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PI-37 Photos

from J. Kent Mitchell
taken on May 25, 1958

For years I (Ed Thelen) have resisted posting photos of individual Nike sites.
    - Preferring generic pictures
    - Internet Host space used to be expensive
    - OK, I'm lazy
    - These images are beautiful quality
    - The Ajax was my missile ;-))

Images and most words by J. Kent Mitchell
Nike Ajax - isn't that beautiful !! Speed and grace in a work of art. The grey thing behind with three fins is the booster. This missile/booster pair is on a launcher which is on an elevator which raises and lowers into the underground magazine. The fellow pushing the button is also on the elevator, will ride up and down with the missile. The permanently above ground part of a Launcher Section. Note the three launchers which can be loaded and and ready to fire. The elevator with its launcher is below ground, and the elevator doors closed.
A view of the missile fueling area and the trailer that was for moving missile assemblies to and from the fueling area, the missile maintenance building, and the launcher sections (pits). The berms surrounded the missile fueling area. Missile fueling was a dangerous procedure with the liquid fueled Nike Ajax. Liquids included Red Fuming Nitric Acid and Unsymetrical diethyl hydrazine (UDMH) - even the names sound dangerous An unknown soldier with the missile maintenance building.
A view of Missile Maintenance Building (on left just beyond berm), Launcher Control Trailer (slightly right of center), Launcher Control Area Barracks (center, donít recall what all the stacked white canisters are), and IFC area (in far distance on hill). Photo taken from about the same spot on berm as previous fueling area photo and the above ground view of a Launcher Section. Launcher Control Trailer - this and an underground control room help control the missiles in the area. IFC guys could adjust the Missile Tracking Radar using the Test Transponder just out of site on the Test Mast.
The bare lookng IFC area with left to right, Ready Room, Battery Control trailer (the Radar Control trailer is hidden behind), a tracking antenna, the LoPar acquisition antenna, and a tracking antenna. The long range ABAR radar, has a longer range than the LoPar antenna in the previous picture. These two radars give better coverage and make jamming the site more difficult. Many/most Nike Ajax sites did not have an ABAR radar. These sites used information from Air Force radars at different locations.
A view from the IFC area showing water tank, IFC guard house, and, in the distance, the Launcher Area. This unit was activated about a year before; thus both areas were not yet well vegetated. .