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Saturday, May 5, 2012

Memories of past wartimes

Wouldn't want to be the guy in the belly turret, he could only enter/exit from outside
Yesterday we drove over to Tucson to see the last remaining decomissioned Titan 5 ICBM missile silo.  All of the others were destroyed due to the SALT treaties with Russia.  This was really neat, we climbed down into the control room and also down the tunnel to see the missile still sitting in the tube.
Our guide told us that a russian visited the site a few months ago and through an interpretor said he wanted his picture taken in the control room with his hand on the key.  He was a russian general in the ICBM corps and never dreamed he would have his hand on the key to destroy Russia!
Another story was a worker dropped a tool when doing maintenance and it punctured the fuel tank.  The Titan was a liquid fuel rocket and kept fueled and ready for launching at a moments notice.  The missile exploded in the tube, the explosion blew off the blast doors covering the silo and launched the warhead.  It took the air force a couple days to find the warhead.  Must have been pretty frantic!
Then we went to the Pima Air Museum.  This is where the "aircraft boneyard" is located.  We didn't go into the boneyard but did see it from a distance.  We walked around the museum area and saw single examples of each type that is in the boneyard.  A lot of unusual aircraft on display.  There was a B-17 on display in a cool hanger which had a special meaning for me since my dad was bombardier on one in the Aleutians during WW2.
Then we drove home and took Tom and Darlene out for dinner at Tom's favorite chinese restaurant.  Very good food.
Today I'll help Tom some more with his coach then go to a Cinco de Mayo party.

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