CIM-10 Bomarc missile battery

Some CIM-10 Bomarc missile missiles near the accident site (actual site not shown), October 1960.


The BOMARC Missile Accident Site ("BOMARC Site RW-01") is a 75-acre (30 ha) fenced-off radiological waste site of the United States Air Force Installation Restoration Program contaminated primarily with "weapons-grade plutonium (WGP), highly-enriched and depleted uranium." The Cold War nuclear accident occurred at Launcher Shelter 204, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst (commonly known as the McGuire Unit at Fort Dix), Burlington County, New Jersey, United States, approximately 16.1 miles (25.9 km) south-southeast of Trenton. Launcher Shelter 204 stored the CIM-10 Bomarc missile (one of fifty-four at the base).

The locationEdit

It was located at a BOMARC (Boeing Michigan Aeronautical Research Center) missile battery at Fort Dix, New Jersey. It was one of 8 in east of Route 539 in Plumstead Township, New Jersey (N.J.) Thes sites were in use between 1959 and 1972.

The missileEdit

The CIM-10 Bomarc missile interceptor missile was liquid-fuelled and carried conventional or 10 kiloton nuclear W-40 atomic warhead.

The accidentEdit

It was a missile fuel cell exploitation accident known as the 1960 Fort Dix IM-99 accident or 1960 Bomarc Missile accident involved a nuclear-tipped CIM-10 Bomarc missile. A helium tank that was set between the missile's fuel tanks became over-pressured and burst. Lucky it took place inside Shelter 204 causing a confined fire in missile launch site.

The fire then burned uninhibited for about 30 minutes and lasted for another 15 hours dispute of fire-fighters efforts to put it out. The radioactive sludge began to leek out of the shelter doors, down the asphalt apron and street between the row of shelters and into the drainage ditch. Later a second clean-up team arrived from a near by base to help the on site team. A nuclear response team from Griffiss Air Force Base found no radiation had escaped the base perimeter. There was no fissile/atomic 'nuke type' explosion, due to the 10kt warhead's built-in safety features preventing a atomic blast until it melted and became useless as a warhead!

It was soon contained and the area directly around the 100ft contamination zone was fenced off. The US millinery would dispose of 20,800 cubic yards of toxic soil and debris from the site over the years.

Preserved baseEdit

Due to the accident, the McGuire complex has never been sold or converted to other uses and remains in Air Force ownership, making it the most intact site of the eight in the US. It has been nominated to the National Register of Historic Sites. Although a number of IM-99/CIM-10 Bomarcs have been placed on public display, because of concerns about the possible environmental hazards of the thoriated magnesium structure of the airframe several have been removed from public view.

Also seeEdit


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