Kansas is known for tornados. Think ‘Wizard of Oz’. That, considered with the fact that the workers were surrounded by bombs and bomb making materials called for lots of earthen shelters, just in case.
The only light in the ‘coffin’ of the Atlas E is that which leaks through the exhaust vents.
North of the assembly complex is a storage network of earthen and concrete bunkers.
Kate in the Atlas E, which is essentially a buried Atlas D. Above is the protective steel blast door.
Because of the dangers of storing the materials to make explosives as well as the explosives themselves, there were earthen bunkers all across the plant like this.
This heavy door opens directly into the missile vault and was used to load and unload the missile erector.
A small bunker and blast wall between shell-loading buildings would have provided shelter during disasters, such as tornados, accidental explosions, and perhaps even enemy attacks.
In one of the hundreds of bunkers across the busy highway from the empty plant ruins. Most did not have doors, but I got lucky on this one.
Everything had to be tested before being sent to the front lines. Here’s where smaller ammunition would be test-fired. I was able to dig up several misfired rounds. Now they live in my collection of oddities.
One of the storage bunkers was cracked open. I wonder how effective this heavy door would actually be… I expect, not very.
“Man has set for himself the goal of conquering the world but in the processes loses his soul.” Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Russian writer and historian.
Taken several years before the tornado story when the weather, and the condition of the buildings, were nice.
Tornadic fronts duel over the retired missile launcher.
Ammunition had to be tested on site before shipment. That was done here. These heavy concrete bunkers deflected rounds harmlessly into the earth.