Volume 00 Issue 1
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
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.
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:
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
WHAT'S UP AND WHAT'S
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:
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 -
- Missiles -6 in all need to be totally
disassembled, sanded and repainted and re-
- A-Section, rails sandblasted for painting.
- Elevators - gone over and certified by a
- 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
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
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, "www.nikemissile.net." 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?
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
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.]
c/o National Park Service
Bldg. 964, Ft. Barry
Sausalito, Ca 94965-2609