Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Sausalito in Marin County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

Nike Missile Site SF88

 
 
Nike Missile Site SF88 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, March 31, 2017
1. Nike Missile Site SF88 Marker
Captions: (map, bottom left) None of the Bay Area Nike sites ever fired a missile at a hostile target. All practice exercises were conducted at missile ranges in New Mexico and Texas.; (center top) Constructed in the 1950s, the launch site before you was armed with radar-guided surface-to-air missiles designed to destroy enemy aircraft. Active until 1974, it was one of eleven Bay Area Nike missile sites - and the final generation of coastal defenses installed in the Marin Headlands.; (center bottom) SF88's integrated fire control, as Nike radar operations were called, was located high on the ridge on the north side of Rodeo Valley, (straight ahead). It provided instructions for the missile launch site located at Fort Cronkhite. There was an acquisition radar to search for enemy aircraft, a missile taking radar to monitor the course of a launched missile, and target tracing and ranging radars to follow a plane's movement and provide the data necessary to continuously adjust the missile's trajectory and ensure a successful strike.; (top right) In 1959, with the arrival of the Nike Hercules missile and nuclear capability, security at SF88 was tightened. The fence was doubled and sentry dogs guarded the site 24 hours a day. Each dog was rigidly trained to respond to a single handler, and lived and was trained on site in a nearby kennel. (diagram of the missile site, bottom right) Nike Missile Site SF88 is the only preserved Nike installation in the country. To learn more about guided tours visit the Park website at www.nps.gov/goga/.
Inscription. By 1945, the age of aerial warfare had fully arrived and the U.S. Army sought a weapon that could intercept enemy aircraft. In 1951, after years of research and development, a supersonic missile controlled by ground-based electronic equipment was developed—the Nike, named for the Greek goddess of victory.
The first Nike weapons—shrapnels and explosives-loaded Ajax missiles—could take down an airplane 37 miles off shore. As Cold War tensions and fear of a nuclear attack on the American mainland grew, the Nike program acquired new Hercules missiles. Armed with a nuclear warhead, the Hercules could travel 75 miles, destroy everything within a 20-mile radius of its strike, and eliminate an entire formation of planes.
 
Erected by National Park Service, Golden Gate National Recreation Ares.
 
Location. 37° 49.56′ N, 122° 31.716′ W. Marker is near Sausalito, California, in Marin County. Marker is on Field Road near Conzelman Road, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 960 Field Road, Sausalito CA 94965, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Battery Alexander (a few steps from this marker); Mortars to Missiles
Marker and Nike Missile Site SF88 in the distance image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, March 31, 2017
2. Marker and Nike Missile Site SF88 in the distance
(approx. 0.2 miles away); Battery Mendell (approx. 0.3 miles away); Cold War Legacy: Missiles to Marine Mammals (approx. 0.6 miles away); Battery Construction No. 129 (approx. 1.6 miles away); The Golden Gate (approx. 1.6 miles away); Construction 129 (approx. 1.6 miles away); Strengthening an Icon (approx. 2.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Sausalito.
 
Also see . . .
1. Site SF88 San Francisco Area - Nike Historical Society. Site SF-88L is open for guided tours Thursdays through Saturdays from 12:30 PM. - 3:30 PM. The first Saturday of every month is an open house at the site, with volunteers and Nike Veterans interpreting each of the areas on the base. For more information, go to http://www.nps.gov/goga/ (Submitted on April 15, 2017, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.) 

2. Nike Missile Site (SF-88), San Francisco Bay Area - YouTube. A four minute video tour of Nike Missile Site SF88. (Submitted on April 15, 2017, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.) 
 
Categories. Air & SpaceWar, Cold
 
Nike Missile Site SF88 image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, March 31, 2017
3. Nike Missile Site SF88
Nike Missile Site SF88 image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, March 31, 2017
4. Nike Missile Site SF88
Nike Missile Site image. Click for full size.
By Nikemissile.org, circa 1960
5. Nike Missile Site
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on April 15, 2017. This page originally submitted on April 15, 2017, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 114 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on April 15, 2017, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.
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