Point Vicente Military Reservation
Point Vicente Military Reservation (1942-1974) - A Coastal Military Reservation first established in 1942 above Long Point and Point Vincente in the present day city of Rancho Palos Verdes, Los Angeles County, California. A sub-post of Fort MacArthur. Abandoned in 1974.
World War II (1941-1945)
Part of the Harbor Defense of Los Angeles.
The majority of the land (107.77 acres in two tracts) for the Point Vicente Military Reservation was purchased from the Palos Verdes Corporation in January 1942. An additional .22 acres was obtained from the Coast Guard at Point Vicente by verbal agreement. Improvements over the years placed Battery 240 and some twenty-four support buildings or structures and a small arms rifle range on the reservation.
Construction on the modern 6" twin gun Battery 240 began in 1942 and was completed with the proof firing of the guns in October 1943. Battery 240 was located on the upper level of the reservation overlooking Point Vincente. Two fire control stations were built at FC Site #3 behind Battery 240 higher up in the hills at the 500' level. These fire control stations serviced Battery 240, Battery 241, Battery 127 and would have serviced Battery 128 had it been armed.
Cold War (1947–1991)
A NIKE missile launch and administrative site LA-55L was located on the Point Vicente Military Reservation in 1956. The site consisted of a launch facility/magazine and a barracks/administrative facility. The launch/magazine facility is now a maintenance yard for the city of Rancho Palos Verdes and the barracks/administrative facility is the city hall complex.
A separate control site LA-55C (4.67 acres) was located in the hills above the launch site. The control site housed the Radar (AN/FPS-71, AN/FPA-16) and communications equipment for controlling the missile intercepts of hostile enemy aircraft.
The NIKE systems at the Point Vicente Military Reservation evolved with the NIKE program into an advanced aircraft interceptor missile system with a nuclear capability. In the 1970s the threat changed from long range bomber attacks to intercontinental nuclear missile attacks and the NIKE system became obsolete. In 1974 the NIKE system was deactivated and the NIKE facilities at Point Vicente MR were closed.
The abandoned site was first offered to Federal agencies and the U.S. Coast Guard retained their original land and some 20 acres including a portion of the site that included Battery 240 for a communications site. In the end, the newly formed city of Rancho Palos Verdes obtained title to 75.53 acres of the former military reservation and the NIKE control site above it. Los Angeles County obtained 10.53 acres for Point Vicente County Park.
Most of the old military reservation site is owned by the City of Rancho Palos Verdes, Los Angeles County, California. The city hall and other city facilities are located on the former military reservation. The area around gun emplacement #2 of Battery 240 is marked with U.S. Government signs. Access to the former NIKE launch site and magazine is restricted by city signs but nearly all of the sites can be photographed from unrestricted areas.
The NIKE control site above the old military reservation is now the Del Cerro City Park with no remnants or mention of the military facilities. The view of the California coast and Catalina Island is spectacular from this site.
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Visited: 4 Jan 2013