Kansas City Races

Copyright 2010, Scott D. Murdock


Over two years had passed since I had been to a NASCAR race. It was time to remedy this situation, and Kansas Speedway offered a good opportunity. Kansas City is a one-day drive from Denver if you're in a hurry, or two days if you like sightseeing. Then after the races, we planned a drive up north to visit family near Omaha, Nebraska. Another two days' drive would bring us home to Denver. This trip only covers the days with some military history sightseeing.

Friday, 1 Oct 2010

We drove onto the Army's Fort Riley, Kansas, and briefly visited the current Marshall Airfield. This was Marshall Air Force Base for a brief period of time -- 13 Jan 1948 until 1 Jun 1950. An Air Corps hangar (1930-B design, 2-bay) still stands among newer Army hangars. This is an active installation, so no photos.

Monday, 4 Oct 2010

KC-10C MO The control site was securely fenced and gated. Operational from 1959 to 1969, this site had a high-power acquisition radar (HIPAR).
(General view)
(Access road)
(Gate)
(Sentry house)
(Buildings from outside fence)
(Buildings from outside fence)
(Buildings from outside fence)
(Building at end of access road)
(Building at end of access road)

KC-10L MO The launcher site was marked with no trespassing signs. This Nike Hercules site had 3 underground magazines and was operational from 1959 to 1960.
(General view)
(Access road)
(Sentry house)
(Building)

Tuesday, 5 Oct 2010

I don't usually feature non-military museums, but in this case I'm giving props to my Old Man. My dad has volunteered at the Iowa Aviation Museum, at Greenfield Municipal Airport, for several years. He's greatly enjoyed the chance to build-up a functioning library from scratch -- and as a thank you for his efforts the museum named the library for my dad! Pretty cool, eh? The museum has two outside displays, an A-7D Corsair II attack jet and an AH-1 Huey Cobra helicopter gunship. Inside the hangar are many rare civil aircraft with ties to Iowa aviation history. The museum is also home to the Iowa Aviation Hall of Fame. Just a few miles away, we paused to see the latest painting on Freedom Rock, an Iowa landmark.

Wednesday, 6 Oct 2010

Fairmont AAFld NE I had been to this W.W.II bomber training base before, but I had failed to notice the vault structure from a Norden bombsight storage building. I found it this time -- east-southeast of hangar 1. Since I was there, I re-photographed the rest of the airfield buildings for good measure. [Note: Fairmont had five hangars; for convenience I have numbered them 1 through 5 from north to south. Hangars 1 through 4 still stand; only the foundation remains of hangar 5. Four celestial navigation training buildings stood behind hangar 2; for convenience I have numbered them 1 through 4 from north to south.]
(Historical marker)
(Vault section from Norden bombsight storage building)
(Vault section from Norden bombsight storage building)
(Vault section from Norden bombsight storage building)
(Vault section from Norden bombsight storage building)
(Celestial navigation training buildings 2 and 1 foundations)
(Celestial navigation training buildings 3 and 4 foundations)
(Celestial navigation training building 1 foundation)
(Celestial navigation training building 2 foundation)
(Celestial navigation training building 3 foundation)
(Celestial navigation training building 4 foundation)
(Hangar 1)
(Hangar 1)
(Hangar 1)
(Hangar 2)
(Hangar 2)
(Hangar 2)
(Hangar 2 and celestial navigation training buildings 1 and 2 foundations)
(Hangar 3)
(Hangar 3)
(Hangar 3 and oil and dope storage building)
(Oil and dope storage building behind hangar 3)
(Oil and dope storage building behind hangar 3)
(Oil and dope storage building behind hangar 3 interior)
(Hangar 4)
(Hangar 4)
(Hangar 4)
(Hangar 4 and oil and dope storage building)
(Oil and dope storage building behind hangar 4)
(Oil and dope storage building behind hangar 4)
(Hangar 5 foundation)
(Oil and dope storage building behind former hangar 5)
(Concrete tower for water storage tank)
(Concrete tower for water storage tank)
(Hangars 3 and 4)
(Former runway)

Grand Island AAFld NE One W.W.II hangar stands, a match for some I had just seen at Fairmont. Another hangar appears to be a pre-war civilian design. I was pleased to see the six Cold War fighter-interceptor alert hangars (circa 1962) were still intact.
(Civilian hangar)
(W.W.II hangar)
(W.W.II hangar)
(Fighter-interceptor alert hangars, behind fence)
(Fighter-interceptor alert hangars)

Cornhusker Ordnance Plant NE Built in W.W.II as a bomb loading plant, it was declared surplus in 1945, reactivated from 1950 to 1956, and reactivated again (as Cornhusker Army Ammunition Plant) from 1965 to 1973. It was finally disposed of in the 1980s. The plant is now an industrial park with numerous tenant businesses. Unfortunately most of the wartime plant buildings have been demolished. Two large compounds of Richmond magazines still stand, though fenced off and inaccessible to visitors. Heavy truck traffic on dusty roads made for less than ideal sightseeing.
(Metal building)
(Richmond magazine, with earth berm in place)
(Richmond magazine, minus earth berm)
(Richmond magazine, minus earth berm)

This trip totaled 2,005 miles in eight days. Chances are good I'll go to more races at Kansas Speedway -- now I just need to find different routes to get there and back!


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