Project Emily

A Thor Emplacement

The groundworks and civil engineering works were carried out by Sir Alfred McAlpine & Son Ltd.
Each emplacement involved the removal of 600,000 tons of earth, 480 deep piles to prevent settlement, 240,000 tons of concrete and 400,000 tons of infilling.
Tolerances were very small and the contractors had to deal with some very variable English weather.

A series of still images from a video showing the development of a Thor missile emplacement

Douglas Corporation engineers then installed the launch equipment onto the completed emplacement and set up the control trailers.

A large number of Douglas technicians lived in UK built, US style caravans at RAF Driffield.....which gained the American nickname

The image below gives the detailed layout of a completed Thor emplacement.
Note that a significant element of the emplacement equipment was trailer mounted.

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The Launch Control Area was set up on a hardstanding some 250m from the closest missile. The maximum distance was to be just under 500m.
The launch equipment was mounted in a trailer with an accompanying 'power switchboard' trailer.
There were also diesel generators and fuel bowsers.

A detailed description of the contents of a Launch Control Trailer
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The end result of a huge technical effort.........a completed emplacement with its Thor missile in the upright position.

One of the three Thor emplacements at RAF Driffield

An eerie night-time image of a floodlit Thor emplacement

An image of RAF Tuddenham showing the layout of the three Thor emplacements

A fine image of RAF Mepal.......courtesy of John Letton whose father, Mick Letton (an RAF pilot), took the photograph