Rocky Stovall and the Nike Historical Society thank Mark Morgan for letting us use his report of LA-29
By Mark Morgan
LA-29 Brea/Puente Hills – The site is between Brea and Rowland Heights on a ridge, east of North Harbor Drive at the end of Vantage Point. Vantage Point is aptly named, as you get a phenomenal view of the San Gabriel Valley to the north as well as the San Gabriel Mountains on a clear day. The site is one of those that has access to both Launcher Area and IFC via a single road; according to my GPS the IFC was about .61 miles up a steep hill so I ended up getting my exercise for the day.
When I got to the top I found another gate with a bunch of no trespassing signs as well as one of those peculiar California warnings indicating that the site contained chemicals that may cause brain damage, birth defects, cancer, Limp Bizkit, etc. Fortunately, there was also a sign with contact numbers and on the third try I got a hold of someone who said “Sure, go on in but don’t take any photos showing our company’s name.” Absolutely, no problem. I’d rate the IFC as a partial with two surviving concrete towers, the guard shack and one other small structure, all heavily vandalized and covered with graffiti. Otherwise, everything’s been cleared off save for the security fence and a microwave tower that still dominates the peak.
The battery site was on the next peak over, .61 miles to the east-northeast; at least the hike was a little less strenuous. When I got over there I found the fence, the building foundations and a reasonably intact – if overgrown – fueling/arming area at a lower level from the launchers. The launcher area, however, was completely cleared off and sodded over leaving only a few piles of rubble scattered about. Sigh… LA-29 was a three-magazine/12-launcher (1B2C) installation which operated Nike Ajax from 1958 to 1960 and underwent conversion to Nike Hercules between December 1960 and April 1961; the conversion added both a HIPAR and AN/FPA-71 as well as an FPA-18 (!).
The assigned units were A/933rd (/58-9/58), A/1/56th (9/58-4/64) and C/4/251st (4/64-6/71).
It took 20 years, but I finally knocked off every site in the Los Angeles Defense Area. The lat/longs for the two components are 33-57-19N/117-53-45W for the control facility and 33-57-36N/117-53-15W for the launchers.
More about site LA-29:
ROCKY'S STORIESRocky Stovall writes about his time at site LA-29
ABOUT LA-29A brief history of the acquisition of land for site LA-29 and the disposition of the site after decomissioning
ROCKY STOVALLRocky Stovall tells more stories and describes experiences that differ from statements found elsewhere on NikeMissile.org