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Charlie Battery - Kleingartach

The Launching Area - 1959 - 1969



- Click Here For Larger Image -Line Of Site IFC to Launching Area

In order for the Missile Tracking Radar to communicate with each missile it needs a direct line of site. Click the image to the left once, and in the pop-up image, if you follow the base of the tree line at the far end of the snow covered fields from right to left, you will notice a series of gaps in the forest.

In the first gap you will notice a snow covered warehouse looking building, which is the missile storage hanger for Charlie Section. A close-up of Charlie Section's gap in the forest is better illustrated a few images down the page. Just “Click Here” to view that image.

Continuing a ways more the to left you will see another missile hanger and a small pyramid looking shape, which the Alpha Section's crew revetment used for protection when firing missiles. It also houses the section panel that is critical for various missile firing functions, including communication with the LCT, and BCO (Battery Commanding Officer) in the IFC Area.

Moving along a short ways to the left is Bravo Section and a little better view of a revetment. And finally, the fourth gap is where the LCT, (Launcher Control Trailer), and Missile Maintenance. The missile launching action came from the IFC, however, each command segment of the whole structure was capable of launching a missile, including the LCT, and each section panel. I have assembled an illustrated detail to help discern what is discussed above, so “Click Here”, and remember, no matter where you go... there you are.

Also, for a more detailed and in depth illustrated discussion about the premise and workings of a Nike Guided Missile Site, please “Click Here” to open a PDF file. It illustrates the radar area (IFC), and it's relationship to the Launching Area, as well as description of a Nike Hercules Missile. It's well worth the few minutes, and it helps put this web site in perspective.




- Click Here For Larger Image -Trail From Barracks to Launching Area

I loved this trail from the barracks to the launching area.

I loved the colors, the smells, and while on this trail I wasn't in the Army dealing with nuclear weapons, East West, Cold War, or anything related to it. I was just on a walk in a beautiful and peaceful place on a warm summer day. It was that way even in the winter with snow on the ground and 20°.

Kind of a magic place...!





- Click Here For Larger Image -South Flank Of The Launching Area From The Trail

The Niederhofen Vineyards are just below Bravo Section. This ridge drops right down into the valley to the village of Niederhofen. In viewing the area via Google Earth, one can see that each of the south facing hill sides around the plateau seem to relate to each of the four villages that surround its base.

Also in the pop-up image, to the far right at the top of the ridge in the trees, you can see Bravo Section's missile hanger, with the guard tower just below it, and their revetment is at the right edge of the image. And farther to the left is missile maintenance building, or Assembly, where the LCT and the section's crew ready room is where some of the best non-stop double deck pinochle games took place.

I have documented Charlie Battery's now defunct location, and through a series of progressively close-up image maps pin point its exact locations, with which I assembled into a PDF book.

You may have access to this document, just “Click Here” to view it.

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- Click Here For Larger Image -Charlie Section From The Trail To The Launching Area

This the gap in forest so that the Missile Tracking Radar can have a line of sight directly to the elevated missiles on the launching pad. There were always missiles on the launchers, usually they were Nike Ajax. The Nike Hercules were stored in the hanger. and had tracks that ran right into the hanger.

The main gate to the Launching Area is just the other side and to the right of the missile hanger.

An excellent illustration of an above ground Nike Launching Pad can be seen in this photo, so please “Click Here” to view that image.




- Click Here For Larger Image -Marion Naeger Manning The Launching Area Main Gate

My good friend Marion Naeger...

Marion was from Sainte Genevieve, MO, and of German descent and could speak the language, so that gave him a special status. He was a language link between the battery administration and the Germans employed in area like at the physical plant, and the farmers who bought our food waste from the mess hall to feed to their pigs.

He and I went on leave driving his mighty charger, a 1954 Volkswagon, all the way to Rome, Italy and back with no problems. A good man with a very dry and wry sense of humor.





- Click Here For Larger Image -Gerry Tyne And Frank Brennan Hammin’ It Up At The L.A. Main Gate

At the Launching Area Main Gate with Charlie Section's generator shed just behind Gerry's right shoulder, with the section revetment to the far left of the image.

Just over Frank's left shoulder is Bravo section's missile hanger.

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- Click Here For Larger Image -Full View of The Main Gate down to Guard Tower And Alpha Section

This is an overview of the Main Gate all the way to Alpha Section in the distance.

In case you are wondering just that sign to the right says “Click Here” and by some sort of magic you'll find out.

Image by Jim Fitzpatrick - Pennsylvania - 1960

Image Use Policy




- Click Here For Larger Image -Charlie Battery’s Stalag 17

Fitzpatrick is the guard in the far tower is keeping his eye on the prisoners.

Oh OK, it's not really the stockade, but at the main gate to the Launching Area, and the guys from front to back are: Charlie Burgess, Frank Brennan, Bill Mansell, and Otto Chandler leaning against the guard shack.

The question is... who is the one on guard duty here, and what's your 3rd General Order Private...?

Image by Jim Fitzpatrick - Pennsylvania - 1960

Image Use Policy



- Click Here For Larger Image -Halt...! Who goes there...?


Image by Jim Fitzpatrick - Pennsylvania - 1960

Image Use Policy



- Click Here For Larger Image -Guard Tower Between Main Gate and Alpha Section

It's my recollection that these guard towers were rarely used. I did few guard duty tours in this tower, however, almost all of my time was spent walking guard using the section service road. And part of that road ran around the back of the missile hanger that is behind this guard tower. So, one would think that I would have seen someone in the tower, let alone talk to them from time to time.

Jim Fitzpatrick says the only guard duty he did was in the tower, so I don't know how to resolve that one.

Again, the tracks that run out of, and through the missile hanger out to the launchers are visible at the rear hanger door.