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2008 "KILLEEN BASE" REUNION - KILLEEN, TEXAS

On Fri.-Sun. Oct. 10-12, 2008 approximately 35 veterans of KB gathered in Killeen, TX to participate in the first ever reunion organized by the Killeen Conference and Visitors Center.  The weekend included Ft. Hood museum visits and lunch and a tour of the tunnel system at KB.

KB was a top secret Defense Atomic Support Agency (DASA) facility where atomic weapons were stored and maintained.  There were bunkers for storage and two extensive tunnel systems inside the mountain (or what passes for a mountain in TX). 

The tunnel system that we toured is currently used for live fire special-ops training but, when we were there, we spent endless hours patrolling a 7 mile perimeter base surrounded by 4 fences, one of which was electrified.

THOSE ATTENDING INCLUDED:  David Amos, Carl Antolini, *Bobby Bass, Paul Benfield, *Bob Branner, ? Bolstead, Bob Calhoun,*Mike Campos, *Lyle Christy, Russell Crane, Gary Custer, Paul Dicks, *James Elkins, John Geoghegan, *Roger Goehrke, Dale Holstead, Davis Johnson, Don LaMotte, ? Lloyd, Phil Machotka, John Mackey, Lex Mason, James Massengill, *Rich Mattson, ? Moore, Al Olson, Steve Richardson, Don Richters, Ken Ritchie, Bill Robertson, Lenwood Simpson, Jerry Sossaman, Paul Wagoner, Ed Woerz, Lee Williford, Lenn Woodruff.  NAMES IN GREEN were at the Oct. '07 Atlantic City ReunionSTARRED* Names - members of the 2nd Platoon in second picture.

KBBanquet    KB2ndPlat    KBRoger    KBMachotka    KBWoerz    KBAnne

PICTURES (L-R):  1) Reunion Banquet; 2) Members of the 2nd Platoon; 3) Roger Goehrke & I hung out in the 60's;  4)  Phil Machotka reminded me of the night he met "Lt." Melinkovich & "Sgt." Campos at the Killeen train station!!!;  5)  Ed Woerz & I;  6) Anne & I on her 2nd TX visit.

Touring the tunnels was an eye opening experience since most of us were not familiar with how extensive the facility was and the specific work that took place at KB.  THANKS TO MR TRUITT, UTF SITE MANAGER, FOR PROVIDING THE OPPORTUNITY TO RE-LIVE A LITTLE OF THE PAST.

KBGrpTunnEnt    KBTunnel    KBRoom    KBBombContain    KBPatch    KBWallArt

PICTURES (L-R):  1) KB Tunnel Entrance;  2) One of the access tunnels;  3) Maintenance room; 4) Storage/Transport container;  5) Me, Roger Goehrke, Ed Woerz w/Wall Art;  6) More Wall Art.

Even our "top Secret" clearances did not make us privy to everything that was going on at KB.

KB Vault Door    KB Plutonium Birdcage    KB Escape Sign    KB Pillbox    KB Hill    KB Florence TX

PICTURES (L-R):  1)  One of the vault doors leading to Plutonium storage & maintenance area;  2)  A "birdcage" used to hold a plutonium bomb core in storage.  The vaults held many of these cores and they were valued in millions in dollars.  Interestingly, if they were not "cleaned" on a regular schedule they could become unstable.  Bomb cores were stored in "birdcages" to keep them from touching - NOT A GOOD THING TO HAVE HAPPEN!!!;  3)  Self-explanatory and typical of the military;  4)  One of the many pillboxes (most in the ground) that were used in the forties.  We never had to man them.  5)  I think this is the KB hill taken from the TX Military Cemetery outside Killeen on Highway 195 (Phantom Warrior Hwy);  6)  The "very" little town of Florence, TX off Hwy 195.  It hasn't changed at all from 1960's when we went there to imbibe since Bell County was dry.

Check out these links about KB to learn a little more:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4mVEtx_U0U

http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/facility/killeen.htm

http://www.nukevets.info/Killeen Base.htm

http://www.hood.army.mil/history/1950/a_brief_history_of_killeen_base.htm

http://www.livemagazinetx.com/articles/sep2009/atomic.html 2009 article about KB

 

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