View Mobile Site
 

Ask the Expert

Signal Photos

 

Ricardo Flores: Cold War history in the SCV

Posted: December 7, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: December 7, 2012 2:00 a.m.
 

The other day I went to the Old Town Newhall Library and saw an old friend from my past.

Almost 50 years ago, right after high school, I spent three years in the Army standing side by side with the son of this Cold War warrior. I proudly carried his image on my shoulder: the Nike-Ajax missile.

You can see him today behind the Old Town Newhall Library and next to the American Legion Post 507. Although I now look much older, he is still the sleek Cold War warrior.

It is a missile — a Nike-Ajax missile that once stood as part of the Ring of Steel that protected the cities of the United States from a possible Russian nuclear attack.

After World War II, the United States set up a missile defense system around the nation’s strategic cities, including Los Angeles. The rocket was developed and built in Southern California.

The Nike-Ajax was capable of shooting down enemy bombers trying to attack our cities.

Surface-to-air missile sites were set up around the city of Los Angeles in Mt. Gleason/Palmdale, South El Monte, Brea/Puente Hills, Garden Grove, Long Beach Airport/Lakewood, Fort McArthur, Point Vicente (Palos Verdes), Redondo Beach/Torrance, Playa Del Rey/LAX, Newhall, Magic Mountain, Van Nuys/Sepulveda, Chatsworth/Oat Mountain and Canyon Country.

The Nike-Ajax was employed from March 1954-1963 and then replaced with a larger missile defense system, the Nike-Hercules Missile, which continued to be employed until 1974.

The Strategic Arms Limitation Talks Treaty with Russia ended the Air Defense Missile System.

Comments

Commenting not available.
Commenting is not available.

 
 

Powered By
Morris Technology
Please wait ...