“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Fort Indiantown Gap in Lebanon County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

Nike “Hercules” Missile

Nike "Hercules" Missile Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, September 20, 2008
1. Nike "Hercules" Missile Marker
The marker indicates the U.S. Army phased out the Nike Hercules in 1974, which may be incorrect. Other sources indicate the missile system was used until 1983 by the U.S. Army.
Inscription. The successor to the first Nike missile, the Nike "Ajax", the "Hercules" was a much more capable missile in every way. Designated as MIM-14 it came in three different models A/B/C and over 25,000 missiles were made with the most being the MIM-14B model. It was designed to combat bomber or air supported missiles at altitudes up to 100,000 feet and could detect a missile traveling at Mach 3. The Hercules was also designed to carry a nuclear warhead designated "W-31" in three different yields: low (2-Kilotons); medium (20-Kilotons); and high (30-Kilotons). By comparison the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, near the end of World War II had a yield of about 12 Kilotons.

Throughout the Cold War the United States shifted its missile sites to combat the Soviet threats. From the homeland of the United States, Europe, and finally ending up in Southeast Asia the systems were deployed until 1974 when they were inactivated except for sites in Florida and Alaska for several more years. Today U.S. allies in Europe and Asia still use the missile for defense and are likely to remain in service well beyond the year 2000. The basic statistics of the Hercules Missile are as follows:

Length: 27 feet (body), 14 feet (boosters), 40 feet (total)
Weight: 5,250 pounds (body), 5,300 pounds (booster), 10,550 pounds (total)
Speed: 3.5
Nike "Hercules" Missile and Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, September 20, 2008
2. Nike "Hercules" Missile and Marker
Mach (2,700 mph)
Payload: 1,000 pounds
Range: 90-100 miles
Cost: $55,000 in 1958
Erected by Pennsylvania National Guard Military Museum.
Location. 40° 25.859′ N, 76° 34.239′ W. Marker is in Fort Indiantown Gap, Pennsylvania, in Lebanon County. Marker is at the intersection of Fisher Avenue and Stahr Avenue, on the right when traveling east on Fisher Avenue. Click for map. Located on the Fort Indiantown Gap National Guard Training Facility. Marker is in this post office area: Annville PA 17003, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. F-102 Jet Fighter (within shouting distance of this marker); Nike "Ajax" Missile (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); 40 & 8 Boxcar (about 400 feet away); Fallen Warrior Memorial - 2nd BCT (about 500 feet away); EC-130E "Commando Solo" (about 600 feet away); M60A3 MBT (about 600 feet away); EC-130E Commando Solo I (about 700 feet away); UH-1 Iroquois (approx. mile away). Click for a list of all markers in Fort Indiantown Gap.
Also see . . .  Overview of the Nike Missile System. Note that during the Cold War, Nike sites were placed around Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. (Submitted on October 16, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
Categories. Air & SpaceMilitaryWar, Cold
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 4,310 times since then and 209 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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