Where in the World is this missile base? - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Where in the World is this missile base?

July 12, 2002

Lee Stanley is part historian. Shelton Mitchell is a part of history. On this day, their worlds came together for the first time at this site, home to the Nike Missile Base.

Shelton was the commander here in 1964. He hasn't seen these radar towers in over a decade. "One radar was for following the target, the other was for guiding the missiles," he said. 

On these towers, giant radar dishes scanned the skies for enemy and unidentified aircraft at a radius that could reach New Orleans. Other radars guided more destruction to the enemy than anyone around here knew about. "A ten kiloton bomb will destroy an entire fleet, or an entire town," said Mitchell. 

Those missiles, 12 in all, were a mile away from this fire control center. Tall dirt berms were used to deflect rocket thrust or accidental explosions upward, rather than outward.

"This was a top secret operation, with nuclear missiles, but no one around here knew about it," added Lee. 

These nuclear warhead missiles weighed 5 tons each and flew at 2,600 miles per hour. That kind of fire power put shelton in charge of an expensive battery. "60 or 70 million dollars worth back then," says Shelton.

Time cannot bury Shelton's memory of his finger on the launch button, waiting for the fire command from Colorado springs. Nor can it bury these radar towers that helped scan the skies. The original fence and flagpole the army installed are still here, as are the buildings.

And those whose homes are near the Anchorage rehabilitation center may have never known they were neighbors with the Army and it's Nuclear missiles. 

Here are some links for aerial phots of the sites near Albany:

TU-28
Willingsham
/Sylvester

C - 4 W Sylvester, N of us 82 ((I) private retirement home)
[
{Murdock, S} GPS=31-33-16, 83-54-56, TopoZone:, TerraServer]
L - 3 W Sylvester, N of us 82 ((I) Midway Auto Parts)
[{Murdock, S} GPS=31-33-23, 83-54-19, TerraServer]
____________________________________________________________

TU-79
Armena/Sasser

C - 9 NW Albany, S of US 82 ((I) Anchorage; drug & alcohol rehab center) [{Murdock, S} GPS=31-38-01, 84-15-24, TerraServer]
L - 10 NW Albany, S of US 82, E of Winnifred Rd ((O) housing development) [{Murdock, S} GPS=31-37-51, 84-16-34, TerraServer]

 

 

 

 

 

 

The second Nike launch site is now an auto salvage yard on Highway 82 in Worth County. The bases were in place to protect Turner Air base and the Marine Corp Logistics Base, and were deactivated in 1966.

Nike is named for the the Greek goddess of victory.

  • Internet Resources


Site SF-88

Nike Related Links

Nike Missiles and Missile Sites

The Nike Missile System: A Concise Historical Overview

Ed's Nike Missile Web Site