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Authorized by War Department General Order 48 on August 24, 1943, Van Nuys General Hospital opened in early 1944 to serve as both a general and debarkation hospital. It was soon renamed in honor of Brigadier General Henry Patrick Birmingham (1854-1932), Medical Corps, U.S. Army. Birmingham Veterans Administration Hospital operated until 1950 and was acquired by Los Angeles City Schools a year or two later for the token price of $1.00. In 1953, Birmingham High School opened as a 7-12 grade school. Part of the high school campus was used as an air defense missile battalion headquarters from April 1956 to November 1968. Photograph caption dated July 26, 1954 reads, "Pass in review! - Col. Arthur Vickers, executive officer of 47th Brigade, salutes the colors at parade of men of 551st Anti-aircraft Battalion headquartered at Birmingham Hospital grounds in Van Nuys. Parade was commemorating second anniversary of battalion since reactivation in 1952. Battalion is now being changed to a guided missile unit, with construction underway for magazines and launching sites for Nike missiles in Sepulveda flood control basin."; See image #00139098 for additional photo in this series.
1 photographic print :b&w ;21 x 26 cm. Photographic prints
00139097 ValleyÂ Times Collection HCNVT_d047_f23_i14 CARL0005688378 http://184.108.40.206/cdm/ref/collection/photos/id/68975
United States.--Army United States.--Army.--AAA Missile Battalion, 551st Birmingham Veterans Administration Hospital (Los Angeles, Calif.) Guided missile bases--California--Van Nuys (Los Angeles) Saluting--California--Los Angeles Parades--California--Los Angeles Antiaircraft missiles--United States Military weapons--United States Military readiness Men--California--Los Angeles Soldiers--United States Air weapons Anniversaries Van Nuys (Los Angeles, Calif.) Valley Times Collection photographs Portrait photographs Group portraits