Category:Boston NIKE Sites

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Boston Air Defense Area

Boston's 12 Nike Missile Batteries were manned initially by Regular Army troops. In 1959, National Guard units assumed control of B-03, B-15, B-55, and B-63. In 1964, the Army turned sites B-36 and B-73 over to the Guard. After the phase-out of the Nike Ajax system sites B-05, B-36, and B-73 remained supplied with 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.

Boston Army Air-Defense Command Post B-21DC

The Boston Army Air-Defense Command Post (AADCP) B-21DC was established at Fort Heath, Massachusetts in 1960 for Nike missile command-and-control functions. 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 site was initially an FSG-l "Missile-Master" Radar Direction Center. In early 1965 the TSQ-51 "Missile Mentor" solid-state computer system was installed.

Fort Heath Radar Site

The Army AADCP B-21DC was integrated with the USAF SAGE System air defense radar network as Site MM-1. The Fort Heath Radar Site located adjacent to the Fort Heath Missile-Master Radar Direction Center provided support and interface with the USAF SAGE System. Both the AADCP and the SAGE system relied upon up the adjacent FAA ARSR-1 search radar set for search radar video. Aircraft altitude determination was provided by two Air Force FPS-6B height-finders and two U.S. Army FPS-6A height finders. The Air Force height-finders were driven by the SAGE System while the two U.S. Army height-finders serviced the Nike Systems.


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 Nike control center was deactivated on 1 Sep 1966. The FAA continued to operate the ARSR-1 search radar with the site designated as the Winthrop FAA Radar site through the mid-1990s. On the activation of a new Joint Surveillance System (JSS) radar site on the former North Truro Air Force Station, the Winthrop FAA Radar site closed. The new joint-use site at North Truro operates the far more capable ARSR-4 radar.

The entire USAF/US Army complex has been razed with the USAF/FAA operations area becoming a park and the Missile Master complex area overbuilt with high-rise buildings.

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
  • Butler, Gerald W., Captain, M.S.G., Defending Boston Antiaircraft Guns and Missiles at Nahant, MA, The Coast Defense Journal, Vol 27, Issue 1, February 2013, page 32-92.

Boston Nike Batteries (edit list)
Battery Type Location GPS Operational Deactivated Configuration Notes
B-21DC Command Post Fort Heath, MA 42.38867,
1960 1965 MM-1
Missile Master
Missile Mentor
B-03C Control Reading, MA 42.50806,
1955-06 1963-03
B-03L Launch Reading, MA 42.54284,
1955-06 1963-03 2A/1B, 30A, 2L-A
B-05C Control Danvers, MA 42.58773,
1956-11 1974-04 HIPAR, SMFU, RRIS
B-05L Launch Danvers, MA 42.60810,
1956-11 1974-04 1A/1B/1C, 18H/30A,
12L-UA, 7L-U
B-15C Control Beverly, MA 42.57875,
1957-02 1963-03
B-15L Launch Beverly, MA 42.58917,
1957-02 1963-03 2A/1B, 30A, 12L-A
B-17C Control Nahant, MA 42.41855,
1957-02 1963-03
B-17L Launch Nahant, MA 42.41882,
1957-02 1963-03 2A/1B, 30A,12L-A
B-35R Radar Long Island, MA 42.33005,
B-36C Control Fort Duvall, MA 42.30022,
1956-01 1974-04 HIPAR
B-36L Launch Hull, MA 42.25956,
1956-01 1974-04 2B, 12H/20A, 8L-U
B-37C Control Squantum, MA 42.30379,
1956-01 1961-12
B-37L Launch Quincy, MA 42.31705,
1956-01 1961-12 2B, 20A,12L-A
B-38C Control Cohasset, MA 42.23962,
1956-11 1961-12
B-38L Launch Hingham, MA 42.23745,
1956-11 1961-12 2A/1B, 30A, 12L-A
B-40C HQ Quincy, MA ,
B-55C Control Blue Hills, MA 42.22239,
1955-06 1963-03
B-55L Launch Blue Hills, MA 42.20002,
1955-06 1963-03 2A/1B, 30A, 12L-A
B-63C Control Needham, MA 42.29017,
1955-06 1963-03
B-63L Launch Needham, MA 42.27395,
1955-06 1963-03 2A/1B, 30A, 12L-A
B-71  ? Natick, MA ,
B-73C Control South Lincoln, MA 42.40681,
1956-01 1974-04 ABAR/71
B-73L Launch South Lincoln, MA 42.40980,
1956-01 1974-04 2B, 12H/20A, 8L-U
B-75R Radar Fort Strong, MA ,
Radar Section
B-82 HQ Fort Devens, MA ,
B-84C Control Burlington, MA 42.49009,
1956-01 1963-08
B-84L Launch Burlington, MA 42.47819,
1956-01 1963-08 2B, 20A, 8L-A
B-85C Control Bedford, MA 42.49092,
1956-11 1961-12
B-85L Launch Bedford, MA 42.50731,
1956-11 1961-12 2A/1B, 30A,12L-A

* Ed Thelen Site - Nike Site Locations
* Wikipedia - List of Nike Sites
* Tech Bastards - Nike Missile Locations
* Radomes - List of Nike Related Radar Sites
* Nike Historical Society
* Lonnquest, John C. and Winkler, David F., To Defend and Deter: The Legacy of the United States Cold War Missile Program, USACERL Special Report 97/01, Nov 1996, 607 pages, Pdf
* 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
Key to Magazine Configuration
Notation Meaning
nC Number of Ajax only Magazines
nB Number of Ajax or Hercules Magazines
nD Either
Key to Missile/Launcher Configuration
Notation Meaning
nA Number of Ajax Launchers
nAA Number of Double Ajax Launchers
nAG Number Above Ground
nH Number of Hercules Launchers
nL Number of Launchers
nK Number of Alaskan Above Ground Launchers
nU Number of Universal Launchers
nUA Number of 1/2 Universal and l/2 Ajax Launchers
nUU Number of Double Universal Launchers
nL-H Number of Launchers Converted to Hercules

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