HGM 25 Titan I
The Titan I Intercontinental Ballistic Missle landed at California Polytechnic College in San Luis Obspo, California, close to 30 years ago. Since that time the relic had laid unceremoniously outside of the Aeronautical Engineering building, slowly being etched away by the salty mists from Morro Bay that visit nightly. It should be noted that in the article referenced above, the missle was mis-identified as a Titan II when it was actually a Titan I.
The Titan 1 program began in May of 1955 with the first successful launch three years later. The first launch of the Titan 1 from Vandenberg AFB was on 3 May, 1961 and the last Titan 1 launched from Vandenberg AFB was on 5 March, 1965. The Titan was the second Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) of the USAF's first multi-stage design and the largest ICBM ever deployed by the United States a principal deterrent during the Cold War. The Titan 1 was followed by the Titan II which went on to serve as a launch vehicle for NASA's Gemini manned space program from the mid-1960s through the '70s. Deactivation of the Titan program came in 1984. This particular Titan 1 was likely was a left-over from the 395th Missile Training Squadron at Vandenberg AFB near Lompoc, where several were converted from nuclear missiles to space launchers.
Once a mighty creature of the sky, Titan I and II served its original purpose as a peacekeeper, but outlived its usefulness and now has earned a place of honor in our nation's history. This is the only known one existing on the West Coast.
Manufactured by Glenn L. Martin Co, (now Lockheed Martin) Marietta GA.
The missiles were stored in widely dispersed hardened underground silos. After fueling, the Titan 1 had to be lifted out of the silo for launch. The total production of the Titan 1 was about 160 missiles, of which more than 60 were launched for tests and training. None were ever used during aggression towards an enemy. The Titan II became operational in 1963 and the Titan 1 was phased out very rapidly between January and April, 1965, when all deployed Titan 1's (54 missiles) were retired from service.
Cal Poly was more than glad to get rid of it, and we were equally glad to accept it. It is presently set upright in front of the Hangar 1, both as a landmark and as a symbol of the pioneer space programs, but minus its center section zoning laws and prevailing winds won't permit its full height. That part of the original rocket which held its liquid fuel cells (Lox/Kerosene) had deterioriated beyond economic restoration.