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Synopsis

The present work is a mosaic of the 6555th's history over the first two decades of its existence. It covers the golden age of Air Force missile and space launch vehicle flight tests at Cape Canaveral, and it ends shortly after the 6555th closed out its last ballistic missile flight test program (the MINUTEMAN III) in 1970. (The 6555th was redesignated a Group for the final time in April 1970, which is another reason to consider the year a watershed in the unit's history.) The 6555th's accomplishments since 1970 certainly deserve treatment as well, but their inclusion would have delayed the present monograph's publication by at least a year. Since the future of the 6555th over the next few years is uncertain, we decided in favor of early publication to give the 6555th more time to savor its history before its operations cease. The unit played a pivotal role in the development of missiles and space launch vehicles in the 1950s and 1960s, but, apart from semi-annual historical reports submitted by the 6555th, not one monograph or professional historical study had been written about the 6555th or its efforts at Cape Canaveral.

Preface * Chapter I - Foundations of the 6555th: The Post War Legacy * Section 1 - Post-War legacy Through 1949 * Section 2 - Activities at Holloman, Eglin and Patrick AFB, 1950-1951 * Chapter II - MATADOR and the Era of Winged Missiles * Section 1 - MATADOR Operations Through 1954 * Section 2 - MATADOR and MACE Operations 1955-1963 * Section 3 - LARK, BOMARC and SNARK Operations * Section 4 - The NAVAHO Program * Chapter III - The 6555th's Role in the Development of Ballistic Missiles * Section 1 - Ballistic Missile Test Organizations and Commanders * Section 2 - The Eastern Test Range in the 1950's * Section 3 - Ballistic Missile Test Objectives * Section 4 - The THOR Ballistic Missile Program * Section 5 - The ATLAS Ballistic Missile Program * Section 6 - The TITAN Ballistic Missile Program * Section 7 - Organization, Resources and Activities in the 1960's * Section 8 - The MINUTEMAN Ballistic Missile Development Program * Chapter IV - Taking the High Ground: The 6555th's Role in Space Through 1970 * Section 1 - U. S. Military Space Efforts Through 1960 * Section 2 - ATLAS, THOR and BLUE SCOUT Space Operations * Section 3 - The TITAN II/GEMINI Program * Section 4 - The TITAN III Program * Section 5 - Organizational Changes 1965-1970

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