Southwestern Oklahoma State University
The Bark

Willow Missile-Site Historic Marker Ceremony Planned Friday


An example of Southwest Oklahoma’s historical importance is on display in Greer County, and the public is invited to see it this Friday, November 10, at 2 p.m.

Southwestern Oklahoma State University history instructor Landry Brewer recently placed a historic marker at the site near Willow that housed an Atlas F intercontinental ballistic missile as part of the nation’s Cold War nuclear arsenal from 1962 to 1965.

A ceremony to observe the marker’s installation is scheduled this Friday, at 2 p.m. at the site of the marker, and the public is invited.

“Oklahomans should know the role that we played in keeping all Americans safe during the most dangerous period of the Cold War,” Brewer said.  “This marker will inform the public about southwest Oklahoma’s importance during a crucial time in the history of this nation and the world.”

The Willow missile site was one of several in southwest Oklahoma that was operated by Altus Air Force Base crews 24 hours a day. Several locals did their part for the nation’s defense by helping build these sites.    

The marker is located on the east side of Oklahoma Highway 34 and U.S. Highway 283, about a mile south from where the two highways merge.  Driving from the south, the marker is seven-tenths of a mile north of Highway 34A that becomes Main Street in Willow.

Brewer said that the public may view the new marker, read its text that explains the site’s significance, and even take photos of it during the informal event.

“Please come out Friday afternoon and help us celebrate this part of our history that was so important to the state, the nation and the world,” Brewer said.