Budget Vacations - Atomic Annie

Monday, May 09, 2011
280MM Atomic Cannon in Junction City, Kansas
With the price of gas being so high, I imagine a lot of us are planning scaled back vacations this summer. As a public service I've decided to suggest off-beat, yet interesting, vacation destinations for the budget minded. To start I've selected the Atomic Annie located in Junction City Kansas. To get there take I-70 west from Kansas City.

The Atomic Annies were A-Bomb chucking field artillery developed in the 1950s. They had a bore of 280MM and could fire their Mark 9 nuclear artillery shells several miles down range. The Mark 9 was a 15 kiloton tactical nuclear warhead. 

It was test fired once, on May 25th, 1953. You can watch a video of that test below.

Eventually 20 of the Atomic Annies were built and some were deployed to the Far East and Europe. They were taken out of commission in the 1960s. Eight of the twenty remain. Here are the locations of all of them if Junction City is too far for cheap travel:

-Army Ordnance Museum, Aberdeen, Maryland (still has the two large "prime movers" attached)
-Atomic Museum, Albuquerque, New Mexico
-Fort Sill Museum, Oklahoma (the one that was test fired)
-Freedom Park, Junction City, Kansas
-Rock Island Arsenal, Memorial Field, Rock Island, Illinois
-Virginia War Memorial Museum, Newport News, Virginia
-Watervliet Arsenal, Watervliet, NY -- where they were all manufactured.
-Yuma Proving Ground, Yuma, Arizona

If you're near any of them, pack yourself a picnic lunch and take a day trip, or a long weekend, and visit a relic of the Cold War.