Carl Stidsen from Tolland (Major, USAF, Ret.), will give a free talk on Saturday, Nov. 12 on the Titan II Intercontinental Ballistic Missile program called “Life in a Cold War ICBM Site: On the Nuclear Bullseye.”
The talk, set for 11 a.m. at the Old Tolland County Jail and Museum at 52 Tolland Green, is being co-sponsored by the Tolland Historical Society and the Tolland Veterans Recognition Commission. The talk will be followed by a light lunch at the Tolland Military Museum, which is behind the jail and accessible from Route 74. Admission, parking and lunch are all free.
During the Vietnam War-era, Stidsen served as a missile combat crew commander at a Titan II site in Arizona, logging over 8,000 hours underground during more than 380 nuclear alert tours, which each lasted 24 hours. The weapon his crew controlled had a hydrogen bomb equal to nine megatons of dynamite, and yet – at age 24 – he was the oldest member of the four-man crew. Titan II was the last and largest liquid-fuel ICBM the U.S. ever fielded.
Stidsen, the research librarian at the New England Air Museum, has been a pilot for 56 years and has been a member of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for 52 years.