 8:09 am
Location: Escondido, CA

Re: Atlas Missile Explosions

Postby col.satch on Mon May 31, 2010 7:07 pm

Tim,
Regarding your query, "Near the family home, there is an old Atlas site off of Hwy 277 south of Abilene. Any info on that particular site?"
The site is Dyess S-9, referred to as the Shep Site. Shep was among the 12 Dyess Atlas sites totally salvaged following deactivation. Salvage operations were so thorough, even the steel floors of the LCC were removed.
The site is now owned by a dive shop owner out of Midland, who brings divers there to enjoy the over 120 feet of crystal clear, 58 degree water that has collected since the sumps were removed. It's a very interesting dive!
The Nike (Hercules) site you mentioned was Battery A of a two site system operated by the Army's 5th Missile Battalion. The site had six earthen revetments that isolated twelve Nike launchers and their nuclear-tipped multi-sonic ground-to-air missiles. Battery B was located north of Abilene on FM 600, adjacent to Lake Ft. Phantom's east side.
Let me know if you want to know anything more about either.
Glad to share!
Col.Satch
col.satch
Newbie
Newbie
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon May 31, 2010 6:37 pm

Re: Atlas Missile Explosions

Postby Art LeBrun on Tue Dec 07, 2010 12:40 am

I have a Congressional Record report that features USAF officers reporting on the 4 major Atlas DPL accidents (3 at Walker). If I find it I will report back here.
Art LeBrun
Newbie
Newbie
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2008 6:17 am

Re: Atlas Missile Explosions

Postby melendr on Tue Dec 28, 2010 7:19 am

To Former Atlas F Missilemen,

Thank you for the privilege of registering to an interesting and historically useful website.
I'm not an Air Force veteran, but am a former Air Force dependent and SAC brat. Growing up in southeast Nebraska put me in range of Lincoln AFB and SAC Site 8 near Beatrice. I saw B-47's, C-133's, C-124's and fighter planes gracing the skies in defense of our great country. One winter day I believe in 1960, I went to downtown Beatrice just in time to see an Air Force trailer loaded with a huge shiny missile make the turn on 6th and Court street heading west to SAC Site 8 just outside Beatrice on Hwy 136 west. I can't explain what that sight did to me, but I decided then at the age of 11 years old that my career would be centerd around missiles. I found out later that the missile was an ICBM named the Atlas. I joined the Civil Air Patrol Composite Squadron in Lincoln, NE and in the winter of 1964 I visited the Atlas F site at Alvo, NE just prior to it going off alert and being deactivated. Wow! O Wow! I'll never forget it. I visited the Air Force recruiters and even took home an Air Force Career Handbook. On the front cover of it was a Titan missile. I wanted so bad to fulfill the dream of one day becoming a missile crewman. Life dealt me some blows that disqualified me for serving in the Air Force. I had a chance for a senatorial
selection to the USAF Academy, but I turned it down. My vision wasn't perfect and neither were my grades in school. I would have loved to have flown. I went in the Army, got some electronics training, then got out, went to college and hired on with Raytheon Missile Systems Division. I retired recently in 2008 as a Patriot Missile Test Engineer. My friends would call me the "rocket scientists". I told them all there is to it is "What goes up, unless it's far enough, must come down". Ha! Ha! I met some real geniuses at Raytheon; the design engineer for the Patriot missile guidance system. A very down to earth man. I was a key man on the integration and testing of the enhanced guidance system for the Patriot missile, working with engineers from Los Alamos Labs. My career also took me to the birth place of modern missilery, the Redstone Arsenal. I did some work in one of the NASA labs that did the failure investigation of the failed gaskets on the Challenger. Even with all the great experiences I had, nothing could possibly compare to being a first generation Air Force missileer. My hat is off to all of you who stood alerts, maintained the systems all for little pay and exposure to great danger. Thanks to you, Ivan didn't dare start a nuclear war. Thanks to you, our country's technical superiority bankrupted their country. They simply couldn't afford to compete with us. They had to steal our technology to even be in the race.

Respectfully,
Rene Melendez
melendr
Newbie
Newbie
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Dec 28, 2010 6:19 am

Re: Atlas Missile Explosions

Postby Scruge on Wed Dec 29, 2010 10:08 pm

melendr wrote: I went in the Army, got some electronics training, then got out, went to college and hired on with Raytheon Missile Systems Division. I retired recently in 2008 as a Patriot Missile Test Engineer. My friends would call me the "rocket scientists".


What a small world..
My niece's father in law was mgr software development for Patriot at Raytheon NM, and retried about 5 years ago, you may have known him.
BMFT
Crew R-058 570-05 acp
570SMS DMAFB 71-74
Scruge
3 RVs
3 RVs
 
Posts: 203
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2009 12:41 am
Location: Houston


Return to Atlas D/E/F

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

cron