White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico
We went into the White Sands Missile Range to check out the museum this morning. My personal favorite is the Hound Dog. It was in service back in 1965 when I was in the Air Force. It's a beautiful design. Two of them were carried under the wings of a B-52. They each had a 1.45 megaton warhead. That's about 75 times more than Hiroshima. The Hound Dog had a 500 mile range. They were designed to take our air defense systems so that the B-52s could go in and deliver four big 24 megaton city busters.
722 Hound Dogs were produced by North American Aviation. The first delivery was 1959. The Hound Dog employed the KS-140 star tracker to help it home in on a target. The Hound Dog had a probable circular error of 2.2 miles, but with a 1.45 megaton payload, this was largely irrelevant. The Hound Dog engines helped to power the B-52 on takeoff. The Hound Dog was strictly a nuclear war missile which was never used for the purpose intended.
Here in Las Cruces we have numerous tennis courts available. The one we usually use has ten courts and a view of the rugged Organ Mountains.
One of the museum exhibits is the Patriot. It was designed to take down air breathers, but a software upgrade gave it a fair shot at unsophisticated ballistic missiles like the Iraqi SCUD in 1991.
The Pershing missile was a nasty little intermediate range ballistic missile. It was good for 1,000 miles with a nuclear warhead and a very small expected circular error. It was retired after the SALT treaty. I think the Russians were really nervous about having these in Germany. They probably imagined German troops taking them away from US forces. Crazy Germans...a Russian nightmare.
This 155 millimeter cannon fires a radar directed rocket with an extreme range.
They say that this flying saucer type rocket was launched from Roswell and landed here at White Sands. My guess is that it's just disinformation to cover up the actual Roswell saucer crash.
Werner Van Braun...America's greatest German rocketeer.
The museum had a Stinger missile.
This is a picture of the escape capsule rocket for one of the manned space flights.It was a great museum. They had ground to air atomic missiles that could take out a whole fleet of Russian bombers at once and tiny missile for tanks and everything in between.
We drove up to Cloudcraft at 9,000 feet and met Jim and Darryl. They were bicycling from California to Georgia over a six week period with a group of 30 that has an average age of 66. They only ride on the interstates when no alternative is available. The Interstates have "alligators" which are wires from failed truck tires that cause them to have many flat tires with their 120 PSI bike tires. They had just biked up 5,000 feet over 16 miles from Alamagordo to Cloudcraft. Mostly they sleep in churches except on Sundays.
There's a ski lodge on top of the mountain in Cloudcroft.
Mrs. Phred went into the tower in the lodge.
This is a view of White Sands from Cloudcroft. The dunes take up 275 square miles
The trestle at Cloud croft.
I graduated at the top of my class in Navigator school. Normally my assignment to the Strategic Air Command would have been automatic. However, I talked to the base commander just before graduation and told him over drinks that I was anxious to get my fingers on a nuclear trigger. In his wisdom, the Colonel had me assigned as a navigator on old cargo planes that carried no weapons or parachutes.