Please note that location entries may feature older photos or post card views that may not represent the current appearance or features of the attraction. This site is intended to be a historical as well as current record of various attractions but it is not always possible to have up-to-date information due to the vast number of locations featured here. We ask you consult the propietor for current information.
From Shelby Twp Website
Remains of the Utica D-06 Nike Missile Site in Shelby Township can be found in River Bends Park near the Burgess-Shadbush Nature Center at 4101 River Bends Drive.
The nature center covers the missile silo area, with the Ajax fuel mixing building's foundation still visible near the replica Pioneer Cabin.
Shortly after the turn of the 21st century, crews demolished the remaining missile support buildings, which acted as classrooms for Utica Community Schools.
The power building in the Integrated Fire Control area still stands, and the Shelby Township Parks, Recreation and Maintenance Department uses it for storage. Park visitors can find concrete pads for old radar units, the Hercules radar tower’s octagonal concrete footing and several barrack foundations east of the IFC. The basketball court, where service members played ball in their spare time, is east of the barrack foundations.
The Michigan State Register of Historic Places recognizes the Utica D-06 Nike Missile Site and the Spring Hill Farm with a marker near the Spring Hill Farm site.
The U.S. Army leased sections of Spring Hill Farm for use as a Nike missile base in 1954. Fifteen such bases ringed Detroit to protect the city from Soviet bombers during the Cold War.
Construction began on the Utica D-06 site in 1955. To the east of the missile silos, earth berms surrounded the Ajax rocket fuel mixing building. Further east were missile support and command buildings along with the missile launch battalion’s quarters.
The IFC area included equipment, computer, and administration buildings and radars for tracking incoming bombers and outgoing missiles. To track outbound missiles, the Army stationed radars 1,000 yards away from the missile launchers. Other radar units Located on concrete towers tracked incoming bombers.
Armed with 20 Ajax missiles, the Army dedicated the operational Utica D-06 site in October of 1957.
In 1962, the Hercules missile replaced the Ajax missile. The Hercules missile had improved range and accuracy. One Hercules missile equipped with a nuclear warhead could eliminate several bombers, while Ajax missiles could only take out one bomber at a time.
The Army outfitted the IFC area at D-06 with additional radar and equipment to accommodate Hercules missiles. The base's silos could house only 12 of the larger Hercules missiles.
As Cold War attack strategies shifted from bombers to intercontinental ballistic missiles, Ajax and Hercules missiles became obsolete. In April 1974, the Army deactivated Utica D-06.
Crews filled in silos and underground bunkers and leveled the fuel-mixing berms. They demolished all the buildings except some of the missile launch support buildings east of the silos and the power building installed in the IFC area when the Army converted the site to the Hercules missile system.
Following decommissioning, the Army returned the entire property to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources jurisdiction.