Jump to content


Nike Missile Site DF-50

Started by viking73 , Oct 17 2010 04:26 PM

  • Please log in to reply
14 replies to this topic

#1 viking73

viking73
  • Members
    • Member ID: 5,482
  • 79 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Texas

Posted 17 October 2010 - 04:26 PM

Hi All,

This weekend I was able to visit and photograph former Nike Missile Site DF-50 near Alvarado, Texas. The former IFC Site serves as a home for the current owner.

The guard shack at the entrance to the IFC Site:

http://i101.photobucket.com/albums/m51/viking73/Nike%20Site%20DF-50/ifc_guardshack.jpg


A few of the buildings there, showing some of the changes and improvements the owner as made over the years:

http://i101.photobucket.com/albums/m51/viking73/Nike%20Site%20DF-50/ifc_messhall.jpg

http://i101.photobucket.com/albums/m51/viking73/Nike%20Site%20DF-50/ifc_barracks.jpg


Here's the LOPAR tower still at the site:

http://i101.photobucket.com/albums/m51/viking73/Nike%20Site%20DF-50/ifc_radartower.jpg


This is a view from the top of the LOPAR tower looking at the four remaining buildings. Note the concrete pad for the HIPAR set and the foundation for the radar control building/van pad to the left:

http://i101.photobucket.com/albums/m51/viking73/Nike%20Site%20DF-50/ifc_overallview.jpg


This tile Nike Missile silhouette was still located on the foundation of the radar control building/van pad which I though was pretty cool:

http://i101.photobucket.com/albums/m51/viking73/Nike%20Site%20DF-50/ifc_radarpadnike.jpg

-Derek

Edited by viking73, 17 October 2010 - 04:35 PM.


#2 viking73

viking73
  • Members
    • Member ID: 5,482
  • 79 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Texas

Posted 17 October 2010 - 04:31 PM

The former launch site was located about ˝ mile down the road. While it was overgrown, I believe all the original buildings are still there as well as the three underground magazines.

The front gate and overgrown guard shack:

http://i101.photobucket.com/albums/m51/viking73/Nike%20Site%20DF-50/Launchsitefrontgate.jpg


Here’s some of the buildings closet to the road, giving you an idea of the weed/grass height:

http://i101.photobucket.com/albums/m51/viking73/Nike%20Site%20DF-50/Launchsitereadybuildg.jpg

http://i101.photobucket.com/albums/m51/viking73/Nike%20Site%20DF-50/Launchsitebldgs.jpg


Here’s a shot of the warhead assembly building:

http://i101.photobucket.com/albums/m51/viking73/Nike%20Site%20DF-50/Launchsitewarheadbldg.jpg


The guard dog kennel is still there along with the kennel storage building. I wanted to look inside the building but with a missing doorknob and poison oak growing on the door, I didn’t:

http://i101.photobucket.com/albums/m51/viking73/Nike%20Site%20DF-50/Launchsitekennelstoragebldg.jpg

http://i101.photobucket.com/albums/m51/viking73/Nike%20Site%20DF-50/Launchsitekennel.jpg


The former generator building had lots of great original markings (the breaker panel) and another Nike Missile painted on the outside corner along with what looks like a US Army ARAACOM crest:


http://i101.photobucket.com/albums/m51/viking73/Nike%20Site%20DF-50/Launchsitebreakerbox.jpg

http://i101.photobucket.com/albums/m51/viking73/Nike%20Site%20DF-50/Launchsitegeneratorbldg.jpg

http://i101.photobucket.com/albums/m51/viking73/Nike%20Site%20DF-50/Launchsitegeneratorartaraacom.jpg

Edited by viking73, 17 October 2010 - 04:41 PM.


#3 viking73

viking73
  • Members
    • Member ID: 5,482
  • 79 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Texas

Posted 17 October 2010 - 04:33 PM

The last stop at the lunch site was the three underground magazines. One still has working lights and all three have pumps to keep them dry. This was amazing to see. Here’s the overgrown guard shack leading into the former exclusion area:

http://i101.photobucket.com/albums/m51/viking73/Nike%20Site%20DF-50/Launchsiteexclusionguardshack.jpg


Some above ground shots showing an entry door, escape hatch, missile doors, and some of the remaining missile rail hardware:

http://i101.photobucket.com/albums/m51/viking73/Nike%20Site%20DF-50/Launchsitemagoutside3.jpg

http://i101.photobucket.com/albums/m51/viking73/Nike%20Site%20DF-50/Launchsitemagoutside2.jpg

http://i101.photobucket.com/albums/m51/viking73/Nike%20Site%20DF-50/Launchsitemagoutside1.jpg

http://i101.photobucket.com/albums/m51/viking73/Nike%20Site%20DF-50/Launchsitemagoutside4.jpg


And below, some shots inside of one of the magazines. I went into the magazine with power and also one of the magazines without power.

Looking up from the entry stairs:

http://i101.photobucket.com/albums/m51/viking73/Nike%20Site%20DF-50/Launchsitemaginside5.jpg


Neat stencil still on the metal entry door:

http://i101.photobucket.com/albums/m51/viking73/Nike%20Site%20DF-50/Launchsitemaginside4.jpg


A few interior shots:

http://i101.photobucket.com/albums/m51/viking73/Nike%20Site%20DF-50/Launchsitemaginside1.jpg

http://i101.photobucket.com/albums/m51/viking73/Nike%20Site%20DF-50/Launchsitemaginside3.jpg


This is the door in the control panel room that leads to the escape hatch ladder. It was heavy and the hinges were so rusted I couldn’t move it. My flashlight found a little black snake along the floor so I made a hasty exit after I snapped the photo:

http://i101.photobucket.com/albums/m51/viking73/Nike%20Site%20DF-50/Launchsitemaginside2.jpg


I want to thank Jim for his time showing a military history nut like myself around both properties. It was very nice of him to do so and I realty appreciate it. This was a great experience. I had a blast exploring this former Nike site – it was a great way to spend a Saturday morning in my opinion. Hope you enjoy the pictures.

-Derek

#4 gwb123

gwb123

    ADMINISTRATOR

  • Administrators
    • Member ID: 1,506
  • 11,467 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Omaha, Land of the Free

Posted 17 October 2010 - 04:45 PM

Major cool! I grew up in the shadow of these sites both in Philadelphia and upstate New York. Actually visited one as a Cub Scout (which was a bit intimidating for a young kid).

This one actually looks to be in fairly decent shape Hopefully the owner can keep it maintained. The original markings with the missile profiles are something I had not seen before and may have been unique to the unit that was stationed there.

Unfortunately most of these have been fully abandoned and have completely degraded. Many of the buildings just did not seem to be designed for decades long use.

Thanks for sharing!

#5 m1ashooter

m1ashooter
  • Members
    • Member ID: 4,672
  • 2,409 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Kingwood Texas

Posted 17 October 2010 - 08:49 PM

Really cool, thanks for the post. Its amazing the amount of stuff Uncle Sam has built and moved on. When I was stationed in Wy you could wander around old Atlas missile sites.

#6 HoovieDude

HoovieDude
  • Members
    • Member ID: 9,647
  • 3,928 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Ft. Hood, TX area

Posted 18 October 2010 - 03:29 PM

Great place to ride out the Zombie Apocalypse. Just needs to start stocking :lol: Really was neat of the owner to let you walk around.

There was one of these sites close to where I grew up. Was the local High School party hangout due to its secluded locale. Fond memories from there, especially as it was where I crashed my first car. Damn gravel roads and inexperienced young drivers dont mix to well :pinch:

#7 Teamski

Teamski
  • Members
    • Member ID: 3,043
  • 11,529 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Delaware

Posted 18 October 2010 - 03:36 PM

Outstanding! I bet none of us have ever seen the inside of a Nike magazine like that. Thanks for sharing! Definately, a vanishing sign of the Cold War....

-Ski

#8 BMAC1974

BMAC1974
  • Recruits
    • Member ID: 138,636
  • 2 posts

Posted 29 October 2013 - 02:26 PM

How do I post pictures I have on my face book page of Site 50 near Alvarado Tx? My name is Brooks McAfee if you want to look it up and share it from my page.. brooksmcafee@yahoo.com


Edited by BMAC1974, 29 October 2013 - 02:28 PM.


#9 BMAC1974

BMAC1974
  • Recruits
    • Member ID: 138,636
  • 2 posts

Posted 29 October 2013 - 02:33 PM

Look up my face book page for pictures of site 50 when it was in operation. My name is Brooks McAfee.



#10 Redleg13a

Redleg13a
  • Members
    • Member ID: 9,224
  • 195 posts

Posted 19 November 2013 - 01:57 PM

There's a site in Missouri that still had power and some kids got in and actually raised one of the missile launch platforms from the magazine to the surface.  Nike Battery KC-30.  http://www.undergrou...s.com/kc30.html  Click the link and then look at the links to see the video.



#11 ghost

ghost
  • Members
    • Member ID: 117
  • 714 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Daytona Beach Fl.

Posted 19 November 2013 - 06:22 PM

Outstanding! I bet none of us have ever seen the inside of a Nike magazine like that. Thanks for sharing! Definately, a vanishing sign of the Cold War....

-Ski

I Have! and it was in working order!! I was absolutely stunned to see how fast the the roof drops open and the missile platform raises.

The site I visited is nearly identical to the one shown by the OP.

 

CB

 

Oh yea, I have it all on video somewhere. I should try to find that footage.


Edited by ghost, 19 November 2013 - 06:24 PM.


#12 gwb123

gwb123

    ADMINISTRATOR

  • Administrators
    • Member ID: 1,506
  • 11,467 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Omaha, Land of the Free

Posted 19 November 2013 - 08:34 PM

I Have! and it was in working order!! I was absolutely stunned to see how fast the the roof drops open and the missile platform raises.

The site I visited is nearly identical to the one shown by the OP.

 

CB

 

Oh yea, I have it all on video somewhere. I should try to find that footage.

 

Back in the late 1970's, I was lucky enough to see a live missile brought from underground to a launch position.... very, very rapidly.  It was awesome and intimidating at the same time.



#13 ScottG

ScottG
  • Members
    • Member ID: 104,832
  • 902 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Grass Lake Michigan

Posted 19 November 2013 - 09:45 PM

Where I live we are literally surrounded by these. One site in particular near Newport MI. is really well preserved and I have been trying to get it saved. The problem is the Army says the National Guard owns it and the Guard says the feds own it... It is gated and locked but apparently no one knows who has the keys. I also contains a hexagonal airstrip from WWII when it was part of NAS Grosse Ile. The metro Detroit area has many of these sites in various stages of disrepair.  Scott



#14 viking73

viking73
  • Members
    • Member ID: 5,482
  • 79 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Texas

Posted 24 November 2013 - 04:55 PM

Thanks for the notes on this old post of mine.

 

Do you have any photos of the site you are talking about Scott (despite the locked gates)? 

 

Brooks McAfee - I sent you a PM and e-mail.

 

Luckily, I've been back to site DF-50 since my post here.  I got to inspect all three magazines with my flashlight this past trip.  Here's some more photos of the launch site.

 

Here we are, atop the magazines:

http://s101.photobucket.com/user/viking73/media/IMG_0399_crop_zps7f239002.jpg.html

 

 

I was really shocked to see these:

 

http://s101.photobucket.com/user/viking73/media/IMG_0409_crop_zpsd240c220.jpg.html

 

 

http://s101.photobucket.com/user/viking73/media/IMG_0415_crop_zps4b1e3a7c.jpg.html

 

 

Pretty crazy those things were still in place so many years after this place was shut down...

 

 

This sign was up against the wall in one of the magazines:

 

http://s101.photobucket.com/user/viking73/media/IMG_0357_crop_zpsc6ebf332.jpg.html

 

 

And here are just a few more random shots from inside the magazines:

 

http://s101.photobucket.com/user/viking73/media/IMG_0429_crop_zps4d53e92e.jpg.html

 

 

http://s101.photobucket.com/user/viking73/media/IMG_0406_crop_zps96bab607.jpg.html

 

 

http://s101.photobucket.com/user/viking73/media/IMG_0419_crop_zps1ca4ea54.jpg.html

 

 

http://s101.photobucket.com/user/viking73/media/IMG_0428_crop_zps3f2ce6bf.jpg.html

 

 

Thanks again for reviving this old thread.  Makes me want to go back again and also re-attempt entry to DF-70...

 

-Derek

 

 

 

 

 

 



#15 ScottG

ScottG
  • Members
    • Member ID: 104,832
  • 902 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Grass Lake Michigan

Posted 24 November 2013 - 09:00 PM

I don't have any pics but a search of Nike sites D57-58 will usually bring up some links with current pictures. It was a double site so is quite large and prior to it being a missile site it was NAS Newport where there was and is a hexagonal runway. George H.W. Bush did some training here and most of the German POWs in Michigan were repatriated from here in 1946.   Scott.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users


In Memory of Co-Founder GREG MILLS ROBINSON, a.k.a. "Marine-KaBar"
(February 17, 1949 - March 5, 2011)