Nike BR-17 Milford

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Milford, CT, October 1, 2013:  In commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the decommissioning of Milford’s Nike Ajax Missile Program, Mayor Benjamin Blake and the City of Milford will unveil two plaques and rededicate the Sites in honor of those who served our country in defense of freedom.  The dedication will take place on Tuesday, October 15, 2013, 11:00 a.m., near the top of Eells Hill.   

While an original bronze plaque was installed upon the opening of the Milford Nike Base in 1957, that plaque disappeared soon after the site was decommissioned in 1963, and remained missing for almost half a century.  Earlier this year - after much research and investigation - Milford resident and decorated Army and Army National Guard veteran, Eric Muth, recovered the lost 1957 marker.  

A second plaque commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the site's closing will pay tribute to the important contributions of Nike Ajax Missilemen.  These soldiers, many of whom were Milford residents, were responsible for the defense of our nation during the height of the Cold War - manning the strategically-located Sites of the Nike Ajax, the world’s first operational-guided, surface-to-air missile system. 
Several veterans who operated and maintained the missile system will be in attendance, including Muth, who served during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.  “I’m very pleased to know we have not been forgotten,” said Muth.  
All are welcome and encouraged to attend the dedication.

Related articles:

This site was operational from 1956 - 1963
Nike Ajax missiles were deployed here, types: Nike 1B, 2C/30A/12L-A.

The control  or IFC site was on Eels Hill Road, north of Rt 162.

The launch site, near Quirk industrial park, on Rock Road is now a ball field in a residential area.

Nike Ajax missile on display in Milford, CT parade, probably early sixties.

The IFC control site was on Eels Hill Road,
north of Rt 162.

IFC Guard Shack "Post 1" and main gate.

Looking back down towards the guard shack.

Closeup of guard shack.

Pump house.

Transformer pad.

Administration Building


Stairs to the radar area.


A former radar pad?

Generator Shack.

Mess Hall

Rear of barracks?

Administration Building

Administration Building on Left, Mess Hall on Right.

BOQ Barracks

This building served as a connecting corridor between two equipment vans. The  Battery Control van would have been positioned up against the door on the right while the Target Tracking and Missile control van would have been positioned against the door on the left.

Former Rock Road Launch Site

Aerial view of the launch site, 1971. The missile batteries can be seen
in the upper left of this image.  Support buildings in the upper center.

Aerial view of same area, 2009.

Launch site in 2010. (20)

A ball park now sits where the launch site was previously. (21)

Milford Memory from Hugh Walker E5 RA19-539-113:

I arrived in June 1955, the site was still under assembly. The buildings were all there, but equipment\ was just arriving for installation. The army screwed up and sent the first crews in before they should have.  I joined the Milford yacht club as a free crew boy and met several Perkin Elmer executives. In later years the company I worked for in California was bought by P-E and became the west coast space division of P-E. It was called the Aerospace Division. I was the crazy California kid with the 1951 DeSoto convertible who drove around with my surfboard in the back seat and the top down, even in the winter. Many good memories and Milford was a great place to be stationed. I left in 1958.
I was there in October 1955 when the area was under 4ft of water down by the rivers. The P-E plant and Sikorsky were both affected. Our guys helped with the cleanup.
After the 1955 flood, President Eisenhower visited Milford area to see the destruction, especially the Sikorsky helicopter plant and Perkin Elmer, both important military suppliers at the time. The president was not allowed to fly in any helicopters at that time. The governor was with him and was leaving from the base pad by helicopter to view the damage. The president had never seen a Nike and recently another base had accidentally launched one onto the Ct. turnpike. They arrived in a group of three cars. I was at the launch area and got a call to say we had a special visitor and get my guys outside in a formation to greet him. Suddenly here was a jeep with our CO and the Pres with two secret service guys . We showed him a Nike and raised it up vertical for him. The Pres stopped in front of me and asked how old I was. I said just 20 and he noted I was young for an E5. He asked where from and I said Cayucos, Ca. He stepped back and exclaimed he was stationed in the SLO base as a young officer and knew Cayucos well. He stayed for lunch at the base and I was invited to attend too. Afterwards I told the other soldiers I was just an old friend of the President.

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