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RememberSchiff

Civil Defense - Cuban Missiles, North Korean Missiles

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Back in 1962, a third world dictator had missiles with nuclear warheads capable of reaching 48 of our 50 states.

We hurried home from school to watch live the President's afternoon press conferences.  President Kennedy explained the threat with the latest reconnaissance photos of Cuban missile sites and Russian freighters and target maps. Target maps! Our parents would hear the news second-hand later on the Evening news.

The target maps were scary. Norfolk-Washington-Philadephia-NewYork City were thought prime targets of Castro's intermediate range ballistic missiles. But were they Castro's missiles?

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My Cub Scout Pack distributed Civil Defense posters about warning sirens and public shelter locations. Older Scouts help post a new sign for shelters.

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220px-United_States_Fallout_Shelter_Sign

I cannot recall a more serious community service as a scout.

Deja vu all over again?  This is not going to go the way (we) think?

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I remember taking a scout field trip to a Nike missile base outside of Chicago. Very cool. Today's kids think Nike is just a gym shoe.

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Lived in Norfolk, VA as a young tyke.  All the neighbors were building bomb shelters in their back yards.  My Dad, a Navy Chief submariner, said it wasn't necessary...we were so close to the base, we would all be vaporized, shelter or not.  Thank God the Russians blinked first.

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Posted (edited)

At one time North Dakota was the third most powerful nuclear power in the world.  With Nike silos every 10-20 miles and 2 B-52 bases, it was NOT the place to live.

Edited by Stosh

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While I did not grow up in that era, I remember seeing the fallout shelter everyday from 8-12th grades as my high school was a shelter.

One of my assignments in grad school was conducting an oral history. I interviewed my father-in-law. He talked about some of the things he did as a kid. So glad he hasn't shared those stories with my hoodlums :)  But then it got all serious. He started talking about the Cuban Missile Crisis. He was in Miami at the time.

 

Regarding who owned the nukes, it was the Soviets, not Castro. It was in retaliation for us placing nukes in Turkey if memory serves. A lot of information was released with the fall of the Soviet Union, and especially to celebrate the 50th anniversary a few years back. Just wait until 2037 when most of the classified documents get declassified.

 

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3 hours ago, scoutldr said:

Lived in Norfolk, VA as a young tyke.  All the neighbors were building bomb shelters in their back yards.  My Dad, a Navy Chief submariner, said it wasn't necessary...we were so close to the base, we would all be vaporized, shelter or not.  Thank God the Russians blinked first.

We lived near the Philadelphia Naval Yard. I can't recall seeing a stocked fallout shelter near us. Maybe the government knew there would be no point.

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Posted (edited)

We had them in  the schools in the Midwest.  Would only hold about 50 people.  In a town of 5000, one's odds of getting there were slim to none.

Edited by Stosh

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I remember taking a Cub Scout trip to the Nike Missile Base outside Chicago too.  Had to be late 1950's

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52 minutes ago, eagle90 said:

I remember taking a Cub Scout trip to the Nike Missile Base outside Chicago too.  Had to be late 1950's

Did you get a little tin badge with the missile logo? 

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Posted (edited)

I have seen Nike missiles in two locations in New Jersey.  There was a base in South Plainfield NJ and you could see some missiles from Interstate 287.  I found an article on the Internet that says the base closed in 1971, but I was only 13 years old then, and I remember driving past missiles.  I am going to guess that there were still missiles (presumably non-operational) visible there until the 80s or maybe even early 90s.  The other place, and it is only one missile, and it is still there "on display", is on Sandy Hook. 

This article says there were 14 Nike bases in NJ, but from their locations is makes sense that I would have only seen the two I mentioned.

Added: Here is a photo of the missile on display at Sandy Hook, though that does not look like the area where I saw it.  Maybe there is more than one on display.  There is also an article there about the "ring" of missile bases surrounding New York City, of which all of the NJ bases were presumably a part.

Edited by NJCubScouter

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Posted (edited)

While thinking back to missile emplacements that are not there anymore, I also thought back to other things I have seen that are not there anymore - like the BSA Headquarters in New Brunswick NJ (actually North Brunswick, which for reasons probably lost in the mists of time, is SOUTH of New Brunswick, but anyway) which my troop toured in the early 70s.

As for Civil Defense shelters, there was one in the basement of my elementary school.

Edited by NJCubScouter

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The missiles in North Dakota were all underground in silos.  One would not know they were missiles unless someone pointed them out.  They were not marked with anything other than No Trespassing signs.  The command posts were nondescript buildings with no identification signs on them other than No Trespassing signs.  For the most part, only the locals knew they even existed.

The whole idea behind missiles is their locations need to be kept a secret.  One does not know how many missiles are sitting around the country in the back of semi-trailers off-base ready to be used in an emergency.

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An acquaintance collects old civil defense films.

They are sort of a nuclear age version of the BSHB.

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On 1/6/2018 at 1:14 PM, Stosh said:

  One does not know how many missiles are sitting around the country in the back of semi-trailers off-base ready to be used in an emergency.

While we don't know the numbers  per launch platform, it did come out in an with a former president the exact number of nukes the US has.

 

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