Details for Lawn Atlas ICBM Launch Facility (Atlas Number 5507016131)

Historical Marker — Atlas Number 5507016131


Marker Number 16131
Atlas Number 5507016131
Marker Title Lawn Atlas ICBM Launch Facility
Index Entry Lawn Atlas ICBM Launch Facility
Address 1990 FM 604
City Lawn
County Taylor
UTM Zone 14
UTM Easting 433665
UTM Northing 3556179
Subject Codes military topics
Marker Year 2008
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark Yes
Private Property No
Marker Location
Marker Condition
Marker Size 27" x 42" with post
Marker Text At the height of Cold War tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union, development of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) with nuclear warheads embodied military might. Convair's Atlas missile program, selected by the U.S. Air Force's Strategic Air Command in 1954, was deployed operationally from 1959 to 1965. Atlas was a one-and-a-half stage, liquid-fueled rocket capable of launching low-orbit payloads. Its inertial guidance system could carry its nuclear payload from the U.S. to nearly any target in the Soviet Union. It was the first operational ICBM in the U. S. arsenal. The Atlas F Launch site (Dyess S-6) near Lawn is one of the first subterranean ICM silos in the United States. Seventy-two Atlas F complexes were built in 1961 in groups of one dozen each near six military facilities. The Lawn site is one of twelve built near Dyess Air Force Base. Each complex included a 185-foot deep silo lined with walls of concrete, epoxy-based resin and steel rebar, built to withstand a nuclear blast. An underground tunnel connected the main missile silo to a launch control center and its five-man crew. Above ground, an entryway provided access, while support personnel and equipment were housed in two quonset huts. The 578th Strategic Missile Squadron based at Dyess operated the site from 1962 until the Atlas program ended in 1965. After decommissioning, the missiles were removed and all sites were demilitarized. At the time, most Texans were unaware of their state's role in a global military confrontation. Years later, they could be thankful and relieved that deterrence won the conflict. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 2008