Omaha!

Copyright 2014, Scott D. Murdock


This trip combined family visits with historical research.  I passed through Omaha on my way out and back, and I stayed in the Omaha vicinity.  Living in Denver, I am used to hearing Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning give his now-famous "Omaha!" shout. 

Tuesday, 11 Nov 2014

This was my second day on the road, after spending the night in Grand Island.  I made a wide sweep to the north, east into Iowa, then south and back into Nebraska.

Cornhusker Army Ammunition Plant NE  (EMPY, Army 31135)  40-55-30, 098-29-40     This W.W.II bomb loading plant was operated by Quaker Oats Ordnance Corp.  The plant was reactivated for Korea, then Vietnam, and was inactivated for the final time in 1973.  It stayed on the Army's books for many years, into the 21st century.
(Buildings)
(Buildings)
(Buildings)
(Building)
(Building)
(Building)
(Building)
(Building and elevated water storage tank)
(Elevated water storage tank)
(Richmond magazines)
(Richmond magazines)
(Richmond magazine)
(Richmond magazine)
(Richmond magazine)
(Richmond magazine)
(Richmond magazine)
(Wastewater treatment plant)
(Wastewater treatment plant)
(Wastewater treatment plant)
(Wastewater treatment plant)
(Wastewater treatment plant)
(Wastewater treatment plant)

Offutt Communications Facility Annex (Survivable Low Frequency) NE (9654, SGDE)     This facility operated as an annex of Offutt AFB from 1965 until 1 June 1994, and is commonly referred to as Silver Creek.  A 1,240' tower mounted atop a bunker was the defining feature of this site and it's companion in Hawes, CA.  The Secure Low Frequency Communications System (SLFCS) was intended to operate during and after a nuclear attack.
(General view from gate)
(General view with power pole)
(General view)
(General view)
(General view with unidentified structure)
(Parking area at location of former support building)
(Parking area at location of former support building)
(Communications building)
(Communications building)
(Communications building)

Columbus National Guard Armory NE  41-25-16, 097-21-37     This former armory building has been nicely updated for civilian use but is still easily recognizable.
(Armory building)
(Armory building)

Offutt Missile Annex #2 NE (6681)     Originally known as Offutt Missile Annex B, this was an Atlas D site with three aboveground coffin launchers.  The property was assigned to Offutt AFB on 9 Apr 1959 and disposed of on 8 Sep 1969.
(Main gate)
(General view)
(General view)
(General view)
(General view)
(Second gate and building)
(Launch Operations Building)
(Building)
(Building)
(Building)
(Launch & Service Building)
(Launch & Service Building)
(Launch & Service Buildings)
(Segregated magazine and storage building)
(Power & pump house and water storage tank)
(Power & pump house and water storage tank)
(Power & pump house and water storage tank)
(Power & pump house and water storage tank)

Offutt Missile Annex #3 (549-C) IA (6682, SGFF)    Originally known as Offutt Missile Annex C, this was an Atlas D site with three aboveground coffin launchers.  The property was assigned to Offutt AFB on 9 Apr 1959.  A few months later, on 20 Jul 1959, it was changed from an off-base annex to a detached installation.  The missile site was activated approximately 29 Jun 1964, and disposed of in May 1968.
(General view)
(General view)
(View toward missile shelters)

Wednesday, 12 Nov 2014

This was a day of seeing the sights with my dad.  The route he picked took us by two of Lincoln AFB's Atlas F missile sites, so we checked on them.

Lincoln AF Missile Site #04 (551-4) NE (7016)     This was a short-lived Atlas F missile site.  Land was acquired starting in 1960, and by 1965 the site was declared excess.  It was disposed of in 1967. 
(Personnel entryway)
(Personnel entryway)
(Personnel entryway)
(Personnel entryway)
(Personnel entryway)
(Personnel entryway)
(Personnel entryway)
(Silo cap)
(Silo cap)
(Silo cap)
(Silo cap)
(Silo cap)
(Silo cap)
(Stainless steel fixtures on silo cap)
(Air shaft outside of relocated fence)
(Hard Ultra High Frequency (UHF) antenna outside of relocated fence)
(Hard UHF antenna)
(Hard UHF antenna)
(Historical marker)

Lincoln AF Missile Site #03 (551-3) NE (7095)    This was a short-lived Atlas F missile site.  The site was first used in 1961, and by 1965 the site was declared excess.  It was still listed as excess property in the 15 Sep 1967 USAF Installations Directory. 
(Gate across road)

Friday, 14 Nov 2014

This was my first day of the return journey, and I made an early start after checking out of lodging on Offutt AFB.  I focused my research efforts on the Nebraska Ordnance plant, finding remains of the plant as well as several military facilities that later existed on the property.

Nebraska Ordnance Plant NE  (RJNR)  41-10-05, 096-28-20     This was a W.W.II bomb loading plant operated by Nebraska Defense Corporation.  Reactivated for Korea, the plant was finally declared excess in 1960.  As described below, parts of the plant property were reused by the Army, Army Reserve, Air Force, and Nebraska National Guard.
(Building, bomb loading line #2)
(Building, bomb loading line #2)
(Building, bomb loading line #2)
(Building, bomb loading line #2)
(Building, bomb loading line #2)
(Building, bomb loading line #2)
(Building, bomb loading line #2)
(Building, bomb loading line #2)
(Elevated water storage tank, bomb loading line #2)
(Building, bomb loading line #3)
(Building, bomb loading line #4)
(Building, bomb loading line #4)
(Elevated water storage tank, bomb loading line #4)
(Water system building)
(Water system building)
(Elevated water storage tank, ammonium nitrate plant area)

Mead Weekend Training Site NE (Army 31895)  41-08-30, 96-25-00    This property is at the southeast portion of the former Nebraska Ordnance Plant, and was reassigned to the U.S. Army Reserve in 1960.  It was still listed as an active property in 2006, but appears to be disused now.  The roads I saw entering the agricultural property were unmarked; I was only able to find one sign almost hidden by the trees along a dirt road.
(General view)
(Sign)

Offutt Communications Annex #1 (GLOBECOM) NE  (3119)  41-09-41, 96-24-57     On the east edge of the former Nebraska Ordnance Plant, the property was first used by the the Air Force in the 1950s (references vary between 1951 and 1958).  This was a transmitter site in the global communications network.  It was declared excess and disposed of in 1964.
(Main building)
(Main building)
(Main building)
(Main building)
(Main building)
(Ancillary buildings)

Offutt Missile Annex #1 (549-A) NE (6708, SGFD, Army 31487)    Originally known as Offutt Missile Annex A, this was an Atlas D site with three aboveground coffin launchers. The land was part of the former Nebraska Ordnance Plant.  The property was assigned to Offutt AFB on 27 Jun 1959.  Acquisition was first by an interim use permit, then by letter transfer from the Army to the Air Force.  The Air Force declared the property excess in 1964, and in 1969 a portion was reassigned to the Army.  It was listed as an excess property in the 15 Dec 1975 USAF Installations Directory.  Eventually the Nebraska National Guard controlled the entire site.
(Gate)
(Missile shelter)
(Missile shelter)

Mead AFBMD Technical Area NE  41-10-35, 96-29-18     The Air Force Ballistic Missile Division used a small portion of the former Nebraska Ordnance Plan, Bomb Loading Line No. 1, from 26 Jul 1959 until 1964.  The Army allowed the USAF to use 34.09 acres first by interim permit, then on 31 Jul 1961 it was transferred by letter.
(General view)
(General view)
(General view)
(General view)

Mead Guided Missile Field Maintenance Shop NE     This 11.97 acre portion of the Heavy Equipment Repair Shop and Garage of the former Nebraska Ordnance Plant was used again by the Army from 1959 to 1966.  It served as a regional maintenance area for Nike missile units in the Lincoln and Offutt Defense Areas.
(General view)

Mead Nike Housing Area NE  41-12-31, 96-29-01    From about 1960 to 1965, the Army reused a small 4.98 acre portion of the former Nebraska Ordnance Plant for a Nike housing area. The property is currently occupied by private residences.
(General view from north)

Offutt Missile Annex #1 Administration Area NE  41-12-55, 96-29-35    Another example of the Army granting a use permit to the Air Force on 26 Jul 1959, this time for 241.59 acres encompassing the Administration Area of the former Nebraska Ordnance Plant.  The Air Force declared the property excess in 1964.
(Building)
(Building)
(Building)
(Building)
(Building)
(Building)
(Building)
(Building)
(Building)
(Chimney)

Mead Guided Missile Allied Support Facilities NE  41-12-50, 96-28-57     This land included small parcels with wells and a water tower, that supported the Guided Missile Field Maintenance Shop.  These parcels were actually part of the Offutt Missile Annex #1 Administrative Area, permitted to the Army from 1959 to 1966.
(Water system building)
(Water system building)
(Elevated water storage tank and water system building)

My initial plan was to spend the night in Kearney and return home the next day.  However, I made really good time in the morning so I pushed on to Denver.  The total trip put 1,809 miles on the Outback.


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