Nike Missile Sites
In New Jersey

Donald E. Bender

Due to its strategic location, New Jersey played a significant role in the Cold War defense of the North American continent. Within the Garden State, air defense radar sites, bases for interceptor aircraft, anti-aircraft gun batteries, surface to air missile sites, and command and control facilities were constructed in order to defend against the threat of attack by long range, nuclear-armed aircraft of the Soviet Air Force. Throughout the Cold War, these sites were manned on a 24 hour per day basis on constant alert, ready to defend the region, the nation and the North American continent.

For two decades, spanning some of the most troubled years of the Cold War era, New Jersey was the location of more than one dozen U.S. Army Nike missile installations. Named for the mythical Greek goddess of victory, Nike missiles were designed to shoot down attacking aircraft. The Nikes were deployed at missile sites which completely encircled major metropolian areas with overlapping fields of fire, providing a vital last line of defense against an attack by air.

Nike missile sites in the Garden State were located within two distinct groups. The sites in northern New Jersey were associated with the former New York Defense Area. Those located in southern half of the state were important components of the former Philadelphia Defense Area.

The Nike missile sites remained in service in New Jersey from 1954 until 1974, when the last remaining operational sites were inactivated. For a concise overview of the Nike missile system, information about Nike missiles and a description of a typical Nike missile site click here.

The history of these Cold War missile sites and their present condition is now being documented by means of a self-sponsored project of Bender Associates, the New Jersey Nike Missile Site Survey. Founded in 1995, the Survey has conducted archival research, visited and photographed former Nike missile sites, gathered historical photographs and interviewed former personnel. The result is a significant and growing historical resource which is helping to preserve this fascinating chapter in our recent, Cold War past.

A very small portion of the information gathered for this project has been placed online at this Web site. Additional information and photographs will be placed online in the future. Those wishing to contribute information, photographs, documents or their personal recollections of these sites should contact Don Bender who is managing this project. Click here to send an e-mail to him at

For more information about each of the 14 former Nike missile batteries and related facilties located within the Garden State, click on a site below. NOTE: Please use your Web browser's "back" button to return to this page.


New York Defense Area ("NY")

Missile Batteries


Middletown (Leonardo)
NY-54 Holmdel/Hazlet
NY-56 Fort Hancock (Sandy Hook)
NY-58/60 Old Bridge
NY-65 South Plainfield
NY-73 Summit
NY-79/80 Livingston/East Hanover
NY-88 Wayne/Mountain View
NY-93/94 Franklin Lakes

Networked Radar Sites

NY-60R South Amboy
NY-80R Morristown

Command & Control

NY-55DC Highlands (AADCP)

Philadelphia Defense Area ("PH")

Missile Batteries

PH-23/25 Lumberton
PH-32 Marlton
PH-41/43 Berlin/Clementon
PH-49 Pitman
PH-58 Swedesboro

Command & Control

PH-64DC Pedricktown (AADCP)

Copyright 1999 by Donald E.Bender. All Rights Reserved.

About the Author ...

Donald E. Bender is the founder of the New Jersey Nike Missile Site Survey, a self-sponsored historical project designed to document the history and present condition of former Nike missile sites located in the New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia areas. He has assisted governmental, military, academic and historical organizations with research related to former Nike missile sites and other Cold War era military installations across the nation and internationally. He can be reached via e-mail at

| Index | Overview | Articles & Links | Nike Sites | Home |