Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana

Day 669

     Master Sergeant Rob Turnbow explained to us the current workings of Malmstrom Air Force Base, just outside the city of Great Falls, Montana.  We learned that Malmstrom AFB is one of three US Air Force Bases that maintains and operates the Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile.      Airfield operations began on  November 30, 1942 when the first B-17 Flying Fortress landed at the newly constructed base. Originally named Great Falls Army Air Base, later Great Falls Air Force Base, the facility was renamed Malmstrom Air Force Base on October 1, 1955 in honor of Colonel Einar Axel Malmstrom.

     Colonel Einar Axel Malmstrom was born July 14, 1907 in Chicago, Illinois. (Who names their son Einar? No wonder he spent his life in the Armed Forces.) He enlisted in the Washington State National Guard on May 12, 1929 as a Private and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant on May 25, 1931. He served a distinguishing carrier as a fighter pilot, including vice wing commander of this base, attaining the rank of Colonel. He died while flying a jet airplane that crash on August 24, 1954.

     Ok, who knows what this is:

     The missileer went to the bathroom, and I took this photograph. Don’t tell anyone, it’s top secret. 

     How, you may ask, do they get the minuteman missile into the silo? They use a Transporter/Erector.      The missile is loaded into the Transporter, like a torpedo, it then positions itself over the silo and erects upright. The missile is lowered by a waiting elevator. Today, a state of the art diesel powered unit is used. 

2 thoughts on “Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana

  1. One of the three bases where the Minuteman is located is Minot, ND. Jim was involved in the construction of 150 silos and 10 control centers, that is how we met. I was in a silo during construction and the control center. We just met the mother of an Air Force officer stationed at Malstrom when on a recent cruise. Jim’s speciality was valudating the silo and the concrete door covering the silo to the government when completed.

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