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Disclaimer: I have done very little archival type research and am untrained and unpracticed in that art and science.
This site gives an overview of Nike Ajax and Nike Hercules. There is no attempt to cover other Nike research such as the "Zeus" system.
Sections in this site which point to more material are:
- Nike Related Photos & Nike Resources (books)
- Nike, Military related and other favorite WWW sites.
- Experts or at least helpful
- about people, Army Record Center, St. Louis,
- picture of fire at record center in 1973
- about people, Don Wellman got records from the Army Record Center
Here are some other sources with comments
- An Army FAQ web page. spotted by Thomas E Page
- Nike Site SF-88 - Has many physical components and about 4 tons of Army Nike Technical Manuals. Bud Halsey has cataloged most/all of it. (Unfortunately Technical Manuals give mostly "how to" assemble, operate, fix (including schematics), order, ... information. I could find little on the Nike missile flight characteristics nor on the analog computer design, which I was quite interested in for a simulation program. )
- U.S. Army War College (USAWC) Library general policy is inter-library loans. USAWC will lend a copy to your local library for you to check out there. 717 245-4288 Circulation
U.S. Army War College Library,
122 Forbes Avenue,
Carlisle, PA 17013-5220
- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers home page http://www.usace.army.mil It has links to offices and info on programs.
A portion of Mark Morgan's response to locating former AAA gun positions - and I presume other things in the state of Washington and elsewhere in the U.S.
As for locating the former AAA gun positions, best answer Iíve found in the past is to hit the local (or whatever qualifies as local in your case) Army Corps of Engineers district office. They usually have a cultural resources management section with old DERP/FUDS reports, including former antiaircraft sites. I used the Seattle District Office to nail the gun facs around Seattle and Spokane/Fairchild so it might be worth a look on your part. A backup might be the State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) in Pierre, he/she might have copies of the reports. MK
- from Kathy O'Connor at Pacific Sierra Region, email@example.com phone (415)876-9009, covers some government records from N. California, and Pacific islands
- something "Permanent Historical Records" about 25/30 years before archiving, declassification
- most Army records go to Washington DC
- U.S. Army Center for Military History, 1009 14th St. NW, Washington, DC 20005-3402, (202)761-5420
- U.S. Airforce, HQAF 8RA/ISR, 600 Chennault Circle, Maxwell AFB, Alabama 36112-6424
- National Archives - http://www.nara.gov - a search via NAIL (NARA Archival Information Locator) for "nike" yielded 93 hits, mostly movies, photos, sound clips. Kathy mentioned something about "156.7.12 Research? Industrial Services Division - Chief of Ordnance -"
- Ben Buja found many interesting things in Washington DC while researching for an article "Nukes of Hazard". You might ask him for hints.
- Office Of History, Headquarters, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Kingman Building, 7701 Telegraph Road, Alexandria, VA 22315
- a State's National Guard. There is usually a historian or a detachment that deals with historical records of the duties of the various units over the years. Plus that would be the best place to find a visual documentation of the Nike sites manned by NG units.
- I found the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum has an Ajax and Hercules in its inventory of goodies. They have a curator of Rockets (or something title like that) who I talked to during my research.
- I recommend a great side trip to take a look at the Smithsonian aircraft restoration facility in MD. It is open to the public but you need to make advanced reservations
- Colonel Stephen P. Moeller, author of Vigilant and Invincible provided the following bibliography:
Works directly relating to ARADCOM:
- The History of ARADCOM, Volume I: The Gun Era 1950-1955 by Lt. Col. Roy S. Bernard, HQ, ARADCOM, 1971(?)
- U.S. Army Air Defense Command Annual Historical Summary 1966 by Thomas F Corrigan, HQ, ARADCOM
... 1967 by Jean Martin
... 1968 by Berle K. Hufford
- The ARADCOM Historical Data Book by Berle K. Hufford, HQ, ARADCOM, 1969
- The ARADCOM Annual Historical Summary by Hufford, 1969 & 1970
... by Hufford and Bernard 1971, 1972, & 1973
... by CW4 Richard N. Sunderland, 1974
- Militia Missilemen: The Army National Guard in Air Defense 1951-1967 by Lt. Col. Timothy Osato,, HQ, ARACOM, 1968
- Command Analysis U.S Army Air Defense Command 1963 and 1965 by the Comptroller of the Army
- ARADCOM's Florida Defenses in the Aftermath of the Cuban Missile Crisis 1963-1968 by LTC Timothy Osato, HQ, ARADCOM, 1968
- Remarks at US Army War College by Lt. Gen. William W. Dick, Jr., Commanding General, ARADCOM, given on March 21, 1963
Other works related to air defense:
- U.S. Army Air Defense Digest, Air Defense School, Ft. Bliss, 1966,7,9
- The Emerging Shield: The Air Force and the Evolution of Continental Air Defense 1945-1960 by Kenneth Schaffel, Office of Air Force History, 1991
- History of Strategic Air and Ballistic Missile Defense 1945-1955 by BDB Corporation, Department of the Army, Chief of Military History, 1975
- A History of Engineering and Science in the Bell System 1925-1975 by M.D. Fagen, Editor, 1978
- The Missile Gap by Edgar M. Bottome, 1971
- Strategic Weapons by Norman Polmar, 1975
- Strategic Power and Soviet Foreign Policy by Arnold L. Horelick and Myron Rush, 1966
- The Soviet Union and Strategic Arms by Robbin F Laiar and Dale R. Herspring, 1984
- Pyramiding of Profits and Costs in the Missile Procurement Program a report to the 88th Congress, 1964
- The Missile Defense Controversy by Ernest J. Yanarella, 1977
- Soviet Air Power by Richard E. Stockwell, 1956
- Science, Technology, and the Nuclear Arms Race by Dietrich Schroeer, 1984
- Missiles and the Revolution in Warfare by Nels A. Parson, Jr., 1962
- NSC-68 by The Executive Secretary on United States Objectives and Programs for National Security, April 14, 1950
- The Common Defense by Samuel P. Huntington, 1961
- Soviet Strategy in the Nuclear Age by Raymond L. Gartoff, 1962
- Soviet Military Strategy by V.D. Sokolovskii, Editor, 1963
- The Origins of SDI, 1944-1983 by Donald R. Baucom, 1992
- Air Defense in the Nuclear Age by James M. Eglin, 1988
- The Air Defense of the United States by Strum, Volan, Billias, and Stevens, HQ, Air Defense Command, 1951 (plus several semiannual updates)
- Fighting for Peace by Caspar Weinberger, Chapter X, SDI
- Semiannual Report of the Secretary of Defense 1952 through 1966
- Juggernaut: A History of the Soviet Armed Forces by Malcolm MacKintosh, 1967
- The Secretaries of Defense: A Brief History 1947-1985, by Roger R. Trask, 1985
- Argus ARADCOM's newspaper, then magazine.
- Antiaircraft Journal
- Army Magazine
- Army Information Digest
- Ordnance Magazine
- Military Engineer
- Military Electronics
- Signal Magazine
- ADC Communications and Electronics Digest
- from Kurt Laughlin, 400 South Brodhead Rd, Aliquippa PA 15001-2132 (724)375-8669
I have gotten quite a few manuals on an inter-library loan from the Army War College in Carlisle PA, which I have then photocopied.† If you have a copy of the overall system manuals, I'd like to get a copy.† I'm thinking of TM 9-5001-1, TM 9-5010-1, and TM 9-1400-250-10.
A good station diagram (dimensioned drawing)can be found in TM 9-5012-1.† This manual also contains full painting and stenciling data for the M1 missile.† An excellent cutaway is in TM 9-5013-1.† The best dimensional/stenciling info on the booster is in the N-H manual - they used the same motor.
There are N-A & launchers at Aberdeen Proving Grounds and Hancock MD at a VFW.† APG also has a N-H.† There is a N-H & launcher at Ft. Meade MD.
- from Nicholas Peter Munro Maude
Nicholas pointed to the CD ROM series "The Swords of Armageddon" by Chuck Hansen, http://www.uscoldwar.com/ which has a large amount of de-classified nuclear weapons material, including warhead testing. The price is on the order of $300. The same author also published "U.S. Nuclear Weapons, the Secret History" in 1988, which Amazon says is "hard to find".
- How do I do research on NIKE Air Defense Missile Sites? at http://www.army.mil/CMH-PG/faq/nike.htm
- Your Regional, State, County, ... Historical Society. Nike is history, and there is growing attention to it - before the oral and physical history disappears. A "typical" (no such thing) historical society is Historical Community of Northwest Indiana
- Dept. of Transportation Library - from Greg Kientop
I have recently come across this 1958 aerial photograph which covers a portion of the C-54 launch facility in the Chicago Ring. As I work on roadwork-related projects... the further away from a highwaysystem you are... the less likely I will ever see aerial coverages of these sites. Perhaps this shot will interest you none-the-less.
I have higher resolution images (little better viewing quality) but this one is best suited for web usage. The source is the Ill. Dept. of Transportation Library of Aerial photography in Springfield, IL.
Texas A&M class of '88
- Personal Opinions of an un-named source
Further to my recent ranting, as a result of contacting the "wrong" people in connection with learning more about local Nike sites, I got smart and tried contacting the "right" people.
And, I got some good results!
Instead of working with municipal clerks, landmarks preservation people or local historians, I went to the people who seem to know more about these sites, and, better still, who are really interested in them -- the local police and fire departments.
My phone rang about a half dozen times today with various people offering information about the sites or saying they would make some additional inquiries. One excellent contact, the Deputy Fire Chief of a town with a Nike site, told me all about the fiefighting arrangements, water supplies, where the barracks and housing area was (that was an element I was unsure of) and mentioned that they had used the missile magazines for firefighting practice after the site had been closed. He had lots of other worthwhile stories as well.
Another coincidence here. He served in the Army during the early and mid 1960s and was based in the Fairbanks, Alaska area. Doing what? Firefighting for Nike Hercules sites in the region! How's that for a coincidence! He has great stories about that and even has some photos of live launches from sites in that area which he's going to pull out of the attic for me!
It obviously pays to talk to the "right" people. And in the case of Nike related historical research it appears that the "right" people are frequently not the historians or preservation people, but the local police and fire personnel. Interesting, isn't it!?
Interesting "ain't" it!? After dealing with so many WOMEN who were totally surprised, confused, hostile or suspicious, and usually not interested in the topic of old Nike sites ... and after getting some good, interested, helpful responses from MEN who are mostly in the local law enforcement agencies, police, fire, sheriff, etc., I just made this observation.
Not surprisingly, many of the men ARE much more interested in this. Some may have served in the military or may still serve in the reserves. And many of them are just more interested in this topic.
Nike Missiles: & Missile Sites: A Guy Thing!
To be fair, however, I do have the Nike Ajax and Hercules monographs written by MARY Cagle who did a rather good job. And then there are certain women associated with the ADA Branch and its history and archives who are certainly very knowledagble and helpful. I guess they are just more exceptional than many other women!
However, in general, my inquiries get much more attention and interest from those of the male gender. The women mostly seem to have no interest in it and seem to wish this person calling about old Nike missile sites (whatever they are - yuck!) would stop pestering them and just go away! ;-)
- picture of fire at record center in 1973 - from Roy Mize
Estimated loss - Army Personnel discharged Nov 1, 1912, to Jan 1, 1960 - 80%
- "No duplicate copies of the records that were destroyed in the fire were maintained, nor was a microfilm copy ever produced. There were no indexes created prior to the fire. In addition, millions of documents had been lent to the Department of Veterans Affairs before the fire occurred. Therefore, a complete listing of the records that were lost is not available. Nevertheless, NPRC (MPR) uses many alternate sources in its efforts to reconstruct basic service information to respond to requests."
- from Tom Vaughn in response to someone's plea for finding people's Army records - updated April 21, 2003
- Here is the url for the records center where your father's records are most likely kept. The center is in St. Louis, MO. Do you have his social security number or service number? Let me know what information you do have on him and hopefully I can give you more direction.
(end of update)
If you want to invest some time and effort into you research you can contact the Army Records Center in St Louis and request the rosters and morning reports for the above unit. Once you have the names you can use the internet to search for the men from this site. By picking the most unusual names from the rosters you may be able to find some W-54 vets. I have researched a local Nike base near where I live (C-47 Wheeler IN) and found the battery commander from 1963/4 because of his unusual last name (Nitkowski)
In my research on C-47 I had great success at the area libraries. One library had a file from approx. 1950 to 1980 where they had articles clipped from local newspapers on military subjects.
The libraries or newspapers may have on microfilm back issues. I spent hours viewing old newspapers at the library. Found great articles on and about the local Nike bases.
My site has some pictures from some other Maryland Nike bases.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions.
- Don Wellman got records from the Army Record Center
I ordered the Unit Rosters for PI-37, Herminie Nike Site from the Mlitary Personnel Records Center in St. Louis and ended up with 1,071 names of veterans who served there from 1956-1974.
Hours of computer people search and many phone calls later, I had the contact information for 333 people, 57 of whom are deceased.
We had our Reunion in August of 2008. 130 veterans, spouses and guests attended. I thought it very fortunate that I found the very first Battery Commander of PI-37 (then B Battery, 1st AAA Msl Bn) and the last Battery Commander (then B Battery, 3rd Msl Bn, 1st Artillery). We are presently constructing a website. http://www.aradcomsite37.com/
We have a lot of information and pictures to put there. We may have another reunion in a couple of years if we live that long!!!!
Sorry about all this detail, but thought you might find it interesting.
Thanks again for all you do.
Have a good 2009!
Back to Home Page If you have comments or suggestions, Send e-mail
to Ed Thelen
Updated January, 2006
If you have comments or suggestions, Send e-mail to Ed Thelen
Updated January, 2006