Nike Battery NY-56
Fort Hancock, NJ

Located on New Jersey's Sandy Hook peninsula, Fort Hancock was the site of the nation's first artillery proving ground. It was also the site of numerous seacoast fortifications dating from both the 19th and 20th Centuries.

Although the coastal defenses were removed during the late 1940s, antiaircraft gun batteries soon replaced them. These gun defenses were later replaced by Nike missiles.

The Fort Hancock Nike site, Nike Battery NY-56, was activated during 1955. This four magazine double site could track and engage two targets simultaneously and was in operation through 1974. Historic Fort Hancock, including its Cold War era Nike facility, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Launcher Area:
Sandy Hook peninsula,
(Monmouth County), NJ
Control Area:
Sandy Hook peninsula,
(Monmouth County), NJ

Dates of Operation

Weapons Systems
& Missile Load

Nike Ajax / 40
Nike Hercules / 24

Missile Magazines
4 Magazines (double site).
4 type "B".

Radar Types

Unit Information
Army -
HHB/526th (1955-1958)
C/526th (1955-1958)
HHB/4/71st (1958-1964)
C/4/71st (1958-1964)
HHB/3/51st (1964-1968)
C/3/51st (1964-1974)
HQ 52nd Artillery Brigade (1968-1974)

National Guard -
HQ 254th Artillery Group (1959-1963)

Present Status
Located within the confines of the Sandy Hook unit of the Gateway National Recreation Area (National Park Service), Nike site NY-56 remains mostly intact. Most of the site's original buildings and structures (including missile magazines and radar towers) are intact, although to date no official efforts have been made to either preserve or restore this historic Cold War era installation.

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