Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 10-31-2017


To counter the Soviet Union’s Cold War nuclear threat, the United States government enhanced its offensive nuclear capability in the 1950s by creating intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) capable of reaching the Soviet Union. The first American ICBM was the Atlas missile. Southwest Oklahoma near Altus Air Force Base (AFB) played a crucial role in the nation’s nuclear arsenal from 1960 through 1965 by building several missile launch sites that housed Atlas F missiles. The state was rewarded with jobs, massive amounts of federal dollars spent here, and the satisfaction of deterring Soviet aggression while defending the nation against possible attack.

Publication Title

The Chronicles of Oklahoma


Volume XCV


Number Three

First Page


Last Page



The Missiles of Oklahoma: Southwest Oklahoma's Role in the American Cold War Nuclear Arsenal, 1960-65 was first published in the Fall 2017 issue of The Chronicles of Oklahoma.



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