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Nike Missile Sites

Updated on February 19, 2016

The US Army abandons various missile sites established during the cold war.

One may not realize the plethora of amazing artifacts in our own backyard - the USA. Being a native Floridian, I dove into the history of the Nike missile sites that we have here in South Florida. The opportunity came to me to look into the history, simply because it kept following me wherever I went to photograph particularly strange and abandoned places. You see, being an amateur photographer, the idea of delving into the "urban/abandoned" scene was not only intriguing, but absolutely FUN! So many places to go shoot - but none more fascinating than that of our history.

The first time I even heard of the Nike missile sites, was adventuring in the Everglades; where one of the missiles resides - HM 69. The other missiles and their locations are as follows:

  • HM-01 Opa-locka / Carol City, FL
  • HM-03 & HM-40 Homestead-Miami
  • HM-65 Miami, FL
  • HM-66 & HM-69 Florida City, FL
  • HM-95 Miami, FL
  • HM-85 Miami, FL
  • HM-97 Homestead Air-force Base

In my readings, these sites were established during the Cold War, between the US Army and alliances with NATO - they had several in Europe, US, Japan, South Korea and Japan. But in relation to those found in Florida, it was a result of the Cuban missile crisis; which routed Headquarter Batteries* to Homestead, Florida to man the missiles on October of 1962 (@ Homestead Air Force Base) - the 13th Artillery of Fort Meade, MD to be exact. The base was home to the MIM-23 Hawk mobile batteries**, becoming permanent fixtures as above ground Nike-Hercules missiles and continued to be available for use from 1962 until 1979.

Along with the Hawk, there were a few other formations of services between Homestead and Richmond, FL until its surmise in 1979; even having one of the radars being demolished by Hurricane Andrew in 1992.

*Headquarters Battery: this is a battalion unit of the Armed Forces.

**MIM-23 HawK: terestial mobile surface-to-air missile


Nike Missile HM-95

Below is the Missile site that has been abandoned, and is overcome with bush. It is not easily seen from the road, since it is surrounded by wooded area - the keys is to look for cement markers, and your home!

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© 2016 Nilsa Fernandez

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