Bay Area Nukes

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Nike nuclear missile batteries once peppered the US throughout the Cold War with the Soviet Union. Of the 300 nearly-identical Nike Missile sites that defended the mainland from the threat of Soviet high-altitude bombers, only one remains in its original form: Site SF-88L in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Nestled deep in the coastal hills of Marin County near the Golden Gate Bridge, this Cold War graveyard was constructed in 1954 and stocked with Nike-Ajax missiles and later re-equipped with larger and more powerful Nike-Hercules missiles in 1959. In 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Nike Missiles were fitted with nuclear warheads.

Site SF-88L is surrounded in barbed wire today, but security was much tighter when it was a functioning military operation. Photographs and even jotted-down notes were strictly prohibited back in the tense Cold War days.

No missile was ever launched from 88L (or any other Nike site) and site 88L was ordered closed by the Army Air Defense Command in 1974.

Nike Missle Site SF-88L
Nike Missle Site SF-88L
Nike Missle Site SF-88L
Nike Missle Site SF-88L
Nike Missle Site SF-88L
Nike Missle Site SF-88L
Nike Missle Site SF-88L
Nike Missle Site SF-88L
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