The following operational activities for the Type I Plant Division were taken from the Historical Reports of the 3084th Aviation Depot Group, recently declassified by the Department of Energy, the Department of Defense, and the United States Air Force.

TYPE I PLANT DIVISION - OPERATIONAL ACTIVITIES

(1 Jan - 30 June 1956)

            A walk through type operation was conducted on 9, 10, 11, January, as directed by 3084th Ops Order 1-56.   This operation included the assembly of one MK6 Mod4/5, and three MK6 Mod6 training weapons to CAS configuration.  Walk through operations have been found to be especially valuable to the Division because of the opportunity which they afforded the personnel on all levels to analyze their procedures, check sheets, flow patterns, coordination, etc.

            On 22 January, a "Last Chance" operation was called.  Four training weapons were assembled by "A" shift personnel, and no difficulties were encountered.  (Ed. Note:  DOE redacted one or two sentences her.) ...................................................  During the modification work in the month of February, production was delayed to the point of almost complete standstill because of a personnel problem which arose between Mechanical Bay personnel and the Sandia Corporation technical representative assigned to M-Bay.  After a complete inquiry into the problem by the supervisory personnel concerned, the Sandia Corporation technical representative was removed from his post and replaced.  An immediate improvement in relations between civilian and military personnel in the Mechanical Bay was observed, and modification production improved to a steady three plus units completed per day.  A high state of morale was noted, and the quality of production, which had been the seat of the trouble, also improved.  While the quality just mentioned met all criteria at all times, after the change, it was attained more easily and was unquestionably better.

            (Ed. Note:  AN ENTIRE PAGE WAS REDACTED BY DOE AT THIS POINT, then about 5-6 lines at the top of the next page.)

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........................................  Check sheets were developed for the use of this program to reduce mistakes and rework to a bare minimum.  The check sheets were used at the individual stations and a master sheet was utilized by the AEC inspector and the Sandia Corporation technical representative.  Each station was supervised by an NCO and manned by his subordinates.  The men worked two six hour shifts and took care of their personal military business, training, and some of their extra details during the period when they were not on shift.  This organization kept the assembly line operation steady, the tools utilized to the fullest extent, and provided time for the men to care for their personal affairs without disturbing plant production.

(Ed. Note:  About 5-6 lines were redacted by DOE at this point.)

            During the period of the modification program, all N-1 dollies on the station were modified to MF-4 type.  This entailed the removal of the front axle and its replacement with a yoke type which enabled the front wheels to caster independently for the use of the loading crews.  Normally, the wheels are locked in the forward position, but by removing the tongue, and releasing the wheel locks, the front of the dolly can be moved perpendicular to

(Ed. Note:  10 PAGES REDACTED BY DOE AT THIS POINT.  NO INDICATION OF THE CONTENTS OF THESE PAGES IS EVIDENT.  THE TEXT FROM THE PAGE BEFORE THE REDACTIONS CONTINUES AFTER THOSE PAGES, UNINTERRUPTED.  THERE IS NO "TABLE OF CONTENTS" FOR THIS SECTION OF THE REPORT THAT MIGHT HAVE GIVEN A CLUE AS TO THE CONTENTS.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                   the axis of the unit, greatly facilitating positioning for loading purposes.  This work was done by the Base Motor Pool.   (ED. Note:  4-5 lines redacted by DOE at this point.)  ......................
............................ Production was steady and problems were minor compared to the past periods of modification when inexperience in production techniques and supply liaison for this type operation were major contributing factors to the delays after the personnel problems had been solved.
(ED. Note:  4-5 lines redacted by DOE at this point.) ........................................................

            Prior to February 1956, considerable trouble was encountered in the maintenance of the floors throughout the plant, with the exception of the administration office area which has tile floor type covering.  The concrete floors of the rest of the building were continually dusty and resisted proper cleaning because of the nature of their composition.  Capt Paul J. Sevigny, Mechanical Bay Supervisor, submitted the suggestion to apply a coat of non-skid wax to the entire working area to aid in the control of dust from both external and internal sources.  This plan was put into effect and the results were excellent.  After three applications of wax, the daily cleaning load was reduced by approximately 50%, and the weekly cleaning effort was found to be reduced by about 25%, including the renewal of the wax surface every 45 days.  Additional applications have become more and more easy to apply, and a good physical appearance of the floor has become more easy to maintain.

            At 0255Z, on 8 May 1956, a "Last Chance" exercise was initiated, and alert shift "B" was recalled.  The telephone communications were theoretically inoperative throughout the Springfield area, and therefore the recall was effected by physically contacting the men on the recall list.  The execution order had specified that the Mechanical Section of this Division was physically destroyed.  FAT testers, however, were salvaged from the wreckage, and operations were set up in the MHE building.  The only difficult encountered was that power plugs had to be changed from blast-proof type to the standard type and that the MHE building lacked the proper type of grounding facilities.  

(Ed. Note:  At this point, about one half page was redacted by the DOE.  No indication of the topic of the contents.  Possibly dealt with the activities taking place in the MHE building, as compared to M-Bay.)

(1 July - 31 December 1956)

            (Ed. Note:  First one or two sentences redacted by DOE at this point.) ...........................................  No difficulty was encountered at this time, although it was believed that a smoother operation would result by closer control of processing times. With this in mind, the next three (3) operations were closely monitored and as a result of minor changes in procedures and personnel utilization, appreciable improvements were obtained.

            Operations Order 10-56, dated 7 Aug 56, directed a training operation to be conducted on 8 August. "A" Shift personnel of Mechanical Branch prepared and storage inspected (SI'd) two (2) MK6 Mod6 training weapons from ready to stockpile configuration.  "B" Shift personnel of Mechanical Branch assembled these two weapons from stockpile to ready configuration.  Electrical Branch performed as many storage inspections as possible on a single shift basis.  (Ed. Note: 6 lines redacted by DOE at this point.) .........................................................................  The inspectors found a few minor discrepancies and procedures which could be improved upon to insure a product which would consistently meet the most minute Technical Order standards.  A determined effort was made to overcome these discrepancies.

            A locally directed division operation was called on 6 Sep 56 with an analysis being made of the times from breakout of weapons to the time they rolled out of the plant.  By counting all possible delays and working times, it was found that 53-minutes were taken.  The best possible time with the shortest delays was 30-minutes.  This made an average time of thirty-seven (37) minutes.

            At the end of this operation, 1st Lt's Frederick M. Miller and Edwin D. Thompson of Mechanical Branch developed a study schedule which would increase efficiency and assure a much faster production rate.  A rigid visitor control was introduced to further efficiency and safety during assembly operations.  Time was saved by giving each technician a card on which was written his exact duties during the operation.  Two more training operations were called to perfect the new system.

            On the night of 12 Sep 56, a "Last Chance" operation was called for "A" Shift personnel.  Difficulties were encountered in the execution of the recall plan.  Despite this, the average working time was thirty-three point two (33.2) minutes, or a plant rate of eight point three (8.3) minutes per weapon.  No difficulties were encountered during any of the procedures including delivery.  Corrective action was taken to reduce the recall time by close cooperation between alerters and alertees.  Subsequent tests revealed this action to be effective. 

            On 14 Sep 56, a "Base Defense" alert was called during the early morning hours.  Within the hour, all of this division's personnel were present for duty. (Ed. Note:  About 11 lines redacted by DOE at this point.) .........................................................................   Several items of minor importance were pointed out by the inspection team, but no major discrepancies were entered into the inspection report.  Corrective action was initiated on all discrepancies.  (Ed. Note:  About 5-6 lines redacted by DOE at this point.) ........................................................ Three (3) sets of power supplies were rejected during the operation and were replaced with spares.  Twelve (12) power supplies were already charged at the beginning of the operation.

            Due to the world situation (Ed. Note:  This refers to the Israeli attack upon Egypt in the Sinai in late October 1956, and the British-French attempts to gain control of the Suez area.), all batteries used in this "Last Chance" operation were brought back into the plant for a booster charge.  Along with this move, a twenty-four (24) hour standby alert schedule was initiated by the Group Commander, 15 Nov 56.  Standby crews remained in the plant at all times.  This soon evolved into a twelve (12) hour shift operation until world tension relaxed. 

            During the period of this report, Type I Electrical Branch personnel concentrated on the task of forming a consolidated power supply facility for Plants I and II.  In order to centralize the processing of power supplies and alleviate the burden on Type II personnel inasmuch as they were cramped for space, all power supplies, training, and War Reserve, were moved to the battery room of Electrical Branch Type I.  To further facilitate matters, a battery charging rack was designed by 1st Lt. William S Schwarts, and installed in the battery room.  This charging rack utilized four PP775A/U chargers and a commercial storage bin.  The bin has been wired and battery plugs have been installed.  Each shelf is equipped to charge six (6) batteries in each of the eight (8) shelves, thus making it possible to charge twelve (12) sets in one hour.  By the use of a control box switching arrangement, any shelf may be used individually or in conjunction with any other shelf.
  Through the use of this system for a continuous operation, charging of large number of batteries in a short period of time is no longer a problem in plant operation.  As much as an hour or more may be saved during an assembly of more than a dozen weapons.  Only favorable comments have been expressed by those viewing this system.

            Toward the end of the last semi-annual historical report, and during the month of July, all MK2 MOD2 Alt.0 power supplies that were available started on a charge period for six (6) months for the purpose of culling out all possible defective cells.  At the end of this period they would be classed as having Alt.148 completed.  A total of eighty-one (81) power supplies were placed in this condition.  A total of 1215 man-hours was required to perform this alteration and as of the end of this reporting period this alteration is still being accomplished on some power supplies.  (Ed. Note:  About 3 lines redacted by DOE at this point.)

            Ground beautification and modernization of plant facilities were accomplished during the period of this report.  A contact was let for the repair of the tunnel between Electrical and Mechanical Branches.  As previously reported, condensation of moisture within the tunnel, as depicted in the following photographs, (Ed. Note:  These photos are of poor quality.) was a safety hazard.  Fiber glass insulation was placed between the studding with asbestos covered masonite boards on the outside, thus alleviating the condition of water condensing on the inner wall and collecting on the floor of the tunnel.

            On the same contract, the walls of the unpack bay were moved to provide a larger work area (depicted in the following photographs).
                                                                                    (Click to enlarge - opens in new window.)

Provisions were also made for a walled office to be built in Mechanical Branch, thus providing privacy from the work area and allowing for a conference and smoking area.

View Organizational Chart - Type I Plant, from 1 July - 31 Dec 56 Report)

(1 Jan - 30 June 1957)

OPERATIONAL ACTIVITIES

            A Management Improvement Review was conducted 29 January - 1 February 1957.  Plant I was inspected by members of the MIR Team and a rating of "Satisfactory" was achieved.  No major discrepancies were noted, and immediate action was initiated to correct the few minor discrepancies.  ................... (5 lines redacted by DOE.) ............... Simulated problems were encountered, but were overcome without undue delay.  In February, Plant I was involved in Operation BABY SHOES which was a SAC directed maneuver.  Plant I Mechanical Branch assembled two MK 6-6 training units to CAS configuration, with Electrical Branch furnishing the necessary power supplies.

            On March 12th, a "walk through" locally directed LAST CHANCE operation was held to familiarize all personnel of the Plant with all phases of the operation.   ...................(4 lines redacted at this point.) .......................................   recall plan was implemented with no problems encountered and the operation was completed without incident.

            On 17 May, a locally directed LAST CHANCE operation was called at 0400 local time as a test recall.  No difficulty was noted and all personnel were released upon completion of the exercise.

            On 29 May, Lt. Feinberg and Lt. Miller were sent TDY to Wurtsmith Air Force Base, Oscoda, Michigan for operational and logistical support of the MB-1 rocket section storage area.  ..................... (2 lines redacted at this point.) ...........................................

            During the month of June, two additional trips to Wurtsmith AFB were made for the same purpose.  The first trip was made by Captain Sevigny and Captain Marion P. Slatter, followed by an airman support team supervised by Major Robert Lucadello, a newly assigned officer of the Assembly Division.

            As a result of the many changes encountered on these trips, the W-25 Support Team Manual was first revised by Lt. Feinberg, then further changes were made by Captain Sevigny, who was appointed the project officer for this commitment by the Operations Directorate.

            The extensive cross-training conducted between Plants on Type I and Type II weapons played a valuable part of the mission of this Station during the month of June.   ........................ (3 lines redacted by DOE.) ...................................

            As a result of all the interim and final changes to T.O.'s plus some paragraphs where individual interpretation had caused some confusion, Plant I employed the use of "Research Memorandum", initiated by Sandia Corporation and routed through AEC and Quality Control.  These memoranda amounted to "local agreements" which aided in solving some differences between the Sandia Corporation and the Military.

            The Nuclear Section, during this reporting period, participated in ten operations.  In each of these, Nuclear personnel prepared a specified number of components for a strike or ferry mission, and procured the necessary vehicles, Officer Couriers, drivers and guards to transport the components to the Weapon Control point.

            In addition to the normal nuclear inspections, an annual audit inspection of components was conducted by Mr. Schmirer from Albuquerque, New Mexico during June 1957.  Nuclear Section received valuable training during this inspection and the results of the inspection were very satisfactory.

...................................... 21 lines or about 4/5ths of the page redacted by DOE.) ...................................................................................   An emergency operating procedure and check sheet was written and accepted for use on this subject by the Assembly Division.

            In addition, during the period of 1 January 1957 to 30 June 1957, many improvements were accomplished in Plant I.   Mechanical Branch revised their flow charts and placement of personnel during various operations.  Electrical Branch made many improvements in the utilization of their personnel.  Work was accomplished on both the inside and outside of Plant I, and many local projects were also completed.

EDITOR'S NOTE:  THE PLANT 1 DIVISION WAS CONSOLIDATED INTO THE "ASSEMBLY DIVISION"-  ACCESS THE 1 JULY TO 31 DECEMBER 1957 MISSION, ETC. USING THE ASSEMBLY DIVISION LINKS ON THE HOME PAGE.