Country: United States Region: Oklahoma
Latitude: 34° 49' 4" N Longitude: -100° 24' 33" E
Area use / Military Branches: Closed
Former Atlas F silos 11th Strategic Air Wing http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/05/11ststrategicgroup%3Dpatch.png / 577th Msl Sq 1961-1965
Reactivated in 1961 as a Strategic Air Command SM-65F Atlas ICBM launch squadron at Altus airbase Oklahoma and assigned to 11 Strategic Air Wing in 1961. The squadron operated 12 independent dispersed launch sites. In 1962 the first Atlas F was placed on alert and later all 12 missiles were put on alert as a result of the Cuban missile crisis.
Atlas F was the final and most advanced version of the Atlas ICBM stored in vertical position inside underground concrete/steel silos. When stored, the Atlas F sat atop an elevator. If a missile was placed on alert, it was fueled and could be stored underground for extended periods. If a decision was made to launch the missile was raised to the surface and liquid oxygen was filled. The launch would occur shortly after completion of this process. This was the weakness of Atlas F. It was exposed and vulnerable during this time. Titan II and Minuteman missiles could be launched from within their silos, eliminating this vulnerability. Also, since Titan did not use a cryogenic fuel or oxydizer and Minuteman was a solid fuel rocket, they could be stored fully fueled and ready to launch within minutes.
577th SMS operated 12 launch silos; 1 missile at each site. The missiles were retired and removed in early 1965 being replaced by the more advanced LGM-25C Titan II; the squadron deactivated 1965. Missile sites were sold off to private ownership after demolishing the interior.
Locations at grid:
577-1 2.2 mi NNE of Lugert, OK 34°55′32″N 099°15′35″W
577-2 3.8 mi SSE of Cambridge, OK 35°01′34″N 099°10′14″W
577-3 0.8 mi SE of Mountain Park, OK 34°41′16″N 098°56′27″W
577-4 2.1 mi WSW of Cache, OK 34°36′56″N 098°39′39″W
577-5 4.0 mi NNE of Manitou, OK 34°33′44″N 098°57′43″W
577-6 2.2 mi NNE of Frederick, OK 34°26′18″N 099°00′53″W
577-7 4.8 mi SE of Ranchland, TX 34°21′43″N 099°19′27″W
577-8 0.6 mi NE of Creta, OK 34°31′36″N 099°32′24″W
577-9 3.7 mi NNW of Gould, OK 34°41′05″N 099°50′02″W
577-10 6.2 mi SW of Mangum, OK 34°49′04″N 099°35′26″W
577-11 1.0 mi NE of Willow, OK 35°03′43″N 099°29′49″W
577-12 2.7 mi WSW of Granite, OK 34°57′13″N 099°25′37W
Atlas missile system http://www.atlasmissilesilo.com/accidents.htm
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