Miscellany

2005 - July 2007

Copyright © 2005-2010, Scott D. Murdock
27 Jun 2010 - Added additional photos.
9 Dec 2012 - Added Camp Mabry TX.


This page will be a catchall for various minor adventures that, by themselves, do not warrant individual trip reports.  This page covers the time frame from 2005 through July 2007.  See Variation Authorized for similar material from 1994 through 2004.  Unlike my standard trip reports, this one is alphabetical rather than chronological.  Locations are in Texas unless specified otherwise.

Alliance AAFld, Nebraska

Aerial photos suggested that Alliance would be a disappointment.  They were correct.  Instead of a row of vintage hangars, I found a row of vintage chimneys, with one hangar foundation accessible.  An elevated water storage tank and a small building look like they may be W.W.II vintage.  Visited 23 Jun 2007.

Ardmore AFB, Oklahoma

Lots of change here between 1994 and my 28 Jul 2007 revisit.  The double cantilever hangar is still in good shape, and some older buildings still resist the redevelopers. It was fun to wander the old base and see the memories.

Arlington NG Armory, Texas

This armory building was constructed in 1955.  According to the DoD 2005 BRAC submission, the State of Texas plans to close this armory.  Visited 3 Sep 2005.

Black Hills Ordnance Depot, South Dakota

I missed this one in 2001 because I departed The Gathering a day earlier than the other Turkeys.  I finally caught up with them on 23 Jun 2007.  Access to the plant and storage areas of the depot was blocked off and/or posted, but I was able to look around the cantonment area of this huge W.W.II depot.  Numerous barracks (and some chimneys) still stand in various states of repair.  The chapel looked almost ready for services.  A concrete-tower water storage tank still stands, as do various other buildings.

Bowie NG Armory, Texas

This former armory is now owned by the Veterans of Foreign Wars.  Built in 1953, the armory served Texas until 1988 when it was declared surplus and excess.  Visited 23 Oct 2005.

Cameron NG Armory, Texas

This armory building was constructed in 1958, on land acquired in 1948.  The armory was declared surplus in 1992 and is now the Lester & Beatrice Williams Civic Center.  Visited 11 Sep 2005.

Camp Mabry, Austin, Texas

This camp has served the Texas National Guard since 1890. Visited 3 Apr 2005.
(Museum displays)

(Museum displays)

(Museum displays)

(Museum displays)

Clinton-Sherman AFB, Oklahoma

On this revisit, I focused on the former SAC alert facility.  It is now used by the Oklahoma State Police as a training academy, and the troopers allowed me to photograph the exterior of the Molehole.  A swimming pool was constructed for the alert crewmembers.  This base served SAC from about 1957 until 1970, but had its start as NAS Clinton during W.W.II.  Besides the alert facility, some maintenance docks are typical for a late-1950s SAC base.  The control tower, however, is a visible reminder of the base's Navy past.  Visited 23 Oct 2005.

Clinton-Sherman Transmitter Annex, Oklahoma

This former communications site of Clinton-Sherman AFB is still visible a couple miles west of the former base.  Visited 23 Oct 2005.

Colorado Springs Administration Annex #1, Colorado 

Also known as the Chidlaw Building, this property (installation code EDQR) was activated as an annex of Ent AFB on 3 Jun 1974.  It transferred to Peterson AFB on 1 Mar 1976, and was disposed of 16 Feb 1988.  It remains in use as a commercial office building, at 38-50-05, 104-47-18.  Visited on 13 May 2006.

Cut Bank Army Air Field, Montana

I drove through Cut Bank on the way from Great Falls to Glacier National Park on 4 Aug 2005, so I made a quick detour to the the current Cut Bank Municipal (CTB), 48-36-30, 112-22-30.  During W.W.II this was a Second Air Force airfield assigned to Great Falls AAFld.  It was also used by Gore Field, under the Air Transport Command.  We found one hangar, and a couple of other buildings, that were clearly of W.W.II vintage.

Ellsworth AF Missile Site B-01, South Dakota

I found and photographed this site on 17 Jun 2007.

Ellsworth AF Missile Site B-07, South Dakota

I found and photographed this site on 17 Jun 2007.

Ellsworth AF Missile Site D-01, South Dakota

I revisited this site on 17 Jun 2007; six years after my first visit. Since that time, the National Park Service took over the property and operates this former Minuteman Launch Control Facility (LCF) as a museum. Unfortunately it was closed at the time of this visit, so I wandered outside the fence. I noted the helipad and its access road to the compound. The sewage lagoon is still marked as such. I observed the various buildings and antenna systems (hard UHF, hard HF transmit, hard HF receive) through the fence.

Ellsworth AF Missile Site D-09, South Dakota

I revisited this site on 17 Jun 2007; six years after my first visit. The most noticeable change is the addition of a viewing enclosure over the silo opening. Most details at this former Minuteman Launch Facility remain authentic, down to the wind vane and theodolite mounting post.

Ellsworth AF Missile Site E-01, South Dakota

I found and photographed this site on 17 Jun 2007. Another typical Minuteman LCF, with hardened UHF antenna visible through the fence.

Fort Belknap (Second location), Texas

I visited this mid-1800s fort, now a public park, on 22 July 2007.  Some of the buildings have been reconstructed.

Globe Aircraft Corporation / Saginaw Aircraft Plant, Texas

I revisited this plant on 15 May 2005, and wouldn't you know it, I had gloomy overcast weather just like my first visit in 2004.  I at least tried for a few different photo angles. The plant building, outbuildings, and an elevated water storage tank are in poor condition.

Gore Field, Montana

This airfield, also called Great Falls Municipal Airport, was an Air Transport Command ferry base during W.W.II.  It is located just west-southwest of Great Falls at 47-29-30, 111-21-30.  At some time prior to or during 1961, an Air National Guard (ANG) base was established on the airport, and it was still operational at the time of our visit.  Aerospace Defense Command, in the late 1970s, and Tactical Air Command, in the 1980s and early 1990s, were also assigned on the 139-acre ANG base.  One vintage hangar, built in W.W.II, is visible from the modern airport terminal.  We flew in to, then out of, Great Falls International Airport (GTF) on 3 and 6 Aug 2005.

Hearne POW Camp, Texas

This was a W.W.II U.S. Army camp, used to house German prisoners of war.  Now, part of it serves as the Hearne fairgrounds and part of it is wooded.  It is immediately adjacent to the former Hearne AF Auxiliary Field.  Visited 11 Sep 2005.

Hicks Field, Texas

I paid a return visit to Hicks Field on 15 May 2005.  The same three double-hangars I had noticed in 1994 were still standing.

Kaufman NG Armory, Texas

This armory building was constructed in 1955.  According to the DoD 2005 BRAC submission, the State of Texas plans to close this armory.  Visited 30 May 2005.

Lake Kickapoo NAVSPASUR Main Transmitter Site, Texas

This facility was transferred from the U.S. Navy to the USAF in late 2004.  I was in the neighborhood on 23 Jul 2005 so I checked to see if the sign had been changed.

Malmstrom Safeguard Missile Site Radar (MSR) Site, Montana

Many people are familiar with the Safeguard complex that was briefly operational in North Dakota back in the 1970s.  Construction was underway at a similar project in western Montana, at 48-08-30, 111-45-30, when the Malmstrom Safeguard complex was cancelled in 1972.  A partially-underground water storage tank is still visible.  At least one warehouse building was extant when the property was disposed of, and I think that building is behind the one seen in this photograph.  Visited 4 Aug 2005.

Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, Minnesota

My first ever visit to Minnesota was a plane-change at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP), 44-53-35, 93-12-55, on my way to Montana.  Under the name Wold-Chamberlain Field, this was an Army and Navy airfield during W.W.II.  Air Defense Command established a presence on the airport shortly after W.W.II, as did Continental Air Command.  Since the early 1960s, parts of the airport have been controlled by the Air National Guard and the Air Force Reserves.  My interest was in seeing the fighter-interceptor alert hangar, built in the early 1950s.  The hangar was a rare variant (one of 3 said to be built) on the normal Strobel & Salzman plan, with unusual beveled doors manufactured by Luria.  I was lucky enough to glimpse this hangar in the distance as our flight taxied to the gate.  Visited 3 Aug 2005.

Perrin AFB, Texas

A repeat visit on 2 Sep 2006.  I photographed three different dormitories, an elevated water storage tank, two maintenance hangars, and aircraft shelters. I was particularly interested in the air defense alert area, including the fighter-interceptor alert hangar, rocket storage building, and fighter-interceptor alert ready crew dorm. I captured the alert hangar with one door partially open. I revisited the officers club, parachute loft, warehouses, and other buildings.

Peterson AFB, Colorado

The museum on Peterson is headquartered in the original terminal building for the Colorado Springs airport, and contains a Minuteman LCF mockup plus Nike Ajax and Nike Hercules missiles.  The Art Deco terminal has some nice details.  The museum also occupies this vintage hangar (with beacon) which I believe pre-dates W.W.II, and this former snowplow maintenance shop.  Visited 16 May 2006.

Plancor 25, Texas

This was an aircraft manufacturing plant during W.W.II, operated by North American Aviation, Inc.  It was owned by the Defense Plant Corporation and assigned the number Plancor 25.  After W.W.II the plant was transferred to the Navy, and it is still a Naval Weapons Industrial Reserve Plant.  Photo taken 30 May 2005.  The plant is adjacent to Hensley Field.

Plancor 251, Texas

This facility in Garland, Texas, produced B-24 gun turrets during W.W.II.  Southern Aircraft Corporation operated the plant that was owned by Defense Plant Corporation.  The distinctive saw tooth monitors on the roof of the original building are still visible.  Photo taken 3 Jun 2007.

Plancor 1504, Texas

This plant, also in Garland, Texas, produced tank engines during W.W.II.  The Defense Corporation Plant was operated by Continental Motors Corporation.  Photo taken 3 Jun 2007.

Taylor NG Armory, Texas

This armory building was constructed in 1964, on land leased by the Texas National Guard Armory Board in 1949.  According to the DoD 2005 BRAC submission, the State of Texas plans to close this armory.  Visited 11 Sep 2005.

Terrell NG Armory, Texas

This armory building was built in 1959.  According to the DoD 2005 BRAC submission, the State of Texas plans to close this armory.  Visited 30 May 2005.

Terrell NG Organizational Maintenance Shop, Texas

Built in 1951, this organizational maintenance shop (OMS No. 31) is also on the list of National Guard properties the State of Texas plans to close.  Visited 30 May 2005.

Vernon NG Armory, Texas

This armory building was acquired for National Guard use in 1954, and disposed of in 1995.  Visited 23 July 2005.


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