Missiles in the Wheat Fields

(post by Gail’s daughter, Virginia)

Travel Back in Time

Back in the early sixties, I attended a 2-room country school in south-central Kansas. We would see the military convoy going by while we were outside playing Red Rover and baseball at recess. We often paused our games to wave at the soldiers in their Army vehicles.

It wasn’t wartime, but America and the Soviet Union were engaged in a Cold War. As kids, we didn’t pay much attention to the news of Khrushchev, or the arms build-up. We lived in the country, belonged to 4-H, attended church, and the tensions of governments seemed very distant.

We saw jeeps like this heading for the missile silo in the 1960s

We saw jeeps like this heading for the missile silo in the 1960s (photo from Pixabay).

There we were, in the middle of Kansas, surrounded by wheat fields. The reason for the soldiers driving by? There was an underground missile silo out there in the middle of nowhere. It was 6625 miles from where we were to Moscow.

Little did we know that the very presence of that missile silo made our rural county a target if actual war did break out.

Four_Martin_Girls 1960s Kansas

The four Martin girls in the early 1960s.

Learn More About the Missile Silos

I was curious to see what had happened to those after the Cold War ended. Here are some examples.

One was made into an AirBnB. Another was blown up by a rancher after it was abandoned by the government. Some were converted into condos for those wanting a retreat in case of nuclear war.

I found one article that said, “In Kansas, the government constructed 12 Atlas F sites and nine Atlas E sites. The Atlas F sites – deep sites compared to Atlas E sites – cost about $14 million to $18 million each.” Read more about the missile sites. These sites were on high alert during the Cuban missile crisis in 1962. Apparently, the Atlas sites were all decommissioned by 1965.

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