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B-37 Squantum/Quincy

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Operational from Jan 1956 - Dec 1961.
Missile types, Ajax only: Nike 2B/20A.

IFC was located on Long Island in Squantum, now American Legion Post/ day care center (engine generator and interconnecting corridor demolished).

Launch site located on Long Island, owned by city of Boston (EM Barracks remains, pits are sealed).]















Aerial images of the Launcher area, c. 1959.




This was the launch site for a battery of Nike Ajax missiles, active between 1955 and 1961, one of fifteen Nike Missile sites operated in Massachusetts between the 1950's and the 1970's to defend coastal urban areas against aerial attack. Missiles were stored underground and launched from the area now covered by a concrete slab. This launch complex is on Long Island, while the control center for the battery was on the mainland, connected to the island by a bridge and causeway. Long Island extends far into Boston Harbor, and remains off limits to the public, as its primary function today is to house treatment centers for individuals suffering from a variety of afflictions, including alcoholism, drug dependency, and other social and mental disorders. Later versions of the Nike deployed in Massachusetts had nuclear warheads, despite a limited, 75 mile range.

Nike Recollections:

"Package 22 trained at Ft. Bliss, Texas, from early August to early January, 1954 and became part of the 514 AAA Missile Battalion for the defense of the Boston Area.  Battery C was stationed at Squantum, Massachusetts.  The IFC area was located on the mainland and the launch area was located on Long Island in the middle of Boston Bay.  When we were in training at Ft. Bliss we were told that access to the launch area would be by motor launch, but by the time we arrived a new bridge and causeway had been built and so we had road access.
 
    "When we arrived to replace the then out-moded 90mm Sky Sweeper guns only the missile pits at the launch sites had been completed.  Rails and erection arms were still to be installed, and with the mud it was a job. Barracks there were still under construction as were the missile assembly building and the building to house our generators.  The MAB was finished before the barracks building was so we spent a few days sleeping on the concrete floor there while we worked.  We also slept on the floor of the mess-hall at the IFC for a few days when construction finished there. At the IFC area the mess-hall, day room, and office were not quite  completed, and we were quartered in a building that had been the Naval Officer's Quarters and Club, utilizing the second-floor dance hall as our barracks.  The building had walls with maple and walnut wainscotting, and a huge dining room.  For a few weeks we ate on plates and saucers but when the mess-hall was completed it was back to aluminum trays.
 
    "The launch area was a raw, muddy area and that mud was to plague us for weeks.  The IFC area was better as it was on the old Naval air station with acres of concrete runway.     Our first jobs were to run phone lines, set up the radar and launch trailers, set up and activate and collimate the radars so we became well acquainted with that mud.  Later our contingent of Nikes arrived in the wooden packing crates and we moved inside the newly-built assembly building and assembled, fueled them, and installed the warheads and moved them to the two pits.    Our first month or so kept us busy installing equipment, testing it, and generally making it an active site, putting into practicewhat we'd learned at Ft. Bliss and Red Canyon Range Camp.
 
    "It would be hard to exaggerate the kindness and courtesy we were given by the residents of Squantum.  A small pizza shop in town became the place we'd hang out when off-duty, and just next door was the VFW Hall, a small building that had television and beer!  The vets there became some of our best friends, as did the owner of the pizza shop.  Many residents had us as dinner guests often, and Thanksgiving and Christmas were times when they went out of their way to be kind, inviting us to dinners, even in some instances, giving presents."   R. Wigglesworth, 12/15/14.
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