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Learn about Titan II missiles during lecture on Sept. 17

Launch of a Titan II missile. A W53 fit into the Mk-6 re-entry vehicle on top of the missile. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Launch of a Titan II missile. A W53 fit into the Mk-6 re-entry vehicle on top of the missile. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Visitors who walk into the Missile Gallery at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force often stand in awe as they view intercontinental ballistic missiles and launch vehicles rising more than 100 feet in the air. One of those missiles -- the Titan II -- is the subject of an upcoming lecture at the museum.

Dr. David K. Stumpf will present "Titan II - The Few but the Powerful" at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 17 in the museum's Carney Auditorium. He will give an overview of the Titan II program, culminating in a discussion of just how close a Soviet weapon would have had to come to incapacitate the silo. Historic launch film also will be shown during the presentation.

Stumpf has been interested in missiles and airplanes from an early age when he used to run outside to watch the Strategic Air Command B-52s fly over his house in California. Later, he began serving as a tour guide at the Titan Missile Museum in 1987 and soon after crafted the documentation that led to the museum achieving national historic landmark status. His day job was as a research biochemist at the University of Arizona in Tucson, where he worked on investigating the mechanism of salt tolerance in plants, photosynthetic pathways in isolated spinach chloroplasts and isolating pharmaceutically active compounds in plants from South America. He retired from the research in 2002.

Stumpf has written two books. The first, titled "Regulus: The Forgotten Weapon," focused on the Navy's first nuclear armed cruise missiles, Regulus I and Regulus II. He also wrote "Titan II: A History of a Cold War Missile Program" as part of the Defense Department Legacy Program.

For more information or handicapped seating arrangements during the lecture, contact the museum's Special Events Division at (937) 255-1743. Filming or videotaping the lecture is prohibited.

The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio, is the world's largest military aviation museum. With free admission and parking, the museum features more than 360 aerospace vehicles and missiles and thousands of artifacts amid more than 17 acres of indoor exhibit space. Each year about one million visitors from around the world come to the museum. For more information, visit www.nationalmuseum.af.mil.


NOTE TO PUBLIC: For more information, please contact the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force at (937) 255-1743.

NOTE TO MEDIA: For more information, please contact Sarah Swan at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force Public Affairs Division at (937) 255-1283.

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