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SF-88 Nike Missile Site at Fort Barry
Golden Gate National Recreation Area, California

During the Cold War many American cities were ringed with Nike missile launch bases to protect against attack by Soviet bombers.

This site, sheltered behind the ridge of the Marin headlands, was completed in 1954 and decommisioned in 1974, but never dismantled. All 280 similar sites in the U.S. have been obliterated under the terms of arms limitation treaties, giving SF-88 a unique importance documenting this aspect of Cold War history.

The Nike site has been carefully restored by volunteers and is still stocked with Nike Ajax and Nike Hercules missiles, including a stockpile of extras still in unopened shipping containers. Volunteers take visitors down into the underground missile magazine and bring them up on the huge elevator alongside a missile. The radar vans, the assembly and testing building, the fueling area, and the warhead building are also open.


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Nike Site SF-88 entrance

Nike Site SF-88 entrance

The gate to Nike Site SF-88 still warns of patrol dogs and is manned by a uniformed mannequin.

SF-88 Nike Missile Site, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, California

Date photographed: November 4, 2011
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Radar vans and radar antennas at the Nike Missile Base

Radar vans and radar antennas at the Nike Missile Base

Radar vans and rotating radar antennas have been moved to the launch site from their original location on Wolf Ridge.

SF-88 Nike Missile Site, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, California

Date photographed: November 4, 2011
See location in Google Maps

Nike launch control and guidance

Nike launch control and guidance

Inside the launch control and guidance trailer.

SF-88 Nike Missile Site, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, California

Date photographed: November 4, 2011
See location in Google Maps

Fueling area for Nike Ajax missiles

Fueling area for Nike Ajax missiles

The missile fueling area for the Ajax missiles - the Hercules used solid fuel rockets.

SF-88 Nike Missile Site, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, California

Date photographed: November 4, 2011
See location in Google Maps

Final assembly of the Nike missiles

Final assembly of the Nike missiles

Final assembly of the missiles took place in the warhead building.

SF-88 Nike Missile Site, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, California

Date photographed: November 4, 2011
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Assembled Nike missiles were placed on tracks

Assembled Nike missiles were placed on tracks

The assembled missiles were placed on tracks in the launcher area, then lowered down to the magazine.

SF-88 Nike Missile Site, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, California

Date photographed: November 4, 2011
See location in Google Maps

Six ready-to-fire missiles stored underground

Six ready-to-fire missiles stored underground

Six ready-to-fire missiles were stored in each of the two underground magazines.

SF-88 Nike Missile Site, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, California

Date photographed: November 4, 2011
See location in Google Maps

Nike Hercules missile, 40 feet long

Nike Hercules missile, 40 feet long

This is a Nike Hercules missile, 40 feet long, on the elevator ready to go up.

SF-88 Nike Missile Site, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, California

Date photographed: November 4, 2011
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Nike misile on elevator

Nike misile on elevator

A Nike missile on the elevator ready to be sent up and moved into firing position.

SF-88 Nike Missile Site, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, California

Date photographed: November 4, 2011

Solid state booster of a Nike Hercules missile

Solid state booster of a Nike Hercules missile

The solid state booster end of a Nike Hercules missile, range 75 miles.

SF-88 Nike Missile Site, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, California

Date photographed: November 4, 2011
See location in Google Maps

Nike Hercules missile ready to fly

Nike Hercules missile ready to fly

A Nike Hercules missile tipped up in launch position

SF-88 Nike Missile Site, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, California

Date photographed: November 4, 2011
See location in Google Maps

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