A humorous Cartoon from the 'Palos Verdes Coloring Book ca. early
1960's. This depicted the launch site that was down the hill from where
LA-55 Nike Radar Site, Palos Verdes
Looking for anything related to Nike radar site LA-55 in Palos
Verdes at the dead end of Crenshaw Blvd. I grew up in Del Cerro across
from it and would like to re-connect with some of the folk that
Ed Sharpe's Nike Birthday Present
The Coolest Birthday Present I Ever Got!
Ed Sharpe's Nike Birthday Present From Dave Fairchild and others
at LA-55. In addition I was given a magnetron tube that did not work
but the magnets became the basis for many projects... this was during
Part Number was a JAN 6544 and the maker was Dumont. Notice
the round paper inspection sticker is still on the tube!
This tube sat in my room when I was young, and sits in the bookcase at
home here now. When I pass on it will go to the museum.
LA-55 Radar Site Photographs By Ed and/or Rick Sharpe - CLICK ON THESE
TO MAKE THEM HUGE!
We were both shooting photos of the base... we do not
remember which was which!
Microwave link at Nike Base. This was NOT there in 1960.
This photo by Ed Sharpe of Del Cerro
7/31/1966. This system was maintained by the Telephone Company
as I would see people in telephone trucks enter and exit the
building below the tower. I will try to find out were it
All NIKE personal wore the above patch. This
was gift to Ed Sharpe of Del Cerro from Spc4
Del Cerro Gate photo By Ed Sharpe our house in left
hand corner Aug/1964
This may have been my sister Vickie standing there? not sure...
This was the other side of Crenshaw across from the access
road to the base. There is a park and homes where the base once
Barron, John. "The Sergeant Who Opened the
Door." Reader's Digest 104 (Jan. 1974): 187-194 which
was condensed from the book "KGB" By John Barron.
Petersen: "Robert Lee Johnson sold
NATO secrets to Russia."
The small excerpt that covers Palos
Verdes California... which would be the launch site not the remote radar
site across the street from Del Cerro at the dead end of Crenshaw .
The immediate KGB objective in reactivating Johnson was to
gather intelligence about American missiles, which were just beginning
to be deployed in numbers. The Russians recognized that he probably
could not gain a technical assignment, but they thought that from some
peripheral billet he might photograph equipment and documents.
Turned down by the Air Force, which the KGB wanted him to
join, Johnson was able to rejoin the Army and retain his former grade.
As KGB luck would have it, the Army stationed him as a guard at a new
Nike-Hercules missile site on the Palos Verdes Peninsula in California.
In meetings with Mintkenbaugh between the springs of 1957 and 1958,
Johnson transmitted photographs and diagrams of the Nike-Hercules
missile, together with overheard comments about its characteristics. He
also succeeded in siphoning off a sample of the rocket fuel, which the
Russians had ordered. The KGB rewarded him with bonuses of $900 and
The Army eventually transferred Johnson
to Fort Bliss, outside EI Paso, Texas, where he continued to pass
missile data and other secret information to Mintkenbaugh.
|on IMDb the Author:
I saw the premiere as a seven year old. My Dad was an extra during a
remote shoot on location at the Palos Verdes Nike missile base where he
We replied but the user was not current there any more.... anyone
know this person?
Re: My Dad was an extra during a remote shoot on location at the Palos Verdes ( in the earlier message... we tried to contact you but your user name is not
Hi I lived at the top of Crenshaw near the radar base... I think most of the footage was shot at the launch facility.
Any more details you can give us for the Nike page at our communications and computation museum at
Any pictures? Is your dad still alive for an interview?
please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
or call me at623 435 1522
many thanks Ed Sharpe archivist for smecc www.smecc.org
for info on the movie
catch this movie once in a while on turner movie classics too!
|From the Fort MacArthur Museum site...
LA-55 Palos Verdes-Pt. Vicente/1956-(1958)-1974/2B/ABAR
IFC-Located at the southeast corner of Crenshaw and Seacrest Drive, Rancho
L&A-Located between Hawthorne and Palos Verdes Drive, southeast of the
Rancho Palos Verdes City Hall. This battery had an AN/FPS-71 and an
AN/FPA-16 ABAR radar unit. The IFC site has been destroyed and is now Del
Cerro Park. The launch site is now the maintenance yard for the city of
Rancho Palos Verdes and the administrative site is used as RPV City Hall.
While surfin the internet I typed in "LA55" (as I recall) and I
ended up at your site. http://www.smecc.org/la-55_nike_radar_site_palos_verdes_ca_.htm
During my 6 years I was assigned for a time,to
the Nike site LA55, in Palos Verdes as a "weekend" warrior while
in the CA Army National Guard, as a Radar Control Operator. (MOS 16C10)
My main assignment was at the Radar facility located at the end of
Crenshaw Blvd, with the main headquarters located on Hawthorne Blvd where
the missile silos were located. I was assigned there from 1971 until
they closed the facility, I think, around 74-75 and I was transferred to
of all things a MASH unit in Santa Monica.
During my time at LA55 I did go to both Fort Bliss (El Paso, TX) and White
Sands NM with the unit and participate in live missile fire. During
our weekends on duty I spent the most of the time washing and waxing my
Porsche and "hiding" just over the edge of the western most edge
of the property adjacent to the inner perimeter fence, sleeping and/or
enjoying that view. I always felt that would make a great location
for a restaurant... or a park.
You mentioned David Fairchild. He was a "full timer"
regular Army, assigned there. He was a strange guy, a loner, talked
to himself a lot, seemed to always be wearing a very faded, relaxed
uniform and those gray plastic framed Army issued corrective eye glasses
perched near the tip of his nose. He was also known as being very
smart, and knew his stuff. David's knowledge came to play one day while
the facility was having a "new" communications system installed
by the engineers from Fort MacArthur, part of which involved the
installation of a new tower to communicate with equipment installed at Ft
While watching them work and casually eating a
sandwich, David commented to the workers that the tower he had
watched them install over several daya and had just topped off, was
five feet short.
The know-it-all engineer specialist guys
working on the installation told him basically he was a fool who didn't
know what he was talking about. Well, not only did the tower prove
to be too short, David hit it right on at 5 feet. When they tried to
make it work, and couldn't, they realized that they had made a mistake, a
five foot one. When informed, David said, "Told em!"
They had to move everything "up" to the
correct height and apologize to him too.
Thanks for your interest in LA55 and sharing your experiences which re
Dennis, thanks for sharing this... yes
Dave was amazing... he seemed to almost have a 'sixth sense' sometimes
when it came to technical issues! ---Ed Sharpe