(photos thanks to Duke Doering)
Badlands Bombing Range
Served WWII and Cold War
Near the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in western South Dakota, the eroded Badlands remain a place of mystery. The remote landscape was ideal for testing the effectiveness of bombing contingencies during World War II. The US Air Force and South Dakota National Guard continued to test, measure, and simulate bomb drops during the Cold War decades that followed.
Bombing technology has continued to made dramatic advances with the passing of time, with simulated bomb runs becoming less important as GPS within the munitions themselves were developed.
Around 1960, the Badlands Bombing Range remained an important stepping stone between the Korean War and the upcoming war in Vietnam. The US continued to see the military advantages strategic and tactical bombing.
USAF airman Bill Casper was stationed for three years with Detachment #2, 11th Radar Bomb Scoring Squadron with the Badlands Bomb Plot for three years during 1959-1963.
Casper and the other members of the detachment were responsible for the scoring of "simulated" bombing missions of B-47s, B-52s, and B-58s at the their site on Hurley Butte, eleven miles west of Interior, South Dakota.
You might have heard Casper give a slide presentation of the life and "action" at the site, on TDY assignments, and living the "highlife" in Wall, South Dakota. Sponsored by the Black Hills Veterans Writing Group, the even took place Saturday, November 9, 2013, at the Western Dakota Technical Institute in Rapid City, 9-11 am.
April 21, 2014 Comment: Stationed at scenic badlands bomb plot with Bill Casper?