42 years later in September and October of 2003 I was in Texas attending my 50th
High School Class Reunion and Homecoming at Lueders High School in
As I always do when home in Texas, I went out to see what the Atlas
Missile Sites looked like and to reminisce a little of my youth.
In 1961 and 62, I had worked for General Dynamics Astronautics during
the Installation and Checkout of the 12 Atlas F ICBMs surrounding
Dyess Air Force Base and as they were completed and activated I worked
at the Lawn, Oplin, Corinth West and Albany Sites.
41 years had now passed since I last walked through the gate at Oplin
and much to my pleasant surprise, I discovered the Oplin Missile Site
# 5 was privately owned and being lived in by a man named Bruce
Of all the sites to be preserved I'm glad Oplin is one because Oplin was
what we called the "Lead Site" which meant it was the first site to
receive a bird, i.e. an Atlas F ICBM "Intercontinental
Ballistic Missile" and the first Operational Atlas F Missile Silo
to be turned over to the Air Force at Dyess Air Force Base -
I was the Preventive Maintenance Analyst (PMA) at the Oplin Site and
darn proud of it.
What it really meant:... I was the guy they screamed at when any of the Ground Support Equipment wasn't working.
I should not leave this without saying a word about Bruce Townsley -
Bruce spent the greater part of an afternoon allowing me to enter his
personal domain to take a nostalgic trip back to "Days Long Past"
- THANKS Bruce