NIKE AJAX AND HERCULES
ORDNANCE SUPPORT UNIT
SHORT, TALL STORIES
Air Defense Artillery
Submitted by: Robert O'Leary
I don't know when the 200 th was formed or where but I joined it in
Ft. Bliss after I got out of Ajax/Herc school (OGMS Redstone) in Aug, 1962. It
was a DS Detachment attached to the Nike Herc 52nd Artillery which was a STRAC
72Hr. Alert outfit however when the Bay of Pigs happened and they decided they
wanted us to go to Florida to Protect Miami from Castro it took a couple of
weeks to load Firing Battery's A,C,D on flat cars and head to Florida. Our "B"
Battery Was over in Johnson Island doing some Missile firings and testing, they
joined us in Florida at Homestead, AFB. We set up "C BTRY" in a cow Pasture on
the North side of Miami and "D BTRY" to the West in the middle of a Ten mile
Square tomato field. "A & B BTRY'S set up South of The town of Homestead
which was South of Miami in the Everglades. When we worked on the Radar's at A &
B at night with a trouble light the Mosquito's would engulf the whole radar in a
big cloud that used to scare the hell out of us.
When the Monsoon rains came A & B became underwater and they kept jacking up the Launchers as the water rose till they ran out of jack then they had to haul the Launchers out of there to higher ground.
the power and data cables were under a foot of water and you could feel the 400 cycle power as we waded through it to go to the radar's.
Nothing worked right and the missile prepared panel lights looked
like a flashing pin ball machine. Ahh those were the day's I Miss it though.
In 1964 I went back to OGMS (Redstone) and took the Improved Herc Radar (HIPAR) Repair Course because we were getting one. They set it up at the first Key Island "Key largo" The better to see Castro with.
We were under the Third US Army Logistical (TUSALOG) Support Group in Homestead AFB. Which operated till around the 70's and then it was all sent back to Ft. Bliss. The DS was taken over by Civil Service and I was the last GI to Leave Ord. Herc Branch.
I lacked 2 months on getting my SP-6 Stripe when they deactivated the 200th Ordnance and declared us all excess. This was around the middle of 1964. I served a total of 3yrs. & 8 Mo.as I had
to extend 8 Months to qualify for Improved Herc HIPAR school. I was discharged on 21 May 65.