Washington-Baltimore Defense Area Summary
NOTE:Use Ed Thelen’s web page (http://ed-thelen.org/; usually not accessible from .mil sites) for updates and aerial photographs of the sites.
Baltimore Defense Area
BA-03 Phoenix/Sweet Air– This was the northernmost surviving Nike Hercules site in the Washington-Baltimore-Norfolk Defense Area. The Admin/launch fac is at 3101 Paper Mill Rd/MD 145, about one west of Jacksonville. I’ts intact; the buildings now serve as the Paper Mill Receation Center/Jacksonville Senior Center. The launchers are half a mile down the hill, locked and are apparently used for fire training.
The control site, on the other hand…I went on into Jax and started my usual square search, which included a stop at a gas station. No, the kid didn’t know anything, nor did the older owner. However, one even older gentleman followed me out and gave me directions to the remnants of BA-03C.
Emphasis on remnants: hurricane fencing, small amounts of concrete and nothing else remain on Sunnybrook Rd north of Merryman’s Mill. The former fac is one south of Jacksonville and what’s left is surrounded by new housing. Oh well…
Units assigned were A/602nd (11/55-8/56), A/54th (8/56-9/58), A/4/1st (9/58-12/62) and MDArNG D/1/70th (12/62-4/74) (20 Apr 95).
Towson– According to my Baltimore area map, the armory is located at the corner of Joppa Blvd and York Rd, about six hundred yards south of the I-695 interchange. What I found was a fire station/training site, with brick buildings, garages, etc. Conceivably, this is the old armory that hosted MDArNG HHB 1/70th for a period.
Immediately south of the cloverleaf on the east side of York is General Harry C. Ruhl Armory, home to units of the 29th ID(L), VA/MDArNG. The primary orga assigned is the 29th Division Support command. From photographs in the lobby, it is apparent that this is a newer facility which replaced something…on the same site? The other structures I found? The world wonder (20 Apr 95).
BA-09 Fork– Up the hill, down the hill. The control site was located at the top of a hill, approximately five west of Fork and south of MD 147/Stockdale Road, at the end of Hutchensreuter Road. Got to the top of the road and didn’t find a damn thing, just several houses and plenteous no trespassing signs. Call this one an "O," for obliterated.
The launch fac is located east of BA-09C, south of Stockdale and west of Monte Vista. Pulled off in front of the privately owned site to discover a young blonde lady with several big dogs (it could’ve been worse; she could have had several big guns). The site is pretty beat up but appears to be intact and is privately owned by a mix of people, dogs and horses. I took a couple of photos from outside the gate and pressed on.
BA-09 was Ajax only with three magazines/12 launchers. Manning was by D/54th (11/55-9/58), D/4/1st (9/58-9/59) and MDArNG D/1/70th (9/59-12/62) (12 May 95).
BA-18 Edgewood Arsenal –The Baltimore Defense was effectively a component of the Washington Defense; while group and battalion headquarters were at BA-14 Edgewood, the Missile Master/Mentor installation was at W-13DC, Fort Meade.
The Edgewood Nike site I just outside the arsenal gate on the old boundary between Edgewood and APG. The control site is currently the Maryland Army National Guard Operations Activity Center; most of the buildings are there although I didn’t notice any radar plats. I stopped at the gate leading to the launchers – according to my guard contact they’re fairly intact – and was informed that my contact’s boss needed a signed letter from my superior stating why I needed to see the site. Oh well…
Too bad I couldn’t get back there. BA-18 was a 24-launcher site with 12 converted to Hercules. Operating units were C/54th (/55-9/58) and C/4/1st (9/58-4/74) (09 Oct 92).
BA-30/31 Tolchester Beach– This one is located near the intersection oif MD 21 and MD 445, immediately east of the beach town of the same name. BA-30 was another six-magazine, 24-launcher site which converted to Hercules and remained in operation ‘til the end. Units assigned were D/36th (/54-9/58), D/1/562nd (9/58-12/62) and D/4/1st (12/62-4/74).
The control fac is on MD 21 just past the intersection and is intact with all buildings and radar plats. Current use is as Kent Agricultural Center (for Kent County). The gates were locked but I was able to get a few shots over and through the fence. The launcher is ¾ mils south, west side of MD 445 and it was locked tight. Apparently it belongs to Kent County. I crawled through the bushes adjacent but wasn’t able to see anything (21 May 92).
BA-43 Jacobsville– The control site was right where he said it would be, at 9034 Smallwood Road. I didn’t see any towers but the buildings appeared intact. Current owner is the Anne Arundel County Schools Maintenance and Operations Department.
I went through a lot of housing developments looking for the elusive launch fac; I finally stopped again, a hardware/bait and tackle store, looked at their county atlas and discovered that BA-43L was located south of the control site at the end of…Old Nike Site Road. Groan…I went back up, prowled back and forth and determined that current access to the road was through the locked control site. Rats.
The Jacobsville installation had 12 launchers for Ajax and was manned by C/36th (/54-9/58), C/1/562nd (9/58-3/60) and MDArNG A/1/70th (3/60-12/62) (22 Apr 95).
Fort Smallwood– Was the southern defense of Baltimore and the Patapsco River, built on Rocky Point. The fort was built in 1890 and fitted with two batteries: Hartshorne (2x6-in) and Sykes (2x3-in). The post was transferred to Baltimore in 1926 for use as a city park.
Hartshorne is still standing, looking more like a long concrete building without any earthen protection. A few small supply buildings stand nearby, as well as what appears to be the former headquarters building. Otherwise, recreational use abounds. During the Nike the former Army post hosted MDArNG’s HHB 683rd (1/55-6/59) and HHB 1/70th (6/59-10/62) (22 Apr 95).
BA-79 Granite– The control site is .5 north of Woodstock, west side of Hernwood, and INTACT! BIG! LOCKED! Five towers and the HIPAR building still stand, reflecting the installation of an AN/FPS-75 ABAR and AN/FPA-16. The sign at the gate states that there are careers with a future in the Maryland Guard, 70th General Support Company. From the condition of the grounds and the sign, I’d say the 70th moved on to another location some time ago.
The launch fac is .7 north of 79L, on the east side of Hernwood and is also locked up. Current occupant is the Maryland Police & Correctional Training Commission, "Home of the K-9." The launchers are a ways back from the gate and I wasn’t able to get a good look, but the place looked complete for the most part. After I returned home and dug out the reference I learned that this was a double site with 24 launchers, 16 modified for Hercules between March 1958 and February 1959.
Air defenders at Bravo Alpha Seven-Nine were A/54th (12/54-8/56), A/602nd (8/56-9/58), A/4/5th (9/58-8/60), B/4/1st (8/60-12/62), MDArNG A/2/70th (12/62-3/63), HHB 1/70th (10/62-8/74) and B/1/70th (12/62-4/74) (21 Apr 95).
BA-92 Cronhardt– Oh my, this one took some doing. This is gentrified country out this way, northwest of Baltimore, and once again there’s a fair amount new housing and the like. I came out of downtown to the Beltway, ran around north to exit 22 and then north on Greenspring Avenue.
Best I can tell, BA-92 Charlie is now the SSG Isadore R. Jachman US Army Reserve Center, located on the west side of Green Spring Rd north of Broadway. I talked to one of the officers and he said it was his understanding that this was a former Nike site. The buildings are all new; the motor pool, up a rise slightly, has a couple of older structures but the place otherwise has been cleaned off. Units assigned are the 2071st USAR School, 326th Maintenance Battalion and 214th MI Company.
The zero gave me directions to what he thought was the former launch fac: Ridge Road, .8 east of Green Spring. What I found was a bunch of trees, no fence, no foundations, but plenty of upscale new houses. I don’t think this was it…What I did find were long cinderblock buildings on the south side of 2515 Baublitz Rd, 1.5 east of Green Spring, which now serves as the Washington Valley Swim Club (ie, pool, other activities). The buildings look appropriate, but if there were launchers here, they were well and truly obliterated. Bravo Alpha Nine-Two was Ajax only, 12 launchers. B/54th (12/54-9/58), B/4/1st (9/58-9/59) and MDArNG D/2/70th (9/59-9/53) manned the site (20 Apr 95).
Washington Defense Area
Fort George G. Meade (W-13DC/RP-54/Z-227) –Named for the last commander of the Army of the Potomac and Yankee victor at Gettysburg, Fort Meade served as the AADCP for the Washington/Baltimore Defense Area and was the site of the first operational Ajax battery. After 1971, W-13DC acquired operational control of the three remaining Hercules batteries in the Norfolk Defense.
The Missile Master/Mentor fac and adjacent Air Force radar site are now occupied by the fort’s Director of Information Services. The building’s intact as are the barracks, support buildings and radar towers. We got out, meandered about, took lots of pictures and I answered lots of questions.
Units assigned to the command post were HQ Second ARADCOM Region (3/51-8/61), HQ 35th ADA Brigade (2/50-12/73), HQ 23rd ADA Group (12/73-9/74), HHB 36th (1/’54-9/58) and HHB 1/562nd (9/58-12/62). The co-located Air Force long-range radar unit was the 770th Radar squadron (10/61-1/80), equipped with (at least) an AN/FPS-67 (22 Apr 94).
W-13DC Fort Meade (RP-54/Z-227)– Yup, pretty much as I remembered: a clump of buildings on the north side of MD 175 opposite the post proper with two towers and the Missile Master building still standing. The Nike Hercules that used to sit in front of the Fort Meade Museum is now parked in front of Bldg 1978, the old Missile Master/Mentor facility; it has a nice interpretive plaque put in by the museum in 1998.
Fort Meade was the first functioning AN/GSG-1 in ARADCOM, going operational on 5 December 1957 with much hue and cry and celebration; it upgraded to the AN/TSQ-51 Missile Mentor in August 1966 and remained operational through the demise of the defense area in 1974. The structure continues to house the post’s Director of Information Management and is of a unique design; unlike the other Missile Master blockhouses I’ve seen at Oakdale (PI-70DC), Pedricktown (PH-64DC), Lockport AFS (NF-17DC) and Fort Lawton (S-90DC) it’s rather large and multi-faceted with vertical exterior walls, not sloped.
The complex is now outside the "secure perimeter" of Fort Meade and entry is easy enough; I drove in, got photos of the support barracks across the parking lot – apparently now housing, in excellent shape – and the AADCP structure itself and then departed. I could see the concrete AN/FPS-90 tower looming behind the AADCP and a look at the Radomes museum page for Fort Meade will bring several aerial and ground-level shots of the surviving FPS-67B tower and other structures; the page also has several historic shots, including the one inserted above (27 Nov 02).
W-13T Fort Meade– In December 1953 B/36th Antiaircraft Artillery Battalion finished Nike training and occupied a temporary Ajax site on the western portion of the post, south of MD 198 and east of the Parkway and Maryland City. On 30 May 1954, ARAACOM declared the installation operational, marking the first deployment of surface-to-air missiles in the world.
Potvin initially took me to what he described as the tallest hill in the refuge and old Fort Meade; we found an open prairie on Combat Road with absolutely no remains of paving or other sign of Army use. He said the only "development" he’d ever found was a concrete base for a fence post but was pretty sure this was the old radar site or IFC. I mentioned there had to be a second facility, possibly with concrete pads and mounting points for missile launchers and he said, "I know the place."
We went almost exactly a mile east on Combat Road – as can be expected, it’s more of a jeep trail – and he pointed out the location of an abandoned bunker. Immediately afterwards we found two concrete pads, roughly 30x60-feet with cylindrical steel mounting points buried in the concrete. Both pads looked just big enough to handle two Ajaxes on rails and launchers; the easterly concrete slab had a crew access door at its extreme southeast corner, just like the emergency access ports I’ve seen at the permanent Nike sites. Wild…
I ran around, took a bunch of pictures and then we returned to the refuge visitor’s station where Potvin printed a map showing the two components. I thanked him and departed for my next stop.
Were these the two components of W-13T? I’m guessing they were; the IFC’s within a couple of hundred yards of its earlier listed location and the two parts are aligned on a northerly threat access in keeping with the W-13 number. An inadvertant Ajax shot to the northwest or north – as happened on 14 April 1955 – would’ve passed over the parkway.
The day of the accident the battery personnel were in the middle of a procedures drill when one of the missiles suddenly fired and headed and westward, burning the section sergeant. The Nike subsequently exploded right over the Parkway, apparently due to command or automatic detonation. The MPs and Maryland State Police secured the site, the Army recovered the parts and the Army later determined a short circuit caused the inadvertent firing. However, an article by Merle Cole – I found it at http://community-2.webtv.net/nikew25/roguenike; he wrote it up for the January 2001 edition of the Anne Arundel County History News, No. 32 – states that the launch damaged the missile and it probably broke up due to aerodynamic forces. He added the booster did separate and ended up in Barber’s Trailer Court, roughly a mile away (oh BOY!).
In any event, according to the records I have B/36th remained at W-13T through June 1955 when it moved to W-25 Davidsonville, some 15 miles to the south-southeast. My guess is the Army cleaned out the temporary site shortly afterwards (27 Nov 02).
Davidsonville (W-25)– this was one of the first Nike sites I ever learned anything about, courtesy of an article in Maryland History Magazine provided by either Binder-San or Covello. This was the second "National Site," used by the Army to show foreign dignitaries and other VIPS what the Nike air defense missile system looked like. I wonder if there was a similar counterpart SA-2 site outside of Moscow somewhere…
W-25 was an eight-launcher Ajax and Herc site, with the following units assigned: B/36th 96/55-9/58), B/1/562nd (9/58-12/62), B/1/71st (12/62-/65), B/4/1st (/65-11/68) and MDArNG A/1/70th (11/68-4/74).
The launch site is now the Anne Arundel County Police Training Academy and it’s pretty much intact. I’d contacted the commander, Lt Birmingham, in advance so we received a guided tour in and around small arms quals. One of the two magazines has been converted into a gym and we all got a look. First time everyone else had ever been in a Nike magazine.
The control site is down at the intersection of Anne Bridge and Elmer Hagner, with the former Army housing located across Anne Bridge. This one’s complete and in good shape too, including three towers; the former HIPAR tower is now used by an amateur radio club. More training ensued (22 Apr 94).
W-26 Annapolis/Bay Bridge– North side of US 50, about two miles short of the bridge proper. The roads have all changed hereabouts so this one took some doing.
W-26L is now between Bay Head and Yorktown Roads and is ID’d as Federal property. The berms are gone and the launchers have structures on them, but the buildings are there. Move a mile west on Pennington (main E-W above US 50), turn south on Broad Neck, turn left up the hill at Broad Neck Church and find…another locked gate. No towers, otherwise intact, current occupant is the Army Reserve.
This was the first Hercules site to be turned over to the Army National Guard, in December 1962. It was built with three magazines/12 launchers and converted to two/eight; the fac also received an AN/FPS-75 ABAR. The units were A/36th (/55-9/58), A/1/562nd (9/58-12/62) and MDArNG A/1/70th (12/62-11/68).
And let’s see…that leaves the three north DC sites in the Washington Defense Area (15 Jan 95).
W-26 Annapolis/Bay Bridge– This was the westernmost of the 13 Washington sites but several of the Baltimore batteries were further west, a function of the layout of the combined defense area and Chesapeake Bay topography. Anyway, the two components were almost with rock-throwing distance – or even flamed-out-booster-dropping distance – of the west end of the bridge at Sandy Point.
Finding access the former IFC off Broad Neck south of College Way proved the most difficult aspect of the site visit and I wound up viewing the property from the grounds of the adjacent St Andrew By the Bay Catholic Church (701 College Parkway; note the cross in the aerial photo below). Fortunately the church parking lot provided a good, clear view of the multiple surviving buildings although nothing stood out vis a vis former tower location or radar alignment but from looking at the overhead I suspect they were along the east fence, slightly uphill from the structures. W-26C’s located at 39-01-42N/076-27-00W and I’d still rate it as partially intact
W-26L was easier, no surprise as it’s immediately east of Bay Head Road, north of US 50 between exits 30 and 31. Seemed to me when I visited last time the fac was more intact with several buildings and magazines evident, still under US government ownership. This time around I discovered the maintenance yard for Sandy Point State Park with beaucoup modifications and regrading. The assembly building still stands and I was pretty sure I could see the former magazine/launcher area from the locked gate, but otherwise the site’s almost unrecognizable and the buildings seen in the August 1994 aerial photo alongside the road are now long gone. The lat/long is 39-01-47N/076-26-06W.
Built with the standard 1B2C/three-magazine/12-launcher configuration, W-26 underwent conversion from Ajax to Hercules between December 1960 and June 1961. The assigned units were A/36th (/55-9/58), A/1/562nd (9/58-12/62) and MDArNG A/1/70th (12/62-11/68), which made it one of three Herc sites in the Washington-Baltimore Defense Area transferred to the Guard in December 1962, along with BA-03 Phoenix/Sweet Air and BA-79 Granite. Battery A 1/70th moved to Annapolis from the BA-43 Jacobsville Ajax installation and after W-26 shut down moved down the road to W-25 Davidsonville.
If I remember correctly, the 1st of the 70th was the first Guard battalion to assume operational responsibility for Hercules batteries in ARADCOM. The number survives as the 70th Regiment (Leadership), Regimental Training Institute at Camp Fretterd near Reisterstown. According to the web page I looked up, Fretterd formerly served as a state reform school (there’s a message there somewhere…) (11 May 06).
W-35 Croom/Marlboro– The control site and battery command area are .9 E of MD 382, on the north side of Calvert Road. All locked up, but I was able to get some slides of the buildings through the fence. The radars may have been on berms vice towers. The housing area is another .4 east on the north side. Four multi-units, one of which is burned out. They’re for sale by the CofE, if anyone’s interested in affordable housing.
There’s a wye in the road another .5 east; bear right to the end and you’ll find -35L. It too was locked up but appeared to be intact. Both launch and control are now Croom Vocational High School; the launch fac is identified as the auto, building trades and grounds keeping school.
Yet another Ajax site, this time with eight launchers. The units were HHB and B/75th (11/54-9/58), HHB and B/3/562nd (9/58-6/60) and MDArNG B/3/70th (6/60-3/63) (15 Jan 95).
W-36 Brandywine/Naylor– Whiskey-Three-Six was a 12-launcher Ajax battery manned by D/75th (11/54-9/58) and D/3/562nd (9/58-12/61). Turn left on Molly Berry Road, go a half mile and the launchers are on the left. The housing area is another quarter mile west, at the intersection of Molly Berry and North Keys. I didn’t find the control site, but I have a funny feeling I was looking in the wrong place.
The housing area now belongs to the Air Force and looks like it’s been renovated. The launch fac is partially intact but heavily overgrown and decrepit. I poked around the buildings then went up to the magazines for a look. The assembly building has been removed but everything else is there (15 Jan 95).
W-36 Brandywine/Naylor– Armed with better knowledge, I intended to find the control site this time around. Yeah, but…when you get back roughly a mile behind the launchers (west), there are a lot of new houses – more like estates – so the situation was questionable. The launch fac, which I hit last time, is now locked up.
I finally ended up on the only paved road in the correct approximate location on North Keys Road, looking at a sign that said Brandywine Sand & Gravel Company-Surface Mining operation. The gate was locked and heavily littered with the usual "no trespassing" signs, so I have no idea what shape the site was in (09 May 95).
Mattawoman/Waldorf (W-44)– Didn’t have a map for this one, so I stopped at the Waldorf Fire Department and got directions to the control site. From there I figured I could find the other half.
Whiskey-Four-Four was a Hercules site, equipped with an ABAR AN/FPS-71 and AN/FPA-16. Operations were by C/75th (11/54-9/58), C/3/562nd (9/58-12/61), A/1/71st (12/61-3/63), MDArNG A/3/70th (12/61-3/63) and MDArNG C/1/70th (3/63-6/71).
The control site is about five miles north of Waldorf, on the east side of US 301 (hmmm…interesting motels along this route). They told me to find Nike Road, which turns right (northeast) into Country Lane. Went another mile or so and there were the buildings. A nursery and new office building are crammed into one corner of the site; the remaining ARADCOM buildings are boarded up and pretty decrepit. There were no towers.
Up the road another mile and you’ll find W-44L, on the right side. Unfortunately it’s gated and locked; the sign indicates that it is the American Indian Cultural Center/Maryland Indian Heritage Society of Waldorf. The buildings are there as are the berms; no idea what condition the launchers are in (23 Apr 94).
Accokeek (W-45)– Off to your right at the turn is the launch site. An eight-launcher Ajax installation, W-45 was manned by the air defenders of A/75th (11/54-9/58), A/3/562nd (9/58-6/60) and MDArNG B/3/70th (6/60-12/61).
The launch site looks intact; one of the buildings has an observatory dome tacked onto it. The sign at the gate indicates that the fac is now Naval Research Lab-Field Site lower Waldorf; it is the field lab for Codes 600, 7100 and 8300, whatever they are.
Backtrack about 200 yards and drive south up the hill through the new housing At the top you’ll find another gate and sign: NRL-Waldorf Annex. The only thing that can be seen through the gate are two big satellite tracking antennas. Interesting (23 Apr 94).
Pamonkey (W-54)– A mile up the road on the left you’ll see a sign that says NRL-Pamonkey Facility-Navy Center for Space Technology…and another gate, with not much of a view. Did see another satellite antenna. This was the launcher.
Another 300 yards up Bump Oak, turn right up the hill at Gwynn Road and you’ll go directly to W-54C. It’s now the Charles county Alternative School; all of the buildings are there as are the towers, which are encased in sheet metal.
My last Nike site for the day was another eight-launcher Ajax installation, operated by A/71st (11/54-9/58) and A/1/71st (9/58-12/61) (23 Apr 94)
Lorton (W-64)– Immediately west of I-95 and the town of Lorton and north of the Occoquan River, and by now only the hard core Nike freaks need to apply. This was the first "National Site" and the only double site in the Washington Defense. I was eagerly looking forward to the inspiring site of 24-launchers/six magazines. Well…
The control fac is south of Silver Brook Road/VA 600 and belongs to the DC government as a maintenance yard for the nearby prison and youth correctional center. The buildings are still there but the towers are gone; according to our guide, this was the last DC Nike site to still retain a clear site view between the battery control and launchers. Oh yeah; up on the hill behind the buildings is an old Navy aircraft simulator trainer, 1D-? Reminded me of my days at VA-42.
The launch site is at the intersection of Hooes Road/636 and Furnace Hill/611. Here we go…no we don’t. This is another prison site and other than some buildings, nothing’s left. Rats…
Units assigned were C/71st (7/54-9/58), C/1/71st (9/58-8/63), VAArNG A/1/280th (9/59-3/63) and VAArNG A/4/111th (8/63-4/74). The first guard unit acquired eight Ajax launchers in 1959 after the conversion of 16 to Hercules and were co-located with the active Army unit for four years. Hence, the visitors could see both types of missiles at one site (22 Apr 94).
Fairfax (W-74)– Seventy-Four is west of VA 123, south of Fairfax City and off Popes Head/VA 654. The control site has been heavily modified, with only a couple of buildings standing and is now a county maintenance yard. Two towers are still standing, covered with corrugated sheet steel.
The launcher is about a mile further west and has been completely obliterated. According to our guide, the magazines were filled in with sand and then covered with dirt. We sure as hell didn’t see much of anything recognizable.
W-74 was an eight-launcher Ajax installation, manned by D/71st (7/54-9/58), D/1/71st (9/58-9/59) and VAArNG B/1/280th (9/59-3/63) (22 Apr 94).
Herndon/Dranesville (W-83)– A 12-launcher Ajax site, W-83 was operated by B/71st (7/54-9/58) and B/1/71st (9/58-11/62). The control site is on the east side of Springvale Road immediately south of VA 193/Georgetown Pike. The buildings are still there; the only thing resembling a radar tower is a tall cinderblock structure with an observatory shell on top. Currently owned by the Army Reserve, 83-Charlie previously served as a Defense Mapping Agency satellite tracking facility.
According to our USAR MP escort the control site will be sold to the county, which plans to bulldoze the structures and put up some ball fields. According to the planner, historical markers will be placed at this and the other two Fairfax County sites. Our county escort said there was nothing left of the launch fac so we proceeded to our next stop. W-83L is one mile east on Utterback Store Road, behind Forestville School (22 Apr 94).
W-92 Rockville– After a couple of laps of the vicinity, I realized I was looking at the wrong section of the map. Once I pulled my head out, finding the control site was easy enough. I ended up on MD 28/Darnestown Raod, a few yards north fo the intersection with Muddy Branch Road.
Charlie’s is located at 10901 Darnestown Road, up a paved access road between housing developments. Got to the top and found several buildings (most modified), towers and alocked gate with sign indicating "US Consumer Products Safety Commission-Engineering Lab." The atmosphere is now almost park like but most of it’s there.
The launch fac was a tad more circumspect. It sits next to a mini-mall at 770 Muddy Branch, up on a rise and completely surrounded by fencing. The main gate has several US government signs but no indication of the current owners. I saw a few buildings through the trees, but not much else.
This was a surviving Regular Army Nike Hercules battery, with three magazines/12 launchers. The units assigned were A-71st (/54-9/55), D/602nd (9/55-9/58), D/4/5th (9/58-8/60), D/1/71st (8/60-/65) and A/4/1st (/65-4/74) (11 May 95).
W-93 Laytonsville/Derwood– This one was rather different in that I found three widely separated components two of which were in good shape.
First stop was the launch fac, located at 5321 Riggs Road. Kind of tight and twisty up here, glad I brought the Probe…came around the corner and drop the hook! The site was partially intact but had been heavily modified and was all locked up. Signs seemed to indicate that it belonged to the MDArNG But it was hard to tell. Two interesting aspects: remote control surveillance camera at the front gate and one of the magazines was excavated at one end and had a ramp built into it.
The next stop at 5115 Riggs Road three me briefly; best I could tell, this was an admin site. Several buildings, all in good condition and no sign of towers. An M114 was parked out front near the sign that stated the site belonged to B/1/115th Infantry, MDArNG.
At the last one it was the proverbial case of booming up the mysterious paved road, past the guard shack and…nothing else left. The control site, located at 21515 Zion Road, was completely cleaned off and replaced by buildings housing the American Foundation for Autistic Children.
Whiskey-Nine-Three was the ubiquitous three-magazine 12-launcher Ajax site, operated by B/602nd (9/55-9/58) and B/4/5th (9/58-8/60) (11 May 95).
W-94 Gaithersburg– Former Ajax installation with 12 launchers. The battery was manned by C/602nd (9/55-9/58), C/4/5th (9/58-6/60) and MDArNG C/2/70th (6/60-3/63).
The former control site was located inb the vicinity of Strawberry Knoll and Cross Country, among a mix of new and old housing. The best I can tell, Nine-Four-Charlie was obliterated and turned into Hasy-Strawberry Knoll-Cross Country Park. A bunch of vatos were playing b-ball so I didn’t extend my visit.
Drove down tot eh launch fact at 8791 Snouffer School, yup, fairly new reserve center there, so I pulled into the parking lot to make my notes. No use wasting a shot on a new brick building. Ooops! Access road next to the parking lot, partially hidden with access to the launchers. The magazines are intact; there were no buildings and everything was pretty overgrown. The reserve facility is the Maj Gen Benjamin L. Hunton Memorial USAR Center, under First Army (11 May 95).