Errant Mace Smashes Near Mountainair

Submitted by Tom Davis & Don McCord
Sembach AB – 38th MMS

Almagordo Daily News

Almagordo, New Mexico
Friday, February 5, 1960

Missile Burns On Impact

An Air Force Mace Missile (Launch Crew #4’s training missile) went astray from Holloman today and crashed 35 miles off the testing range, narrowly missing US 60.

The big guided missile developed a malfunction in flight, crashed and burned 8-10 miles southwest of the village of Mountainair.  A spokesman for Holloman said a chase pilot in an F-100 circled the wreckage and said there was no damage to any of the isolated homes in the area or to cars on the highway.  Possible damage to telephone lines was mentioned.

State Police surrounded the wreckage to keep crowds of curious motorists away from the missile.  The missile was not armed the Air Force said.

The Mace is a surface-to-surface missile carrying its own guidance system.  It is 40 feet long, has a wingspread of 20 feet and weighs am much as a jet fighter.

A Holloman spokesman said the missile was fired in a routine flight before 10 a.m.  It was being guided back and forth over the White Sands Missile Range when a malfunction developed and the Mace headed offrange.

A survey team was sent from Holloman via helicopter to check the wreckage.


Click on image to enlarge
Mace Crash (submitted by Tom Davis)