Sunday, November 27, 2016

November 27, 1953 -- Meigs Loses Its Big Guns



November 27, 1953 – Colonel Frank F. Miter, Commander of the 45th AAA brigade, a battery of 120-millimeter anti-aircraft guns, announces that the battery will be moved from its site at the north end of Meigs Field to a “safer Chicago park district site.”  [Chicago Daily Tribune, November 28, 1953]  The site, in the direct path of planes landing and taking off, was never terribly appropriate, but a realignment of the entire air defense structure of the city made it possible to accomplish the move.  There was more than that, though.  It was becoming apparent that the guns were out of step with the next generation of air defense.  According to the Tribune article, “Actually the transfer, it was learned was fitted into a large realignment of Chicago’s ground defense facilities.  The new AAA pattern, it was reliably reported, will include sites for the location of batteries of missile men trained in firing the army’s new Nike guided missile [rocket] which is reported to be more accurate and have a longer range than the big 120 mm. guns.”  The photo above, although taken at Montrose Harbor, shows the guns that protected the city as the Cold War began to build.

No comments: