Project Emily

Locating the Thor Missile Bases

The four Thor missile squadrons would be located in the United Kingdom on mostly ex-WW2 airfields and manned by RAF personnel with a small American military contingent.

The location of the Thor bases (a 'Wing' HQ with four satellite 'squadrons') was the subject of significant discussion with many modifications but was finally agreed with the first base (RAF Feltwell) to be operational by December 1958.



RAF Feltwell (Wing HQ) with four satellite squadrons
First missile at Wing HQ: 1st September 1958
Fully operational: 22nd July 1959




RAF Hemswell (Wing HQ) with four satellite squadrons
First missile at Wing HQ: 1st December 1958
Fully operational: 22nd July 1959




RAF Driffield (Wing HQ) with four satellite squadrons
First missile at Wing HQ: 1st August 1959
Fully operational: 1st August 1959




RAF North Luffenham (Wing HQ) with four satellite squadrons
First missile at Wing HQ: 1st December 1959
Fully operational: 1st December 1959


Each of the twenty locations would have three missile emplacements giving a total missile strength of sixty.

The four 'Wing HQs' had to be close to a suitable airfield that could act as an 'airhead' to facilitate the delivery of equipment.



The four airheads close to each of the four Wing HQs

The location of each base was such that there was a straight line maximum of 50km and a minimum  20 km distance between bases.
This was specified so that no single 1MT airburst weapon could take out more than a single base.
There was a compromise however, in the Driffield Wing where an accurately placed missile would take out the Wing HQ and two squadrons.