40 Year Anniversary Of The Damascus AR Titan Accident

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by willie_pete, Sep 18, 2020.

  1. Current Resident

    Current Resident

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    What rank is he? My son stuck it out and became Eagle. I hope yours stays with it. I miss it all the time.
     
  2. Slackinoff

    Slackinoff Bathed in lavender and gasoline

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    I think it's time for me to re read Command & Control
     

  3. M&P15T

    M&P15T Well I'll Be Dipped!!!

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    FWIW, you've shared these photos before, and asked the same question. No one found it the first time, you had to show us.
     
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  4. Caver 60

    Caver 60

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  5. willie_pete

    willie_pete NRA Life Member

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    Yeah, I know. I just wanted to see who was paying attention. You win.

    :thumbsup:



    Plus we have had a lot of new members lately ( mainly from India ;) ) and I figured I might catch some of them.

    I guess the Mods cleaned them all out by now.
     
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  6. willie_pete

    willie_pete NRA Life Member

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    That is what was revolutionary about Titan II. Titan I and Atlas both used liquid oxygen and kerosene ( RP-1 ) as the oxidizer and fuel. LOX had to be loaded just prior to launch and that took 15-20 minutes. Atlas had to be raised out of it's " coffin " before it could even be fueled. Titan I could be fueled in its underground silo, but had to be raised to the surface for a launch.

    Titan II used storable propellants ( nitrogen tetraoxide and unsymettrical dimethlyhydrazine ) and was the first missile to be designed to be launched from its silo. Reaction time was less than a minute. The fuels are hypergolic; pump them together and off they go.

    Propellant wise, the missile had theoretically an infinite shelf left as long as nothing leaked out. But as the Damascus accident showed, " Crap happens ".

    Russia also uses AFAIK ( been away from the missile briefings for a while ) UDMH and N2O4, but they did experiment with things like hydrogen peroxide. When you see a big red cloud after one of their ( and our ) launch failures that means N2O4. The little red cloud on the right hand side of my avatar is the oxidizer tank venting pressure on takeoff.

    And here is an underground leak at an active Titan II site. This one killed two people.

    rock.jpg

    And one from SpaceX

    n2o4.jpg
     
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  7. kirgi08

    kirgi08 Watcher. Silver Member

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    Air Force AIT I'd reckon.'08. :innocent:
     
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  8. Falling Crow

    Falling Crow NRA Life Member

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    He made Eagle June 5th @ age 15!
     
  9. Tomcat1977

    Tomcat1977 "Cynical Little me"

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    Yeah Willie I was at LRAFB at the time but assigned to MAC so we knew very little on the base side other then "something" happened at a Titan-ll sight. SAC put a pretty effective blanket over the entire thing and nobody was talking.

    Little did I know the thing could have blowed up 1/2 of Arkansas. The guy who violated the 2 man rule will always be a Hero in my book. Yes its a sacred rule but this is America where the country comes first. I'd take a Article-15 and a discharge gladly to protect my country.

    Hell we volunteered to give our lives to America if we had to.
     
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  10. Paul53

    Paul53 You local friendly Skynet dealer

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    and more stable explosives were developed for use in nuclear weapons.

    For some reason that sentence sounds strange to me.:dunno:
     
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  11. Haldor

    Haldor Formerly retired EE.

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    No fair for me. You already told me where it is.
     
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  12. Haldor

    Haldor Formerly retired EE.

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    Look into Venture Crew. My daughter did that. They do a lot of stuff that might be more interesting to a young adult.
     
  13. willie_pete

    willie_pete NRA Life Member

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    Yeah, Kennedy was pretty much the hero in this thing and then got dinged for it.

    :flag:


    Half of AR may be a bit extreme, but you and Bill Clinton would certainly have said " WTF was that ".

    Here is a representation of the damage from a surface yield at Damascus. In reality, the odds were overwhelmingly that it would not yield. On its trip through the concrete/steel door, all the electronics wiring were stripped off of it. The firing caps could not have been charged.

    People were amazed though that it did not appear too damaged and did not spread radiation all over everywhere after what it had went through. A further testament to our weapons designers' skill.

    nukemap3.PNG
     
  14. Tomcat1977

    Tomcat1977 "Cynical Little me"

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    9 MT. ? I wouldn't want to be downwind.

    And we were just holing on to the things as a trump card in arms talks. It was a good missile and the commies were terrified of it , but, it was dangerous.

    Shortly after I took off on a convoy TDY for a year. The entire memory is kind of hazy and I never knew the full story until the book Command & Control came out, which was excellent.

    Actually at the time I had more important things going on like chasing tail and beer. MAC was cush duty. My 4 years were NATO, MAC, and the closest thing to SAC I got was convoying. No Northern Tier and no freezing my butt off.


     
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  15. willie_pete

    willie_pete NRA Life Member

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    It was a dangerous system. I know of at least 7 military people killed in the silos over its active duty life plus the 53 civilians killed in the Searcy fire during an upgrade.
     
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  16. larry_minn

    larry_minn Silver Member Millennium Member

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    I just missed being stopped by (what I was TOLD was a missile transfer by the military.). I was ahead of this. Guy said a large “rocket” took both lanes, escorts front, rear... they hit construction on I 25 South of Sheridan (No idea how far) where road was 12’ wide. Interstate stopped until stuff could be moved to allow “rocket type thing” and armed escort to get thru.
    Not I did NOT see this. I do not know the person telling this story. Just surprised they were moving something. (Maybe deactivated one to a museum?)
     
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  17. willie_pete

    willie_pete NRA Life Member

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    Not a clue what that could have been. No need for armed guards for a deactivated one.

    The DOE used to transport nuke materials on a " white train ". These were armed with guards and snipers. They would transport everything nuclear from fissile materials to finished nukes around the country to and from the Pantex plant in Amarillo. I don't know of anything " special " in MN. The main routes were Pantex to Bangor WA and Pantex to Charleston SC sub bases.

    Now-a-days they use special Lockheed - Martin tractor trailers at M$1 a copy.
     
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  18. willie_pete

    willie_pete NRA Life Member

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    Found a picture and hilarious story of the " White Train of Death " or the " Armageddon Express " as one newspaper evidently called it, mentioned above.

    The DOE switched to tractor trailers to do the same job in the late 80's.

    whitetrain.jpg
     
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  19. willie_pete

    willie_pete NRA Life Member

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    Found this on the 308th FB page talking about the Damascus accident. This guy evidently worked on the " thing " to take it apart.

    He and the General standing next to him must need wheel barrows to haul their cajones around.



    " I was a MMT at LRAFB when this happened. Tech Sergeant Joe Harris and I were with the EOD team when the High explosion section was separated from the rest of the warhead. There was no ablative coating left just a long cylinder. If you didn’t know what it was you would never known this was what was left of the RV. We got briefed by the civilians about shrapnel and kill radius. The civilian engineers weren’t concerned about a nuclear yield but were considering a possible conventional explosion because they have no idea what condition the explosion material was in. If it did explode it would have been a dirty bomb but the confidence was high, because of one point safety, there wouldn’t be a nuclear explosion with a yield. It was kind of strange. People of all ranks were milling around. Joe was in the crane and I was in the ditch with the EOD guys. The go ahead was ordered, I looked up from the ditch and everyone was gone except a One Star General Light or Bright I don’t recall. I asked him if he wanted to evaluate before we got started and he just said he would rather hang out with us. The operation went off without a hitch. The warhead was separated and loaded in two separate containers on a flatbed truck. I know this is a long response but even after all these years I think about it often. "
     
  20. Tomcat1977

    Tomcat1977 "Cynical Little me"

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    Yeah you worked missiles your sack clanged thats for sure.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2020