THE NPG NEWS
The Newsletter of the Nike Preservation Group
Volume 2, Issue 5 June - July 1999
Nike Preservation Group, Inc., 21277 Clare Avenue, Noblesville Indiana 46060
Editors: Don and Susan Peterson Phone: (317) 776-3868 E-mail: email@example.com
The GSA Continues to Delay
National Registry Nomination
By Don Peterson
The GSA has been delaying the National Registry Nomination of C47 since November of 1998. Don Peterson, Co-founder of the NPG, recently asked Senators Lugar and Bayh to investigate the unreasonable delays. Both Senators contacted the GSA and received identical responses from Mr. Robert J. Dunfey, Jr., Regional Administrator for the GSA.
It seems clear that Mr. Dunfey is unaware of the current status of C47, Wheeler, Indiana. It is presently the subject of an environmental cleanup being conducted by the U.S. Army said Mr.Dunfey in letters to the Senators. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers completed their work at C47 last summer and in a letter to the GSA (dated July 16, 1998) noted that they had canceled any additional work. The letter also implied that the GSA had not been following the appropriate regulations concerning this site and the 106 Review Process.
Mr. Dunfey also states, Nomination of the site for listing on the National Register does not require GSAs approval or concurrence. This is a true statement in as much as the site has been nominated to the National Register. The Nomination was endorsed by the State of Indiana and forwarded to the GSA. Mr. Dunfey failed to explain that the routing of the nomination goes through the owning agency. In the case of C47, the GSA has been stalling the nomination by not acting. By not acting on the nomination the GSA is effectively able to stall the nomination process as long as they desire.
According to Mr. Dunfey, While the site (C47) may arguably have significant history, GSA believes that it has lost virtually all of its historic integrity. The National Park Service has performed two primary reviews, both finding Nike Site C47 eligible for the National Register. The State of Indiana has endorsed the nomination and has named the site as a State Historic Site. It is clear that Mr. Dunfey and the GSA consider themselves more qualified than the National Park Service, the State of Indiana and the NPG when determining whether Northwest Indiana should gain another National Historic site.
Again the NPG will call on our federal officials for assistance with weeding out the truth concerning the nomination of C47 to the National Register. It appears that the GSA intends to continue their misinformation campaign and their questionable conduct, which will no doubt go unchecked unless the NPG steps forward.
The NPG hopes that all members and local support groups will begin asking the question Whats the status of C47. To the politician, one telephone call or one letter represents hundreds of opinions, which may have otherwise gone unnoticed.
The responsible person at the GSA is:
can contact the Indiana Senators at:
The NPG 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 Indianas 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 that 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.
Early in July, my brother-in-law and I drove to downtown Cincinnati, OH to visit the Egyptian Exhibit at the old train station. Upon finishing our viewing of this excellent exhibit, we decided to return home to Indianapolis via the southern route to see if we could locate the Dillsboro Nike site that was a part of the Cincinnati defense. It was the only one of the four firing batteries that defended Cincinnati that is located in the State of Indiana. The other three; CD-78, Oxford; CD-27, Wilmington; & CD-46 Felicity; were all located in Ohio.
We found the Integrated Fire Control (IFC) area of CD-63 to be located 1.2 miles SE of US 50 on Texas Gas Road which intersects US 50 east of Dillsboro. The IFC area is mostly intact with all original buildings, fence, and four complete Radar towers standing. This site looks like it had an ABAR acquisition Radar. The site is minimally maintained, very overgrown and unkept, but according to a neighbor, is now owned by a contractor who stores "stuff" on the property. We could not gain entry, but the site is located 25' off of Texas Gas Road, so it is easy to view from the road without having to hike down an access road. The site now has residential homes surrounding it, located on three sides in a spread out country environment. It would have been fun to gain access inside, but the site was locked down so we could only walk around to view it externally.
We then ventured on to find the launching area. We located it closer to the town of Dillsboro on Indiana Route 262, 1.2 miles SE of US 50. Route 262 also intersects US 50 east of Dillsboro. The launch area is also surprisingly intact with original buildings, fence, ready building, missile assembly building, paint shed, and berm. It is privately owned by a Mr. Harold Wissman who lives there in a converted missile magazine and runs his business (CORVETTE ENTERPRISES 812-432-5916) on the property. We could not gain access to this property either, but it too is only about 25' off of Route 262, so it was mostly viewable from the highway. The gate was locked and no one answered the telephone (located outside the old guard shack in a box). We could not see the missile magazine area from the road, as it is located deep into the rear of the site.
CD-63, with both areas now privately owned, is an easy find for those of you who may be interested in seeing it mostly as it was, only 30 years later. Both areas contain most of the original buildings and internal environments. Anyone who is interested or served on this site can contact me by e-mail. I would be interested to know what year the site was deactivated and some other misc. information.
You can contact John Braun via e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org