The Newsletter of the Nike Preservation Group


Volume 2, Issue 6                                                                                    August - September 1999


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

Editors: Don and Susan Peterson  Phone: (317) 776-3868 E-mail:



C-47 Subject of Thesis


By Anjanette U. Sivilich


Generations today worry about bombing a test, not who will be bombed; students know tornado drills, not civil defense drills; and many younger people know Russia as more of a friend than a foe.  I am a member of this younger generation.  I realize that the Cold War is a very important part of United States history.  This period of history greatly affected the lives of  people, especially major manufacturing cites that were main targets of Russian missile systems.  The effect of this era  was so strong that it still influences how we think about and deal with foreign relation and political issues.  People deserve to be fully educated on the impact the Cold War had and still has on our lives.  Nike missile sites need to be a part of this education.  The fact that Nike missile sites are an important resource is not disputed, it is who owns the land, how to acquire the land, and finally how this resource can be preserved.  This is the focus of my thesis.


Let me take a brief moment to introduce myself.  I am a Ball State Graduate student completing a Master of Science in Historic Preservation.  Questions regarding the Cold War have sat in the back of my mind for many years.  I just have not had the time to research the subject, until now.  Paul Diebold first introduced the subject of C-47 to me during a presentation that he gave at the 1998 O’Brien Conference.  I immediately recognized that this was an extremely important resource to preserve since it was virtually unknown by those that did not live near these defense rings.  Since the Nike Preservation Group is trying to acquire the properties for educational use, I saw an opportunity to help the NPG and other groups like it to preserve and maintain this resource.


A general history will set the scene of the thesis.  A history of Pre-Nike armaments will establish a base for the introduction of a more detailed history of the different Nike missile programs.  A brief history of subsequent armament will round out the history of missile technology surrounding the Cold War.  The historical significance of Nike missile installations does not need to be proven.  Some sites are already listed on the National Register of Historic Places or have been documented through the Historic American Engineering Record (HAER).  Since many who acquire Nike missile installations may not immediately have the funds to have a consultant draw up a preservation plan this specific piece of work is needed.


From what I have been able to gather, it seems all installations were equal in every respect except for the layout and location.  This allows the preservation and maintenance plan in the thesis to be applied to all other installations in the Unites States and Europe.  There will be several different levels of preservation and maintenance plans presented, from mothballing to long-term maintenance, in the thesis to accommodate different situations.  I believe that this work will be a benefit to the world of preservation and military history.

GSA Promises Action

by Don Peterson

Senator Lugar’s office recently contacted the NPG concerning the GSA’s response to their inquiries about the status of C47 and the nomination process. Mr. Robert J. Dunfey, Jr., Regional Administrator for the GSA, indicated that they would forward the nomination packet to the Keeper of the National Register within 30 days.

Mr. Dunfey claims that the GSA has been performing reviews of the eligibility of other Nike sites (for listing on the National Register) and they did not intentionally delay the nomination of C47.

The promise to forward the packet comes after repeated letters from the Indiana Senators and nearly a year of delays.
Nov, 1997 Army Corps of Engineers, acting as an agent for the GSA, contracts the demolition of C47.
Dec 2, 1997 Army Corps of Engineers requests comments on demolition of C47 from the Indiana DNR, Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology. Letter implies that the demolition has already been performed and compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 was being performed after the fact.
Mar 30, 1998 C47 becomes an Indiana State Historic Site.
Apr 14, 1998 Indiana DNR, Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology makes preliminary evaluation of C47. Based on information provided by the Army Corps of Engineers, the site is found not to be eligible for the National Register.
May 20, 1998 Site is nominated to the National Register by the Nike Preservation Group.
May 29, 1998 Indiana DNR, Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology reverses it’s earlier decision after errors surface in the reports being generated by the Army Corps of Engineers. In the opinion of the State Preservation Officer, C47 is eligible for the National Register
Jul 16, 1998 Army Corps of Engineers notifies GSA that the buildings and structures will not be removed during clean up. The letter advises the GSA to perform the 106 review process on C47.
Jul 22, 1998 The NPG writes a letter to Dennis Spearman, Director, Property Disposal Division, GSA, Chicago. NO RESPONSE
Oct 14, 1998 Indiana Historic Preservation Review Board approves the National Registry Nomination of C47
Oct 22, 1998 The American Legion of Indiana announces their support of the preservation effort for C47.
Nov 5, 1998 National Registry packet forwarded to GSA’s Federal Preservation Officer, Constance Werner Ramirez. (Federal guidelines indicate that GSA should act within 90 Days)
Dec 1998 National Park Service personnel contact Indiana State Preservation Officer indicating they had conducted a primary review of the nomination and found the application to be in good order. The NPS also indicates that they have requested the GSA to forward the original packet to them for approval.
July 30, 1999 Indiana State Preservation Officer contacts the Nike Preservation Group and indicates that the GSA is not following the federal guidelines (36 CFR 60) which govern the nomination of properties.



Now that the GSA has been motivated to move forward, the NPG must wait for their recommendation and the impact that it may have on the nomination to the National Register.    The GSA is expected to be in general non-concurrence.  Mr. Dunfey has indicated in earlier correspondence that they feel the site is not worthy of a place on the National Register. It is possible that the Keeper of the National Register may overlook the opinion of the GSA and base their decision on the recommendation of the State of Indiana. 


Nomination to the National Register is critical to the ultimate goal of the Nike Preservation Group.  If the site is placed on the National Register, then a possibility exists that a public benefit transfer of the site to the State of Indiana and the Nike Preservation Group could occur.  There is nothing for members to do at this point other than wait for the outcome and hope for the best. The NPG appreciates all the support that its members have given for so long. Hopefully there will be some action very soon!



My Nike Pages on the Internet

by Tom Vaughn []


Over the last year or so I’ve enjoyed visiting old Nike bases in the Chicago and Northwest Indiana area. At first I used my 35mm camera to record what I saw. But to make it easier to share the pictures with my fellow Nike veterans and Nike friends I bought a digital camera so I could download the pictures I took and E-mail them out. A good basic digital camera costs about $175.


But wanting to give my pictures a wider audience I decided to build my own web page. A person no longer needs to be an html programmer to build a web page. I used a program called “Composer” which is fairly easy to use. It is what is called a ‘what you see is what you get” program. After building by web page I had to find an ISP (internet service provider) to host it. There are many ISP’s that will do that for free. But there still is a price to pay for a “free” web page. The ISP I use puts an ad at the bottom of all my pages. But I get 5 Meg of space for my pages though.


The subject of my first Nike web page is “Recent Pictures of Nike Missiles Bases”. Over the last year I’ve traveled to the cities of Baltimore, Washington DC and San Francisco. I was able to visit several on Nike sites and take pictures for the web page.


The URL of these pages is:


I have started a second and different Nike related web page also. I have always had an interest in the distinctive insignia, known as DI, (regimental crests) of Army units. I still have mine. As I bought several air defense artillery and missile battalion DI for my collection I used my scanner to get pictures to use on my web page. The title of this page is “Distinctive Insignia of Army Nike Missile Units”. I am proud of this page for as far as I know no one else on the web is showing so many Nike unit distinctive insignia. With the Army changing unit designations of Nike units several times over their life span there is hundreds of DI to be found and displayed.


The URL is:


Please visit these two sites and let me know what you think. If you have any pictures, new or old, of Nike bases please send to me and I’ll put them on the web. Also I have put a couple of insignia on the web page that I can’t fully identify and need information on. My e-mail is:



New Members Since Last Issue



James D. Wilson

Johnson City, TN

Served at Cleveland, Ohio (CL02) 1959-62



Paul W.D. Rosner *Lifetime Member*

Indianapolis, IN



Frank A. Martinez *Lifetime Member*

Alpharetta, GA

Served at Wheeler, Indiana (C47) 1967-68




Aerial photo of C47 available!

The Nike Preservation Group, Inc. has an aerial photo of C47, (Wheeler, Indiana) from 1975.  It clearly shows all the buildings, roads and structures of both the Launcher Area, the IFC Area and the town of Wheeler.  A great tool for anyone doing research on C47 or any Nike site.  You can get a copy by sending $6.00 to the NPG to cover reproduction, shipping and handling.  Any profit goes to support the NPG.


Still Available, But Not For Long!

 “The Nike Hercules Story” Video

as told by the United States Army


This historic footage tells the public affairs version of the Nike Hercules development and deployment. 30 minutes of family entertainment.   Yours free when you make a donation to the Nike Preservation Group of $18.00 or more.   


Send your donation to:

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


 Available in VHS only.  Allow 3-4 weeks for delivery. The Nike Hercules Story - produced in 1958/59 by Herbert Kerkow, Inc. of New York