Whiteman Air Force Base, Oscar O-1 Minuteman Missile Alert Facility, Southeast corner of Twelfth & Vendenberg Avenues, Knob Noster, Johnson County, MO
Significance: During the Cold War years, the Nation's nuclear arsenal included 1,000 Minuteman missiles. The Oscar-01 Missile Alert Facility (MAF) at Whiteman Air Force Base (AFB) was an integral part of that system. Oscar-01 was in the 510th Strategic Missile Squadron (SMS) of the 351st Strategic Missile Wing (SMW), which encompassed 150 Minuteman missile silos. Oscar-01 was the only MAF in the Nation that was built within the confines of an air force base; other MAFs were constructed in rural areas surrounding bases. Oscar-01 was also the first MAF to schedule all-female, mixed-gender, and all-Black crews. In addition, Oscar-01, which was the designated Squadron Command Post (SCP) for the 510th Strategic Missile Squadron, is significant for its association with the Emergency Rocket Communications System (ERCS). As part of ERCS, ten Minuteman missiles of the 510th SMS carried Ultra-High Frequency (UHF) transmitters in their nose cones, in lieu of warheads. In the event of war, the President of the United States would direct missile combat crews to record emergency action messages on the ERCS system. Once launched, the missiles' ERCS messages would then be transmitted, over and over again, to SAC forces worldwide.
Survey number: HAER MO-87
Building/structure dates: 1946 Initial Construction