DOW Field in Maine was home to the BOMARC IM-99A Missile from late 59 thru 1964. I worked there during the Missile installation phase as a Quality Control Inspector. The base in addition to different buildings housing administrative, shop, and security buildings had 24 Missile shelters with flat roofs. Each shelter housed launcher erector and a BOMARC Air Defense Missile with Atomic Warhead. The BOMARC A was propelled by a liquid fueled rocket motor and two ramjets, its mission was to down enemy aircraft by detonating itself within effective proximity of incoming aircraft.
BOMARCS were spread around east coast sites and into Canada. Every so often the Project Engineers from USAF, Boeing, and Foster Wheeler would attend a live launch at I believe Eglin AFB in Florida. The launch witnessed by my superiors was more than expected. The flat roof of the missile shelter was split in the middle and was supposed to spread open by compressed air, followed by the elevation to nearly 90 degrees and the missile fired off all in a matter of just a few seconds, but not on the day the big shots from DOW attended. The roof failed to open and the erector with Missile on it went up thru the roof. It did not launch, but did burn. Wish I could have been there but my pay grade was way too low.
I have fond memories of my stint at the missile site and the stories of the men from Boeing and Foster Wheeler who traveled the world constructing air force installations, atomic reactors, etc. I met some of the surveyors I would work with a few years down the road as a Highway Surveyor on the Interstate. The Party Chief and his crew had to get a security clearance thru DOD in order to perform a "Polaris shot" of the North Star in order to orient the missile site with the rest of the ADC installations. It was interesting to say the least. I visited the site the day after the Air Force stopped operations in 1964 and noted some repaired 3' square openings in the outside perimeter fence where security was breached by ADC security specialists.
One missile was retained for display in a city park but was confiscated by the DOD due to radioactive material used in its construction. I was in the process of buying the display BOMARC as scrap just prior to the USAF taking it back.
A lot of years have gone by since and I still remember the name of the liquid rocket fuel, "JPX" which was 40% JP-4 plus 60% "UDMH", unsymmetrical dimethyl hydrazine.
2011 MVPA PIONEER AWARD - MVPA #1064
HONOR GRAD-WHEELED VEHICLE MECHANIC SCHOOL 1960 - US ARMY ORDNANCE SCHOOL(MACHINIST) ABERDEEN PG 1962 - O-1 BIRD DOG CREWCHIEF - 300,000+TROUBLE FREE M-38A1 MILES
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