SM-65 Atlas Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile System 1956-1965
Atlas Missile Silo . Com
The Home of "All Things Atlas"
Welcome to AtlasMissileSilo.com! This web site is dedicated to the Atlas series of missile bases which were constructed in the early 1960's and put into service by the United States Air Force and the Strategic Air Command during the Cold War. The sites remained active until the Spring and Summer of 1965. The Atlas missile system project was given the weapons system SM-65 by the Air Force. Because of the emergence of space and missile technology during the mid and late 1950's, the Atlas project eventually became the number one priority in the entire country as it attained "national priority" status. This made the Atlas program the single most important project in the United States at that time and no expense was spared in getting the system deployed and operational. In total, there were six different versions of the Atlas missile. They were designated the Atlas A, B, C, D, E and F. The A, B and C versions were for experimental prototyping and development and were never deployed as production ICBM's. There were three different styles of operational Atlas missile complexes built. They were designated as type D, E and F. There were 8 Atlas D, 27 Atlas E and 72 Atlas F operational missile complexes built. They were controlled by ten different Air Force bases located throughout the United States. Each Air Force base was assigned a Strategic Missile Squadron which supported the missile complexes that had been constructed near that particular base. F.E Warren AFB in Cheyenne, Wyoming was unique in that it had two Atlas D squadrons and one Atlas E squadron assigned to it. Most of the bases involved were located in the central states, however, nine Atlas E sites were constructed in Washington State and twelve Atlas F sites were constructed in New York and Vermont. There were also several sites located at Vandenburg AFB in Lompoc, California. They were prototype complexes built as "test" versions of the operational sites to be constructed elsewhere around the country. The missile sites at Vandenberg are varied and unique and therefore have been grouped together in their own section. The service life of the Atlas ICBM was short lived and varied from three to five years depending on the model. The volatile nature of liquid fueled rockets made the Atlas complexes a challenge to manage and maintain. There were several accidents which caused the complete loss and closure of the sites involved. Infomation concerning these accidents is available on this website. Advancements in solid fuel rocket technology made the Atlas liquid fueled missile obsolete and by mid-1965 all of the Atlas missile sites had been decommissioned and closed. The operational Atlas missiles were removed from the sites and stored by the Air Force at Norton AFB near Los Angeles, California. They were later used by the Air Force and NASA as satellite and research and development launch vehicles. Equipment that the Air Force deemed classified or re-useable elsewhere was removed. Several of the power generators were sent to Vietnam and used to provide electrical power for U. S. bases during the Vietnam war. Most of the land properties were then returned to previous land owners or given to a local government entity. Many of the properties would wind up in the hands of the local school districts, some of which are still owned by that school district to this day. One of the Atlas E complexes located in Kansas was turned into a high school by the district it was given to. Many of the Atlas missile properties have been sold to private owners and a few of them either have been or are currently being renovated into underground homes. This type of unique home has been featured in many newspaper, magazine and TV reports all over the world.
This site includes many different sections of Atlas information. These categories are listed in the "ribbon" at the top of the page. A complete list of site pages can also be found on the Sitemap page.
We dedicate this web site to everyone who constructed, maintained, supported and served in the SM-65 Atlas ICBM program. Without their dedication to the national defense of the United States, the freedoms we enjoy today would not be possible.Thank You All for a job Well Done!!
This site is a work in process, so please check back when you have time for updates and new material. Changes to the site can be found on the What's New page. If you should have any photos, documents, other items or information that you would be willing to share or contribute to this site, please feel free to contact us so that it can be added. We are actively compiling as much Atlas missile system information as possible and are always on the lookout for new additions. This site is intended to present as much factual information as possible about the Atlas series first generation ICBM Missile System. If you see something that is in error or you believe should be changed, please don't hesitate to contact us. If you find any problems or errors with the site, a "bug report" to the webmaster would be greatly appreciated. You may also visit our Links page for other interesting sites including missile related web sites as well as squadron specific sites for all thirteen of the operational squadrons.
We would like to thank all of our visitors to this web site and we hope you come back soon!