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Books for Missileers

There are many books about missiles and related topics, covering many time periods and perspectives.  This is only a partial list; consult other sites such as Amazon, Goodreads, etc. for further exploration.

Books for Sale through AAFM

AAFM occasionally has copies of books available for purchase - these are usually books donated by members when they have finished with them.  Go to the Store for information.

Free Downloads

Air Force Missileers and the Cuban Missile Crisis 


Published by AAFM for the 2012 National Meeting

Air Force Missileers


1998 book with history of ground and air launched missiles, a listing of 5,000 missileers, and bios of over 300 AAFM members

On Alert

David Spires

A comprehensive history of ICBM development and operation

Advance to Memory

390th Strategic Missile Wing 

Titan II book put together by members of the 390th Strategic Missile Wing

History, Biographies, and Systems

Books by David Stumpf

  • Minuteman: A Technical History of the Missile that Defined American Nuclear Warfare
  • Titan II: A History of a Cold War Missile Program by AAFM Member David Stumpf — a detailed history of Titan II

Books by AAFM member Maj Gen (Ret) Chris Adams

  • Inside the Cold War, A Cold Warrior's Reflections — about SAC combat crew duty (Free for active duty and retired from AU)

  • Deterrence: An Enduring Strategy — about the men and women, from SAC leaders to combat crew members, involved in deterrence
  • Ideologies in Conflict: A Cold War Docu-story — a history of work in the Soviet Union, Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus immediately after the Cold War ended

Books by former Secretary of the Air Force and AAFM member Tom Reed

  • At The Abyss — personal stories of the Cold War, some recounted by Tom when he spoke at AAFM events
  • The Nuclear Express — a political history of nuclear weapons development
  • The Reagan Enigma: 1964-1980 — a history of Ronald Reagan's political campaigns for governor of California
  • Books by other authors
  • Camp Cooke and Vandenberg Air Force Base, 1941-1966 by Jeffrey E. Geiger, retired Vandenberg historian
  • The Changing Culture of the Missileer by AAFM Member Col Larry Hasbrouck — his stories of missile duty
  • Command and Control by Eric Schlosser —  source for the 2016 PBS documentary about the Damascus accident
  • DEFCON-2 by Norman Polmar and John Gresham — a history of the Cuban Missile Crisis
  • A Fiery Peace in a Cold War by Neil Sheehan — biography of General Bernard Schriever
  • A Fighting Chance — the Moral Use of Nuclear Weapons by AAFM Member Joseph Martino
  • History of the 556th SMS at Plattsburgh by AAFM Member John Stone
  • Images of America: Holloman Air Force Base by AAFM Member Joe Page — including photos of Snark, Matador and Mace at Holloman AFB
  • Images of America: Vandenberg Air Force Base by AAFM Member Joe Page — a pictorial history from the early days as Camp Cooke through present-day Space and Missile training and launch site
  • The Making of the Atomic Bomb by Richard Rhodes
  • The Missile Next Door by Gretchen Heffner — a look at civilian neighbors in the missile fields
  • Mission with LeMay by General Curtis LeMay and McKinley Kantor — LeMay's autobiography, with candid comments on leadership, ICBMs and much more
  • Not For Ourselves Alone by AAFM Member Gary Conine — the evolution and role of the Titan II in the Cold War 
  • Project Emily — Thor IRBM and the RAF by AAFM Member John Boyes — a history of Thor in the United Kingdom
  • Somalia Diary by AAFM Member Bill Sims — his diary of service there during the Black Hawk Down period
  • Space Launch Complex 10: Vandenberg's Cold War National Landmark by AAFM Member Joe Page — history of SLC-10 and Thor programs at Vandenberg.  The site, now home to the Vandenberg Museum, was used to train RAF crews and later for NRO launches
  • TAC Missileers by George Mindling and Bob Bolton — a history of Matador and Mace
  • Thor: Anatomy of a Weapon System by AAFM Member Geoff Goodchild - a look at the technical side of the UK-based missile from 1959 to 1963
  • Thor Ballistic Missile: The United States and the United Kingdom in Partnership by AAFM Member John Boyes —  his second book on the Thor
  • Thunder over Dakota by Lt Col (Ret) George Larson — a history of Ellsworth AFB, SD, that focuses on the Bomb Wing, with chapters about missiles, the Minuteman Missile National Historic Site and the 4 ACCS
  • Titan Tales by AAFM Member John Womack — diary of a Titan II missile crew commander
  • The Titan II Handbook by Chuck Penson — a technical exploration of Titan II
  • UFOs and Nukes by AAFM Member by Robert Hastings — examination of UFO activity at nuclear weapons sites
  • An Untaken Road by Steven Pomeroy — a history of efforts to deploy mobile ICBMs
  • The US Nuclear Arsenal by Norman Polmar and Robert Norris — a comprehensive review of nuclear weapons and delivery systems
  • Velocity, Speed with Direction by Lt Gen Aloysius Casey and Patrick Casey —  biography of General Jerome O'Malley


  • Another Day by Terry Perrine -- A GLCM flight from Belgium combats pirates in an outworld space adventure. 

  • Blue Gemini by Mike Jenne — first book in a trilogy about a 1960's secret space mission
  • The Cerebus Option by AAFM Member Greg Garza — a novel about a missile maintainer and the potential launch of a modified Minuteman "bunker buster" against North Korea
  • Death from Below by Lt Col (Ret) Philip Moore — a novel about crews and their families
  • Launch Enable by AAFM Member Carlo Croce - a novel about Mace in Okinawa
  • Random Factor by AAFM Member Jeff Bair — a novel about missile crews and a special launch at Ellsworth AFB, SD, along with a look at the area and its Native American heritage
  • Red Eagle by AAFM Member Maj Gen Chris Adams — a story of Cold War espionage and secret Soviet police agencies
  • The Whiteman Scenario by Steve McCurdy — a novel about crew members and maintenance at Whiteman AFB in the 1970's

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