NIKE BASE - PH07A

RICHBORO, BUCKS COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA



PH07 in Richboro, Pennsylvania was one of twelve former Nike bases that ringed the Philadelphia / Southern New Jersey area. It was placed into service in 1956 with two type B magazines, 20 Ajax missiles, and 8 A type launchers. The base was never upgraded to the Hercules missile and it was decommissioned in 1961 along with six other PH sites.  The signing of the SALT treaty in the early 1970's resulted in the decommissioning of all US Nike bases.

Below are links and pictures of the PH07 launch and IFC sites taken in February 2007. If you happen to see this site and you have additional stories or information or if you were stationed here during it's 5 years of activity I would love to hear from you. Drop me an email at doug@crompton.com   There is a wealth of information on the web regarding the cold war US missile programs. I will list a few sites but the best research would be to google "Nike Missile"  I hope this site is useful in your Nike research. Please scroll down to see all of the pictures.

Seen on the net....
South Korea is considering buying second-hand Patriot missiles from Germany, reports the AFP. Klaus Von Sperber, director of international armament affairs in Germany’s defense ministry, recently traveled to Seoul to meet with Defense Minister Yoon Kwang-Ung and other Korean military officials. The AFP quotes a South Korean ministry official as saying, “The German official is in Seoul for talks on the sale of Patriot missiles deployed in his country.” South Korea hopes to phase out its aging arsenal of Nike surface-to-air missiles beginning in 2006.
Local Nike Stories  (reprinted from the March 2007 newsletter of the Northampton Township Historical Society)

Memories of the Richboro Nike Base
 by Virginia B. Geyer  (PDF)

The Nike Missile  by Doug Crompton  (PDF)

Gordon "Flash" Myers, a retiree from the nearby Johnsville Naval Center, remembers driving by the Richboro launch site and seeing the missiles.
Laurice Burtt, a Richboro resident since 1968, remembers her daughter Kyle attending Kindergarten at the old Nike IFC site on Twiningford Road

Nike Historic Marker Dedication Ceremony - October 5, 2007
"The fear in the post 9/11 period doesn't 'hold a candle' to the cold war era of the 1950's and 60's when people were building fallout shelters and children were drilling by hiding under their desks in schools."


Some Nike Missile Links

Nike Missle Base PH15 - Bristol, PA
Nike Missile Base PH32 - Marlton, NJ
New Jersey PH/NY Nike Bases
Nike Missile Base PH75 - Edgemont, PA
Nike Missile Base PH91 - Worcester, PA
Nike Missile Base PH99 - Warrington, PA
Nike Missile - A Quick History
Ed's Nike Base Web Site

The Nike Historical Society
The Nike Site
Ring of Fire - Could Nike Bases have Prevented an Attack
Nike Ajax History and Development (300 Pages PDF) 
Government report on hazardous and toxic contaminants at Nike sites  
PA / DOD Multi-site Remediation Report 

Site Information from a November 2002 Survey

C - 2 N Richboro, E of PA 232 ((P) Council Rock School District; offices
- IFC - TerraServer from the TerraServants (12/04)
[{Gale, M} November 2002 - This one was the most fun. First control 301 Twining Ford Rd. GPS 40-14-69, 75-59-93 Still offices
 for Council Rock School District. Several original buildings remain in use. I found what appears to be 1 radar pad. ]

L - 1 E Richboro, N side PA 332 ((P) Northampton Tennis & Fitness Center)
- Launcher Area - TerraServer from the TerraServants (12/04)
[{Larish, J} Terraserver image
[{Gale, M} November 2002 - Launch area is at 345 Newtown Richboro Rd. GPS 40-13-66, 74-59-65 The magazines are intact, 
not filled in both elevators intact. The township has erected baseball batting cages directly over top between the elevators! Easy public photo op. ]


Map of Philadelphia Nike Defense Sites
Map of PH07 Site locations
Personnel at Pennsylvania Nike Sites

Pictures of the PH07 launch site

This site is located about 800 feet north of Route 332, about .8 miles east of route 232 in Richboro
on land which is now a sports complex. It is surrounded by baseball fields and basketball courts.
The only Nike building standing at this site was the former "Mess hall" which later became the
Northampton Township Library and is now the township recreation offices. 

 Elevator Doors Looking North. The missiles were stored below in the magazine and elevators moved them up from below. The doors were then closed before the above ground launch.
Though Rusted Steel Doors are Still Sound
This Site is a Township Sports Complex and has a Cage mounted Over it.
Another View of  the Elevator Doors and Entry Way
Wider View looking NNW
Another Elevator Launch Bay with Sports Equipment to the Right
Eastern edge of  pad. Capped Entry, elevator doors in background. Looking NE.
View looking West showing recreation building and Cage Built On Top of Pad.
Pictorial of a typical site. This below ground cavern still exists below the PH07 launch site.
Mounts for the above ground launch assembly.







Padlocked Entrance Way
Appropriately Marked USA. (labeled "escape hatch" in above pictorial")
View of Entire Pad looking West
Another view  of the east most launch doors looking North.
Located just 100 feet from Route 332, outside of Richboro, is the old "mess hall", now a recreation center
Another View of the Building looking NNE. The building originally had the typical flat roof and was modified to this slope style. While locals remember this as the "mess hall", the newspaper article above disputs this stating the mess facility was at the Twiningford Road (radar) site.


Pictures of the PH07 IFC Site

The IFC or Integrated Fire Control site was located on the north side of Twiningford Road
about .7 miles east of
route 232 st one of the highest points in Northampton Township.
When PH07 was decommissioned in 1961 this site was turned over to the Council Rock
School District. Kindergarten classes were taught here in the mid 1960's. It later became
the administration and is now the maintenance offices for the district. This site is on a
ridge above and about .6 miles NNE of the launch site. If there were no houses or
vegetation in the area (there was none in the 1950's) you could see the launch site from here.
The driving distance between the two sites is about 2 miles.

One of about five buildings at the IFC site.
Another IFC site building.
The former IFC site was taken over by the Council Rock School District. As of  February 2007 they are using it for their maintenance offices.
This small building is located at the top of the hill and it is believed to be the radar shack. This ridge is the highest point in Northampton Township and was probably picked for that reason.
The "radar shack" doors chained shut. It is unclear whether this building was ever used after being occupied and abandoned by the Army.
A view looking down the hill to the main IFC complex.
Another view looking towards the main complex. Twiningford Road (then called Twining Bridge Road) is just in front of the distant buildings.
A Radar mount just to the west of the shack.
A wider view of the mount.
Looking East towards the shack. The mount is in the bushes to the left.
The road from the shack to the main complex.
Another view of the main IFC comlplex.
Looking NW towards the shack.
Another view of shack.
View of main comlplex. Notice modular buildings erected by the school district.
A drawing of the warheads and detonation systems in the Ajax missile
(above) Richboro Nike Radar site on Twining Ford Road.
(below) Richboro Nike Launch Site on Richboro-Newtown Road.
A "fully operational" toy model of a Nike Ajax missile

Guns and Missles annual reunion at the German club, Southampton, PA - October 1, 2009
Also visit the parent site -  www.historicbuckscounty.org for more information on the Bucks County, PA area

©2007 Doug Crompton - www.crompton.com