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Friday, September 19, 2014

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Where missile sites once stood in Connecticut

Updated 9:37 am, Monday, April 7, 2014

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  • The former Nike missile site in Fairfield, Conn. Photo: Autumn Driscoll / Connecticut Post
    The former Nike missile site in Fairfield, Conn. Photo: Autumn Driscoll

 

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Project Nike (named after Nike, the goddess of victory from Greek mythology) was a U.S. Army project proposed in May 1945 to develop a line-of-sight anti-aircraft missile system.

Leftover traces of the approximately 265 Nike missile bases can still be seen around cities across the United States, including 12 in Connecticut, some of which were equipped with nuclear-tipped Nike Hercules missiles, intended to shoot down entire bomber formations at once. Most of the Connecticut sites have been built over. Click here for the history of one of the sites: Milford's Nike Ajax Missile site.

Here's a full list of where the Connecticut Nike Missile sites once stood:

Milford: Redeveloped into single-family housing.

Fairfield: Redeveloped into South Pine Creek Park. Launch area now a soccer field.

 Westport: Obliterated. Redeveloped into Special Education Center Firefighting Training Center. Also athletic fields for the public Staples High School. 

Ansonia: Now part of a horse farm. Most buildings still there, launch magazines filled in, concrete pads obliterated. Horses occupy the Assembly building.

 West Haven: Obliterated. Part of Town of Westhaven, Parks and Recreation Department "Nike State Park."

 Shelton: Redeveloped into "Nike Recreation Fields", Town of Shelton. Baseball fields, recreation Halls, Tennis courts, playground etc.

 East Windsor: Redeveloped into USAR Center. Nike launch site totally obliterated.

 Manchester: Redeveloped into Electric Lighting Company. Nike launch site overgrown with vegetation.

 Portland: FDS, Abandoned and overgrown. Appears to have been bulldozed over and covered with soil after demilitarization.

Cromwell: Redeveloped into USAR Center, Transportation Company. Concrete launching pads visible but doors concreted over.

Plainville: Redeveloped into Industrial Area. Nike launch site totally obliterated.

Avon/Simsbury: Redeveloped into Tower View Condominiums

While most of the Connecticut sites are all but gone, some sites in other parts of the United States remain untouched. Click here to take a look at one site in Washington state that looks like a ghost town out of a movie.