Roslyn ANG station was once a part of the 230 acre estate of Clarence Mackay, a millionaire contemporary of the Morgans, Vanderbilts, and Witneys. At it's peak, the estate employed 400 people and entertained such royal visitors as the Duke of Windsor (then Prince of Wales). Charles Lindburgh was also honored here upon his return from Europe in 1927.
During the 1920's and 30's, the estate was the scene of many fabulous society parties and was one of the famed North Shore areas of activity. This era ended with Mr. Mackay's death in 1938 and the subsequent destruction of the main house by fire a few years later.
The property's first military use came during World War II, when the U.S. Government leased part of the estate as an Air Defense Post of the First Fighter Command. Later, from 1948 until 1959, the site was the home of the 26th Air Division's Air Defense Control Center - which controlled the entire Northeast. During this period it was known as the Roslyn Air Force Station.
Formal title to the site changed hands in 1953, when the U.S. Government paid the sum of $250,000 for the 50 acres we now occupy, which today has a replacement value in the millions of dollars. The station is currently owned by the USAF until the year 2000, when the land will be turned over to the local community as a result of the 1995 Base Realigment and Closure commission (BRAC), and the remaining units will move up to Stewart ANGB, Newburgh, New York. Since 1959 New York State has had a lease on the station for its present use - as a Communications and Electronics Training site for the Air National Guard.
Perhaps the largest and finest non-flying station in the ANG, Roslyn
has over 30 buildings, including a Vehicle Maintenance shop, AGE Shop,
warehouse, and dining hall. In it's heyday, living space was maintained
for as many as 80 people in private and semi-private rooms.
|-------------------|-------------------|------------------------ 1940 - 1948 1948 - 1959 1959 - Present Air defense Post 26th Air Defense Div 213th EIS, 274th First Fighter Command
1940 - 1947 - Air Defense Post, First Fighter Command - The Fighter Control Center, who was a part of the Army Signal Corps, was used to provide an integrated command and control facility dedicated solely to air defense. The first military buildings consisted of nine buildings, including enlisted and officer quarters, mess hall, recreation building, store room, transmitter building, receiver station, and radio tower, and D/F homer station. Prior to April 1944, access roads, 7 foot barbed wire perimeter fence, Fighter Control Center (currently Building 6), emergency power building, and power distribution system had been completed. At this time, the installation was called the Roslyn Filter Center under the jurisdiction of the 1st Fighter Command. The mission of the Fighter Control Center was detection, interception, identification, and if necessary, destruction of all aircraft in the greater New York Metropolitan area. The mission was centered around the Fighter Control Center, a bomb and gas proof building constructed as the air defense command and control center. Through the use of radar and ground observers, the controllers of the Fighter Control Center would identify and classify all aircraft operating in the region. Unknown aircraft would be targeted for interception, and destruction if necessary, by interceptors operating out of nearby military airfields such as Mitchel Field, or by other active defense systems, such as anti-aircraft artillery (AAA), barrage balloons, and smoke generated equipment situated around nearby defense plants and military installations. Orders to passive defensive systems such as blackouts and air raid warnings were also issued from the from the Fighter Control Center to the appropriate Civil Defense personnel. The Roslyn Filter Center operated until the end of the war and was then declared surplus to the needs of the Air Defense Command. Operating personnel were withdrawn on or about 14 Jan 46., and caretaker personnel were assigned to protect the property against pilfering and vandalism.
|916th Army Air Forces Base Unit
Stationed: 31 Jul 47 - 30 Sep 47 - First "Caretaker" unit on base after 1st Fighter command was disbanded. Unit was based out of Ft. Slocum
Mission: Maintaining and developing Roslyn Control Center.
|503rd Aircraft Control and Warning Group
Stationed: 30 Apr 48 - 6 Feb 52
Mission: To develop an Aircraft control and warning system to serve as a link in overall system of Air Defense Command
Footnote: This unit was later absorbed into the 26th Air Division (Defense) on 6 Feb 52 along with the 645th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron.
645th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron
Stationed: 30 Apr 48 - 22 Mar 49 and 8 Dec 49 - 6 Feb 52
Primary Mission: Establish a control center at Roslyn for Air Defense units in the surrounding area.
Secondary Mission: Perform Housekeeping functions for the 503rd.
646th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron
Stationed: 30 Apr 48 - 8 Dec 49
Footnote: This unit was manned by one officer and two airmen at the Roslyn Location
672nd Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron
Stationed: 28 Mar 49 - 1 Apr 49
*Detachment 1 - 19 Apr 49 - 19 May 49
647th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron
Stationed: 30 Apr 49 - Apr 58(?)
- 1959 - 26th Air Defense Division
Commanded by Brig Gen. Thayer S. Olds, the 26th Air Division was activated at Mitchel Field during the spring of 1949 for later transfer to Roslyn. It's headquarters was located at Roslyn Air Force Station, Long Island, New York, a few miles outside New York City. The mission of the 26th Air Defense Division was to defend the sector of the United States which included all of Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Jersey, and parts of New York, Pennsylvania, and Delaware. To carry out this mission, NIKE missiles and anti-aircraft guns of the Army, radar picket ships and aircraft of the Navy, and all the tactical units of the 26th Air Division (Defense) of the Air Force were placed under the commander's operational control. The 26th Air Division Defense was transferred to Roslyn on 18 Apr 49, and moved out in February 1959.
U.S. Army 1st NIKE Missile Battalion
Roslyn apparently served as an early Control Center which received radar data from the Montauk Air Force Station in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Also served as Headquarters, HHB 1st Battalion 244th Anit-Aircraft Regiment, New York Army National Guard from 1959 to 1974. For more information on the NIKE programs see http://alpha.fdu.edu/~bender/nike.html and http://www.jps.net/ethelen/ and http://www.bwcinet.com/acwrons/
|1959 - Present - 213th Engineering Installation squadron, 274th Combat Communications Squadron, 106th Civil Engineering Squadron (Deactivated - October 1995, Absorbed into the 213th EIS), 152nd Tactical Control Group (Moved to Syracuse, New York ), 552nd Air Force Band (Relocated to Stewart International Airport, Newburgh, NY-May 1986):|
213th Engineering Squadron -
History - The 213th Engineering Installation Squadron has been at Roslyn since 1959, when it moved from a Brooklyn, NY Armory. Its mission install and maintain Radio, Central Office, and Wire communications Facilities. The 213th was federally recognized in 1948 as the 602nd Signal Construction Company, and became the 213th Communications Constructions Squadron, and a member of the Air Force Team in 1952. In January 1959 the unit was redesignated as the 213th Ground Electronics Engineering Installation Agency (GEEIA), and on 1 May 70, the 213th received its present designation as the 213th EI Squadron, a member of the Air Force Communications Service.
Mission - The 213th Engineering Installation Squadron provides for the engineering, Installation, and removal, and relocation of ground communication-electronics systems, and to provide for emergency and programmed, mobile, on-site, maintenance and modification of these systems. The unit also responds to National Guard Bureau taskings.
274th Combat Communications Squadron
History - The unit was federally recognized as the 102nd Communications Squadron in 1948 in White Plains, NY, redesignated as the to the 274th Communications Squadron in 1953 and in 1976 to Combat Communications Squadron in Air Force Communications service as the Gaining Command Plans for utility in a National Emergency. The 274th Combat Communications moved here in 1959.
The 274th Combat Communications Squadron is part of the 253rd Mobile Communications Group which is located in Wellesley, Mass; other units of the group are located in Pennsylvania , District of Columbia, and Maine.
Mission - The 274th Combat Communications Squadron will attain optimum capabilities to install, operate, and maintain mobile communications facilities in support of the 253rd Combat Communications Group and Air Force Communications Service and Tactical Air Command communications area in a national emergency.
Air Force Band
History - The 552nd Air Force Band was activated on August 16, 1942 at Pueblo Army Air Base, Colorado, as the 52nd Army Air Forces Band. The unit was later re-designated as the 552nd Army Air Forces Band in March 1944. A year later, the unit was transferred to an overseas assignment Casablanca, French Morocco, North Africa, assigned to the Air Transport Command. The unit remained in Africa until April 10th, 1946, when it was inactivated and it's personnel were transferred or absorbed into other units. The 552nd Army Air Forces Band was allotted to the New York State Air National Guard in May 1946 with an authorized strength of 29. In September 1947 the band was redesignated 552nd Air Force Band with an assignment station at the State Armory in White Plains, New York.
The band was ordered to active duty during the Korean Conflict on March 24th 1951 and assigned to the 15th Air Force of the Strategic Air Command at March Air Force Base, California. On December 1, 1952, after 21months of active duty, the band was relieved from active military service and returned to the State of New York in an inactive status. In 1954, the band was again reformed and reassigned to Westchester County Airport as a New York Air National Guard contingent. The band operated from the State Armory in White Plains and the Dean Street Armory in Brooklyn until 1959 where it relocated to Roslyn Air National Guard Station in Roslyn, Long Island. While stationed at Roslyn Air National Guard Station, the 552nd performed such historic events such as the 1961 departure ceremonies at Hancock Field in Syracuse, New York; for the federal activation of NYANG forces being sent to Berlin, Germany; the opening ceremony of the lower level of the George Washington Bridge in August 1962; the New York State Winter Olympics at Lake Placid; and the New York City Marathon.
In May 1986, the 552nd Air Force Band was relocated to Stewart International Airport, Newburgh, New York.
The band was manned almost entirely with professional musicians and is considered one of the finest military marching bands in the country. It was very much in demand; performing several dozen times each year. They have played for the President of the United States, the Governor of New York, and for many other distinguished persons.
Mission - The 552nd Air Force Band will support all ANG Bases located within the assigned geographical area without regard to command affiliation. They participate in, and provide music for: Military Formation and Ceremonies; provide musical support for recreation and entertainment programs at ANG installations; provide musical support for the ANG procurement programs; provide musical support for the ANG community relations programs. Additionally, they furnish support to the medical services requirements of military units when an emergency arises.
152nd Tactical Control Group
History - The 152nd Tactical Control Group had originally been a Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron, but had been redesignated as the 64th Air Division, and in August 1953 changed it's designation and mission to 152nd Tactical Control Group and changed its mission to Tactical Control. - Unit moved to Roslyn in 1959. Roslyn was the Headquarters for the 152nd, whose history includes active duty during the Korean War and the 1961-62 Berlin Crisis. The 152nd commands ten Tactical Control Units based in seven states.
The 152nd was federally recognized in March 1948 at White Plains, NY as the 152nd Aircraft Control and Warning Group. The unit saw its first active duty in 1951-53 installing the initial radar systems in Labrador, NewFoundland, and in Greenland.
Following the northern assignment, the unit became a Tactical Control
Group with a mission to control aircraft in battle missions against enemy
ground and air forces. For the next few years its large organization
included subordinate units in Georgia and Puerto Rico. It moved to Roslyn
in 1959, and was stationed here when the next federal call up came in
1961. The unit was later relocated to Syracuse ANG Base, New York.
During the height of the 1961-1962 Berlin crisis, President John F. Kennedy visited members of the 152nd Tactical Control Group at the Roslyn Air National Guard Station, New York.
The 152nd deployed its 2,000 officers and airmen to West Germany for ten months of active service with US Forces there. The unit's radar and communications equipment became, for that period, a part of the NATO team.
Mission - Assigned to the Tactical Air Command, the mission of the 152nd Tactical Control Group is to command, organize, equip, and administer the assigned elements of the TACS. This includes radar, Communication equipment, vehicles and support services required to provide the capability to control tactical air operations, including air defense and provide the air space management in a tactical theater of operations any place in the world. Composed of nine units in seven states, the mobile personnel and equipment units are tasked for world-wide deployment in support of joint American and/or Allied nation forces.
106th Civil Engineering - Operation Location
The 106 CE-OL arrived on station in 1984. Prior to it's arrival, the 152nd Tactical Control Squadron provided the function of the host unit. The Mission of the 106CE-OL is to provide daily engineering support and host unit functions to the station. It's military mission is to provide civil engineering service and support on a world-wide basis. The 106CE-OL does not possess heavy equipment but obtains these assets as necessary, from it's parent organization, the 106th Civil Engineering Squadron, location at Westhampton Beach, New York. Due to recent manning cuts, the 106CE-OL was disbanded in October 1995, and it's personnel moved to the Westhampton location, or absorbed onto the 213th EIS.