Armed Forces: A Quiet Retirement


Twelve years ago last month, Brigadier General Bernard Schriever went to Inglewood, Calif., to start the Air Force's then-secret Western Development Division, a title roughly as revealing as that of the Manhattan Project, which built the atom bomb. Schriever's mission was to turn the drawing-board concept of a nuclear intercontinental ballistic missile into lethal reality—and fast. Intelligence estimates showed that the Russians had powerful rocket boosters that might enable them to get a commanding weaponry lead over the U.S.

With the Pentagon's top priority, generous appropriations from Congress and Schriever's skilled midwifery, the project successfully gave birth to a whole...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!