Norton AFB, CA

Ballistic Sytems

Thor at Norton AFB

This was the main entrance to Norton AFB in 1963. The missile is a Thor Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile. SBAMA refers to the San Bernardino Air Materia Area which was responsible for the Thor missile.

Reporting to Norton for the first time and seeing the missile at the entrance was the first step in my four years at Ballistic Systems Division (BSD).

The three projects in the 4 years were the Mobile Midrange Ballistic Missile (MMRBM)….the Titan ICBM….and Advanced Ballistic Reentry Systems (ABRES). The primary contractor on the MMRBM was Hughes Aircraft ( an eye-opening learning experience). Titan was a 6 month study project. ABRES had almost every major aerospace contractor.

Norton as an air material base was somewhat different from an operational (SAC) base like March AFB in Riverside, CA. Being at Norton and passing through the gates was a great experience.

Note: Major Tom Barton (father-in-law) led the team installing the THOR at the base entrance. 


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