Skip to main content

Ghost Town Tuesday; Bravo Battery Key West

This week for Ghost Town Tuesday I look back something from the height of Cold War tensions; the Hawk Bravo Battery located behind the salt ponds directly north of Key West International Airport.






I visited the Bravo Battery while on a work trip in 2015.  The Bravo Battery is (was at the time) accessible to the public via Government Road.  I believe the Bravo Battery (the east launcher according to my notes)  had been converted to a remote control car dirt track at the time but there was plenty of evidence upon entering that it was a missile battery.






The Bravo Battery was one of four batteries built around Key West in response to the Cuban Missile crisis.  The other three batteries were located at; Trumbo Point, the northern half of Boca Chica Key, and Geiger Key on what was the original alignment of US Route 1 on Boca Chica Road.  The Boca Chica Battery is located behind the gates of Naval Station Key West, the Trumbo Point Battery was converted to a US Army diving school, while the Geiger Point Battery still can be viewed from the side of Boca Chica Road behind a fence. 

The Bravo Battery is largely intact and could be explored at will.  All the remains of the control equipment, service buildings, and even the launchers could be explored freely.  











It seems the Bravo Battery also serves a secondary duty as parking for the infamous Key West Fantasy Fest. 





The MIM-23 Hawk is a surface-to-air missile which was largely used from the late 1950s to the early 2000s.  The Hawk Missile was considered to be much more mobile the more well known MIM 14 Nike.  Both missile types were deployed to batteries located in the Florida Keys and Florida Everglades in response to the Cuban Missile Crisis.  I believe the Bravo Battery was in use until 1979 but I'm not certain that is the real year of closure.  Misslesofkeywest has much more detail on the missile batteries located in Key West.

Missiles of Key West on the Bravo Battery

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Onion Valley Road; former California State Route 180 to Kearsarge Pass

This summer I had an opportunity to drive one of the lesser known great roads of California; Onion Valley Road from Independence west to Onion Valley near Kearsarge Pass.  Aside from being massive climb into the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains the path of Onion Valley Road was once signed as California State Route 180 and was intended to be part of a Trans-Sierra Highway.


Onion Valley Road is located west of Independence of Inyo County and is 12.9 miles in length.  According to pjammcycling.com Onion Valley Road begins at an elevation of 3,946 feet above sea level in Independence and terminates at 9,219 feet above sea level at Onion Valley.  Pjammcycling rates Onion Valley Road with an average gradient of 7.8% and lists it as the 6th most difficult cycling climb in the United States.  Onion Valley Road also includes ten switchbacks which largely follow the course of Independence Creek.  Anyway you look at it the route of Onion Valley Road is no joke and is definitely a test of driving…

Trans-Sierra Highways; California State Route 4 over Pacific Grade Summit and Ebbetts Pass

Back in late October of 2016 I had a long weekend off which coincided with a warm weekend in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.  That being the case the winder in the weather gave me a chance to finish some additional Trans-Sierra Highways starting with California State Route 4 over Pacific Grade Summit and Ebbetts Pass.  I would later return to Pacific Grade Summit and Ebbetts Pass during the smoke filled summer of 2020. 

California State Route 4 ("CA 4") contains probably most infamous Trans-Sierra State Highway in Caltrans Inventory.  CA 4 from CA 207 in Bear Valley east over Pacific Grade Summit and Ebbetts Pass includes approximately 30 miles of one-lane highway which reaches gradients as steep as 24%. 
CA 4 is a 192 mile State Highway which originates at I-80 near Hercules of the San Francisco Bay Area and terminates at CA 89 in the remote Sierra Nevada Mountains of Alpine County.  CA 4 is probably the most diverse State Highway in California as it has; several freeway segme…

Horseshoe Meadows Road; former California State Route 190 and the legacy of the Lone Pine-Porterville HIgh Sierra Road

This summer I had an opportunity to drive one of the lesser known great roads of California; Horseshoe Meadows Road from Whitney Portal Road westward into Horseshoe Meadows of the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains.  Aside from being massive climb into the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains the path of Horseshoe Meadows Road was once part of California State Route 190 and was intended to be part of a Trans-Sierra Highway known as the Lone Pine-Porterville High Sierra Road.


Horseshoe Meadows Road is located west of Lone Pine of Inyo County and is 19.7 miles in length.  Horseshoe Meadows Road begins at an approximate elevation of 4,500 feet above sea level at Whitney Portal Road in the Alabama Hills and ends at an elevation of 10,072 feet above sea level in Horseshoe Meadows.  Horseshoe Meadows Road is the second highest paved road in California only behind Rock Creek Road near Tom's Place.  Pjammcycling rates Horseshoe Meadows Road with an average gradient of 6.2% and lists it as th…