Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Cool Warrendale Thing: Missile Launchers

Most people are shocked to believe that there used to be missiles in Rouge Park. I can't say that I believe them. When my assistant scoutmaster told me almost 30 years ago, I thought he was kidding.

But he wasn't.

NIKE Missile Battery D-69.

This military facility was activated in January 1955 and decommissioned in February 1963. The integrated fire control area was located north of Joy Rd., between Spinoza and Trinity. The launchers themselves were located near what is now Lessenger Middle School (8401 Trinity St.).

The site reportedly held 20 Nike Ajax missiles, which were surface-to-air missiles designed to shoot down incoming Russian bombers in the event of an attack. Thankfully, those missiles were never needed.

When the military closed the facility, the City of Detroit was quick to demolish it and revert it back to parkland.

More information about the facility is available on-line here. One can also find more information about the Nike missile system here.

I may have a really warped sense of humor, but this missile site is my pick for Cool Warrendale Thing of the Week.
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