Project Emily

Moving the Missiles

The Thor missiles were airlifted from the US in a USAF C-124 Globemaster to the closest airhead for each Wing HQ.
To prevent damage to the missile's fuel tanks, the transport aircraft had to slow down its rate of descent.



This is the first Thor destined for RAF Feltwell being unloaded at RAF Lakenheath on the 28th August 1958

The missiles were then delivered to the emplacements on public roads.



The trailer unit is a US vehicle painted RAF equipment yellow.......the road sign indicates Harrington



Two famous images of Thor missiles en-route to RAF Harrington (top image) and RAF North Luffenham (bottom image)
 



The unusual fitting seen in images of a Thor in transit is a gyro heater pack
The hot air blower was powered by a small petrol engine.......click the image or this link for a larger version (opens in a new window)


The nuclear warheads were all flown and stored in a single location before being distributed to the missile sites.
They were transported in great secrecy with an armed escort and an accompanying fire tender.



A posed photograph of a nuclear warhead 'convoy'
Image courtesy of Jim Wilson's 'Launch Pad UK'