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SF-59L Fort Funston - San Francisco, CA
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member DougK
N 37° 42.874 W 122° 30.132
10S E 543874 N 4174263
Quick Description: Nike missile launch site SF-59L at Fort Funston was one of eleven sites that encircled the San Francisco Bay Area.
Location: California, United States
Date Posted: 10/12/2010 11:41:51 AM
Waymark Code: WM9XRD
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Blue J Wenatchee
Views: 7

Long Description:
The threat of Soviet attack, from the air rather than by sea, ushered in the Nike missile era in the 1950s. Between 1954 and 1974 Nike missile launch sites protected many U.S. cities; eleven encircled the Bay Area.

In 1956, one of these sites, "SF-59", was built at Fort Funston. It housed 30 Nike Ajax ground-to-air missiles designed to destroy enemy bombers within a 25 mile range. The missiles were stored beneath the present parking lot. None were ever launched at an enemy, from here or any of the hundreds of sites across the country. The army closed SF-59 in 1963, never converting it to accommodate the longer-range Nike Hercules.

In 1974, Fort Funston became part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) to preserve remnants of its military legacy and its natural values for public enrichment and enjoyment.

The Marin Headland, ten miles north of here, has the only historic U.S. Nike missile complex that is still intact, including deactivated missiles. Operated by volunteers, the site is open to the public on a limited schedule.

From Nike Sites in the SF Bay Area website:

Each Nike installation was split into a radar/control site, high on a hilltop for good visibility, and a launch site somewhere lower down and a mile or two away for better protection. The two sites communicated either by buried cable or by microwave; if the latter, they had to be in line of sight with each other. Aside from the differing site requirements, another reason for separating the control site and the launch site is that one of the control radars had to stay locked onto the missile. If they were too close together, the radar dish could not physically turn fast enough as the missile left the ground.

SF-59L at Fort Funston was the launch site and the control site, SF-59C, was located on Mt. San Bruno.

Link to Ed Thelen's Nike location page that includes the site you are submitting: [Web Link]

Parking location: Not Listed

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