Air Force Bases

Nike Missile Seattle Defense Area

Home of Boeing Aircraft Company and military installations, Seattle was ringed with defenses manned by both Regular Army and Washington National Guard units. Land acquisition, design, and construction supervision was handled by the Seattle District of the Corps of Engineers. The first missile sites were activated in 1956, and by 1959 the number had grown to 10. Batteries S-13 and S-32/S-33 built at Redmond and Lake Youngs were double sites. Other batteries designations and locations were:
(S-03) Kenmore
(S-62) Ollala
(S-20) Cougar Mt/Issaquah
(S-81) Poulsbo
(S-43) Kent/Midway
(S-82) Winslow/Bainbridge Island
(S-61) Vashon Island (S-92) Kingston

Headquarters facilities were located at McChord AFB, Fort Lawton, Redmond, Phantom Lake, O'Brien, and Kent. A radar section was posted at Fort Worden.

Army units manning the Nike Ajax batteries earned a reputation as tops in the nation as in 1956, 1957, and 1958 Seattle-based batteries earned the Army Air Defense Command (ARADCOM) Commander's Trophy as a result of high scores achieved at Annual Service Practices at McGregor Range.

The Army National Guard took over of some of the sites 9 months after the initial Army National Guard takeover in California. Gun batteries were part of the defense net until 1960.

Nike Ajax sites were phased out from 1960 to 1963. Sites at (S-13) Redmond, (S-61) Vashon Island, and (S-92) Kingston were upgraded to launch Hike Hercules missiles and survived until 1974. A "Missile Master" command and control complex was built at Fort Lawton. With the deactivation of the Nike Ajax batteries, a less complicated "BIRDIE" system took over the missile defense coordination duties.