Historic Posts, Camps, Stations and Airfields
San Francisco Defense Area SF-87 (Fort Chronkite/Fort Barry)
San Francisco 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 129.


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Updated 8 February 2016