Wilmington Nike Site
Wilmington Nike Missile Site
Where: Wilmington Ohio
Status: Still Standing. Used by a farmer as a pasture.
Well I finally got a chance to check out what I've been looking for... a missile base. Ultimately my goal was to head in to a silo from an ICBM, but the Nike site was something I'd been wanting to see as well. I finally got my chance when I headed down to Wilmington Ohio. Let me first say that this land is privately owned and off limits. You can not access this site, and the owner keeps live stock on the land, and the cows will kill you. I think they might actually be bulls... doesn't matter... they're mean.
That being said, I did venture breifly on to the property. I tried very hard to get permission, but I could not locate the owner. I found his house, knocked on the door, and no one was home. I waited around... still nothing. I have no good excuse, but I'd driven so far and was so curious, so I went for it. I scaled the fence, which had three lines of barb wire at the top mind you, then quickly scaled the 2nd fence that surrounded the launch area, and took some quick pictures. This was all after about an hour of walking several miles from where I parked, to the site, around the site twice, to the neighbors, to the correct person's house, back around the site, and then finally, in the site.
Main entrance to the site. This is the guard shack with road heading back toward the launch area.
I didn't have a chance to check out most of the buildings. There were bulls or cows in there, and they were very curious. By the time I left, I thought we were all buddies, but they did not agree. These things looked like they had the potential to destroy me if they weren't so afraid of me... Sorry cows, and sorry mr. Farmer.
Steps leading down to the underground missile storage area.
When I first arrived and walked around the base, I could see the launch doors were open, but I couldn't see what was in them. This was begging me to come see. Little did I know that after I nearly killed myself entering that I'd find the base flooded with quite a bit of water. I'd say there was maybe 10ft or more of water in there.
I walked around and got some general pictures, then climbed the fences, ran to the launch area, and snapped as many pictures as possible without wasting too much time. For some reason trespassing seems less bad if you do it for less time.
The place was really cool. I would have killed to go in had it not been full of water, but it was cool none the less. The elevators are huge.
As with most of these remaining, the elevators were broken. Two were submerged in the water and appeared to be 1/2 way elevated. The doors were opened, but the elevators were about 1 foot below the edge of the door in the open position... so about 3-4 foot down total. The final elevator (the center one) was completely up. This as nice because it gave an idea of what the other's would look like without all the water and slime on them.
If you're completely lost so far, how about a quick background. The Nike Missile was part of the Cold War. The sites were opened in the 1950s, and most of them had closed by the 1960's. The sites consited of two locations... an IFC, and the Launch Site. The IFC was the control, radar, etc, and the Launch Site was where the missiles launched. This was the Launch Site, although the IFC was nearby and is pictured below... it is now a handicapped school with many original buildings.
The Launch Site consisted of an undergound storage area for the missiles, elevtors to bring them to the surface, and a launch area where the missles were pushed to, then launched. There were also several support buildings for the staff, assembly, and even dog runs for the security dogs. Most of this remains at the Wilmington Site.
Elevator in the up position.
The Wilmington Site has the designation of CD-27. You can find tons of specifics at Ed's site or at the Tech Bastard's Site. Neither are affiliated with my site in any way, so please don't bother them if you own this place, hate my page, see bad info here, etc.
The techbastard site describes the launcher as follows... "At the launcher area, Nike missiles were stored horizontally within heavily constructed underground missile magazines. A large, missile elevator brought the Nikes to the surface of the site where they would be pushed (manually) by crewmen, across twin steel rails to one of four satellite launchers. The missile was then attached to its launcher and erected to a near-vertical position for firing. The near-vertical firing position ensured that the missile's booster rocket (lower stage) would not crash directly back onto the missile site, but, instead, would land within a predetermined booster impact area."
Hatch Leading down to the storage area. Notice the big counter weight.
So in the end, this was pretty cool even though I didn't get to go in the storage area. I did manage to rip my pants on the fence, so let that be a lesson to you would be trespassers... wear old jeans... or rather, don't do it. Really, its best to avoid these places. Obviously they are dangerous. Look at these pictures instead and imagine.
I hope to gather some more info on this site, and add to the page. If you really do own the property and wouldn't mind giving a quick tour, please drop me a line.
If you were stationed here, please also feel free to drop me a line, or check the above mentioned websites for some of the people you may have been stationed with.
Let this page serve as a thank you to all of the people who spent months away from their familes at these places while protecting our country. Thanks!
Elevtor controls. These are on the actual elvator platform. If you look close in the mid left of the picture, you can see the slime covered controls of this lift sticking out of the water slightly.
Main Building You can see the depth of the water here. It goes well below that elevator platform. I assume this was a wash station in case you got the fuel on you maybe? So there was some cool stuffinside... well actually, just one cool thing, an old pop machine. The screen is actually just telephone poles with the aluminum around them
Can anyone identify what this means/said? It is painted on one of the air vents. The best view I could manage of the entire launch area. This is the near by IFC, now used as a handicapped school. Notice how similar this is to the building at the launch site. This is also the near by IFC.
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Lots more 2007 pictures can be found in the gallery here.