Today in AFJ History

September 21, 2013  

1957: Can women fire missiles?

Nike Hercules surface-to-air missiles at Fort Hancock, N.J.

From the archive: September 21, 1957

WAC Tested for Missile Billets

The Army has launched a test to find out if women soldiers can help man anti-aircraft artillery units, including NIKE guided missile batteries.

A test program is underway at Ft. Meade, MD., in which WAC will serve as crewmen with the previously all-male 25th AAA Brigade. They are slated for duties in connection with radar detection and tracking. Army officials say the only other similar assignment for women soldiers occurred during WWII, when 10 officers and 200 enlisted women served in operational and clerical billets with two special composite AAA batteries. If the Meade test proves successful, additional WAC could be assigned to anti-aircraft artillery and missile units throughout the United States.