San Francisco Defense Area SF-87
(Fort Chronkite/Fort Barry)
Defense Area SF-87
by Sgt. Maj. Dan Sebby, Military Historian,
California Military Department
San Francisco Defense Area Site 87's Administrative and Launcher
Areas were located in the cantonment area of Fort Cronkhite while
its Control Area (SF-87C) was located to the east, atop Fort
Barry's Red Hawk Hill. The history of those portions physically
on Fort Barry (Morgan and Berhow 2002).
The Administrative Area (SF-87A) contained the Site's administrative
and support functions. This included troop housing and messing,
recreational facilities, battery administration, supply buildings,
and vehicle maintenance facilities. World War II-era buildings
were used until the 1965 when more modern facilities were built.
The new buildings were of a standard concrete block construction
and were heated by fuel oil (Morgan and Berhow 2002).
The Launcher Area (SF-87L) was located adjacent to and north
of the Administrative Area and consisted of eight launchers and
two magazines (underground storage "bunkers") that
held a total of 20 MIM-3 Nike-Ajax multi-stage, surface-to-air
missiles. The Nike-Ajax missile required facilities for the fuelling
of the Ajax (second-stage) portion of the missile. The liquid
fuel used for the Ajax was a combination of hydrazine and red
fuming nitric acid. The Nike portion (booster or first-stage)
used a solid fuel. The magazines were modified from May 1958
until June 1959 to hold 12 of the larger MIM-14 Nike-Hercules
missiles. The Nike-Hercules missile used a solid fuel for both
stages. Additionally, the Launcher Area also consisted of missile
and warhead assembly, crew readiness, and security buildings.
(Morgan and Berhow 2002).
In June of 1971, SF-87 was disarmed and deactivated and its facilities
transferred to the Presidio of San Francisco's Post Engineer.
The Administrative Area is now part of
the Marine Mammel Center and the Launcher Area has been removed
for the expansion of that institution. The Control Area remains
on top of Red Hawk Hill, above Fort Barry;s Battery Construction
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