Texas Tower 2 1955 Storm

Contributed by Ken Taylor in a collection of Texas Tower documents.


(Taken from newspaper clippings that were not clear enough to copy.)

At times the dial registers a steady 75 mph wind and few minutes later it fluctuates between 50 and the low 80's.


By late morning the wind had shifted from northeast to north and several former fishermen told the crew the big blow was gradually losing its violence.

Patrick Cavanaugh of Dorchester, father of 13 children, said: "This should keep swinging to the northwest and start to blow itself out by afternoon."

There is no possibility, however, of getting ashore because of the high waves.

Marine telephone, the only communication with Boston, was cut off for hours when the hurricane tore down the antenna. Temporary repairs were made as soon as it was safe to send men outside and tower officials agreed to let this story go out to assure families that all hands are safe.

The tower, first of a series of early warning radar stations planned to guard the Atlantic Coast, got its name because the gawky structure resembles oil derricks built in the Gulf of Mexico, off the Texas coastline.


(Editor's Note: The following story was transmitted via marine telephone by Associated Press staffer Don Guy, who, with a group of Air Force and civilian technicians has been marooned by bad weather atop a Texas Tower since Thursday.)

Texas Tower, 110 miles off Cape Cod (AP) - A storm of hurricane violence is slamming this first radar island with 35-foot waves but no casualties have been sustained. The 35 foot waves pounded by gusts up to 82 miles per hour have torn loose an 80 ton fender from one of the 3 legs. The fender jolted the 8000 ton platform containing the living quarters for some 8 hours before it broke off and sank.

NOVEMBER 19, 1955

TEXAS TOWER, 110 MILES OFF CAPE COD, November 19, 1955. Some 30 Air Force and civilian technicians marooned aboard this man-made radar island since Thursday by strong wind and high seas were beset today by more trouble-snow.

The Boston weather Bureau said snow will spread into the New England area today, ending late tonight. The Weather Bureau said visibility over the water off the coast will be fair to poor in the snow with north to northeast winds 15 to 20 miles an hour, backing to strong northerly tonight.

The Weather Bureau, in its first snow warning of the season, forecast up to 6 inches in some sections of New England.

The bulletin said snow will be mixed or change to rain along the Connecticut and Rhode Island coasts as well as on Cape Cod during the afternoon.

Snow accumulation over Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island will average 3 to 5 inches except somewhat lower amounts on the south coasts, the bureau said.

George Bauer, construction superintendent, said Sunday morning was the best promise he could make to the repeated questions of his visitors as to how soon they could get off the 100 foot high radar platform.

"This isolation is as complete as that at the North Pole," was the way one officer described his plight. He had expected to be back in the Pentagon from the site inspection yesterday.

Only outside work possible yesterday was on the sheltered part of the deck. One of the two fixed cranes that will be used after the 50 ton construction cranes have been removed was tested with 15 ton weight.

In one test the load of ballast was lowered too far and a huge comber swept away a 150 pound iron block as though it were a cork.

Most visitors have contented themselves reading well thumbed books and magazines or by playing poker.

There is a television set aboard but it is out of order.

"Here we have a boatload of electronic experts aboard but not one of you can make the TV set work," cracked one bored visitor.

The high winds of the last two days, however, may blow some good for more than 120 airmen who will be stationed here, on a rotation basis, after the tower is completed.

The rugged North Atlantic gale has convinced a lot of officers the airmen should be entitled to extra pay for overseas duty.

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