Ceremony planned to commemorate closing of Nike missile base

In commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the decommissioning of Milford's Nike Ajax Missile Program, Mayor Benjamin Blake and the City of Milford will unveil two plaques and rededicate the Control and Battery Sites in honor of those who served our country in defense of freedom.

The dedication will take place on Tuesday, Oct. 15, at 11 a.m., near the top of Eells Hill.

While an original bronze plaque was installed upon the opening of the Milford Nike Base in 1957, that plaque disappeared soon after the site was decommissioned in 1963, and remained missing for almost half a century. Earlier this year — after much research and investigation — Milford resident and decorated Army and Army National Guard veteran, Eric Muth, recovered the lost 1957 marker.

A second plaque commemorating the 50th anniversary of the site's closing will pay tribute to the important contributions of Milford's Nike Ajax Missilemen. These soldiers, many of whom were Milford residents, were responsible for the defense of the nation during the height of the Cold War — manning the strategically-located Control and Battery Sites of the Nike Ajax, the world's first operational-guided, surface-to-air missile system.

Several veterans who operated and maintained the missile system will be in attendance, including Muth, who served during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. “I'm perfectly pleased to know we have not been forgotten,” said Muth.

Milford residents are welcome and encouraged to attend the dedication.