Important Announcement

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


LTC (Ret) Harold D. Stanford

February, 2015

I received my commission as a Second Lieutenant in 1959 from Jacksonville State University, Jacksonville, Alabama. I entered into active duty army in 1960 at Fort Bliss, Texas for basic training in Nike Ajax.

From October 1960 through July, 1962, I was assigned to Site W92 in Rockville, Maryland as Launcher Platoon Leader. I was probably the only Second Lieutenant that has ever brought a Nike Hercules Unit to Battle Stations.

It was near midnight and Site W92 was on Hot Status. I was duty officer when we were called up by the ADCAP at Fort Meade, Maryland to bring the unit to Battle Stations. I contacted the ADCAP to confirm and authenticate the command and proceeded to bring the unit up to Battle Stations.

I called the battery commander at home and told him we had been called to Battle Stations. He lived about a fifteen minute drive from the site but he arrived within five minutes wearing only his hat and underwear. By the time he arrived, we were at Battle Stations tracking a target designated as foe however it was out of range.

After questioning the duty officer at the ADCAP, it was determined that the command should have been Blazing Skies. The duty officer at the ADCAP was relieved of his duty. Further outcome was unknown.

Needless to say, they were all relieved and the target landed safely at Dallas International Airport.

In 1962, I attended flight training and was assigned to a Pershing Missile Battalion as a helicopter pilot at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.

From June, 1964-January, 1966, I was assigned to a helicopter unit at Fort Benning, Georgia and deployed to Vietnam.

From January, 1966-September, 1966, I attended the Artillery Advanced Course at Fort Sill, Oklahoma and Fort Bliss, Texas.

From October, 1966-September 1968, I was assigned to a CH47 (Chinook) Unit at Fort Benning, Georgia and again deployed to Vietnam.

From September, 1968-January, 1971, I served as the Academic Branch Chief of the Cobra Helicopter School at Hunter AAF, Savannah, Georgia.

From February, 1971-July, 1972, I served as the Executive Officer of the 6th Battalion, 68 ADA (Vulcan), Fort Bliss, Texas.

From July, 1972-June, 1973, I attended Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

From July, 1973-July, 1974, I served as G3 and Executive Officer of the 13th Air Defense Artillery Group, Presidio of San Francisco. During this time, the San Francisco Air Defense Artillery Units were deactivated. I oversaw the warhead removals, shipments and closure of the Group.

From September 1974-1978, I was assigned to Fort Bliss, Texas as Inspector General and then later as Commander of Biggs Army Airfield. I left Fort Bliss in 1978 and went to Kuwait for one year as the Air Defense Advisor to the Kuwait Air Force. (Hawk) I returned to Fort Bliss in 1979 as Aviation Officer and Commander of Biggs Army Airfield and stayed in that assignment until 1983.

My last duty assignment was Commander of Godman Army Airfield, Fort Knox, Kentucky. I retired from there in 1988 and worked as a corporate pilot for several years In Louisville, Kentucky prior to returning to my home state of Alabama.

My awards consist of the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, 7 Air Medals, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Presidential Unit Citation, Distinguished Unit Citation, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal and others.