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    How Far Have You Walked Around The Earth Hal

    HAL WARD Jun 30, 2013

    1. HAL WARD

      HAL WARD Getting There

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      A long long way......I saw a member photo thread but I have a lot of personal photos taken over 46 years ago, two different duty stations while I was in the service. I only have a few late photos but I'm sure the members will find these interesting.

      I'll start in 1967, I was stationed out in a Texas Farmers field as a Nike Hercules Missile Crewman, I previous to that had been an airborne infantryman who re upped and changed my MOS, that duty title or description for those non service people. So here I am out in a Farmers field taking care of a Nike Hercules in C pit, C Battery 4th Missile Bn 562nd Artillery Group Dallas Fort Worth Air Defense. I was there for 14 months and left for the war zone in Vietnam where I served as a gunner on a UH1 gunship for three years until finally leaving the Army in August 1970. Like life does the years passed on and I briefly stopped at my old missile base in 1977 to take a look around and it was of course closed, they closed all the bases within 3 months after I left to go overseas in 68, so the place was in very bad shape and there were some buildings that had already been razed and nothing but the slabs were left. The base was purchased or one section was purchased the launch area where I had worked, on two separate occasions.

      Recently I became friends with a professional photographer named Derek Olson who made two trips to the old base and photographed my old work area and pit. He was nice enough to send those to me and he has more but hasn't the time lately to up them. I hate to put all of these to a host so I'll see how the direct upload does, some sites allow only 5 at a time, if that's the case then I'll have to keep replying to the thread and adding more til they are all viewable.

      Just a short intro to the Nike, I've recently posted these photos elsewhere and I'm out of writing breath trying to be accurate and informative at the same time. First off my base is the only surviving Nike Base in Texas that has not been destroyed flooded or otherwise not recognizable. The upper IFC area is owned by a real estate broker from the east, as is the launch area down the road where I worked, so there are two owners now, the upper IFC has remained almost as it was 46 years ago but the owner has made a personal residence out of the IFC area, he lives in the old Mess Hall building.

      So the Nike was around for many years before I found myself at the base and at the close of 68 just about all had been phased out, a system that was old bloated and very expensive, and of course we had a full blown war going on at the time, it was frankly sucking all the money from what could have gone to the war effort, so it was killed. It was designed to shoot down enemy bombers and was a part of the DEW LINE national defense chain, the last resort or defense. It was nuclear and also we had high explosive warheads for head on destruction of one aircraft. The nuke device was about 10 kiloton and designed for a top down attitude detonation, it could essentially take out a complete bomber force in one blow. It was low yield in radiation so it was reported to be pretty safe for defense of populated cities. I'll post some photos now and see how it goes, if all aren't posted bear with me and I'll add them. A couple of these are not of the base, I had to use a few that came from the working site that is located in San Fransisco , it is completely restored to complete working status and has tours daily. I used the IFC trailer that shows the firing and tracking consoles, all the Nike sites used the exact configuration and equipment. The one gray locker panel with all the keys and such is the firing unlocking console in our pit, each pit has a firing room with that console, there are three pits to each battery. At one time while the Nike was coming into service it shared the duty with the Ajax missile system and it was a dirty missile with liquid fuel, very nasty stuff....the Nike is solid fueled ether boosters.
       

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    2. HAL WARD

      HAL WARD Getting There

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      2nd Photo set
       

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    3. HAL WARD

      HAL WARD Getting There

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      3rd set..........these old pit photos are my C pit, last time I was down those stairs was in early 68
       

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    4. HAL WARD

      HAL WARD Getting There

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      I have more but need to locate them, until then here's my beautiful babies as they would look 46 years ago
       

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    5. HAL WARD

      HAL WARD Getting There

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      A few more
       

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    6. HAL WARD

      HAL WARD Getting There

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      The up loader choked on a few small files for some reason, I had to host them, this is the last for now unless I get new ones from Derek. Tomorrow I'll post my overseas photos.

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