Missile Man

For folks in my age cohort, there has always been the nuclear triad, consisting of manned bombers, submarine launched ballistic missiles, and of course, land based Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles. But it wasn’t really that long ago that the last two legs of the triad were introduced.

Here’s a pretty interesting look at the first operational ICBM system, the SM-65 Atlas.

Of note, the first operational launch sites were not hardened. Also, before inertial guidance was accurate en0ugh for operational use, the very unwieldy radio command guidance was used.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yIwF3h2q84k]

Finally, you’ll notice for the most part the uniforms were simple and functional.  Plain green fatigues (and some of them pretty dang faded) or the simple unadorned khakis. Seems to me the services were quite capable of doing big things back then. Maybe we should go back to dressing that way.

3 thoughts on “Missile Man”

  1. One of these days I need to scan T.O. 21M-LGM25C-1, a/k/a the care & feeding manual for a Titan II missile silo. I was born in Kansas because Dad was pulling duty down in the hole paying off his ROTC obligation. Dad kept the unclassified portions of the book and it needs to be digitized. Most of it is standard 8.5×11, but there’s a few foldouts I’ll need to bring to the local blueprint house to get a proper rendering.

  2. In 1958ish the gubmint exercized eminent domain on an 18 acre parcel on our ranch. They bunged in an Atlas-E site. It was operational for about a year. The hair force decommissioned and sold the site in the 1960’s; I explored it extensively as a kid. The present owner has turned it into a multimillion $ dream survival bunker/home. And it’s for sale!


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