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News > Feature - AMC Museum receives historic missile
ICBM delivered to AMC museum.
A Minuteman Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) is delivered to the Air Mobility Command museum at Dover Air Force Base, Del. on Jan. 23rd, 2013. The inert ICBM has been moved here from its previous display location to help showcase one of the famous missions flown by the C-5A Galaxy. During this famous mission conducted on Oct. 24, 1974, C-5A serial #69-0014 air-dropped an ICMB missile at altitude which successfully fired after stabilizing during a feasibility test program. The ICBM will be restored and displayed next to C-5A 69-0014 in the near future. The museum is scheduled to receive C-5A 69-0014 in March 2013. (U.S. Air Force photo/Greg L. Davis)
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 Air Mobility Command Museum
AMC Museum receives historic missile

Posted 1/28/2013   Updated 1/28/2013 Email story   Print story


by Airman 1st Class Kathryn Stilwell
436th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

1/28/2013 - DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del.  -- It was a bitter cold and blustery afternoon as museum volunteers, patrons and staff eagerly awaited the arrival of their newest piece -- a LGM-30 Minuteman missile. They peeked from the warmth of the Air Mobility Command museum until one called out, "it's here!" and they all filed out to lay eyes on the rocket as it approached on the back of a flat-bed tractor trailer.

The AMC museum received the missile Jan. 23, 2013 following its two-day journey from the airport at Cochran, Ga. Employees of Worldwide Aircraft Recovery, Ltd., accepted the task to transport the missile regardless of the interest they received from those they passed along the way.

"It really drew a lot of attention on back roads and going through these small towns. People were locking up the brakes like 'what in the heck was that?' So, it was pretty entertaining as far as that goes," said Marty Batura, who has spent 16 years transporting and reassembling aircraft.

The missile was part of a series of tests in 1974 where a C-5A Galaxy, that was assigned to Dover Air Force Base, Del., at the time, went out to Calif. for an Air Mobile Feasibility Demonstration.

"It was one more way we could make the Soviets pay attention. They weren't able to keep track of where the airplanes were when we were flying and it was one more thing -- just like the submarines, the land base missiles, and the bomber force -- so if they had something else yet to contend with, it would keep them off balance," said Mike Leister, director of the AMC Museum.

"During the testing they dropped a number of dead missiles -- just out the back -- to see if the weight would come out and all that, but [the LGM-30 Minuteman missile] was the only live fire," said Leister "What happened is they extracted it out from the airplane with a huge parachute. They extracted out the back and it hung underneath the parachute. As soon as it had stabilized to the point it wasn't swinging back and forth, the motor fired, and because it was only set up to do a short burn, to see that it could do it, it climbed 12,000 feet, the fuel ran out and then the thing fell back in the ocean, but that is exactly what it was planned to do. Once they had done it once, we could tell the Russians, 'see we could do this too'."

The land-based intercontinental ballistic missile will be displayed outside the museum and will hopefully be joined in March by the C-5A that dropped it from its cargo compartment in 1974.

"We're getting our C-5 for the museum and it happens to be the airplane that launched the ICBM in flight," said Leister. "So, in order to show people that we aren't talking about a Fourth of July firecracker, we've got this Minuteman missile next to the C-5. At the time they launched it midflight -- when it was full of fuel -- it weighed 86,000 pounds. That's a lot to kick out the back of an airplane while it's flying,"

Leister said the AMC Museum is the only place in the world that will have a C-5 in a museum for years.

"Even the national museum of the U.S. Air Force will not have a C-5 for years, so you'll have a one of a kind C-5 and we'll have the Minuteman missile to show the size of the payload they dropped in flight," said Leister.

For more information about the AMC Museum, visit or their social media page at

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