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We would like to thank our loyal fellow members of the Nike Historical Society for your continued support over the years. We will be closing the Society, including the store, as of March 31, 2024. We have acquired a large repository of Nike technical information. The web site will continue to be available. It has been our pleasure to keep the legacy of the Nike missile's contribution of the successful conclusion to the Cold War.

the Board of Directors
Nike Historical Society


Oct. 1969: President Nixon wants Soviet Union to believe he's Crazy

This brief exchange began with the following entry (January 5, 2014) from Richard D. Brody in the Nike Historical Society guestbook:

My MOS was 16B20 Missile Launcher Crewman, SP/4. Served at NY 93/94 Franklin Lakes, NJ on Campgaw Mountain for a while until NG took the site over for decomissioning. Served for a year at B-3-68 Farmington, Minn, saw some action during October '69 when President Nixon tried his "Madman" ploy and brought all of U.S. Nuclear defense forces and our B-52's to a high alert status. We (EM's anyway) didn't know what was up at the time but with warheads ready and missiles hooked up and raised on their launchers for two days we all thought Armageddon was at hand. Later served a tour at A Battery 4th BN (Herc)44th Arty Camp El Paso, Jincheon, Korea 1970-1971. A nasty place on top of the world. Was glad to have 7th ID there with us as a QRF. It's a shame our guys killed in Cold War Korea either on the DMZ or at inland MSA's like our Nike battery never got the combat recognition due them. US DOD should make it right, even if it's not "PC", at least for the families of those KIA's.

Michael Kelly then emailed directly to Richard D. Brody:

Richard...just saw your entry in guest book. In Oct '69 I was on the custodial team at C/2/176 in Dorseyville, Pa... Remember that week or so lockdown very well. At the time I was really sure no one in the 18th group knew the reason... no one at any level. A year or so later I ended up TDY in Second Rgn ARADCOM and left sure that no one at that level (including BG Dean and MG Barfield) had any idea either. Heard they were all pissed. Your append is the first I've ever heard the reason . Cool!

Mike Kelly

Finally, Richard Brody emailed back to Michael Kelly:

Hi Mike,

Thanks for the shout out.

Those few days October 27-30,1969 affected me and tested me as a human being as I'd never been before or since. I manned the missile launch control panel (LCP) at MS-40, B-3-68 Farmington, Minn. Me and my missile crew stayed down in the missile pit for days while were were at DEFCON status. We ate C rations stored down there. I was awaiting the order from the FCO for a missile launch, which we knew would only come if the U.S. was under attack or already had been attacked. Sitting there at the LCP I actually thought the US East Coast maybe had already been attacked and my friends and family back home in NJ could be gone. We had no communication with the outside world or those topside for about three days.

I've sought out the reason for that high defense alert status for many years until I came across information which was researched only after certain Govt. documents were declassified. Here are examples:

Nixon's Nuclear Ploy: The Vietnam Negotiations and the Joint Chiefs of Staff Readiness Test, October 1969

The Nukes of October: Richard Nixon's Secret Plan to Bring Peace to Vietnam