Streaming into Keelung harbour, Formosa, October 8, the USS Brickenridge was filmed bringing in the first Nike-Hercules battalion to be sent from the U.
Streaming into Keelung harbour, Formosa, October 8, the USS Brickenridge was filmed bringing in the first Nike-Hercules battalion to be sent from the U.S. to the Far East.
Thirty-four of the four-ton, ground-to-air missiles were on board. A similar shipment was also being unloaded from the USS Wyoming.
Lt. Col. Bernard I. Greenberg, commander of the Battalion, seen on film, said on arrival that there was a "high possibility" that the missiles would be turned over to the Chinese Army.
But he denied that they would be handed over in the near future. In any event 52 week's intensive training would be needed before the Chinese could handle the complicated rocket.
Lt. Col. Greenberg said his mission was to defend the air space Formosa in case of enemy attack. Describing it as a very accurate missile, he said: "Give us an enemy plane and we'll get it."
He said the Nike-Hercules, which is guided by three radars, was capable of out-manoeuvring any plane in existence or even on the draft board. It has a speed in excess 1,500 miles an hour and a range of 75 miles.
The missile, the first operational rocket to be armed with either nuclear or conventional warhead, can destroy enemy planes singly or in flight formation. Lt. Col. Greenberg refused to say whether any nuclear war-heads had been brought to Formosa.
The battalion and its 703 men will be divided into four batteries to be stationed at four hurriedly constructed launching sites on the island.
Already installed on the island are U.S. Mayador ground-to-ground missiles capable of destroying enemy air fields and gun positions on the mainland.