The Newsletter of the Nike Preservation Group


Volume 3, Issue 1                                                                                    January 2000


Nike Preservation Group, Inc., 475 Maple Street, West Lafayette, Indiana 46060

Editors: Don and Susan Peterson  Phone: (765) 743-9333 E-mail: dspeterson@musa.


Nike C47 placed on National Register


After nearly three years of delays and bureaucratic red tape, Nike Site C47 has been placed on the National Register of Historic Sites.  Paul Diebold, Indiana Department of Historic Sites and Archeology, confirmed recently that the National Park Service listed the site on the 21st of January 2000.  “This is wonderful news for the NPG and Northwest Indiana”, said Bob Peterson, President and Co-founder of the Nike Preservation Group. The NPG is a Non-profit corporation organized in 1997 with the goals of saving the aging Nike site from demolition and of raising public awareness about the importance of American Cold War history.  “ Now that the site is on the National Register, our work becomes a little easier,” continued Peterson.  “With the National Park Service and the State of Indiana in agreement over the integrity of C47 as an important historic site, it should add the creditability needed by the NPG to continue our work to see the site protected and eventually restored as a Cold War memorial and museum.”   Peterson believes the groups main focus needs to be on securing the land at the C47 Launcher Area.  He thinks the land should be safeguarded through private or state ownership.  In the past the NPG has offered to purchase the land from the federal government only to meet opposition from the grumpy folks at the General Services Administration. To date, no reasonable explanation has been provided for the GSA’s reluctance to act on some of these issues.  “I believe that without the assistance of Senator Lugar’s office we would have seen the National Registry Nomination stalled indefinitely at the GSA,” said Peterson.   For more information contact the NPG at                                (Photo by Tom Vaughn, C47 IFC Area)    




NPG Headquarters moves to West Lafayette, Indiana


As most NPG members know, Don and Susan Peterson run the daily activities of the NPG out of their home.  Don recently accepted a new position in the Lafayette area.  The move began in late December, but Don had been commuting for quite some time.  The additional travel time really minimized the amount of time Don had to spend on NPG issues.  “We regret that we had to skip the November-December newsletter, but we just didn’t have the resources to get it out,” explained Susan,  “Soon all will return to normal and the information flow will resume. It worked out well that the activity was minimal with the site at this particular time.”   The listing of C47 on the National Register is expected to have a real positive effect on the NPG and its membership.  Bob Peterson, President of the NPG, anticipates increased public interest in C47 and as a result, a surge in membership.  “We hope to see membership double over the next year”, explained Peterson.  The NPG has seen constant membership growth since the group began.  For membership information see the membership application in this newsletter.



NPG Board of Directors Meet

The annual meeting of the Board of Directors for the Nike Preservation Group was opened at 14:00 hrs, 18 December 1999, at the Pub restaurant in Lafayette, Indiana.  The following are the minutes of the meeting.



Robert T. Peterson, President/Chairman

Donald J. Peterson, Board Member

Casey M. Criswell, Board Member

John R. Braun, Board Member


Not Present:

Wayne A. Heimberg, Vice President

Susan C. Peterson, Treas. & Secretary

Tom Vaughn, Board Member


Old business was discussed.


Don Peterson gave a brief update of the status of the C47 nomination to the National Register.  The GSA has still not acted on the nomination. 


Casey Criswell presented a follow up on the reproduction of the construction blue prints of C47.  Currently the prints exist on microfiche only and he has been unable to locate a firm that can reprint them in the original traditional format.


John Braun inquired on the status of fund raising activities. A suggestion, from earlier in the year, involved a potential raffle.  No raffles have been conducted.


John Braun commented on the status of the NPG Newsletter.  Don Peterson, co-editor for the newsletter, explained that the November-December issue has been indefinitely postponed.   Due to the lack of activity on the nomination of C47 to the National Register and the pending move of the NPG office to Lafayette, Indiana the Nov-Dec issue will be skipped with the next issue being the January-February issue.



The floor was opened for new business.


Don Peterson presented the Treasures Report for 1999.  No comments where made.




Treasurer's Report


The Nike Preservation Group is officially a tax-exempt organization with both the IRS and the State of Indiana. A report must be filed with the IRS in three years to confirm that estimates of the NPG’s income were correct.


At this time, the NPG has one physical asset: a color printer purchased for $345.00.


The NPG's only regular expense continues to be the publication of the newsletter, which requires postage and office products.


NPG Income for 1999 YTD = $1522.37

$1145.00 from membership dues

$377.37 from donations (video and map sales)


NPG Expenses for 1999 YTD:

Postage       $312.82

Corporate    160.00

Office            704.86


Don Peterson presented the NPG Mission Statement for review.  After a short discussion, a motion was made to make no changes to the mission statement, the motion passed.


Mission Statement


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 generations of that dark period of American history.


Don Peterson presented the current dues schedule for review and comment.  The motion was made to make no changes, the motion carried.  The current membership list and newsletter mailing list was also reviewed.


Don Peterson presented the NPG Bylaws for review.  After a brief discussion a motion was passed to adopt the Bylaws as amended and as they appear as an attachment to these minutes.   Changes are indicated by the use of italics.



Corporation Bylaws


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 logos.


1)       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.      NPG lifetime membership, $150.

E.       NPG family lifetime membership, $200.

F.       Corporate Sponsorship, $1000 or More.


6) Membership Benefits:


A.       All members receive the NPG newsletter.

B.       Lifetime members receive a free gift and their names enter on the C47 Wall of Fame.

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


7) Board of Directors:


A.       The Board of Directors shall be maintained to administer authority and responsibility to this Corporation.

B.       The Board shall number no more than six people at any time.

C.      Nomination to the Board must be done by an original incorporator and confirmed by majority vote of the Board.

D.      Removal or resignation from the board must be done by written notice.

E.       Removal from the board requires majority vote of the board.

F.       Voluntary resignation will be effective immediately following the receipt of a letter of resignation.

G.      The Board will meet at least once a year, on the date chosen by the Board.

H.      The Board members will be notified of an upcoming board meeting at least 30 days prior to the actual meeting date.

I.         A majority of the Board must be present to form a quorum.

J.        The President of the corporation will direct the location of the annual board meeting.

K.       The Board will determine the frequency of the newsletter publication.


8) Corporate Officers:


A.       The NPG shall maintain four officers.

B.       The term of office for each is one year.

C.      The officers may be board members, but are not required to sit on the Board of Directors.

D.      Elections are to be held at each annual meeting.

E.       The President of the NPG shall:

1.       Be responsible for the day-to-day activities of the NPG.

2.       Administer the policies and practices of the NPG.

3.       Represent the NPG as an official spokesperson.

                F.  The Vice President of the NPG shall:

1.       Assist the President with the administration of daily activities.

2.       Represent the NPG as an official spokesperson.

                G.  The Secretary of the NPG shall:

1.       Maintain a record of each meeting of the Board of Directors.

2.       Maintain membership records.

                H.  The Treasurer of the NPG shall:

1.       Maintain the Corporation's financial records.

2.       Make available financial reports of the Corporation.

Don Peterson reviewed the appointments of board members and officers.  A motion was made to elect Casey Criswell as Secretary and leave Susan Peterson as Treasurer only.   The motion passed.  A second motion was made to re-elect all remaining officers and re-confirm all board members in their current positions, this motion also passed.


Casey Criswell inquired on the availability of the Across Indiana video concerning C47 and the NPG’s efforts to save it.  Don Peterson noted that the NPG has a copy available for viewing and anyone interested should contact the NPG office.


Don Peterson announced the move date for the NPG office as 1 January 2000.  The new address will be 475 Maple St., West Lafayette, Indiana 47906, Phone 765-743-9333.  As an added note: The office will remain in the home of Don and Susan Peterson who have relocated to West Lafayette.


Don Peterson reported on the need for the NPG to purchase a scanner for the use of the NPG office and newsletter.  Casey Criswell made a motion to purchase a medium quality Hewlett Packard scanner, this motion passed.


Don Peterson closed the annual meeting at 15:25 Local Time.


 “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.

                                                475 Maple Street

West Lafayette, Indiana 47906


 Available in VHS only.  Allow 3-4 weeks for delivery.

The Nike Hercules Story - produced in 1958/59 by Herbert Kerkow, Inc. N.Y


THE COLD WAR By John Braun


The Greek Goddess of Victory (NIKE) defended cities all across the U.S. for 25 years during the Cold War. 1999 was the 45th anniversary of the activation of the 1st Nike Ajax Missile Site in the U.S. and the 25th anniversary of the deactivation of the last Nike Hercules Missile Site (except for FL & AK). November 9th, 1999 was the 10-year anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. The Soviet Union fell apart about two years later, December 26th, 1991; a final VICTORY in the Cold War day. The new millennium is encouraging a broader look back at the century, and the Cold War is one of the defining events. The men and women who won this war are heroes. Thank God, we never had to use our missiles in anger, so the Cold War is the war that never was. It ended with a resounding sigh of relief, not a ticker tape parade. Cool heads and expertise prevailed in our service to this great Country.

In recognition of your service during the Cold War era, September 2nd, 1945 to December 26th, 1991, in accordance with section 1084 of the Fiscal Year 1998 National Defense Authorization Act, the Secretary of Defense, William Cohen, approved awarding "Cold War Recognition Certificates” to all members of the armed forces and qualified federal government civilian personnel who faithfully and honorably served the United States during the "Cold War Era". Issuance of this certificate began April 1st, 1999. This certificate is multicolored on 8.5" x 11" parchment paper stock, signed by the Secretary of Defense, and suitable for framing. You will want to have it.


Who is Eligible?

All members of the armed forces and federal government civilian personnel who faithfully and honorably served during the time period shown above. If you request a certificate, you must certify that your character of service was honorable.


Acceptable documents for proof of service. Any official government or military document with recipient's name, Social Security Number/Military Service Number/Foreign Service Number and date of service is acceptable. I would recommend attaching a copy of your discharge form DD-214. That document contains all the necessary

Information needed for acceptance.


Sample Letter


John Doe

P.O. Box 000

Pleasantville, VA 00000




Cold War Recognition

Suite #400

4035 Ridge Top Road

Fairfax, VA 22030-7445


Please send me a Cold War Recognition Certificate for my service to the United States government during the authorized period of September 2nd, 1945 to December 26th, 1991.


Enclosed is a source document copy with my Social Security Number/Military Service Number/Foreign Service Number, which verifies my service during the Cold War Era. I understand that the enclosed document will not be returned.


Please mail my Cold War Recognition Certificate to the following address:


John Doe

PO Box 000

Pleasantville, VA  00000


Submission of this request confirms my faithful service to the nation during the Cold War Era. If my service was in the Armed Forces, I further certify that my discharge was honorable or general under honorable conditions. If I served as a federal civilian employee, I further certify that the character of my service was honorable.




John Doe


For those of you with access to the web, see to view a sample certificate and instructions. Others can telephone 703-275-6279 if you seek additional information. For purposes of certificate eligibility, the Cold War spanned the period of September 2nd, 1945, the date Japan surrendered to end WW II, to December 26th, 1991, when Mikhail Gorbachev resigned as Soviet president and the Soviet Union fell apart. The certificate is symbolic, and no financial reward is involved.


Having already received my certificate (2 - 3 month wait), I would highly recommend that you get yours. Honor for our service in ARADCOM was a little short on rewards for the devotion and long hours given. Besides your NDSM and your Good Conduct Medal, here's an opportunity that you will be proud to frame and hang on your wall.


You can e-mail John at




Last Name ___________________ First   ____________________MI _____

Street Address: _____________________________________________________________

City_________________________State ___________Zip  Code__________

Home  Phone (           )___________Work Phone (          )__________________

E-mail Address_______________________________________________________

 Are you a Veteran?   (Yes)   (No)

Did you work with Nike Systems or where you stationed at a Nike Base?  

(Yes)   (No)

If so, Where and When? _________________________________________________________

Are you interested in volunteering labor at C47?  (Yes)  (No)

What do you think you could help with? ____________________________________________


Mail to: The Nike Preservation Group, Inc.

         475 Maple Street

           West Lafayette, Indiana 47906

Membership fees:

 Individual Membership, $15 a year                              $150 NPG life time membership*

or  $40 for 3 years.                                    $200 NPG family life time membership*

 Family Membership, $20 a year                                 $1000 or More - Corporate Sponsorship**

or  $50 for 3 years.                 


 All members receive the NPG newsletter.  *   Lifetime members receive a free gift and their names on the C47 Wall of Fame.  ** Corporate sponsors receive a wall plaque of appreciation and their corporate logo placed on our sponsorship board. 

The Nike Preservation Group, Inc. is a not-for-profit corporation.


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.






Recent Photo of the C47 Mess Hall


Tom Vaughn Updates Website


Tom just added 2 additional pages of pictures of the C-47 IFC area to his


Nike Bases Picture Home Page.


You can find his page at:                                                                         

If you haven't paid your dues for 2000,
please don't delay, send it in today!