The Newsletter of the Nike Preservation Group

Volume 3, Issue 5 NOVEMBER 2000


Nike Preservation Group, Inc., 475 Maple Street, West Lafayette, Indiana 47906

Editors: Don and Susan Peterson Phone: (765) 743 - 9333 New E-mail :



NPG Board of Directors to Hold Annual Meeting


On 16 December 2000, 7:00 PM, the NPG Board of Directors will meet in Lafayette, Indiana to hold the annual board meeting. New board members will be nominated if necessary. With the recent passing of Bob Peterson the position of president must also be filled. Several other positions may also be adjusted to better meet the needs of our growing organization. The board also needs enthusiastic individuals to fill new positions related to marketing, membership and community relations. Members who are interested in serving in one of these key positions are encouraged to contact the NPG for more information. If you plan to attend the annual meeting please notify Don Peterson (765-743-9333) prior to December 16th so that he can reserve enough space.


More about CD-63L, Dillsboro, Indiana by: John Braun


In our June/July 1999 NPG Newsletter, I wrote about my visit to Nike site CD-63. Subsequently, I made an inquiry to Mr. Harold Whisman ( owner of Nike launcher area CD-63L, Dillsboro, IN. According to Harold, CD-63 was closed in 1969. He purchased the launching area in 1979. The site had three missile storage magazines, silos, as Harold prefers to call them for simplicity. He has made a home in one of them and yes, the elevator and sump pump still work. He cut the elevator in half to make room for a swimming pool in the one he lives in. He stores personal things in the others, so I presume the elevators and sump pumps work in those too. For a time, until five years ago, Harold was in the used Corvette parts business and made good use of the many structures for storage. Harold was interested in the fact that the NPG was attempting to save and obtain C-47L, Wheeler, to preserve for future generations. He was most interested in what the "going rate" for a Nike site was, as he is interested in selling his for the right price. He invited me to visit him when I came down his way again..But not before calling first for an appointment. He said, "Please don't just show up and expect me to take the time to show you around. I have had some BAD experiences with a few of the people that were stationed here. It seems that some of them think if they were stationed here, it gives them the right to act as though it belongs to them". He said if any of our members want to contact him, to e-mail him at the address shown above. He said, "I won't promise to answer all of them right away though". I appreciated that Mr. Whisman answered some of my curious questions. I don't know anyone else who actually wanted to live in an underground missile magazine, not even during "Hot Battery", though a swimming pool might have changed that.








Chapter II - Administrative Data


This chapter provides the base information about this specific site and proposal. The location of the site and structures is given in this chapter. Each structure and the function is identified and briefly described. An abbreviated description of the proposed treatment for the site is given based on current efforts to preserve the site. In the past few years there have been efforts to make the public aware of the site and its significance, which is also provided. Recommendations are also given for documenting, cataloging, and storing materials from the site.


Location of Structures

There are two parts to the C-47 Nike site, the command site and the launch site. The command site for C-47 is located at 600 N, 500 W, in Section 36, Portage Township, Porter County, Indiana. The C-47 launch site is located one-mile north and approximately 1/4 mile east of the command site at County Roads 700 N, 500 W. The launch site is located in the East Half of the East Half of Section 36, Township 36 North, Range 7 West of the 2nd Principal Meridian in Porter County, Indiana. In addition to an abbreviated legal description, the National Register nomination for the C-47 Nike missile installation lists the UTM reference numbers for the site (Appendix 11). A full legal description of the C- 47 launch site available at the Chicago office of the General Service Administration (GSA) contains five tracts of land: A- I 00, A- I 0 1, A- 1 06, A- I OOE- 1, and A- I OOE-4 (Appendix 11). A series of plat and topographic maps are also provided (Appendix 111).


Identification of Structures

C-47 Launch site 1956

Exterior Fence 1956

Guard Shack 1956

Warhead Building 1956

Generator Building 1956

Well House 1956

Ready Building 1956

Modified 1965

Missile Assembly Building 1956

Modified 1965

Underground Missile Storage 1956

Modified 1965

Kennel 1965

Interior Fence 1965

Fallout Shelter 1965


The National Register of Historic Places nomination form describes the C-47 Nike missile defense site in Porter County as consisting of two separate zones that supported many activities. The 20.5-acre, Integrated Fire Control Area (IFC), now a privately owned paintball camp, is set back approximately 200 feet from County Road 600 North. All of the guidance and tracking computers and radar systems were housed in the Integrated Fire Control Area. This area also served as the main military base for the installation, providing essentials such as living accommodations, mess hall, barbershop, and many other services typically provided by a military post. The radar units and equipment were removed in 1972 when the base was decommissioned. All of the buildings and structures are still evident at the Control site. These structures are in good condition since the proprietors of the paintball camp must ensure the health, safety, and welfare of their patrons.


The second area of the C-47 installation is the 13.3-acre Launcher Area located on County Road 700 North and approximately one-mile north-northeast of the IFC Area. The launch site is surrounded by agricultural fields and is usually hidden by crops, trees, and the landscape. This area contained the explosive (then later nuclear) warhead missiles and the personnel and equipment needed to maintain these armaments.


The C-47 installation stored nuclear warheads here from 1965 to 1972 when the site was decommissioned. Two five-foot nine-inch tall aluminum chain link fences surrounds 13.3 acres of the 14.55-acre Launch Area and remaining structures (see the Site Map in Appendix III) One fence surrounds the perimeter of the site. The guard shack is located just inside the entrance gate, but the guard tower is gone. A second interior fence protected the missiles and launch equipment. When the installation was in service, armed personnel and guard dogs would have patrolled the area between the two fences. When the dogs were not being used for patrols, they were kept in a kennel area. All that remains of the kennel is an eight-foot by 16-foot concrete slab, a cistern, hose bib, and two sections of the fence. Stained areas on the slab indicate there were four eight-foot by four-foot kennels.


The next building, just inside the gate after the guard shack, is the ready building. This building served as the command center for the Launcher Area and is located directly inside the main gate. During their shift, personnel passed the long hours here playing cards, watching TV, reading; staying ready for any military emergency when they were not working on maintaining the missiles, support systems, and vehicles.


In case of emergency, a fallout shelter was constructed in 1968 to the north-northeast of the ready building. This building provided personnel maximum protection from nuclear fallout. The structure was designed with solid 16-inch thick concrete walls and roof, no windows, and nine-ton metal doors to close out any radiation. The only areas that can be accessed from the exterior are a vehicle bay to the south of the living quarters and a decontamination area.


The installation received new shipments of missiles when missile technology changed or problems were discovered with the missiles on site. For safety during transportation, the missiles arrived in crates and were assembled on site in the missile assembly building. Missiles in the underground storage area requiring maintenance were brought to the missile assembly building, a safe distance from the other missiles.


The assembled missiles were then brought to the warhead building to receive the warhead and the propulsion fuel. There was a possibility that an accident during assembly or fueling may occur, so to protect the other personnel and structures on the site a large earthen berm was constructed around the structure. This allowed any explosion to be directed upward instead of outward over the rest of the site.


The assembled, armed, and fueled missiles were moved to the underground missile storage (magazines). The Nike missiles were stored horizontally within heavily constructed concrete "magazines" that are approximately 50 feet wide by 60 feet long and 10 feet tall. C-47 has three such magazines, each with a storage magazine, missile elevator, control room, personnel access, emergency access, and ventilation system. Personnel accessed the magazine by a staircase or a ladder during emergencies. The elevators provided a means to move the missiles between the magazine and into an above ground launching position. The missiles were stored on the launchers, which traveled on rails both above ground and in the magazines. A short section of rail was mounted to the elevator so transferring the missiles from the magazine to their launch position was quick and easy. Depending on the situation, any number of missiles or different types of munitions could be set in place. Only the surface anchor plates for the rail system are evident in the paving. These rails led to the storage magazines. These magazines were where launching orders would be received and the missiles prepared for launch. There are several accounts as to when the magazines were filled with water. It is thought that the magazines were filled in 1972 prior to decommissioning. Rain and ground water may have filled the magazines over the years since the bilge pumps were turned off. For unknown reasons, the Porter County Fire Department may also have filled the magazines. Whatever the case, what remains of the underground facility and its condition is not known.


Local utility companies often times provided power to the site. During an emergency, the installation was completely independent of locally provided utilities. The Army constructed a well house to provide water and had a sanitation field on site. In case of alert or local power failure, electricity could be provided by on site generating equipment. The generator building provided room for five generators, but only three were installed since the power requirements of the site did not merit the installation of more generators. Underground storage tanks would fuel the three diesel generators when needed. Because of the hazard level of these tanks, the Army Corps of Engineers removed them in 1995. (O'Bradovick, Joseph. Telephone interview from home to GSA, February 2000.) At this time they also installed PVC pipe so the ground water can be tested for contaminants. (Vaughn, Tom. interview at C-47 Launch site, 4 March 2000.)


All of the above ground structures on the site are a slab-on-grade and concrete block wall construction with tan paint, except the fallout shelter. The roof framing is not standard between the structures; the framing is either wood joists or steel bar joists. The exception is the fallout shelter, which is constructed with poured concrete floor, walls, and roof.


All structures in the Launch Area are in need of some level of repair. Besides a few holes in the walls, broken porcelain plumbing fixtures, and deteriorated roofs, the structures appear as they did in early 1972 when the Department of Defense decommissioned the site. Military insignia, warnings, equipment 'panels', and names are still evident on walls of the buildings.


Proposed Treatment of the Site

There have been a few efforts in the United States to preserve Nike missile sites. The majority of the sites being preserved are in California. The Nike site located in the Presidio has already been preserved and attracts thousands of visitors each year. Efforts are also underway to preserve the sites at Fort MacArthur (SF-88, San Francisco) and White Point (LA-43, Los Angeles). Specific information about the preservation of these sites could not be found. Efforts have been underway since 1995 to preserve the C-47 Launch Site in Wheeler, Indiana. The Army Corps of Engineers and General Service Administration had contracted with a hazardous waste disposal company to remove the generator fuel tanks and determine if the water in the magazines is contaminated. During this period, preliminary demolition of the missile assembly building and generator building was begun to determine the structural elements contained within the walls.


Don Peterson, who grew up around the Valparaiso / Wheeler area. He had passed the site many times and began to be interested in the history of the site. He heard of the plans to demolish the site and lobbied to save the site. The members of Nike Preservation Group (NPG), formed by Don Peterson to save this site, have sent letters to government officials urging them to support their efforts to acquire the site and have it listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The group is interested in acquiring the site for a Cold War museum and memorial.


The NPG, with the assistance of the State Historic Preservation office located in the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology (DHPA) the site was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on January 21, 2000. DHPA approved the initial nomination form and sent letters to the Federal Historic Preservation Officer and the owners of the two sites to approve or deny the site being listed on the National Register of Historic Places.



Public awareness of the importance of Nike missile installations is growing through grassroots efforts to save these sites. The Nike Preservation Group (NPG) is one of the first formal non-government, groups to be created to preserve the Nike missile sites of the Cold War. Groups such as the NPG of Indiana are slowly being formed and lobbying to preserve Nike installations.


Much has been written in the journals CRM and the APT Bulletin on the subject of preserving military resources. The article "Preserving the Legacy of the Cold War" in CRM (Elizabeth Calvit and Amy Worden, "Preserving the Legacy of the Cold War," CRM [Bulletin] 16 (June 1993): 28-30) describes the current efforts to catalogue and save the remaining Cold War relics from destruction. One full issue of the CRM (CRM [Bulletin] 20 (3, 1997)) addresses different resource management issues of military sites. These journals focus mainly on general aspects of preserving military resources, but the content can be easily applied to Nike installations. SL-88 and the Nike site at the Presidio both in California have even been preserved. In an effort to encourage preservation of the C-47 Launch Area, a letter from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology was sent to the Porter County Commissioners office and to the Federal Preservation Officer of the General Services Administration, Constance Ramirez, on March 12, 1998. This letter requested approval or objection, from the Commissioners and from Dr. Ramirez, to include the site on the State Register. No objections were received, so the site was automatically listed in the Indiana Register of Historic Sites and Structures in accordance with the state law on April 13, 1998.


Additional letters were written by Nike Preservation Group members and others interested in saving the site to Constance Ramirez, the Federal Preservation Officer and the Porter County Commissioners requesting their help to save the Nike site from demolition. A courtesy copy of the letter was sent to the Army Corps of Engineers in Louisville, Kentucky and Don Peterson of the Nike Preservation Group. The history of the site and the efforts of the Nike Preservation Group have been featured in the Valparaiso News and Indianapolis Star newspapers, and on the television show Across Indiana. These stories have been able to reach a much larger group of people that the Nike Preservation Group (NPG) could with its semiannual newsletter. The NPG Newsletter is dedicated to informing members of the NPG on the condition and current efforts to preserve the C-47 Nike missile site.


Dr. Ramirez, the Federal Historic Preservation Officer; the owner of the Command site, Paul Johnson; and the Porter County Commissioners concurred in the National Register of Historic Places Application on January 21, 2000. The process was complicated since the owner of the property could not be readily determined. It was later determined that the owner is the Property Disposal Division of the General Services Administration. The nomination had been reviewed by the Federal Preservation Office of the GSA (FPO), the State Historic Preservation Office in Indianapolis (SHPO), the Nike Preservation Group (NPG), the National Park Service (NPS), and Paul Johnson, owner of the Command site. (NPG Newsletter: January 2000).



The C-47 NIKE Launch site is significant for several reasons as stated in the National Resister of Historic places nomination form in Section 8.

Nike Missile Site C-47 meets National Register criterion A (the property is associated with events that have made a significant contribution to the broad patterns of our history in the areas of military, politics/government, and social history). The Nike defense system was a significant aspect of both civilian life and military planning during the Cold War era in the United States. Nike missiles were radar guided, supersonic antiaircraft missiles. In keeping with the U.S. doctrine of "deterrence," planners hoped that systems like the Nike would make a direct attack on the continental states so costly (to opposing forces) as to be futile. The effort to convey that image in fact required that the Nike be developed, fully deployed, and diligently staffed to succeed. Nike bases were closed by the mid 1970's, and only a handful of the hundreds built remain. C-47 is the only fully intact base intended to protect a major potential target, Chicago. Nike C-47 is also exceptional under criterion consideration G (less than 50 years old) because of its rarity and the importance of the target it protected. It was also among the first bases to deploy Nike Hercules nuclear-tipped missiles.


After a brief history of the Nike system is given a further explanation of the significance of the C-47 site is provided.


In order to be eligible for the National Register of Historic places, Nike sites should be exceptional historically and retain a high degree of integrity, including all three major components: administration, radar, and launch functions.


Of the fifteen Nike sites that protected Chicago from within Illinois, several retain some buildings and launch areas. C-84 is the most notable example. None of these fifteen include the radar towers or at least portions of the towers. Five of the bases in the Chicago ring were in Indiana. C-47 is the only one to retain all three functions, therefore, it is the only base in a major defensive ring with all components of radar, administration, and launch facility. Once again, a few buildings from areas of several bases remain in Indiana. For example, the National Park service uses several buildings left from a base near the Chellborg Farm not far from the National Lakeshore for service buildings. As elsewhere in the Chicago area, they are disjointed remnants of bases, not complete units. Retention of all three functional areas and buildings sets C-47 aside from most other Nike bases nationally, and makes the base rare in the Midwest. The early use of nuclear missiles on the site furthermore makes C-47 rare and exceptional.


The site is the most intact of the six located in Indiana. All of the shelters are in good to fair condition. Any towers and easily dismantled structures have been removed. These structures can be easily replicated based on other construction drawings and Nike sites. This site also served for both the Ajax and Hercules defense system.

There are six Nike installations in Indiana: C-32, Porter/Chesterton; C-45, Gary Municipal Airport; C-46, Munster; C-47, Hobart/Wheeler; C-48, South Gary; and CD-63, Dillsboro. The first five sites listed are located in Northwestern Indiana around Lake Michigan. These five protected the Gary, Indiana industrial and manufacturing area and the population of Chicago. The Dillsboro installation is located in southeast Indiana to provide protection to the Cincinnati area.


The Porter/Chesterton, C-32, command site is owned and occupied by the National Park Service in the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. All of the radar towers are gone, but the remaining structures are used by the NPS. The launch site was sold to an individual and is not accessible to the public. Since the owner lives on the site, the structures have remained in excellent condition. The owner has maintained all the doors and windows and has kept the missile magazines free of water with a sump pump. (Ed Thelen, "Locations of Former Nike Missile Sites," <>, 20 February 1999)


The command site of C-45 was incorporated into the north-northwest corner of the Gary Municipal Airport. The buildings of the launch site have sustained damage since the site was converted into the Gary police firing range. The earth berm surrounding the Warhead Building has become the target backstop.


At the Munster, C-46, a commercial company occupies the site and has painted all of the remaining structures blue. The company has retained the perimeter fence. The local government and a private entity own the area of the launch site. The property line between the two owners splits the area containing the three missile magazines. The local government owns one of the magazines and had the Army Corps of Engineers fill in the chamber with dirt. The other two magazines, on the private property, are not in-filled and cannot be accessed by the public.


It appears that the C-48, South Gary, command site has been abandoned. The launch area supported only the Nike Ajax system. The sign, located on the perimeter fence, is faded and designates the owner as the Gary Emergency Management Agency. The radar towers have been demolished and the door to the guard shack is missing. The remaining structures have been painted blue. The two magazines are full of water. There are the remains of an above ground elevator control panel along with many of the buildings.


The command site of CD-63, Dillsboro, is privately owned and not accessible by the public. From drive-by visits to the site it is apparent that the owner maintains the site. The launch site is also privately owned and not accessible to the public. The owner has turned one of the magazines into a residence.


The C-47, Wheeler/Hobart, Command site is privately owned and used as a public paintball facility. The people participating in the paintball games use the buildings, which are still standing. The other structures, such as the radar towers, fence, and light poles, can even be seen in the fields from the road. The only modifications to the site are that some of the hazardous materials have been removed and a few wall have sustained preliminary demolition. The Launch site is unique since it has a fallout shelter constructed. The fallout shelter was not a typical structure of the Nike missile sites.


Recommendations for Documentation, Cataloging, and Storage of Materials

A full Historic American Engineering Record should be prepared to catalogue the structures of this site for future reference, These drawings can be used for preservation projects or future study in case the site is lost through demolition or disaster. The site and structures should be fully documented in writing, drawings, and photographs before and after any alterations are made. The methods of preservation should be described in detail in writing. This documentation can be used for future Nike restoration projects as a reference since many of the sites will have issues similar to the C-47 site. The document could also be used as a guide to restore other similar sites. If a characteristic feature must be removed, it should be retained for future reference and preservation projects.


If it is deemed necessary to remove characteristic features, it is recommended that these items be stored on site in a secure room or among the rafters of a structure. Each feature should be labeled with what it is, where it was originally located, and the date it was installed, if known, and removed.


Watch for additional chapters of this historic structure report in future issues.


45th Air Defense Artillery Brigade History


Chapter III

Resume of Past Histories


45th Artillery Brigade

When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, plunging the United States into World War II, it became necessary to greatly increase the size of our Armed Forces. The airplane, which had become one of the principal weapons of warfare, made it extremely important for a large number of antiaircraft units to be organized and to have a central controlling agency. It was at this time and for this reason that the 45th Coast Artillery Brigade (Anti-Aircraft) was created.


On 26 April 1942, this unit was constituted into the U.S. Army by the authority of AG letter 320.2. It was 1 June 1942, however, before the Brigade was officially activated (General Order 12, AAC). This organization took place at Camp Stewart Georgia, where the unit remained in training until August 1943. With the landing of the Allied Forces in Italy, HQ & HQ Btry, 45th CA Brigade was called into action against the enemy for the first time. The unit was engaged throughout the Italian Theater and during the months that followed earned three color streamers which they carry on their colors today: Naples-Foggia Campaign Streamer, Rome-Arno Campaign Streamer, and North Apennines Campaign Streamer.


With the conquest of the Italian Peninsula and the neutralization of the enemy's airpower, the organization was deactivated and its personnel were assigned to infantry divisions in the area. The official date of deactivation was 13 February 1945 (General Order, 15, 5th Army).


From this time until the outbreak of the Korean hostilities, HQ & HQ Btry, 45th Coast Artillery Brigade existed only as a listing on a troop designation report in Washington, D.C.


SHIELD: The shield consists of a red cone point to base bearing issuant from base a gold sunburst. The red cone commutates a field of fire with the sunburst representing the force of artillery fire symbolic of the unit's air defense mission. The sun, which also alludes to intelligence, stands for the evaluation and dissemination of air defense intelligence information. The gold sunburst is charged with a red Florentine fleur-de-lis representing the organization's campaign honors awarded for European service, World War II, in the Italian Theater. The sides of the cone are enclosed by two black bird bolts with bottom shafts extending beyond the base saltirewise and the top of the shafts looped and joined by an arched gold scroll bearing the inscription "Deter or Destroy" in black letters. The bird bolts refer to the effective air-strike power of the brigade's missiles.



MOTTO: Deter or Destroy


3d Battalion, 59th Artillery

The 59th Artillery has a long and illustrious history. It was originally activated as the 2nd Company, Coast Defenses of Southern New York on January 1918 at Ft. Wadsworth, New York. It received its personnel from the 13th Coast Artillery Regiment, which can trace its lineage back to the 18th Century.


The regiment was sent to France, shortly after its activation, where it was issued English 8" Howitzers with 10-ton tractors as prime movers, and was first committed to action in the province of Lorraine on 12 September 1918. It received its second campaign credit for support of the 77th and 78th Divisions in the Meuse-Argonne campaign, from 26 September to 9 November 1918. This campaign streamer, along with the St Mihiel and Lorraine 1918 streamer, are now carried with the battalion colors for the World War I actions.


On 1 June 1922, 2nd Company was re-designated 253rd Company, Coast Artillery Corps. On 30 June 1924, the unit (less equipment and men) was transferred from New York to Ft. Mills, Philippine Islands and re-designated Battery C, 59th Coast Artillery (Harbor Defense).


By 1929, all batteries and the 59th CA (HD) Regiment were assigned the fixed defense of Corregidor and Ft. Drum. Ft. Drum is the fortification that was built on a small island near Corregidor, and was commonly called the "Concrete Battleship". The unit's weapons consisted of 12" and 14" guns and 12" mortars.


In 1935, the regiment was assigned the secondary mission of air defense of Corregidor and Ft. Drum, and was augmented with 30 caliber machine guns.


With the war clouds gathering in 1939, two more batteries, a searchlight and a sound locator were added to the 59th. The evacuation of dependents from the area was completed when the last families departed for the United States in July 1941.


When the Japanese made their attack on Pearl Harbor, the 59th was at battle stations. Saturation bombing and artillery fire was started against Corregidor on 29 December 1941, and by the middle of January 1942, no spot on the entire island was more than 25 yards from a shell or bomb crater. During this period, the 59th fired the first rounds that any U.S. Artillery unit had fired in a coast artillery role since the Civil War. Fort Drum, though a primary target, was the only American installation that continued firing up to five minutes prior to the surrender of Corregidor on 6 May 1942.

The ceaseless bombardment by the enemy knocked 15' of concrete off the deck of Ft. Drum, and during am 24-hour shelling, Corregidor received over 16,000 rounds. One shot hit a mortar position and ignited the powder magazine, destroying the last two 12" mortars and killing 48 men. The 59th repelled several Japanese landings and exacted a fearsome toll of enemy lives; but a successful beachhead was finally established by the Japanese on Corregidor on 5 May 1942. Although the beachhead was contained using personnel from the 59th as infantry, the water supply was reduced to three days rations and General Wainwright made the decision to surrender the island at 1200 hours on 6 May 1942.


Battery E at Ft. Drum continued to fire until 1155 hours, then drained the re-coil oil from their guns and fired one more round to destroy their guns. The Battery Commander, LTC Kirkpatrick, then ordered the flooding of the "Concrete Battleship". He was killed by the Japanese after the surrender for these actions. During the battle, all members of the 59th were either, killed, missing in action or taken prisoner by the Japanese.


COL Paul D. Barker and LTC Dwight Edison, both of the 59th Coast Artillery, on orders from General Wainwright, lowered the colors and burned them at noon 6 May 1942. COL Bunker kept a small piece of the flag as a memento of the courageous stand of the 59th. The piece is now enshrined in Washington, D.C.


Three Presidential Unit Citations, embroidered Bataan, Manila and Subic Bay, and Defense of the Philippines, were awarded to the regiment along with the Philippine Presidential Unit Citation streamer, for the defense of the Philippines from 7 December 1941 to 6 May 1942, The Campaign Streamer embroidered Philippine Islands is carried on the unit colors.


The regiment was again inactivated on 2 April 1946 after, the return of all Japanese prisoners of war.


On 1 January 1948, the 59th was reactivated as Battery C, 59th AAA Automatic Weapons Battalion at Ft Bliss, Texas. It was one of the original U.S. Army Air Defense Command units under the Central Army Antiaircraft Command in Kansas City, Missouri, The battalion was reorganized on 24 February 1953 as Battery C, 59th Antiaircraft Artillery Battalion (Automatic Weapons)(Self-Propelled) and remained at Ft. Bliss, TX.


On 12 August 1958, the battalion was again reorganized and re-designated Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 3rd Battalion (NIKE-AJAX), 59th Artillery with Batteries A, B, C, and D (General Order 86, 5th Army). The colors and the personnel from the "Package Training" at Ft. Bliss moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin on 1 September 1958. They replaced the deactivated 852d Antiaircraft Missile Battalion (NIKE) (CONTNENTAL) and occupied the following sites:

HQ & HQ Btry - Milwaukee (M-96)

A Btry - Brown Deer (M-02)

B Btry - Lake Shore (M-20)

C Btry - Cudahy (M-42)

D Btry - Milwaukee (M-96)


The 59th joined the newly activated 3d Battalion (NM-AJAX), 67th Artillery, which took over the inactivated 401st Antiaircraft Missile Battalion (NIKE) (CONTINENTAL) sites. They were located as follows:

HQ & HQ Btry - Muskego (M-64)

A Btry - Franklin (M-54)

B Btry - Menominee Falls (M-86)

C Btry - Muskego (M-64)

D Btry - Waukesha CM-74)


The Defense Headquarters was the 6lst Artillery Group, located at M-96.


On January 1959, the 59th was reorganized as a NIKE Hercules unit with four firing batteries. At that time, A/3/59 was converted to an operational NIKE Hercules unit, In February, B Battery was converted and in December, D/3/67 was also converted. During the July-August period, C/3/59, B and C/3/67 were deactivated due to the increased capabilities of the Hercules units. The 6lst Artillery Group was also deactivated and re-designated HQ & HQ Btry, 3d Battalion, 59th Artillery with three firing batteries assigned -- Batteries A, B, and D/3/67 (which was re-designated C/3/59).


19 June 1963, another major reorganization took place in the 3d Battalion, 59th Artillery when C Battery was inactivated at Site M-74. On 1 August 1964, the Milwaukee Defense was inactivated, and the Milwaukee ADA units, ARNG and Active Army, came under the operational control of the 45th Artillery Brigade (Air Defense).


SHIELD: The shield is divided horizontally, the upper, part being colored blue and white in the manner, known as "Vair" in heraldry. Vair is a fur and represents the bluish-white skin of a species of squirrel called "Varus". In this case, it is taken from the arms of the Coast Defense of Southern New York, where the regiment was formed. The lower part of the shield has a thistle in natural color on a server background for Lorraine, the thistle being one of the old emblems of that province and is to indicate the engagement of the regiment at St. Mihiel.


CREST: A red demi-lion, clasping in one paw a gold sword. This is taken from the arms of St. Menehould, near the place the regiment was in action supporting the 77th and 78th Divisions in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive.


MOTTO: Defendimus (We Defend).


1st Battalion, 60th Artillery

The history of the 60th Artillery dates back to 8 March 1898, when Battery G, 7th Regiment of Artillery was constituted. It was officially organized on 29 March 1898 at Ft. Slocum, New York. On 13 February 1901, it was re-designated as the 77th Company, Coast Artillery, Artillery Corps. Six years later, the Coast Artillery was reorganized, causing the unit to be known as the 77th Company, Coast Artillery Corps. With the sinking of Allied shipping in the Atlantic Ocean by the German submarines, the Coast Artillery units were redistricted along the eastern Seacoast. The colors were moved from New York and the unit re-designated as the 3rd Company at Ft. Barrances, Florida on 6 July 1916. This was later changed to 3rd Company, Coast Defenses of Pensacola.


After the United States entered World War I, many coast artillery units fought as field artillery units; such was the case of this unit. It was sent to France and participated in the St. Mihiel and the Meuse-Argonne Offensives. Another unit that participated in these Offensives was 2nd Company, Coastal Defenses of Southern New York (predecessor of 3/59). After the war, it was returned to Florida and disbanded on 30 November 1919.


At the reorganization of the U.S. Army on 1 June 1922, the 3rd Company, Coast Defenses of Pensacola was reconstituted and consolidated with the 3rd Company, Coast Defenses of Key West. This brought the designation of the 77th Company, Coast Artillery Corps back under the colors of the to-be-designated 60th Artillery, after a six-year absence.


On 26 October 1922, the company joined the concurrently activated Battery B, 60th Artillery, Coast Artillery Corps and was re-designated Battery B, 60th Artillery Battalion (Antiaircraft) at Ft. Crockett, Texas. On 30 June 1924, the battalion was re-designated from Artillery to Coast Artillery and was moved (less personnel and equipment) to Ft. Mills, Philippine Islands. Again the 59th and 60th Artillery histories coincided, as they did throughout the war. Both units fought valiantly on Corregidor, lost many men, and after all other attempts failed, surrendered to the Japanese on 6 May 1942. The unit was officially inactivated at Ft. Mills, Philippines on 2 April 1946.


On 1 August 1946, Battery B, 60th AAA Automatic Weapons Battalion was activated at Ft. Bliss, Texas. From that time until its deactivation in England on 17 June 1957, the unit conducted the usual peacetime operations and underwent minor TO&E and name changes.


The modern 60th Artillery was activated as the 1st Missile Battalion (NIKE-AJAX), 60th Artillery, with four firing batteries, at Gary, Indiana on 1 September 1958. The Battalion took over the NIKE Sites of the deactivated 79th AAA Missile Battalion and came under the operational control of the 45th Artillery Brigade.


SHIELD: The shield is divided horizontally into two parts, the dividing line being embattled to represent defense. The lower half of the shield is red for artillery, while the upper half bears the colors of black and gold, significant of the Orient, where the battalion had service. A searchlight beam pierces the darkness of this portion of the shield, signifying the never-ending vigilance, which this organization exercises in the search for enemy aircraft. The star has a double significance. It is significant of the State of Texas where the 60th designation first came into being, and the fact that the organizations battleground is in the heavens.


CREST: The crest consists of a pair of Carabac horns, symbolic of the Philippine Islands, where the 60th Battalion, Coast Artillery Corps served.


MOTTO: Coelis Imperamus (We Rule the Heavens).


2nd Battalion, 126th Artillery

On 25 March 1880, the Light Horse Squadron was constituted, though the official organization did not take place until 26 April 1880 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This was the beginning of an illustrious and varied career of the modern Battery B, 2nd Battalion (NIKE-HERC), 126th Artillery (Wisconsin Army National Guard).


The Light Horse Squadron personnel joined the Wisconsin National Guard on 27 June 1894 as Troop A, 1st Cavalry. On 25 June 1916, Troop A was expanded to form A and B Troops and was concurrently called into Federal service for Mexican Border duty. This effort was then utilizing 65,000 National Guard troops from the various states. However, this Federalization was short lived. In February, 1917, President Wilson was forced to address a special session of Congress advising a declaration of war. The National Guard units were recalled from border duty, reorganized and modernized. Troop A was mustered out of Federal service after only 5 months of duty and B Troop followed on 6 March 1917.


On 29 May 1917, the two-troop unit was again expanded. This time it became a full, four-troop squadron. The 1st Squadron, 1st Wisconsin Cavalry was mustered into Federal service on 31 July 1917. General Pershing arrived in Europe, shortly after the United States 1st Division, made an examination of the situation and cabled the War Department stating that there should be 1,000,000 American troops in Europe by May 1918. In the effort to comply with this request, much reorganization, activation and federalization took place. In preparation for the overseas movement, the 1st Squadron was consolidated with the 2nd and 3rd Squadrons on 28 September 1917, converted from cavalry to a field artillery limit and was re-designated as the 120th Field Artillery, an element of the 32d Division, one of the 36 divisions organized in 1917.


The 32d Division joined the 4th, 23rd, and 42nd Divisions in the I Corps, commanded by MG Hunter Liggett on 1 August 1918. The 32nd relieved the 3rd Division in the middle of a week of heavy fighting during the Aisne-Marne Offensive. The next day, MG Robert L. Bullard, CG III Corps, took over control of the 28th and 32nd Divisions about 17 miles west of Rheims, France on the Vesle River. The end of this offensive, 6 August 1918, marked the passing of the initiative from the Germans to the Americans and Allies. The last week of September 1918, the 32nd Division, the spearhead of Mangin's Tenth Army, distinguished itself by capturing the strongly defended village of Juvigny in the plateau north of Soissons.


The other major offensive in which the 120th Field Artillery participated began when veteran 1st, 3rd and 32nd Divisions relieved the inexperienced 35th, 37th and 79th Divisions during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. This complicated maneuver over congested roads was completed on 1 October 1918. For four weeks, the First Army made frontal attacks through the third German defensive position. This caused the American casualty count to rise rapidly. The 1st, 3rd, 4th, 32nd, and 82nd Divisions each had suffered over 5,000 casualties. The Armistice found the 82nd near the village of Jametz, 18 miles north of Verdun, France.


The 32nd was one of the eight divisions selected to compose the American occupation force after the Great War. It was returned to Wisconsin and to state control in early 1919. The 120th FA was demobilized at Camp Grant, Illinois on 16 May 1919 and reverted back to the 1st Squadron, 1st Wisconsin Cavalry. On 28 November 1919, it was reconstituted with the 2nd Squadron and reorganized as the 1st Cavalry. A year and a half passed under this organization, when the 1st Cavalry became the 105th Cavalry. In 1940, a field artillery unit was needed in the 32nd Division. The 105th Cavalry was converted to the 126th Field Artillery on 1 October 1940 and federalized on 15 October.


Again the Wisconsin National Guard rose to the war effort and endured another reorganization. On 1 February 1942, part of the 126th FA became the 126th FA Battalion, while the 2nd Battalion, 126th FA became the 1st Battalion, 173rd FA. The latter unit went to Italy to participate in that portion of World War II, for which they received four campaign streamers. The 32nd Infantry Division, with the 126th FA Battalion went to the Pacific Theater of Operations.


After the war, the units were inactivated and brought back to Wisconsin. On 23 June 1947, the 32nd was again reorganized, bringing together the histories of the 126th FA Battalion and the 1st Battalion, 173rd Artillery under the colors of the 126th Artillery. On 15 February 1959, the 132nd Antiaircraft Artillery Automatic Weapons Battalion was consolidated and re-designated along with the 126th Artillery. The 126th became the 1st Battalion, 126th Artillery (a non-divisional unit) and the 132nd became the 2nd Howitzer Battalion, 126th Artillery (an element of the 32nd Infantry).


The 1st Battalion, an antiaircraft unit, was under the command of LTC Eugene P. Hackett. It was formed with the Headquarters and A Battery at M-96, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. On 6 April 1959, B Battery was added and took over the Muskego NIKE Site. With the transition to the Hercules program, A and B Batteries were consolidated and re-designated B Battery, 1st Battalion (NIKE-HERC), 126th Artillery on 5 November 1963 at M-96. After the Package training at Ft Bliss, Texas and McGregor Range, the unit returned to Milwaukee and was re-designated B Battery, 2d Battalion (NIKE-HERC), 126th Artillery on 14 February 1964. It assumed control of the old Active Army Site (de-activated C/8/59) at M-74, Waukesha, Wisconsin. It came under the operational control of the 45th Artillery Brigade, along with the Active Army units in the Milwaukee Defense, on 1 August 1964.


SHIELD: Yellow for the Cavalry Service, impaled with the scarlet for the regiment's conversion into Field Artillery. The two chevronels counterchanged represent the two World War II chevrons of a year's overseas service. In the dexter chief a horse's, head erased within an annulet sable originates from the Light Horse Squadron from which the unit derives its origin.


CREST: The crest is that of all Regiments and Separate Battalions of the Wisconsin National Guard: On a wreath of colors, gold and red, a badger couchant proper.


MOTTO: Follow Me


1st Battalion, 202nd Artillery

The direct lineage of the 1st Missile Battalion, 202nd Artillery dates back to 1 October 1920 when it was organized as the 6th Infantry. However, through "cousins, granduncles" and other branches of its family tree, the unit is authorized to display three World War I campaign streamers, eight World War II campaign streamers, and three French decorations from World War II.


On 19 March 1921, the 6th Infantry was converted to the 1st Artillery, Coast Artillery Corps. This was the beginning of the continuous antiaircraft role of the unit. On 13 December 1921, the title was changed to Provisional Battalion, 202nd Artillery (Antiaircraft) with six companies. The battalion was expanded and re-designated to the 202nd Artillery Regiment (Antiaircraft), Coast Artillery Corps and on 26 August 1924, again, to the 202nd Coast Artillery (Regiment)(Antiaircraft)(Mobile).


It remained under this organization and was mustered into Federal service on 16 September 1940 in Chicago, due to the threat of the war. On 15 June 1942, the designation was changed from (Mobile) to (Semi-mobile).


On 10 September 1943, the 202nd Coast Artillery Regiment was broken up and re-designated as follows:


HQ & HQ Battery became HQ & HQ Btry, 202nd Antiaircraft Artillery Group

1st Battalion became 768th Antiaircraft Artillery Gun Battalion

2nd Battalion became 396th Antiaircraft Artillery Automatic Weapons Battalion

3rd Battalion became the 242nd Antiaircraft Artillery Searchlight Battalion


Within the next 16 years, all of these units joined and again became known as the 202nd Artillery Group. The 242nd AAA Searchlight Battalion is the unit to which the 1st Battalion, 202nd Artillery owes its direct lineage.


The 242nd was inactivated and disbanded in June 1944 at Camp Van Dorn Mississippi. Two years later, it was reorganized as the 698th Antiaircraft Artillery Gun Battalion. On 1 May 1951, it was ordered to active duty in Chicago to release Active Army units and to train the National Guard personnel for overseas duties during the Korean hostilities. The main portion of the battalion was assigned to the Air Defense of Detroit, Michigan until the 698th Battalion was released from active service on 31 January 1953 and reverted back to Illinois State control.


The 396th AAA Automatic Weapons Battalion, meanwhile, became the 693rd AAA Automatic Weapons Battalion, in Chicago on 13 December 1946, Then on 12 May 1949, it was again re-designated. This time it became the 133rd AAA Automatic Weapons Battalion. On 28 February 1954, the 133rd and the 698th AAA Battalions were consolidated and re-designated the 698th Antiaircraft Artillery Battalion. Four years later, the battalion was modernized and re-designated a missile battalion.


On 27 February 1958, the 768th, which had not undergone any re-designations, consolidated with the 698th, the name remained the 698th Missile Battalion. This was the final consolidation, which brought all the colors and honors of the old 202nd Coast Artillery (Regiment)(Antiaircraft)(Semi-mobile) together under the command of the 202nd Antiaircraft Artillery Group in Chicago.


In January 1957, HQ & HQ Btry, A, B, and D Batteries, 698th Missile Battalion assumed an active role in the Air Defense of Chicago by taking over two Active Army gun sites on the north side of Chicago. C Battery joined the other three firing batteries, under the operational control of the 45th Artillery Brigade, two months later.


SHIELD: The shield is blue to indicate the Infantry origin of the unit. The three piles depict the searchlight history, while the winged projectile represents the present-mission of the unit, that of antiaircraft artillery. The red and gold colors are the traditional colors of artillery.


CREST: The crest is that of all Regiments and Separate Battalions of the Illinois National Guard: On a wreath of colors: blue and gold, a log cabin.


MOTTO: Arte et Armis (Art of Arms).





Look for more of the 45th Brigade History in the next issues!!




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Times of Northwest Indiana Nike Missile Base Article Series: "Forgotten Defense"

By: John Braun (C-46 Munster Veteran)


In a three part series starting Veterans Day, Times reporter Lauri Harvey wrote six different articles that were published over a three-day period titled, "Forgotten Defense." Ms. Harvey did an excellent job of covering some history of the long since deactivated Nike bases located in and around northwestern Indiana. Many were located in what is called, the Calumet Region. Her effort involved commemorating the sites at the local levels, Nike Veteran interviews, information on potential future land uses of the vacated properties, and an article dedicated to the Nike Preservation Group (NPG) effort titled, Keeping History Alive. Also included were current site status along with a very descriptive map of former site locations. Times photographer, Tracy Albano's inserted photos of certain areas of the various Sites and interested people were an added touch. Overall, we Veterans and Nike Missile buffs are grateful to the Times newspaper and Ms. Harvey for the memories and public exposure of what we did on those bases during the "Cold War." These stories will be fun to read even if you weren't based in Indiana. The article series is too extensive to publish in our NPG newsletter. You can view the entire series on the web at:

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Links to the series information within the Times web site are easy to access by point and click.
















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