Spokane Spokes

Copyright 2011, Scott D. Murdock


For many years I've wanted to visit the Spokane, Washington area. We took two days to drive there from Denver, three days to explore the local area, and two days to drive back home. This was the first highway trip for my new Subaru Outback. In order to manage the local attractions in three days, I mapped out routes in different directions from our hub motel, creating spokes around Spokane.

Saturday, 11 Jun 2011

We made an early start from Denver, heading north across Wyoming into Montana.

Pompey Pillars Comms Site GWEN 872 MT (TLUZ) Also referred to as Billings on some Ground Wave Emergency Network (GWEN) site lists, this facility had the standard 299' tower. It was in use from the mid 1980s until it was declared excess on 27 Aug 1999.
(Tower)

(Tower)

(Tower base)

(Tower base)

(Equipment shelters)

(Equipment shelters)

Logan Field MT (9667) During W.W.II the Billings airport was improved under the Development of Landing Areas for National Defense (DLAND) program, though the field was not military. In about 1964 Air Defense Command (ADC) set up shop on the northeast part of the airport, and the alert mission continued until about 1974. Located at 45-48-35, 108-32-30.
(ADC fighter-interceptor alert hangars)

(ADC fighter-interceptor alert hangars)

(ADC maintenance hangar)

(ADC maintenance hangar)

(ADC maintenance hangar)

(ADC maintenance hangar, interior)

(ADC maintenance hangar, interior)

(ADC administration/readiness dormitory)

(ADC administration/readiness dormitory)

(ADC administration/readiness dormitory)

(Metal building)

(Metal building)

(General view of ADC munitions storage area)

(ADC munitions storage area entry control building)

(ADC munitions building)

(ADC munitions building)

(ADC munitions building)

(ADC munitions building)

(ADC munitions building)

(ADC munitions storage area entry control building)

(ADC munitions storage area entry control building)

(ADC munitions storage area entry control building)

(ADC munitions storage area entry control building)

(ADC munitions storage area entry control building)

(ADC bermed munitions storage magazines)

(ADC bermed munitions storage magazines)

(ADC bermed munitions storage magazines)

We stopped for the night in Billings, Montana, after covering 604 miles in 12 hours.

Sunday, 12 Jun 2011

We rolled out at 0600 and headed west, meeting a historian pal in Bozeman for breakfast. Then we continued west through Idaho into Washington.

Fairchild AF Msl Site #2 (567-2) WA (6947) This was one of nine Atlas E sites controlled by Fairchild AFB. Assigned 22 Sep 1960, disposed of 29 May 1967.
(General view)

Arriving at Airway Heights at dinnertime, we settled into our lodging for the next four nights. This was another 12-hour day, covering 571 miles.

Monday, 13 Jun 2011

Fairchild AF Msl Site #4 (567-4) WA (6990) Assigned 17 Dec 1959, declared excess 4 Jan 1965.
(Former security gate and newer building)

(Missile Bay)

(Modified air intake and exhaust structures and newer building)

(Horizontal missile door)

(Topside features)

(Topside features)

(Topside features)

(Topside features)

(Topside features)

(Exhaust pit cover)

(Gate)

Larson AFB WA (2138) Since I was in the neighborhood, I revisited this base for a few new photos (I was here a couple years ago on the OREWASH trip). Larson AFB was home to an ADC fighter-interceptor mission, a Strategic Air Command (SAC) aircraft alert mission, a SAC Titan I missile squadron, and an ADC Semi-Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE) direction center. Located at 47-12-15, 119-18-50.
(Elevated water storage tank)

(SAGE Direction Center DC-15)

(SAGE Direction Center DC-15)

(Double-cantilever hangar)

(Double-cantilever hangar)

(W.W.II building)

(W.W.II building)

(Engine test structure)

(Fire station)

(Water storage tank and water system building)

(ADC fighter-interceptor alert hangar)

(ADC fighter-interceptor alert hangar)

(ADC fighter-interceptor alert hangar)

(ADC fighter-interceptor alert hangar)
(SAC "molehole" 70-man alert facility)

(SAC "molehole" 70-man alert facility)

(SAC maintenance dock)

(Building)

(Dormitory)

(Dormitory)

AF Plant #53 WA (4609) This plant was operated in the 1950s and 1960s by Boeing, and engines for the BOMARC missile were tested here. Located adjacent to Larson AFB at 47-11-39, 119-18-04.
(General view)

(General view)

Fairchild AF Msl Site #5 (567-5) WA (6991) Assigned 10 Feb 1960, disposed of 30 Nov 1970.
(Outer gate)

(Security gate)

(General view)

(General view)

(General view)
(Missile bay)

(Missile bay)

(Topside features)

(Topside features)

(Topside features)

(Topside features)

(Topside features)

(Topside features)

(Unknown hatch 1)

(Unknown hatch 1)

(Unknown hatch 2)

(Unknown hatch 2)

(Horizontal missile door)

(Exhaust pit cover)

Fairchild AF Msl Site #6 (567-6) WA (6948) Assigned 18 May 1960, disposed of 30 Nov 1970.
(General view)

Fairchild RR Anx #2 WA (7102) Assigned 1960, declared excess 4 Jan 1965. Located at 47-34-09, 117-53-20.
(Distant view)

(General view)

(General view)

(General view)

(General view)

(General view)

(Antenna shaft)

(Antenna shaft)

(Antenna shaft)

(Sign)

Tuesday, 14 Jun 2011

Nike F-87L WA The launcher site was operational from 1958 to 1966.
(Gate)

(General view)

(General view)

(Water storage tank and water system building)

(Building)

(Building)

(Building)

(Building)

(Sign)

Nike F-87C WA The control site was operational from 1958 to 1966.
(General view)

(General view)

(Building)

(Building)

Fairchild AF Msl Site #9 (567-9) WA (6992) Assigned 31 Jan 1960, declared excess 4 Jan 1965.
(General view)

Fairchild RR Anx #1 WA (7211) Assigned 30 Aug 1960, declared excess 4 Jan 1965. Located at 47-42-41, 117-51-33.
(General view)

(General view)

(General view)

(General view)

(General view)

(Entryway)

(Entryway)

(Air vents and entryway)

(Antenna shaft)

(Antenna shaft)

Fairchild AF Msl Site #8 (567-8) WA (7260) Assigned 7 Oct 1960, disposed of 30 Nov 1970.
(General view)

(General view)
(General view)

(General view)
(Tile field)

(Tile field)

(Tile field)

(Missile bay)

(Missile bay)

(Missile bay)
(Exhaust pit cover)

(Topside features)

(Quonset Warehouse)

(Quonset Warehouse)

(Quonset Warehouse)

(Spray pond)

Fairchild RR Anx #8 WA (7214) Assigned 24 Aug 1960, declared excess 4 Jan 1965. I viewed this one from a distance and confirmed the entryway and antenna shaft. Located at 47-44-37, 118-31-46.
(View from gate)

(General view)

(General view)

Fairchild AF Msl Site #7 (567-7) WA (7103) Assigned 3 May 1960, disposed of 30 Nov 1970.
(General view)

Fairchild TVOR Anx WA (5811, GKAT) Activated 18 May 1958, used until some time after 1975. Located at 47-38-47, 117-32-54. In the photo it was about halfway to the trees, just right of center.
(General view)

Fairchild AF Msl Site #3 (567-3) ID (6989) Assigned 26 Jan 1960, declared excess 4 Jan 1965.
(General view)

Wednesday, 15 Jun 2011

Marshall Comms Site GWEN 845 WA (PHTX) Also called Spokane on GWEN site lists. This site, with the standard 299' tower, was leased in 1985, purchased in 1990, and disposed of 20 Dec 1999.
(General view)

(General view)

(Top of tower)

(Tower base)

(Equipment shelters)

Geiger Field WA (1518, VZBT) This was a W.W.II field under 2AF then 4AF. It was briefly assigned to SAC after the war, then to Air Training Command. It was assigned to ADC in 1952 and redesignated Spokane International Airport 5 May 1960. It transferred from ADC to SAC on 1 Jul 1963 and was assigned to SAC for several years although use was by the ANG; final ANG use was in 1976. Located at 47-37-15, 117-31-55.
(ADC fighter-interceptor hangar)

(W.W.II hangar)

Spokane Ammo Storage Annex #2 WA (3169) Assigned to Fairchild AFB 23 Feb 1956, transferred from SAC to ADC 1 feb 1958. This is a typical ADC-design munitions storage area. Located at 47-37-59, 117-30-25.
(Gate)

(General view)

(General view)

(Building)

(Building)

(Multicubicle storage magazine)

(Multicubicle storage magazine)

(Multicubicle storage magazine)

(Multicubicle storage magazine)

(Multicubicle storage magazine)

Nike F-45L WA The launcher site was operational 1957-1966.
(Gate)

(General view)

(General view)

(Buildings)
(Buildings)
(Building and sign)

(Building and sign)

(Sign)

(Building)

(Building)

(Building)

(Building)

(Building)

(Building)

(Launcher area)

(Launcher area)

(Launcher area)

Nike F-45C WA The control site was operational 1957-1966.
(General view)

(General view)

(Radar tower)

(Building)

(Building)

Fairchild AFB WA (2567, GJKZ) Still an active base, so no photos. (Yes, I did visit the BX!)

Fairchild AF Msl Site #1 (567-1) WA (6946) Assigned 15 Apr 1960, declared excess 4 Jan 1965.
(View from gate)

Camp Seven Mile / Seven Mile AF Range WA (3170, GKAL) Originally a 1930s Civilian Conservation Corps camp, this was used as a gunnery range under Geiger Field and Spokane AAFld during W.W.II. It was known as Camp Seven Mile or Seven Mile Gunnery Range. One W.W.II directory listed it as an auxiliary field under Ephrata AAFld. In the 1990s it was redesignated Fairchild Helicopter Training Annex. Located at 47-44-00, 117-31-45.
(View from gate)

(Sign listing CCC camp)

George Wright AFB WA (2566, HVGA) Fort George Wright was used by various AAF commands during and after W.W.II. On 1 Jan 1949 it was redesignated George Wright AFB. Most of the fort was disposed of in 1961, and the part retained was redesignated Fairchild Cemetery Annex. Located at 47-40-35, 117-28-10.
(Parade ground)

(House)

(House)

(Building)

(Building)

Thursday and Friday, 16-17 June 2011

These were driving days (556 miles Thursday and 574 miles Friday) with no military history stops. This seven-day trip totaled 2,995 miles, and the Outback averaged 26.7mpg.

 


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