Grew up in New Britain in the 1950's when the Plainville site was in full operation. Dad drove us up there in the late 1950's because my brother and I were interested in rockets and missiles. At the gate, the guard jumped out of his shack with a rifle and we quickly turned around the 1953 Chevy and left. When we went back in the 1970's for auto parts the junk yard below the base took over that whole side of the mountain and the buildings were trashed. I also heard that scout troops were allowed to tour the Cromwell site until it was ungraded to the atomic Nike Hercules, no more tours after that. When they upgraded Cromwell I remember the giant domes that my aunt called giant "golf balls" were put up. I spoke with someone years ago who helped build the Portland site. He worked on the missile magazines and he said when the excavated they were pulling up rattlesnakes right and left. The forest is known for one of the largest rattlesnake dens in CT. A cousin told me her father was stationed at the Nike radar site on Talcott Mountain in the 1950's (Now the Science Center) Nike bases, practicing duck and cover, building bomb shelters in the basement, learning the different sounds of the air raid sirens were all part of growing up back then. The scariest part was during the 1962 Cuban missile crisis. We all thought the end was near. Great site! Thanks
Richard Valentine said:July 28, 2015 7:41 am PST
used to hear stories of peel-away tobacco barn/missle silos in Grandby Windsor locks area, now I think maybe it could be true?
Allen Swanson said:July 25, 2015 4:36 pm PST
I was stationed at the Cromwell site for the last two years before it was closed. Sworn it there with the National Guard by CSM Herbert Colton. Great pictures.
Matt said:July 16, 2015 6:09 am PST
Went exploring to an underground shelter yesterday in Glastonbury, CT. Came here looking for information on the site. Couldn't find anything specific to Glastonbury but while browsing the Portland Nike site page I saw two pictures that looked exactly like the area we were in last night. Great site.
Kevin Buchanan said:July 14, 2015 4:50 pm PST
I grew up In Shelton CT. I recall as a wee lad in the early 60's going to either the Shelton or nearby Ansonia NIKE base with my Dad who was retired Army. We went to the PX so he could get his smokes and other small items that were cheaper than in town. I don't remember all that much just seeing the GI's and the Army trucks and the respect the GI's showed my Dad as a retired 1stSGT
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