On my way out I stopped to make a few last pictures.
A few years back I made my first Cold War Project related trip up to Maine to photograph the former Loring Air Force Base and some other sites in the area. On my trip, there were a few areas of the base that I couldn’t get access to and others that I was only given a very short time in. So I had always promised myself that at some point I would go back. Late last year I did just that. And thanks to some great folks at the Fish and Wildlife Service, I was able to get access to those areas.
This will be the first of a few posts from Loring. So, let’s start with the conventional weapons storage area. Loring was a major nuclear weapons base, but it also housed a great deal of conventional bombs. A large portion of those bunkers have been bulldozed since the base closed, but there is one area that’s still intact.
In northern Maine is the former Presque Isle Air Force Base. Originally a fighter interceptor base, it eventually became the only base to house Snark Missiles, an early intercontinental cruise missile. The missiles never really worked that well and after only 4 months the unit that operated them was inactivated and the base was closed shortly after that. Today the base is used a municipal airport and is home to a community college and industrial park. Most of the original buildings are long gone. Though the old Snark hangers are mostly still there in various states of use and a few of the original fighter hangers remain as well.
The nuclear weapons storage area at Brunswick is the smallest one that I’ve come across. It sits atop a small hill with the surrounding woods clear cut to provide a clear line of sight for the Marine’s who once guarded the weapons.
Okay, back to the business of posting pictures. Towards the end of 2013 I did a lot of traveling to work on The Cold War Project. Thanks to some unexpected and pleasant surprises when it came to getting access to sites that I’d had my eye on for a while. It was an incredibly productive time that I’m just now starting to get scanned in.
So, let’s start with the former Brunswick Naval Air Station in Maine. This is the most freshly closed base that I’ve visited, having closed in 2011. During the Cold War the base was mostly home to submarine hunting aircraft and was housed a small nuclear weapons depot.
Here’s the last bit from my Cold War adventure to Loring Air Force Base. These photos are from some of the surrounding installations around the base that were radar or missile sites.