Photos of Nike Missile Site near Fairbanks, Alaska, circa mid-1960s. Photos courtesy of Jim Biles.
Jim Biles was born in Florida in 1944 and currently lives in the Mojave Desert in southern California. His father was an Air Force Colonel. Jim entered the U.S. Army in 1962 when he was 17 years old via the ROTC Program at California State Polytechnic College in San Luis Obispo, California. He graduated in 1967 with a bachelors' degree in business administration. He was then commissioned in the Air Defense Artillery and attended their Officer Basic Course at Fort Bliss, Texas. He was assigned to work at a Site Peter (B Battery B/2/562) Nike Missile Site near Fairbanks, Alaska arriving in the summer of 1967. Jim served as Launcher Platoon Leader at Site Peter, and one year later was assigned as Battery Executive Officer and promoted to First Lieutenant. During his time at B Battery, Jim watched the launching of about 26 Nike missiles during firing exercises and personally supervised the tracking of a Soviet Bear bomber. For recreation, he ran a trap line from the launching area down into the valley below. In 1969, he was reassigned to the Battalion S-3 (Operations) Section at Fort Wainwright. Jim left the Army in 1970, but joined the California Army National Guard in 1972 where he held a variety of technician, infantry, and commander positions. Jim retired at Fort Meade, Maryland after 28 years of service. After retiring from the military, Jim's civilian work has included being an executive director of a chamber of commerce, and an Information Technology Specialist at Weed Army Community Hospital in Fort Irwin, California. He is now completely retired from both military and civilian work.