HALL OF FAME
E-Mail: Museum Director
White Sands Missile Range
Page 15 of 33
Major General Alan A. Nord
Jul 22, 1980 - Sep 24, 1982
Major General Alan A. Nord, 15th Commander of White
Sands Proving Ground/Missile Range, was born on Aug. 7, 1928 in Faulkton, SD.
He received his commission in 1952 following graduation from South Dakota
State College with a bachelor's degree in chemistry. He also earned a master's
degree in general chemistry as a Rhodes Scholar from Oxford University,
England and a master's degree in international affairs from George Washington
Nord assumed command of the missile range in July 1980.
Shortly after his arrival he established the Community Action Council that
continues to bring together members of the command and community to generate
community-building activities and resolve their associated problems.
In addition, Nord was the driving force behind an
effort to gain funding for the current Youth Activities Center. It was renamed
in his honor in 1994. Nord also instituted the DIAL-BOSS telephone hot-line,
oversaw the opening of Volunteer Park, the roller skating rink and the Cubby
Hole which provides household goods, clothing and other necessities to
families of needy, lower-ranked enlisted personnel.
In the area of range missions, Nord was in command when
the Space Shuttle Columbia was forced to land at White Sands on March 30,
1982. Afterwards Nord dedicated the site where astronauts Jack Lousma and
Gordon Fullerton rejoined their families after the landing as the "Columbia
Other milestones included the fielding of the Patriot
missile system, the ground- breaking for the High Energy Laser System Test
Facility and the Temperature Test Facility. Also, during Nord's command, the
Defense Nuclear Agency established a permanent test facility on the north end
of the range.
Nord left White Sands in Sept. 1982 to become
commandant of the U.S. Army Chemical School and commander of the U.S. Army
Chemical and Military Police Centers at Fort McClellan, Ala. He retired to
Colorado Springs in 1985 after 34 years of service.
He died in Oct. 1993.