Nike Battery NY-73
Summit, NJ

When the Army first announced its intentions to construct a Nike missile site within the unspoiled woods of Union County's Watchung Reservation, both county officials and local residents protested strongly. In spite of this initial opposition, the missile base was eventually completed. However, concerns about the potential impacts of the site delayed its completion until 1958.

Ironically, deactivation of the site was begun less than four years later. During the autumn of 1962, the underground cables connecting the control and launcher areas were severed only days before the Cuban "missile crisis" brought the superpowers dangerously close to a nuclear confrontation.

Launcher Area:
Watchung Reservation, Summit
(Union County), NJ
Control Area:
(Union County), NJ

Dates of Operation

Weapons Systems
& Missile Load

Nike Ajax / 30
Nike Hercules / 0

Missile Magazines
3 Magazines.
1 type "B" and 2 type "C".

Radar Types

Unit Information
Army -
A/483rd (1957-1958)
A/2/65th (1958-1959)

National Guard -
HHB/1/254th (1959-1963)
B/1/254th (1959-1963)

Present Status
The new Watchung Stables were constructed atop the former launcher area on Summit Lane. Hardly a trace of this site is evident today.

Only a few foundation remnants and portions of the original barbed wire-topped fences remain at the control area, adjacent to Governor Livingston Regional High School in Berkeley Heights. The Army's original access road leading up to this site from Glenside Avenue (closed to vehicular traffic) is now used by local runners and bicyclists, few of whom are aware of its Cold War origins.

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