Yeah. I know this isn't civil defense, but it is related in that the Nike Missile
system was part of civil defense planning. I mainly wanted
to do a "Civil Defense Museum style" virtual tour of this old Nike
site. I'm not that well informed on the Nike missile air defense sites so my
comments are pretty much just about what I saw and the condition of the base. As of
2010 all the front buildings have been demolished at this site. I haven't been
by there since early 2010 so I don't know the condition of the what remains of the
base as of late 2010.
Early photos of the base added October 9, 2010. Photo source The University of North Texas Portal To Texas History site.
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Nike Missile Base, Photograph (1)
Aerial View of Nike Missile Base (2)
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I would like to give a very big THANKS to UNT Risk Management and Environmental Services for taking me out to get the photos for this virtual tour.
The Denton Nike Missile Site is located a few miles north of Denton on the west side of Locust (FM 2164). Here's what launcher site looked like from the road before all of the surface buildings were demolished. The University of North Texas kept the site in fairly good shape over the years. I have no idea why they buildings were removed. At the time these photos were taken the school used the front area as an observatory. The small white roofed buildings housed telescopes. They even had a domed telescope on the site. You can see the dome in the right and left photos.
Here's the other site of the Denton Base. I believe that this was what was called the IFC area. This site is about a mile south of the launcher site on Locust (FM 2164). I don't know who owns this now. Part of the building on the left burned out and wasn't in very good shape when I took this photos. I'm guessing but I believe the radar site was at the top of the hill at the end of the road on the right.
Front Of Site And Various Buildings
Here are various photos of some of the buildings at the front of the site. Upper left photo: building at the main gate. I assume that there must have been a guard shack at the gate but there's not one there now. Upper center photo: a couple of small buildings behind the main gate building. Upper right photo: water tank. Bottom left photo: a maintenance building? The building had large overhead doors on each end. The doors have since been filled with cinder blocks. Bottom center photo: a small building near the dog kennels. I think think this building might have been modified because the roof has been modified to roll to the side on tracks and the entire inside is painted black. I think the school might have had a telescope in this building at one time. Bottom right photo: sentry dog kennels.
This building is located behind the maintenance building in the middle of the site. It housed large generators at one time and still has the electrical panels inside. These photos are pretty self explanatory. Bottom right photo: radar antenna laying on the ground behind generator building. There was a large fuel tank outside the building but it was removed.
Warhead Building/Fueling Area
This building is very interesting. It has a large heavy lift winch, a heavily built roof structure to support the winch and large roll-up doors on each end. I figure that this is where the missiles were serviced. There is a large earth berm all around this building obviously to deflect a blast upwards. The building was full of some archeological items when we visited. My guide informed me that it was some forgotten project left there by the school. Upper left photo: south end of building. Upper center photo: fueling area. According to the San Fransisco Nike Volunteer web site (which is no longer online) the depressions in the concrete were used to angle the missle for filling and draining the fuel. Upper right photo: looking in south door towards the north end of building. Notice heavy beams making up roof structure. Lower left photo: looking from north end of building toward the south end. Lower center photo: winch track beams. Lower right photo: heavy lift winch.
Missile Magazine/Launcher Area
This photo was taken from the top of the earth berm behind the fueling area looking west over the missile magazine/launcher area. All the missile launchers and tracks were removed long ago. There is a double fence around this area. One fence is the main perimeter fence and the second fence is the fence seen in the foreground. The tower to the left in the photo is UNT's radio station transmitter tower. There are three underground missile magazines. A, B and C magazine. Each magazine has a large hydraulic lift to raise the missile up to the surface. The missiles would then be manually pushed on tracks from the each left to the launchers on the surface. The launchers pointed to the right of the photo which is north.
This is the gate into the magazine/launcher area. The guard shack was still in pretty good shape at the time these photos were taken. I don't know if the the guard shack was destroyed with the rest of the buldings on the site or if it is still there.
Various Surface Photos Of The Magazine/Launcher Area
Here are some photos of the surface of the magazine/launcher area. Upper left photo: double fence around launcher area. Upper center left: looking down at the center "B" magazine lift doors. Doors still have stripe pattern. Upper center right: photo of "B" magazine lift doors. Upper right photo: "C" magazine lift in the up position. "C" magazine air ventilator at left of photo. Lower left photo: Photo taken looking south. "C" magazine lift in up position. This lift appeared to be sagging a bit on the south end. Lower center left photo: one of two of "C" magazine's access/escape hatches and air ventilators. Lower center right photo: two launcher blast deflectors at the west end of the launcher area. You can see where the launchers bolted in place on each side of the deflector. Lower right photo: a radio antenna? There's one at each magazine.
(1)Nike Missile Base, Photograph, ca. 1964; digital image, (http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth12418 : accessed October 08, 2010), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, http://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Denton Public Library, Denton, Texas.
(2)Aerial View of Nike Missile Base, Photograph, ca. 1964; digital image, (http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth15487 : accessed October 08, 2010),University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, http://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Denton Public Library, Denton, Texas.