Nike Battery NY-79/80 was constructed near the borders
of Morris and Essex Counties during 1954-1955. The control
area was located atop Riker Hill in Livingston in order to
obtain good radar coverage of the region. The launcher area
was constructed about two miles away, on a portion of the
former Matarazzo farm in East Hanover.
This relatively rare "double" Nike
site was operational with both Ajax and Hercules missiles. The site later became a "single" site, sometime after the Hercules missiles were
installed and the Ajax missiles were removed.
Regular Army units left during 1963, when the
New Jersey Army National Guard took control of the
base. It remained operational until the
inactivation of the nationwide Nike air defense system in 1974.
(Morris County), NJ
Riker Hill, Livingston
(Essex County), NJ
Dates of Operation
& Missile Load
Nike Ajax / 60
Nike Hercules / 18
(3 magazines converted)
6 Magazines (double site).
2 type "B" and 4 type "C".
ACQR, LOPAR, ABAR, HIPAR
National Guard -
HHB 7/112th (1963-1971)
HHB 1/254th (1971-1974)
Although the East Hanover Launcher Area was mostly demolished,
the Control Area atop Riker Hill in nearby Livingston remains partially
a number of the Army's original barracks and other buildings have been adapted
to serve as studios for local artists. The former Family Housing Area
adjacent to the demolished East Hanover Launcher Area
remained mostly intact through the spring of 2004 when its 32 abandoned
homes and the last of its two original barracks were demolished to make
room for a housing development.
Read the article,
Air Defenders of Morris County by Donald E. Bender (1997).