Photos: Ron Pickinpaugh October 1953
BUILDING THE LAUNCHER BUNKERS
When you launch a Nike Ajax, you need a safe place to hide from the blast and flying rocks. The Nike Ajax Package that Ron Pickinpaugh was in came to Red Canyon in October 1953. They built launcher bunkers, reinforced underground facilities located only a scant few feet from the Nike Ajax when it launches. Steel drums line the dugout pit and railroad rails are welded together to form a roof support. Other members of this Package were building the Main Camp mess hall and tents and scraping out rough roads downrange. Thank goodness it was October and not August. And you thought being a Missileer is a blue-collar job!