History of the 1st Guided Missile Brigade

2nd Guided Missile Battalion (SAM)

The forerunner of the 2nd Guided Missile Battalion was the first organization of the United States Army to be activated for the specific purpose of training personnel to use the new Nike Ajax equipment issued to the Army. This 2nd Battalion of the 1st Guided Missile Group (SAM) was organized with Headquarters and Technical Batteries on 15 October 1952 and was commanded by Lt. Col. Edward Lucas. Under Lt. Col. Lucas, the organization commenced the immense task of compiling the necessary lesson plans, schematic diagrams, and training aids which had been derived from the Nike contractors at White Sands Proving Ground. With this initial impetus from the 2nd Battalion, the Group was able to commence its share in the Nike Program which has proved so vital to the defense of the nation. The current mission of the Battalion, that of organizing and training Nike Ajax packages, is thus a continuation of the mission which was solved so successfully by the old organization.

The Battalion also excels in “soldiering” as evidenced by Battery E being selected as 1st Group best battery for eleven months of thirteen since the award was inaugurated. In addition, the center Commander chose this same fine organization for the converted “Oozlefinch” award three times-more often than any other battery-sized unit on the post.

Civil calamities have not found the Battalion unprepared. In March 1956, a serious fire in the Lincoln National Forest threatened a wide expanse of virgin timber and several civilian communities. Batteries F and G, 2nd GM Battalion, sped to the scene of the fire and played no small part in bringing it under control.

National interest spotlights the McGregor Guided Missile Range in March 1957 when the Department of the Army announced that missile firings for Nike Package training would soon commence at this new facility. Naturally, these first rounds were fired by 2nd Battalion Package 60 now deployed in the Antiaircraft Defenses of Chicago, Illinois.

Currently, the Battalion is engaged in training 3 Nike packages which will defend important overseas installations. It is now eagerly awaiting the challenges the future will bring. The Army and the Nation can rest more easily because the 2nd Guided Missile Battalion will accomplish its future missions in the same spirit and with the same proficiency which has made it known far and wide as “Second to None.”

8 thoughts on “History of the 1st Guided Missile Brigade

  1. Wonderful article and I enjoyed learning about this unit. I have the same pin that belonged to one of my mothers brothers but it isn’t yellow it is red or burgundy colored. Would this be from another battalion? Any information would be appreciated.

  2. This is a wonderful one and ai enjoyed reading about this battalion. I have the same pin but it is t yellow. It is red or almost burgundy colored. It belonged to one of my mothers 3 brothers but I don’t know where they served or anything about their military careers. Any information or assistance about the pin would be appreciated.

  3. My father served in the 1st AAA Guided Missile Bn. Started out as a machinist and ended up as personnel sgt major before being discharged in ‘46. I’ve been wondering about the graphic with the red and yellow v-2 that appears on the title page of each chapter. Is it an official insignia of the unit?

    1. Good Morning, thank you for your comment! The logo depicted is not an official insignia recognized by the US Army Institute of Heraldry. However, it was used as the unit’s unofficial logo and appeared on several unit history documents from the late-1940s into the 1950s that we have in the museum archives.

      1. Thanks so much! I plan to be at the range for a NASA sounding rocket launch in August. I’d like to learn whatever I can about the early history when my father was there.

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