Boston Army Air Defense Command Post B-21DC

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Boston Army Air Defense Command Post B-21DC (1960-1966) A U.S. Army NIKE System AADCP command post collocated with a USAF SAGE radar site MM-1 and a FAA Search radar site all on Fort Heath, Massachusetts. Deactivated in 1966.


Established in 1960. The Army command post evolved with the NIKE System initially housing an FSG-1 (Missile Master) and later in 1965 an FSQ-51 (Missile Mentor) acquisition, launch, and guidance system.

The command post coordinated the operation of Boston's 12 Nike Ajax Missile Batteries. After the phase-out of the Nike Ajax system, only three launch & control sites remained (B-05, B-36, and B-73). These three sites were armed with the more capable and longer range Hercules missiles. Nike System headquarters facilities were located at Chelsea, Winthrop, Quincy, Natick, and Fort Devens. Radar sections were stationed at Long Island and Fort Devens.

The building that housed the Army computer equipment and command post came to be known as the Missile Master Blockhouse. The Corps of Engineers New England Division contracted with Kirkland Construction Company to construct the “bomb-proof" and "fallout-proof” Missile Master command and control facility. The initial FSG-l "Missile-Master" computer system was replaced in early 1965 with the TSQ-51 "Missile Mentor" solid-state computer system.

Besides the FSQ-51 and FSG-1 computer equipment, the Army also maintained two FPS-6A height-finder radars in addition to, two USAF maintained FPS-6B height-finders. Search radar data from the FAA ARSR-1 was shared by the FAA, the U.S. Army, and USAF computer systems and fed to the Stewart SAGE Direction Center DC-02. The SAGE Direction Center would feed track assignments back to the Army command post for missile intercepts.

The Boston Defense Area merged with Hartford & Providence Defense Areas in 1962, becoming the New England Defense Area. U.S. Air Force operations at the site ended in 1962 and the Boston Army Air Defense Command Post B-21DC site was deactivated on 1 Sep 1966.

Current Status

Demolished and the site is overbuilt with high-rise buildings.

Location: Fort Heath, Suffolk County, Massachusetts.

Maps & Images

Lat: 42.38867 Long: -70.96778

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See Also:


  • Morgan, Mark L. and Berhow, Mark A., Rings of Supersonic Steel: Air Defenses of the United States Army 1950-1979, Third Edition, Hole in the Head Press, Bodega Bay, 2010, ISBN 978-0-9761494-0-8, 358 pages


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