The New Hampshire Land Surveyors Association presents New Boston AFS with its Land Ethic for Tomorrow Award.
by Scott Prater
1/14/2009 - NEW BOSTON AIR FORCE STATION, N.H. -- The P51 Mustang pilot lined up his crosshairs just as he approached the target area. Once over the intended drop zone he pulled a lever, releasing his bomb onto the soft New Hampshire landscape.
He watched it hit precisely where he'd aimed, but the expected explosion never occurred.
Despite the lack of flash and boom, the pilot's training mission succeeded nonetheless and he was better prepared for combat in a World War that would last three more years.
Throughout two conflicts, from 1942 to 1958, countless training missions like this one occurred over a 2,826 acre site of what is now known as New Boston Air Force Station. Up to 20 percent of the bombs dropped on that New Hampshire bombing range never exploded. And some have rested there for more than 65 years.
Today, as New Boston's mission focuses on space operations, the station is charged with cleaning up the former bomb range. In 2008 the Defense Department included New Boston AFS on a list of military installations that needed to clear its land of all unexploded ordinance.