Nike Missile Site HM-69

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Nike Missile Site HM-69
Nike Missile Site HM-69, Everglades, Florida.jpg
HM-69
Nike Missile Site HM-69 is located in Florida
Nike Missile Site HM-69
Nike Missile Site HM-69 is located in USA
Nike Missile Site HM-69
Nearest city Homestead, Florida
Coordinates 25°22′25″N 80°41′4″W / 25.37361°N 80.68444°W / 25.37361; -80.68444Coordinates: 25°22′25″N 80°41′4″W / 25.37361°N 80.68444°W / 25.37361; -80.68444
Architect U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
NRHP Reference # 04000758[1]
Designated NRHP July 27, 2004

The Nike Missile Site HM-69 (also known as Hole in the Donut or Everglades Nike Site or Missile Base) is a former Nike-Hercules missile base, now listed as a historic site west of Homestead, Florida, United States. It is located on Long Pine Key Road in the Everglades National Park. The site with 22 buildings opened in 1964 and closed in 1979 when it was turned over to the National Park Service.

History and description[edit]

The Homestead-Miami Defense Area was established as a result of the Cuban Missile Crisis, and was the last fixed air defense missile system to remain in operation in the continental United States. HM-69 was the westernmost of the Nike-Hercules sites ringing Miami.[2] The south Florida sites were unique in operating an anti-tactical ballistic missile version of the Nike-Hercules, intended to intercept missiles fired from Cuba.[3] A proportion of the district's missiles were armed with nuclear warheads.[4]

The battery was initially stationed in temporary facilities from 1962 to 1965 just outside the park entrance at a site near State Road 9336.[5] Construction of the completed Battery A, as it was known, was completed in 1964 in a portion of the park known as the "Hole in the Donut", formerly occupied by Iori Farms.[6][7] The launch site consisted of three above-ground launch units, each with four missiles. Above-ground units were required in the Everglades due to the high water table.[8] A mobile HIPAR radar unit provided radar coverage.[2] The fire control site was located to the north and is used by the Park Service as the Daniel Beard Research Center.[9]

Preservation[edit]

On July 27, 2004, Battery A/HM-69 was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.[1] The National Park Service offers daily tours of the battery in the winter months. Remaining structures include a missile assembly building, three missile shelters, barracks and a guard dog kennel.[7] A restored Nike-Hercules missile is on display at the site.[10]

Nike Missile Site HM-69
Nike Missile Site HM-69

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Staff (2008-04-15). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ a b Morgan, Mark L.; Berhow, Mark A. (2010). Rings of Supersonic Steel: Air Defenses of the United States Army 1950-1979 (3 ed.). Hole in the Head Press. pp. 128–130. ISBN 978-0-9761494-0-8. 
  3. ^ Hach, p. 86
  4. ^ Hach, p. 85
  5. ^ "A Battery". Everglades National Park. National Park Service. Retrieved 17 January 2013. 
  6. ^ Hach, Steve (October 2004). "Cold War in South Florida History Resource Study" (PDF). National Park Service. p. 44. Retrieved 17 January 2013. 
  7. ^ a b "HM69 Nike Missile Base". Everglades National Park. National Park Service. Retrieved 17 January 2013. 
  8. ^ "Missile Base Construction". Everglades National Park. National Park Service. Retrieved 17 January 2013. 
  9. ^ Hach, p. 45
  10. ^ "Missile Returns to the River of Grass". Everglades National Park. National Park Service. Retrieved 17 January 2013. 

External links[edit]