D-06 Utica, MI
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member bobfrapples8
N 42° 39.062 W 083° 04.197
17T E 330327 N 4724141
Quick Description: Nike D-06 missile base located in what is now River Bends Park at 5700 22 Mile Rd, Shelby Township, MI 48317.
Location: Michigan, United States
Date Posted: 4/8/2022 1:46:30 PM
Waymark Code: WM160P5
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member bluesnote
Views: 0

Long Description:
There is very little remaining of what was Nike missile site D-06 at this location. The nature center covers the missile silo area, with the Ajax fuel mixing building's foundation still visible near the replica Pioneer Cabin.

Shortly after the turn of the 21st century, crews demolished the remaining missile support buildings, which acted as classrooms for Utica Community Schools.

The power building in the Integrated Fire Control area still stands, and the Shelby Township Parks, Recreation and Maintenance Department uses it for storage. Park visitors can find concrete pads for old radar units, the Hercules radar tower’s octagonal concrete footing and several barrack foundations east of the IFC. The basketball court, where service members played ball in their spare time, is east of the barrack foundations.

The Michigan State Register of Historic Places recognizes the Utica D-06 Nike Missile Site and the Spring Hill Farm with a marker near the Spring Hill Farm site.

Base history
The U.S. Army leased sections of Spring Hill Farm for use as a Nike missile base in 1954. Fifteen such bases ringed Detroit to protect the city from Soviet bombers during the Cold War.

Construction began on the Utica D-06 site in 1955. To the east of the missile silos, earth berms surrounded the Ajax rocket fuel mixing building. Further east were missile support and command buildings along with the missile launch battalion’s quarters.

The IFC area included equipment, computer, and administration buildings and radars for tracking incoming bombers and outgoing missiles. To track outbound missiles, the Army stationed radars 1,000 yards away from the missile launchers. Other radar units Located on concrete towers tracked incoming bombers.

Armed with 20 Ajax missiles, the Army dedicated the operational Utica D-06 site in October of 1957.

In 1962, the Hercules missile replaced the Ajax missile. The Hercules missile had improved range and accuracy. One Hercules missile equipped with a nuclear warhead could eliminate several bombers, while Ajax missiles could only take out one bomber at a time.

The Army outfitted the IFC area at D-06 with additional radar and equipment to accommodate Hercules missiles. The base's silos could house only 12 of the larger Hercules missiles.

As Cold War attack strategies shifted from bombers to intercontinental ballistic missiles, Ajax and Hercules missiles became obsolete. In April 1974, the Army deactivated Utica D-06.

Crews filled in silos and underground bunkers and leveled the fuel-mixing berms. They demolished all the buildings except some of the missile launch support buildings east of the silos and the power building installed in the IFC area when the Army converted the site to the Hercules missile system.

Following decommissioning, the Army returned the entire property to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources jurisdiction.
-From the Shelby Township’s historic Utica D-06 Nike Missile Site Page

From the State of Michigan Historical Marker at the site:
During the 1950s the U.S. Army developed its Nike anti-aircraft program. The conventional Nike Ajax guided missile and its nuclear-capable successor, Hercules, provided America's cities with a "last line of defense" against attack by Soviet long-range bombers carrying atomic warheads. The Detroit region's Nike defensive perimeter included fifteen missile bases. The Utica site comprised a launch facility (located one-half mile west of here) and an Integrated Fire Control center/administrative area (located one-third mile south). Army and Michigan Army National Guard units manned the site from 1955 until 1974, when it was closed. The enemy bomber had been replaced by intercontinental ballistic missiles, a new threat against which the Nike system would be useless.
Parking location: N 42° 39.032 W 083° 04.216

Link to Ed Thelen's Nike location page that includes the site you are submitting: [Web Link]

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