Editors: Don & Susan Peterson, Phone (317) 776-3868   E-Mail: dspeterson@musa.org
The Nike Preservation Group, Inc., 21277 Clare Avenue, Noblesville, Indiana 46060

Volume 2, Issue 1       January 1999

New Member Since Last Month

Roger Borroel, East Chicago, Indiana
Served at Okinwa, Japan 1968

Phillip D. Walton, Greencastle, Indiana
SSG, Air National Guard, 434th ARW

Thomas W. Tittle, Portage, Indiana
Served at Miesau, Germany 1959



C-47 Researchat the National Record Center

by Tom Vaughn

Last year I wrote the National Records Center in St Louis for information on how to obtain copies of the morning reports and rosters of Battery A, 1st Battalion, 60th Artillery. This is the unit that manned C-47 from 1958 to the site's closing in 1971.

I knew that I was entering the frustrating world of federal bureaucrats and red tape, but I was determined to find the information on A/1/60. In approxmately five weeks I received a letter from the center stating I would have to request permission from the Army's Freedom of Information office in Virginia to view the records. Another letter and another five weeks and the Army responded that they had no objection and gave me a point of contact at the record center. Using the point of contact, I made a phone call. The supervisor said that they would search for the records and send a letter when they were found. Oh, and by the way you'll be charged for the manpower hours it takes to find them. After a couple of weeks I got a letter saying the records have been found and please call to make an appointment to view them. It is now 3 months since my first letter.

The big day came and I arrived at the Records Center. The Center is a very large complex with tight security. Lots of guards and I had to go through a metal detector. The research room was large and well equipped. The microfilm of the records I asked for were waiting for me. The viewing machines looked new and were the best I'd ever seen.

Battery A's records were spread out between 8 roles of microfilm. Sharing space on the same film were many other Nike units from across the U.S.

The morning reports were fairly dull reading. They mainly record the strength of the unit and

incoming and departing personnel. One of the items also recorded was the arrival of a new battery commander, so we now have the names and rank of many of the battery commanders of  C-47. The morning report always showed the destination and/or new unit of any departing enlisted man, but never showed that for any officer leaving the unit.

The unit strength on various dates was as follows:

1 Jan 1960 - officers-2 warrant-4  enlisted-97
12 Oct 1960 - officers-5 warrant-3  enlisted-82.
25 Aug 1961 - officers-2 warrant-4  enlisted-70
25 Jun 1964 - officers-4 warrant-4  enlisted-92
21 Oct 1965 - officers-3 warrant-3  enlisted-140* 
*This is the highest manpower I saw on any of the reports.

The morning reports indirectly confirmed  that C-47 was deactivated 31 March 1971. Unit strength on 15 Jan 1971 was 86 men, on 1 Feb 1971 84 men, on 2 Apr 1971 71 men, 11 Apr 1971 68 men, 13 May 1971 29 men, 12 Jun 1971 1 man and the last morning report dated 15 Jun 1971 showed strength at 0 men. The last couple of morning reports seem to have been signed by the battalion adjutant at Battalion Headquarters, Gary.  The last battery commander of C-47 was Capt. Donald E. Blanton. It was sad to read these last morning reports and see the death of C-47 and Battery A. The men were sent to many different units, usually other Nike units in the U.S. and oversees.

I was able to find, for NPG group member and former C-47 battery commander Jon Nitkowski, a copy of the first and last morning report of his command plus a roster from the time he was battery commander there.

If you would like information on starting a record search at the National Record Center feel free to contact me.  I may be able to save you time and get you headed in the right direction. 

You can contact Tom via e-mail at:
or write him at: Tom Vaughn,
2016 Village Road, LaPorte, IN 46350



                 of Fame.
C. Corporate sponsors receive a wall plaque of
                  appreciation and their Corporate logo on our
Sponsorship Board.

7)  A Board of Directors shall be maintained to administer authority and responsibility to this Corporation.
A.  The Board shall number no more than six
      people at any time.
B.  Nomination to the Board must be done by an
                 original incorporator and confirmed by
                 majority vote of the Board.
C.  Removal or resignation from the board must
                 be done by written notice.
D.  Removal from the board requires majority   
                 vote of the board.
E.  Voluntary resignation will be effective
       immediately following the receipt of a letter
                 of resignation.
F.  The Board will meet at least once a year, on
                 the date chosen by the Board.
G. The Board members will be notified of an up
                 coming board meeting at least 30 days prior
                 to the actual meeting date.

Membership dues were reviewed and adopted as part of the Bylaws.  The NPG Mission Statement was also approved.


Who:  The Nike Preservation Group is a not-for-profit corporation formed by military veterans, historians and other interested citizens.
What:  To preserve a portion of Indiana's Cold War History by promoting the preservation of the Nike Missile Launcher Area known as C47 (Wheeler).
Where:  The Launcher Area is located in Porter County, near the town of Wheeler, Indiana.  The site is located on county road 700 North, west of county road 500 west.
When:  C47 served as part of the Chicago / Gary defense network from 1956 through 1971 and remains intact although abandoned by the Department of Defense in 1972.
Why:  The Cold War was the longest war ever waged by the United States.  The facility stands as a constant reminder of the dark threat of nuclear war which haunted the American way of life for more than four decades.   The site deserves to be preserved as reminder to future


The board confirmed the appointments of all officers and board positions and voted unanimously to make no officer or board member changes until the next annual meeting. 

Those officers and board members are:

Robert Peterson - Pres., Board Member
Wayne Heimberg - V. P., Board Member
Susan C. Peterson - Treasurer & Secretary
John R. Braun - Board Member
Casey M. Criswell - Board Member
Donald J. Peterson  -  Board Member
Tom Vaughn - Board Member

The NPG bylaws were reviewed and adopted as follows:


1)  The Name of this Corporation is The Nike Preservation Group, Incorporated (hereby known as the NPG).

2)  The Type of Corporation is a
Not-For-Profit Corporation.

3)  The Purpose of NPG is to act as a
historic preservation entity.

4)  The NPG will be supported by:
A. Private membership.
B. Corporate sponsorship.
C. State and federal grants.
D. Sale of products with organizational

5)  Membership dues:
A. New Membership, $15 a year.
B.  Renewal Membership, $15 a year or
                      $40 for 3 years.
C.  Family Membership, $20 a year or    $50 for 3 years.
D.  Lifetime membership, $150.
E.  Family lifetime membership, $200.
F.  Corporate Sponsorship, $1000
or More.

6)  Membership Benefits:
A.  All members receive the NPG
                 monthly newsletter.
B.  Lifetime members receive a free gift
                 and their name enter on the C47  Wall