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Nike News

Volume 00 Issue 1 June 2000

New Missiles Going On Display

All of the missiles on display, except for one, have never been restored to how they actually would have appeared when the site was active. We've acquired missiles from different places and in different stages of repair. We even have one of the first liquid fueled Hercs from the initial development stages. All in all, we now have 18 Hercs, with seven of them on active display at one time.
We finally managed to convert B-pit into a large workshop where we can have several large projects going on at one time. The site, situated only 1/4 mile from the Pacific Ocean, is not the ideal spot for restoration, especially without a decent shelter to work in. Too many times we would scrape rust off one weekend and find it had returned by the next. Spray painting gets a little wild too. There are not too many calm days that close to the ocean. We tried using the Warhead Building for awhile, but this closed it off as an active display. Now that we have B-pit prepared, active missile restoration has begun. We are restoring a missile and booster section at a time.
So far, the boosters are taking the longest time to restore. They are completely taken apart, and each rocket motor is placed in a special holder we made. With the ignitor sections removed from each booster end, a three inch pipe is pulled through the motor with about three feet of pipe sticking out of each end. The pipe is then placed in a cradle. This allows the free spinning of the booster motor which is then sanded, primed, and repainted. All the aluminum sections of the boosters are completely stripped of any old paint, body work performed, if needed, then primed and repainted.
We either are going to replace the missiles with ones we have still in the cans or, rebuild ones that are currently on display. This will be a one on one judgment call when we get to each display missile. We're breaking the missile down to main components and using a Missile Dolly to perform the work. Hopefully, if all goes well, and it rarely does, we will have all the missiles replaced by the end of the year.

Meet John Porter

John Porter is a new member of the Nike Site. He's been hired by the Park Service to replace Bud Halsey, who recently resigned as site manager. John is an electrical contractor by trade and brings his experience with him. Although John served with the Coast Guard, we have welcomed him into our midst, and after the initial jolt of dealing with Nike Vets, he has fit right in.
We'd like to take this opportunity to welcome John to the Nike Site and to officially introduce him to all of you.
Welcome aboard John!. Now scrape some rust!

Our Launchers

Those of you who have been able to visit our web page know that we have been able to get one of the launchers operational. You have to keep in mind that the majority of veteran/volunteers worked in IFC and the few we have that worked in the Launcher Area can't remember. . The first launcher was a trial and error situation, mostly error. Anyway, even after we read the manuals, we still had problems getting the thing to work.
Thanks to a lot of help from Charlie Hancock, ex-launcher man, and finally figuring out we had too long of a power cable run, causing a big loss of amps, we got the thing working. We now can say we know a lot more about launchers and how they work than we did when we first started.
We would like to rebuild the remaining three launchers in A-section, but unfortunately, we don't have the proper cables. Our search un- covered that there are none available in the United States, or at least none that we can find. We found full sets in Taiwan, but it would cost us $18,000 to have them shipped to us. Since we are working on a limited budget we decided to table that idea for awhile.
What we are thinking of doing is to rewire the launcher power box to over- ride the need to run circuits through the SCO or LCIs, but simply run a power cable to the launcher.
Does anyone out there have any suggestions on what is the best way to go about this? If you do, you can save us a lot of time. You can contact us by mail or phone (415)331-1453.

Annual Reunion

Our annual reunion this year will be on the last Sunday of August or August 27th for the actual date. We would appreciate a RSVP no later than two weeks prior by August 9th. You can call us at (415) 331-1453 or write us:
Nike Site
c/o National Park Service
Bldg. 964, Ft. Barry
Sausalito, CA 94965-2609
If you have any special needs, or have any ideas, please let us know. If you want to come a day early and spend the night at the site, let us know so we can make provisions for that. Also, if you have any suggestions on how to improve the reunion, please feel free to share this inform with us. We promise we'll still let you come.

Let's Hear It for the Volunteers!!!!

Have you ever seen the advertisement on the TV regarding the guy wanting to volunteer, but there was this great big rock out in the hall? Well trust me, once you get past the rock, the experience can be rewarding.
Sure there's a lot of anxiety when you first arrive at the site, not knowing anyone or what you may need to do, but you know what, just pitch in and have fun. The job is dirty, messy, sometimes wet, but most of all, it's a feeling of accomplishment just to see a product finished and ready for display. All of the volunteers come with individual strengths, some are astounded at finding stuff we could use at the site. We have painters and carpenters, and we have those that play with electronics.
When you put it all together, you have a group of dedicated folks helping to preserve history for generations to come. I personally feel that giving back some of your knowledge and hard work is the biggest reward. Seeing a missile lift into the vertical position, or looking at the freshly painted missile knowing that you had a hand in the restoration is a fantastic feeling. So be a part and take a chance at being a volunteer over here at Nike Site SF-88, and enjoy the experience. Looking forward to meeting you - Al Kellogg

Thank You for Doing What You Did

I've been associated with the site since I drove by one Sunday afternoon in 1993. I've been coming back ever since working on Saturdays, or taking stuff home to restore, finding and getting equipment for the site's restoration. Even taking trips to depots and bases to arrange for and/or get parts. I met a lot of nice people along the way, and I've gained a lot of fond memories.
Being at the site, during open houses, I've been able to share my experiences with visitors on how life on a site was, and the work we had to do. Many seem amazed, and many didn't even know we had such a weapon and ask what we have now in its place. When I tell them nothing, they're surprised. Many walk away shaking their heads.
What really has kept me coming back all of these years and dedicating so much time to the site's restoration is the self satisfaction I feel in preserving this part of history for others to see. The friends I've made there can't be duplicated, and the times we shared are worth more than gold tome.
I've received many thank you from visitors, for taking the time to restore the site and sharing my knowledge and experiences with them. That, in itself is a great reward, but I received one thank you on a recent open house that I feel like sharing with you.
During open houses, I'm stationed by the B.C. and R.C. Vans. I answer all the questions and take a visitor as far as they want to go into the operations of these vans. Well, after answering questions, and going into some detail with a visitor he thanked me as he was leaving. My comeback has always been, "You're welcome, it's something I decided was worthwhile in an effort to preserve the site for history's sake." He responded to me, "No that's not what I mean. I mean thank you for what you did while you were in the service. Thank you for protecting this country!" Thought I'd share that thank you with all you Nike Vets out there. - E. Nurisio


We are currently working on the restoration of our second missile, completing the launcher air compressor, power washing the rails, and taking spare parts up to Battery Wallace for covered protection from the elements. This is just a short list, not to include all of the painting, welding and fabrication of tools to help in the restoration process. The following is in need of restoration:

  • Missiles -6 in all need to be totally disassembled, sanded and repainted and re- assembled.

  • A-Section, rails sandblasted for painting.

  • Elevators - gone over and certified by a licensed contractor.

  • Water sealing old LCT used for storage.

  • Repainting display LCT.

  • Improved B.C. Van recently acquired from NASA needs a full inspection, brought back up to operational levels, repainted. and placed on display to take the place of an ATBM model currently used.

  • Misc. Anything else that you would like to work on.
I know this looks like a small list of stuff that needs restoring, but trust me, we are looking at a lot of hours and a lot of hard work. It really doesn't take a rocket scientist (pardon the pun) to do this type of restoration work. What it takes is coordination of teams, individual spirit, and a fall day in the fresh Marin Headlands air. With all that, and bring your own lunch, how can you miss out on this type of experience??? Come on down and become one of the volunteers on the only Cold War museum in the National Park Service. You will never regret the chance to become a part of history. - Al Kellogg -

For the Dogs

I would just like to remind all of you out there that we are a dog friendly site. Park rules require that you keep your dog on a leash and under control. We ask that you please pick up after your dog and dispose of these items in the proper receptacles. We would just like to caution you that this is a National Park and all creatures big and small are protected. That includes ticks. We recommend that you treat your dog prior to visiting us, and check them thoroughly when you leave.

We Would Enjoy Hearing From You Out There

We would like to hear from all you vets out there. We would appreciate any comments you may have on OUT restoration efforts as well as items you think we should place on display. Also, if you don't already know, we have a web site, "" We would appreciate any feedback or comments about the web site. If there is anything you would like featured on the site, or have any suggestions on how we can improve, please let us know.

What does Case X-ray mean?

Phone Equipment

Trouble is when you get older you tend to forget what you did 30-years ago. The problem is, the more years that go by, the more you forget! Okay, we need your help out there. Those of you, who worked in IFC, and that can remember the standard, or special phone equipment we had installed in the B.C. Van, can you give us a clue. There was a series of buttons located under the B.C. console and a switch that allowed you to use the standard headset. But, how did we dial out? Was there a rotary dial mounted on the console? I can't remember that, or was it mounted somewhere else in the immediate area of the console? If anyone out there has any pictures of how it looked, sharing this with us would be appreciated. Also, if this was standard phone equipment, does anyone know where we can get our hands on it? Does anyone still have one of the phone books we had in the van? If so, can you make us a copy of it! Any help you can give us will be appreciated. We need this equipment to restore the van to its original condition. Does anyone have any leads on the old code book and little black code ruler, or am I asking too much?

Don't Forget the Reunion is at the end of August!!

If anyone out there has some pictures they would like to share with us, we would be very happy to display them. We're always looking for different things to put of display. Don't worry, if you want the pictures back we will return them to you. All pictures of this nature are displayed in a locked cabinet with no chance of them becoming part of someone else's collection.

Trip to Sandia

Last October Sandia National Labs in Livermore, CA. invited us to bring a missile over for an open house display. Since the Nike Herc was one of the nuclear delivery systems in the U.S. arsenal. the labs thought it would be a fitting display.
Well we did just that. We rebuilt an entire missile and booster assembly. Cleaned, inspected and painted the redi-round transporter as well as a handling rail. Got it all ready to go, positioned the trailer, installed the bridge rails and started to pump the trailer down when we blew one of the hydraulic lines which wouldn't let us lower the left rear section. Okay, so now what? Let the air out of the tires! Simple enough, it worked. Everything loaded and ready to go. Loaded the redi-round with missile onto a very long low-boy trailer and headed the 60 or so miles to the open house. California freeways are an adventure in themselves, but not too many people were expecting a missile coming their way. One of the volunteers managed to capture the trip on video tape. Talk about turning heads and stopping traffic. Were glad to say that the missile was one of the main attractions and was enjoyed by quite a lot of people. No we don't do weddings or birthdays.


Sandia National Labs recently donated $1000 dollars to the Nike Site for our restoration efforts. We would like to thank them very, very much for thinking of us.

Map of Where the Site Is

For those of you who get this newsletter and still aren't really sure exactly where the site is I've prepared a map for you on the following page. [The printed map does not scan well, click here for directions.]
Nike News
Nike Site
c/o National Park Service
Bldg. 964, Ft. Barry
Sausalito, Ca   94965-2609

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Originated June 20, 2000