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A Nonprofit Organization Dedicated to the Preservation of American Cold War History

Volume 1, Issue 4 ---- 1 November 1998

Editors: Don & Susan Peterson, Phone (317) 776-3868
The Nike Preservation Group, 211277 Clare Avenue, Noblesville, Indiana 46060


The Board of directors for the Indiana Division of Natural Resources (DNR) met last month and The board of directors for the Indiana Division of voted unanimously to recommend approval of the nomination of the Nike Missile Base at Wheeler, Indiana, to the National Register of Historical Places.

Three NPG members attended to insure that our voices where heard. John Braun, Tom Vaughn, and Vincent Disborough all took time out of their busy schedules to be there. A special thanks goes out to those three guys from all of us.

This was a very important hearing!
The outcome of this meeting may determine how the State of Indiana will view all Cold War artifacts in the future. If C-47 Launcher Area becomes listed, it may become the first Nike site in the lower forty eight states to be placed on the National Register.

By Don Peterson


The Indiana Division of Museums and Historic Sites reviewed the application to consider acquisition of the C47 Launcher Area as a State Historic Site. The Board of Trustees (for the Division of State Museums and Historic Sites) decided not to consider adding the site to the state's landholdings due to a significant budget deficit.

According to Dick Gantz, Director of Indiana Museums and Historic Sites, the decision was based on the conviction that it would not be responsible to take on any new projects until funding became available. The trustees also expressed concern about entering into any project involving a Public Benefit Transfer. It has been their experience that Public Benefits Transfers can be highly frustrating and often futile.

Bob Peterson, President of the Nike Preservation Group, noted that although this situation did not develop as JNPG had hoped, it may be a blessing in disguise. "This may allow the NPG to gain ownership of the site with the full support of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources."

Those individuals wishing to help by writing letters can direct your correspondence to:
Senator Coats and Lugars Office
Attn: Lane Ralph
1180 Market Tower Building
10 West Market Street
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204
Tell the Senators how you feel about the preservation of C47 Launcher Area. Let them know that the General Services Administration has not respondee to our letters and shows little indication of being cooperative.

Only One New Member Since Last Month

Robert F. Cook, Indianapolis, Indiana Nike Veteran 1962-64, Caswell, Maine
George W. Runkle, Lawrenceville, GA Cold War Historian

Comments from Ed

Ed Thelen is one of the most widely recognized Nike experts. His web site, (see address below) has been a valuable resource for many of us doing Nike research. When asked if he had anything for the NPG newsletter, he offered the following words of wisdom:
  1. I do like to encourage people to start Nike oriented web sites. There are many Nike areas - technical, location, stories, ... that are not well described.

    I have hints/descriptions on how start a web site on

    However, there are many more physical things that need to be accomplished than just happily pounding a keyboard and possibly generating Nike "exposure".

  2. A goal of "saving" one or more other old Nike sites for future generations to view is interesting.

    Giving some sort of historical context in our hectic minute-to-minute daily life seems helpful in forming long term goals, strategic planning, pain avoidance, etc.

    Even the Maginot line (built by France in the 1930's to defend against Germany) is interesting. The history and ideas about what works, what did not work, and why something did/didnot work can be very instructive.

  3. Peace is a lovely goal - but sometimes it needs help - like keeping the "bad people" out of our house. Maybe even causing "bad people" to consider the "bad consequences" of "bad actions".

    Sweden and Switzerland (being mountainous, willing and able to vigorously defend themselves, and not particularly desirable in resources and location,) have had some peace.

    Countries without those particular "advantages", such as in the mid-east, - almost everywhere else - seem to be over-run several times per century.

    Even those that have not been completely over-run have had trouble with "bad guy" government. Germany, Russia and China and many others have had some trouble with local "bad guy" government.

Enough already-
Ed Thelen

Visit the Nike Sites of Indiana Web Site at:



Last Name_____________________________________________________

First Name ______________________________ Middle Initial _____

Mailing Address:
Street _______________________________________________


City _________________________________________________

State __________________________ Zip Code ____________

Phone Number:
Home ____-______-_________

Work ____-______-_________

E-Mail Address ________________________________________

Are you a Veteran? (Yes) (No)

Did you work with Nike Systems? (Yes) (No)

Were you stationed at a Nike site? (Yes) (No)

If so, Where and When?__________________________________


Are you interestid in volunteering labor at C-47? (Yes) (No)

What do you think you cold help with?________________________


Mailto: The Nike Preservation Group. Inc.
21277 Clare Avenue
Noblesville, Indiana 46060

Join now and save a membership fee. Membership fees will be introduced once the group has secured a non-for-profit status.

Annual Membership Fees will be determined by the Board of Directors at the first scheduled meeting. Purpose of the membership fee is to offset the administrative cost of group membership. The cost of newsletters, postage and membership tracking are all typical administrative costs.

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Originated November 14, 1998