On this page we will keep a running list of primary (and limited secondary) historical documents. In general, these documents will pertain to the Cold War with a heavy emphasis on documents that pertain to the Minuteman missile system.
If you are aware of an important primary document that isn’t on this list, please let us know about it and we’ll include it.
Thanks! Dig in!
Boeing. T.O. 21M-LGM30G-1-13, Technical Manual , Operation Instructions, Minuteman Weapon System (VAFB, Wing VI, Wing I Sq 4) USAF Series LGM30G Missile, 9 June 1995. Section 1. Published Under Authority of the Secretary of the Air Force, 1995. [20.3MB, PDF]
“This manual contains information for the safe and efficient operation of the Minuteman weapon system. It provides general information on the system and specific weapon system operating procedures, both normal and emergency.” This section, Section 1, provides a description of the weapon system equipment at the Launch Facility and Launch Control Facility (including the Launch Control Center and Launch Control Equipment building).
Boeing. T.O. 21M-LGM30F-1-22, Technical Manual, Operation Instructions, Communication and Ancillary Equipment, USAF ICBM Systems, 21 Nov 1995, Section 1. Published Under Authority of the Secretary of the Air Force, 1995. [30.9MB, PDF]
“This manual contains information necessary for the safe and efficient operation of the Emergency War Order (EWO) communication systems. It provides general information on the system and specific operating procedures, both normal and emergency.” – Excerpt
Branch, Christopher I, Col. Fighting a Long Nuclear War A Strategy, Force, Policy Mismatch. Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, DC: National Defense University Press, 1984. [3.2MB, PDF]
“. . . argues that disturbing distances have opened between US nuclear strategy and the forces and policies which back that strategy. He develops a framework for examining the complexities of nuclear warfighting, then examines weapons, support systems, command and control, and employment plans. Calling for policymakers to do more than just tout the virtues of a “flexible” strategy, Colonel Branch advises that costly new forces and greatly restructured plans may be needed. At stake, he cautions, may be the credibility of deterrence itself.” – Foreward
Carolus, Duane E. A Study of the Attitudes of Married Minuteman Crewmembers and their Wives Concerning Female Minuteman Crewmembers. Air Force Institute of Technology, Air University, 1978. [3.10MB, PDF]
“Frequency analysis, Correlation analysis, and Linear Regression analysis techniques were used to determine various statistical relationships. Data was supplied by married crewmembers of the 44th Strategic Missile Wing at Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota and their wives. The analysis showed that crewmembers and their wives thought females should be allowed to be on Minuteman crews. The wives indicated an overwhelming preference for an all-female crew as opposed to a male-female crew. The crewmembers were about evenly split as to type of crew pairing. The author recommended using an all-female crew pairing plan when females are initially assigned to Minuteman Combat Crews.” – Abstract
Ebbs, Raymond E. SAC Needs a Few Good Men and Women: A Guide to ICBM Operations Duty. Maxwell AFB, AL: Air Command and Staff College, Air University, 1988. [3.82MB, PDF]
“This handbook provides information on the Missile Operations career field for prospective ICBM launch officers. The handbook contains information on why prospective missileers might want to enter the career field, what missile duty is, career progression, follow-on assignments, initial entry requirements, training, and evaluations. It provides a brief introduction to each of the six operational ICBM bases, including information on location, activities/attractions, and the climate. The handbook contains a chapter on the evolution of today’s ICBMs, current missile forces, and proposed ICBM weapon systems.” – Abstract
General Curtis Lemay to Chief of Staff United States Air Force. SAC Position on Missiles. November 26, 1955. [135KB, PDF]
Letter from General Curtis Lemay explaining the Strategic Air Command’s position on missile development in 1955. At the time, Lemay still strongly favored the development and enhancement of the manned bomber force and saw missiles only as a complement to that force.
Headquarters Strategic Air Command. History of Headquarters Strategic Air Command 1961: SAC Historical Study No. 89. Offutt AFB, NE: Headquarters Strategic Air Command, 1961. [4.83MB, PDF]
“This history records the activities of Strategic Air Command for the year 1961. Particular emphasis has been given to mission development, command control communications, ground and air alert operations, training programs, development of missile combat capability, efforts to extend the service life of current aircraft and to secure advanced models, intelligence activities, and personnel actions to maintain the professional force.” – Foreward
Hendrix, William H. Minuteman Personnel Selection Study. Hanscom Field, Bedford MA: Technical Requirements and Standards Office HQ Electronic Systems Division (AFSC), 1972.
“This study was intended as a pilot study to establish the feasibility of a Minuteman Missile Combat Crew selection program. The objectives of the study were: a. To establish a criterion of job success. b. To identify variables which are characteristic of the successful Minuteman Missile Combat Crew Member, and their degree of importance. c. To recommend a course of action for establishing a procedure for identifying potentially successful Minuteman Missile Combat Crew Member from the total officer resource pool.” – Excerpt
ICBM Prime Team, TRW Systems. Minuteman Weapon System History and Description. Hill AFB, UT: Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) System Program Office (SPO), 2001. [2.28MB, PDF]
“This reference document provides general familiarization with the Minuteman Weapon System and its history. It discusses the various configurations of Minuteman facilities and the airborne vehicle equipment. It is intended to supplement the program tabulations in the ICBM Master Plan and aid the reader to visualize the effect of the programs on the system hardware.” – Excerpt
Kluter, Robert A., William C. Wilkinson, and Herbert L. Meiselman. Food Service System Opinions, Food Preferences, and Foil Pack Food Ratings of Air Force Launch Control Facility Consumers. Natick, Massachusetts: US Army Natick Research and Development Command, Food Sciences Laboratory, 1979. [3.79MB, PDF]
“Survey objectives were: to update and supplement earlier consumer data, confirm or refute existing anecdotes about the Missile Feeding System, provide food preference information for menu planning, and measure acceptance of foil pack foods at mealtimes. Eight hundred Air Force Launch Control Facility consumers were surveyed at three Strategic Air Command Bases, using a combined consumer opinion/food preference questionnaire specifically developed for this System. Responses to the consumer opinion part of the survey revealed poor System performance with respect to quality of foil pack foods; perceived lack of variety and portion size, particularly of short-order foods; and a high incidence of consumers taking their own food to duty with them, an indication that they rejected System-provided food. Food itself and the Site cook were considered very important to wellbeing and morale. Preference ratings for traditionally high-preference foods were higher than obtained in other recent surveys of Air Force personnel. Acceptance levels of foil pack foods as served at mealtimes was low.” – Abstract
Lonnquest, John C. and David F. Winkler. To Defend and Deter: The Legacy of the United States Cold War Missile Program. Rock Island, IL: Defense Publishing Service, 1996. [67.5MB, PDF]
“. . . this report contains a history of the U.S. Cold War missile program, technical profiles of the weapons systems, and state-by-state listings of sites related to the missile program.” – Defense Technical Information Center, Abstract
McDaniel, William Thomas. Minuteman Combat Crew Integrity: Its Effect on Job Satisfaction and Job Performance. Wright Patterson AFB, OH: Air Force Institute of Technology, 1972. [3.77MB, PDF]
“The Strategic Air Command’s policy of maintaining integral missile crews was evaluated. The specific purpose of the research was to determine the impact of this policy on job satisfaction and job performance in the Minuteman combat crew environment. Research data was collected via job attitude questionnaires, a crew performance records review and missile management interviews. Data analysis primarily involved the application of various statistical techniques. The authors concluded that the policy of crew integrity was a source of job dissatisfaction and had no significant effect on job performance. Further, it was recommended that the current policy be modified.” – Abstract
Medalia, Jonathan E. Assessing the Options for Preserving ICBM Survivability. Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, September 28, 1981. [2.9MB, PDF]
“The decision on how to redress the perceived vulnerability of U.S. intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMS) is the most controversial strategic nuclear weapon decision now facing the 97th Congress. A full-scale debate on this issue, especially as regards MX missile basing, seems certain. To assist Members of Congress in the debate, this paper discusses nine proposals for treating ICBM survivability: Recognize that ICBMs are invulnerable, rely only on bombers and submarines for deterrence, deploy a large or scaled-down shellgame multiple shelter system, defend MX with antiballistic missiles, launch ICBMs on warning of attack, deploy MX on aircraft or small submarines, and diversify strategic forces, perhaps using small ICBMs.” – Abstract
Nalty, Bernard C. USAF Ballistic Missile Programs 1962-1964. NP: USAF Historical Division Liaison Office, 1966 [7.4MB, PDF]
“. . . covers a period in which Minuteman emerged as the principal Air Force contribution to the nation’s strategic missile force and the older, obsolescent missiles were scheduled for early retirement. This history carries forward the story narrated in three previous histories prepared by the USAF Historical Division Liaison Office . . . deals with the planning for the retirement of the earlier missile systems, the emergence of Minuteman as the mainstay of the force, its planned modernization, and the planned acquisition of an improved Minuteman.” – Excerpt
Nalty, Bernard C. USAF Ballistic Missile Programs 1964-1966. NP: USAF Historical Division Liaison Office, 1967. [4.95MB, PDF]
“. . . the fifth in a series of histories in which the USAF Historical Division Liaison Office has sketched the planning, policies, and evolution of USAF ballistic missile development and deployment programs. . . . deals with the retirement of the Atlas and Titan I, describes USAF efforts to modernize and improve Minuteman, and discusses national strategy as reflected in the size and composition of the intercontinental ballistic missile force.” – Excerpt
Nalty, Bernard C. USAF Ballistic Missile Programs 1967-1968. NP: Office of Air Force History, 1969. [7.23MB, PDF]
“. . . the sixth in a series of histories outlining the planning, formulation of policies, and technical innovations that have made possible the evolution of the Air Force ballistic missile program. . . . Among topics the author covers in this narrative are Air Force efforts to reduce missile system vulnerability, the reentry system and penetration aid programs, and advanced missile developments.” – Excerpt
Neufeld, Jacob. USAF Ballistic Missile Programs 1969-1970. NP: Office of Air Force History, 1971. [5.41MB, PDF]
Similar to previous editions of this series. Includes chapters on “The Operational Fleet,” “Missile Testing,” “Operational Fleet Improvements,” and “R&D and the Future”. This was the last edition of the “USAF Ballistic Missile Programs” series.
Rosenberg, Max. USAF Ballistic Missiles 1958-1959. NP: USAF Historical Division Liaison Office, 1960. [3.4MB, PDF]
“Although the major focus of the study is the period from 1 July 1958 to 30 June 1959, it was considered desirable to include an account of the evolution of the ballistic missile programs since 1945. Primary concern is with the top-level plans, policies, and programs. . .” – Excerpt
Security Resources Panel of the Science Advisory Committee. Deterrence and Survival in the Nuclear Age – The Gaither Report. Washington DC, 1957. [1.24MB, PDF]
This investigation and report followed the Soviet’s ground-shaking launch of Sputnik. “The Security Resources Panel was asked to study and form a broad-brush opinion of the relative value of various active and passive measures to protect the civil population in case of nuclear attack and its aftermath, taking into account probable new weapon systems; and to suggest which of the various active and passive measure are likely to be most effective, in relation to their costs. While fulfilling its assignment, the Panel was also asked to study the deterrent value of our retaliatory forces, and the economic and political consequences of any significant shift of emphasis or direction in defense programs.’ – Excerpt
Shiman, Philip. Forging The Sword: Defense Production in the Cold War. NP: Department of Defense Legacy Program, Cold War Project, 1997. [1.79MB, PDF]
“Dr. Shiman has written an engaging and informative account of the challenges the military and industry faced to produce the myriad of weapons and products DOD needed during the Cold War.” – Excerpt
A Study of Females on Minuteman/Peacekeeper Crews. Offut AFB, NE: Headquarters, Strategic Air Command, 1985. [9.01MB, PDF]
Findings of “in-depth study of the possible introduction of females on gender-specific (all-female/all-male) Minuteman/Peacekeeper crews. The study concentrated on impacts on mission effectiveness, cost, equal opportunity in career progression, scheduling, and morale.” – Excerpt
Scouras, James. US Strategic Forces Under the Prospective Start Treaty. Santa Monica, CA: RAND, 1991. [2.5MB, PDF]
“. . .examines strategic force tradeoffs imposed on the United States by the prospective START Treaty based on the status of the negotiations as of January 1990, develops and evaluates alternative strategic force structures for the United States that are consistent with either the U.S. or the Soviet START negotiating positions, and concludes with observations and recommendations on both the U.S. START negotiating position and U.S. strategic forces programs.” – Excerpt
Storm, William F. and Stephen F. Gray. Minuteman Missile Crew Fatigue and 24-Hour Alerts. Brooks AFB, TX: USAF School of Aerospace Medicine, Aerospace Medical Division, 1978. [685KB, PDF]
“A battery of psychobiological measures was used to evaluate the degree of fatigue experienced by missile crews performing 24-hour continuous duty alert tours at Minuteman launch control centers. Operationally significant findings relative to the duty schedule occurred for subjective fatigue scores, hours slept per day, urinary outputs of 17-OHCS, sodium, and potassium. The moderate postalert fatigue and physiologic cost present at the end of the 24-hour alerts were ameliorated by one night of undisturbed sleep. Values indicative of severe fatigue or stress were never attained for any of the measures. A buildup of cumulative fatigue over several alerts could be avoided by scheduling a minimum of two consecutive nights sleep at home between alerts. The impact of the duty schedule on contingency and emergency situations was also considered.” – Abstract
Strategic Air Command. Alert Operations and the Strategic Air Command 1957-1991. Offut AFB, NE: Office of the Historian, Headquarters Strategic Air Command, 1991. [10.8MB, PDF]
A history of the Strategic Air Command and its nuclear alert operations from 1957 through 1991 (when SAC stood down). Written, published, and distributed by Strategic Air Command.
Strategic Air Command. SAC Missile Chronology 1939-1988. Offut AFB, NE: Office of the Historian, Headquarters Strategic Air Command, 1990. [17.8MB, PDF]
Stretching from 1 July, 1938 through 31 December, 1988 this is a 109-page, thorough chronology of missile development and deployment within Strategic Air Command. Prepared for the “1990, SAC’s Year of Reviewing Fundamentals.”
Winkler, David F. Training to Fight: Training and Education During the Cold War. NP: Department of Defense Legacy Program, Cold War Project, 1997. [24.2MB, PDF]
” . . . Winkler addressed the challenges of military training and education in an era of rapid technological advances, geopolitical instability, and social change.” – Excerpt
Woolf, Amy F. and Mary Beth Nikitin and Paul K. Kerr. Arms Control and Nonproliferation – A Catalog of Treaties and Agreements. Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, Feb 10, 2009. [1.4MB, PDF]
This Congressional Research Service report (for members of Congress and their committees) provides a history of arms control treaties from the early SALT treaties through 2009.