Online Air Defense Radar Museum Guestbook

Radomes Guestbook V3.0

Welcome to the Online Air Defense Radar Museum. We hope you enjoy your visit, and that we have contributed a little something in the name of those who served.  Gene.

Please consider joining our new radar museum organization, The Air Force Radar Museum Association, Inc. AFRMA is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt non-profit Ohio Corporation. Our sole purpose is the creation and support of the National Air Defense Radar Museum at Bellefontaine, Ohio. Please visit our home page to join or donate to this cause. AFRMA, Inc. - The Air Force Radar Museum Association, Inc.. Follow the "Memberships" link on the AFRMA home page.

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10/31/2007 00:00:00

Name: Tom Page
Email: tepage AT

J.D. Brown, thank you very much for providing the four AN/FPS-18 gap-filler radar locations in Korea -- greatly appreciated! By any chance, do you (or anyone you know) have any photos of those sites? If so, we'd really like to obtain copies for our on-line museum here. Thank you once again. -- Tom

10/30/2007 00:00:00

Name: Gordon Dick
Email: kdick AT

When we dismantled the site at the 720th,Middleton Island,most of the FPS-3 was destroyed. The FPS-8 and 6 were shipped out to who knows where. A couple of years ago I saw FPS-6s for sell on the Internet so they are still around.The FAA retained a lot of the FPS20 series radar but has replaced most if not all of it.I understand the air traffic control will soon go to satalite control so there will be many surplus radars around.

10/30/2007 00:00:00

Name: G Wickert
Email: gwickert AT

Abandoned Radar Sites Etc. When the SAGE Building here at Hancock Fld. was closed all the SAGE Consoles and supporting equipment were removed and piled outside. The salvage outfit that got the contract to remove it took just the stuff that they thought contained precious metals and left the rest. What was left was sold to a Chinese outfit. Who knows maybe the Chinese have their own SAGE System now.

G. Wickert

10/30/2007 00:00:00

Name: John Tianen
Email: jtianen AT

The more I think of it, scrapping the radars made sense. Radars such as the FPS-20 and FPS-6, mainstays at many sites, were based on early 1950s vacuum tube technology. By the 1970s, when most of the radar sites were shut down, that technology was obviously obsolete. Newer radars such as the FPS-26 and FPS-27 were designed in the late 50s also using vacuum tube technology. Even those "advanced" radars were obsolete by the 1970s. The other factor was that the threat they were designed to deal with (a bomber-based strike against the U.S.) was rapidly disappearing as the Reds focused on missles instead of bombers. When reflecting on the Cold War era, it may appear that the vast expenditures of money to build that air defense system was wasted. I happen to believe that as expensive as it was, it showed our enemies that we were willing to spend what was necessary to ensure our freedom. In my opinion, it was not wasted resources, as no mushroom clouds ever sprouted over American cities during that time. As with other weapons systems, after the air defense system had served its purpose, it was scrapped and replaced with newer and more effective technologies.

10/30/2007 00:00:00

Name: Jeff States
Email: psu68 AT

John Tianen's assessment of the cold war is correct. Let's remember that SAGE and 412L were developed as a direct response to the Soviet bomber threat of the 1950's.SAGE is the "grandfather" of the systems currently controlling civilian air traffic around the world. Developments from 412L were precursors to projection TV and touch tone dialing. Both systems were phased out in 1984 after a generation of service during which no attack was ever attempted. Expensive yes, but let's remember that it was the Soviet Union that disintegrated in 1991.

10/29/2007 00:00:00

Name: SteveWeatherly
Email: lweatherly4 AT

Comments on surplus radar equipment at Mt Hebo (689th Radar Squadron) and in Korea.

The antenna of the FPS-24 at Mt Hebo AFS OR (Z-100) was repaired in mid 65 with parts from the surplus FPS-24 antenna at Cottonwood ID (Z-150). Ice damaged the antenna at Mt Hebo in 64 and the outer 40 feet of the antenna on both tips got the Cottonwood parts (a radome at Z-150 had saved them from damage). Considerable $$$ saved by reusing surplus parts. Cottonwood also gave Mt Hebo its surplus winter sports equipment such as hockey skates and sticks.

When the FPS-24 at Mt Hebo became surplus due to the loss of the third radome, it was replaced with the FPS-27 from Miles City MI (Z-99). By Jun 68 over 175 tons of FPS-24 equipment was trucked off Mt Hebo to parts unknown. The FPS-24 GLA-8 video receiver and specialized ECCM gear could have been used as spares for other operational sites. The GLA-8 was also used (I think) by the FPS-35.

The 400 hz motor generator units for the FST-2B at Mt Hebo were replaced by similar units from Canada. The Canadian units were refurbished units and mounted on a much heavier frame that kept a true alignment between the motor and generator. The replaced units were sent to the Sacramento depot.

The antenna base of the FPS-90 at Mt Hebo was replaced as part of a scheduled depot level maintenance in 66 with a refurbished base from Canada. The replaced assemby went back to the Sacramento depot.

The on-site magnetron spares at Mt Hebo for the FPS-90 were made before the site became operational. Where they came was a mystery. The same is true for the single channel UHF radio equipment at the Mt Hebo GATR. Most was made before WWII in the late 1930s. Both are good examples of reusing assets.

The FPS-26A at Mt Hebo was modified into the FSS-7. The FPS-26A antenna was carefully removed, packed, and crated. It was shipped to the Sacramento depot for use as a spare. The FPS-26A inflatable radome was removed as scrap.

The AS-1097 UHF antennas at the Mt Hebo GATR site were often damaged by severe winter weather. Replacements came from the Sacramento depot where the old antennas were returned for repair and reuse.

The remains of the three destroyed FPS-24 radomes at Mt Hebo primarily remained as junk on the east side of the mountain. Some of the fiberglass panel portions of the first two radomes were also used around Tillamook County OR for roofing. I remember several mink farms that used them and they could be seen from the road between Hebo and Tillamook.

Mt Hebo was demolished in 84 and pictures show that the buildings (except the family houses) were just ripped down and salvaged for the metal. The family houses were sold and hauled off. No antennas were shown on the radar towers, so the radar equipment probably went earlier to salvage or the depot at Sacramento CA.

The ROKAF radar sites in the late 60s, early 70s used modified FPS-20 and FPS-6 radars provided by the US Military Assistance Program (MAP). Spare parts were provided to Korea from the Sacramento depot and a ROKAF radar depot was established at Taegu AB. In 69 a total of 6 refurbished FPS-18 Gap Filler radars were sent to Korea from the Sacramento depot. The Gap Filler radar equipment at the 2 Mt Hebo sites was removed in the mid 60s and the disposition is unknown.

Note that much of the spare radio equipment used at the ADC radar sites was originally stored at the Oklahoma City depot (OCALC). When the responsibility for this radio equipment was transferred to the Sacramento Depot (SMALC)in the mid 70s, much of the equipment and tech data was lost. In addition, not all of the OCALC staff went to the SMALC and the institutional memory concerning the acqusition and depot maintenance of this equipment was lost. The same can now be said of much of the radar equipment that was once used at the SAGE radar squadrons.

10/29/2007 00:00:00

Name: Tom Page
Email: tepage AT

Steve Weatherly, thank you for the comments you provided. Very interesting. I for one did not know that AN/FPS-18 gap-filler radars were sent to Korea. That maybe could explain why a number of U.S. gap-filler radar sites were readied for use but never received the radar equipment -- it was diverted overseas. Were any gap-filler radars ever actually installed in Korea? If so, do you know where? Also, do you know if any gap-filler radars were sent anywhere else overseas?

By the way, we do have it on good authority that the AN/FPS-18 gap-filler radar at the Engelhard Gap-Filler Annex, NC (deactivated in early 1968) was subsequently sent to the Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex in California for use as a range-safety radar, circa 1976. In fact, that radar system is mentioned at We have no information on just how long this radar was used there, though.

Regarding re-use of radar equipment (per John Tianen's original question), I recall that our AN/FPS-26A height-finder radar at North Truro AFS, MA (deactivated in early 1979, about four months before I arrived) was retained on site for several years. Our AN/FPS-26A was used as a source of spare parts for other radar stations in the 21st Air Division (SAGE) still operating that model height-finder, namely Gibbsboro AFS and Port Austin AFS. I'm not completely sure, but I seem to recall that those were the last two AN/FPS-26A radars in the Air Force inventory; they were finally decommissioned some time in the early 1980s. After that, they were probabably sent to a depot and eventually scrapped. Probably.

10/29/2007 00:00:00

Name: J.D. Brown, CMS,Ret.
Email: brown.j.d AT

Responding to Tom Page's question regarding the location of the FPS-18
Gap Fillers in Korea. Four FPS-18's were installed along the DMZ at
Kangwha,Papyongsan,Pyripsan and Kojin. In the early 1980's the FPS-18's were replaced with the Westinghouse TPS-65's. The TPS-65 is two
TPS-63's with a coaxial switch to one antenna. All the equipment was removed from its transportable shelters and installed in a fixed-site configuration in the same tower as the FPS-18's. I was the last CEM Advisor assigned to ROKAF HQS with JUSMAAG-Korea, retiring from the USAF in 1978 and employed by Westinghouse.

10/27/2007 00:00:00

Name: Tom Page
Email: tepage AT

Re John Tianen's questions below. I have been hoping others would provide comments, as I would like to know, also. I do know that most radar sets were sent to depots for disposition, while a few were abandoned on site. Most went to depots, but -- after that -- I do not know. As John suggested, some might have been sold to foreign governments. Others might have gone to FAA sites for spare parts, as the FAA still uses search radars in the AN/FPS-20 family. I suspect a lot of old equipment eventually ended up as scrap. We know that the AN/FPS-28 at Houma AFS, LA, ended up as scrap. Two AN/FPS-35 radar sets were abandoned in place -- the antenna and radome at Baker AFS, OR; and the entire radar set at Montauk AFS, LI, NY. Several gap-filler radar antennas and radomes were left on-site, although only four are still in place today (Vichy, MO; Emery, MI; Saugatuck, MI; and Bridgeboro, ME). If anyone can better answer John's questions, please chime in. Thanks. -- Tom

10/27/2007 00:00:00

Name: Donald R. Doty
Email: afret69 AT

Looking for a couple of friends from the past, the first is TSgt Donald Troutman, my crew chief at the 32nd Air Div. at Hancock Field NY during 1953 to 1955 and the again from 1957 to 1958 also at Hancock. The second is Robert Graf(f), a radar maint. man at the 912th AC&W Sqdn, Ramore Ontario, Canada during 1955 to 1957. I again met Robert at Keesler where he was attending a 7 level school. He was originally from Rochester NY. If anyone knows these individuale please either contact me or have them contact me through my E-Mail address. THANKS!!!

10/24/2007 00:00:00

Name: John Tianen
Email: jtianen AT

I'm curious....

What became of the radars and other equipment when radar sites were shut down? I'm sure some of it was sent to other sites, but what became of what must have been a lot of surplus equipment? Was any of it sold or given to friendly foreign governments or did most of it wind up as scrap? I know in some cases, the equipment was fairly new when the sites were de-activated.

10/23/2007 00:00:00

Name: Jim Walraven
Email: baronjames AT

I was assigned to the 682nd AC&W at Almaden AFS from 1959 until march of 1963. I was about to be rotated to the "Dew Line" when GTE Electronic Syatems West made me an offer I couldn't refuse. It's great to see someone remembers.

Jim Walraven

10/21/2007 00:00:00

Name: Karen Miller
Email: kavm1957 AT

Hi. Just a note to thank all the gentleman in our fine military past and present for keeping our country and my family safe.

I am also in need of some assistance. I am looking for "Dave" Henderson. He was in the
SAGE/Norad at Fort Lee, VA. 1959 to 1960 in the
"block house" . If anyone knows him or his whereabouts
PLEASE let him know I'm looking for him. If you do can you please give him my e mail address and this e mail. I've been looking for a
while and can't find him. It is a family matter.
Thank you so much for any assistance.

God Bless America......

10/19/2007 00:00:00

Name: MSgt Stan Dewsnap, USAF (Ret)
Email: standew AT

My Dad, Stan Prokarym, was stationed at St Albans AFS VT in the early 1950's. I was born in St Albans, but had never seen the base. It was great to see the pics of it here. Many thanks.

10/16/2007 00:00:00

Name: Albert Chopey
Email: alchopey AT

I was stationed at the 685th ACWRON in Las Cruces, NM as Radar Maintenance Officer from 8/58 to 9/61, then reassigned to the 732nd ACWRON in Ozona, TX from 9/61 to my separation in 5/62. Just heard about your site from a fellow officer who was also assigned to Las Cruces AFS in the late 50's. Glad I found you! Hopefully I can provide more info ... and learn more as well ... as time goes along. I just visited the radar site this past month (Sep 07) and was amazed to find so much of the old buildings still there. Unfortunately, all the housing units are now gone. The window that once used to be right over my desk in the Operations Building is now boarded over and above it is a sign that says "Rabbits"! The Southern NM State Fair Grounds now owns the site previously occupied by our radar site and the operations building is now used during fairs to display rabbits. My, how times change!
Al Chopey

10/16/2007 00:00:00

Name: karl,bub
Email: karl.bub AT

I was in the 57th fighter squadron in iceland. The only active F102
fighter squadron in the world. Our shop fixed your navagation and radio equipment. I still have black and whites of the flight line.
We had aircraft on 10 minute and five minute alerts, and there lots of russian bear bomber interceptions. That was in 1967.
I also spent many years on the canadian dewline early warning system. All the way from the yukon to the east coast of Baffin Island. We worked as radicians.
from: K.H. Bub Ontario,


10/15/2007 00:00:00

Name: Rob Plested
Email: RobPlested AT


I'm in the Cold Bay group, having been there from 6/76-5/77.

Best regards

10/14/2007 00:00:00

Name: John Breidford
Email: jbreidford AT

I saw a picture of the brick barbecue, behind the NCO club at the 637th AC&W squadron, Othello, Wa. . It has been destroyed, and the bricks are laying in a heap. Does anyone know if it was still in use, when the site closed in the mid 70s? It was built in the summer of 1959. Local rancher Cliff Mikels, donated a large number of beef steaks for the first BBQ party. The space between the inner and outer brick walls was filled with broken, empty Schlitz beer bottles.

10/14/2007 00:00:00

Name: Larry Altshuler
Email: elalt AT

Installed AN/FPS-26 AVCO radar at Camnbria and Boron AFS, AFSC 30352,
2869th GEEIA Squadron Norton AFB, 1962-1964,
Now a Senior Engineering Fellow at Raytheon, Goleta CA
Air Force gave me invaluable radar experience, motivation, many fond memories and a terrific GI bill.

10/11/2007 00:00:00

Name: David P. Rakestraw
Email: drakestraw AT

I was with the 647th AC&W Squadron in Manassas, VA 1954-1958. Wonderful times and experiences. A few years ago I visited the site since my daughter lives in Fairfax, VA. The old base is now a maintenance bus facility for the Prince William County school system.The time of my visit was a weekend and the gate was closed but everything looked the same except for the radar dome.I am going to join your Association.

10/10/2007 00:00:00

Name: Robert N. Moore
Email: robmor318 AT

Any one who may know the where abouts of Edwin Higgenbotham, former 1st Lt, CE Officer at Hutchinson AFS, Ks 1961 - 1964, please let me know. I worked for Ed at that time and see his name often on the Radomes site. Thanks in advance for any info.

Bob Moore

10/08/2007 00:00:00

Name: Robert (Bob) Moore
Email: robmor318 AT

I was stationed at Hutchinson AFS, Ks from 1961 till 1964. We had a reunion in Branson, Mo in 2003..Since then I have lost contact with these folks. If any one here was at that reunion or who was stationed at Hutch during the above dates please contact me. Thanks a lot.

10/08/2007 00:00:00

Name: Danny Mason
Email: dnj1 AT

Great to find a website devoted to those of us who spent time in places not always in the news.

I was a 303X2 from 1964 to 1977. Closed BAser AFS, OR in 68, two tours at Klamath Ca, one year at Cape Romanzof AK, Gibbsboro, NJ and three years with the 4854th Radar Eval, Hill AFB, UT

10/07/2007 00:00:00

Name: Delvin E. Ressel
Email: delressel AT

I served on active duty from 1966 - 1970. During that time, I was assigned to the following radar sites. 1)755th Radar Sq. (ADC), Arlington Heights IL, 1966 - 1968, as Personel /Administrative Officer, 2)612th Radar Sq.(ADC), Ajo AZ, 1968 - 1969, as Weapons Controller (AFSC 1744A), 3)Operating Location Charlie, 327 Air Division(PACAF),O Laun Pi, Taiwan, 1968 - 1970, as Weapons Controller. Is there anyone else out there who was at these radar sites during those years. I'll be at the USAF Radar Sites Veterans reunion in Sacramento CA in 2008.

10/07/2007 00:00:00

Name: James P. Lowe
Email: mooseisland AT

Hi All:
I was stationed at the 911 in the early 60s

10/04/2007 00:00:00

Name: Rebecca Bonilla
Email: becky9560 AT

Hi to anyone stationed at King Salmon, AK in 1981-1982 or Hancock AFB, NY (SAGE) 1982 until closing).

10/03/2007 00:00:00

Name: Gene McManus
Email: gmcmanus AT

I had the opportunity to see an F-22 Raptor demonstration flight last week. If you haven't seen this, you likely won't believe some of the maneuverability this aircraft has. With ducted vectored thrust, it can turn in its own length (at low speed, of course), and do stuff that an airplane simply ain't supposed to do. If you get the chance to see this, don't miss it! There are some videos on line that are fairly good, but the live demo is the best. Google "Raptor video".

10/03/2007 00:00:00

Name: Jeff States
Email: psu68 AT

Gene, thanks for the tip on the Raptor video. Looks as if it is as far removed from the F-102'S and F-106's we worked with as the manual system was from from SAGE in the US and 412L in Germany!!

10/02/2007 00:00:00

Name: joel E. Barnes
Email: barnes AT

I read these messages from many different groups. I never seem to be able to see anything from people that were with the 727TCS at Bergstrom during the period from 4/67 to 7/68. I found that to be a great assignment. I was in Birkenfeld Ger. from 7/69 to 4/72. I sometimes find something from those guys. I spent 10 months at Ft. Lee Va. In my 6 1/2 yrs in the Air Force that was probably my worst assignment. I just couldn't get into Sage. Believe it or not I found that Cape Newenham was a great assignment. Althought it took me many years to figure that out. That really made me define who I am. Some of the best people I ever met wore Air Force Blue.

10/02/2007 00:00:00

Name: Herb Campbell
Email: hwcampbell AT

I am a member of Radomes and enjoy the newsletters and posts. I was in the AF four years as a scope dope. Spent a year at Site 5 in French Morocco, (July-55-56); rest of my hitch with the 602nd in Giebelstadt Germany. Have attended some 735th reunions and a few603rd
reunions. 602nd was originally a detachment of 603rd in Langerkopf.
Both were great tours, French Morocco was morocco when I left and I got to Germany just prior to the U-2 coming to Gieb. Would like to hear from any of you guys.

10/01/2007 00:00:00

Name: John Tianen
Email: jtianen AT

Try this link for a list of spin codes.

Scan down the page and look for a link that says click HERE for a list that is coutesy of Touchstone Research. It brings up 23 pages of spin codes. It is an Adobe file.

10/01/2007 00:00:00

Name: Carl Wenberg
Email: zoombag AT

SPN PRETAINS (SPN) TO ARMY NOT AIR FORCE is (SDN) you must need a crypto clearence or higher to locate and find out info on SDN!!! numbers

10/01/2007 00:00:00

Name: Chuck Sunder
Email: chucksunder AT

I got it figured out: I'm an SDN 704. If you move the period one place to the left (70.4), it's my approximate age. :-)

10/01/2007 00:00:00

Name: Lawrence A ( Larry or Ham)hamilton
Email: retired1977 AT

I am in, Radar sites from 1952 until 1971, then a couple of comm sq,
and finally a Hq Sq when I retired in 1977.

10/01/2007 00:00:00

Name: Dick Konizeski
Email: rrkonizeski AT

Over the years, we've gotten quite a few pictures of the 779th for the Radar Museum, and a few of the town, but I'd like to know if anyone has any 1960s vintage photos of the old EZ-Rest Hotel, the Valley Hotel, Dahl's Apartments, the graineries and RR station, Tim's Club Bar, the Mint Bar, Turk's Tavern, the Walt Stroh's old Machine Shop, and other pictures, that I could have scanned images of for my own personal use, and to show my grandkids.
If so, could any be scanned and sent as email enclosures?
Like many others fresh out of Tech School at Biloxi, I got married and the 779th was our first home. We lived in a single room at the EZ-Rest for a month before getting an apartment there, and we never did have our own bathroom while living in the hotel(there weren't any the top floor). We eventually hit the big-time when we could afford to move to Dahl's Apartments after making A1C. Weren't those the days!
Please drop me an email if any of you have photos you'd be willing to scan and send.
Thanks in advance if you do...
Dick Konizeski,
Bremerton, WA

10/01/2007 00:00:00

Name: David G. Edmiston
Email: DEdmis8638 AT

771 ACWRON and Texas tower #3

10/01/2007 00:00:00

Name: Jerre P Moser
Email: jerremsr AT

Hi All,

50 years ago this week I was processing out at Kessler AFB to go to the Control Center at Kirtland AFB in Albuquerque NM. I left Kessler on the 4 th day of Oct. 57 . We had 5 days travel time and 10 days leave. Arrived, Kirtland AFB, the 18th of Oct. 57. At that time the control center was called the Hq. 34th Air Division [ADC]. In December 1959 the 34th. became the Albuquerque Air Defense Sector. We had radar sites from Texas, Arizona, Colorado, Utah and New Mexico calling into us. It was a great place to live and work.

I have fond memories of working and living there and I was hoping I would spend my entire enlistment there. But that did not happen.

Another Airman and my self went through basic, tech school, permanent bases and were discharged on the same day. I was his best man and he at mine. We still visit and keep in touch even to this day, even though we live in different states now.

I served there until September 1960 when they closed the Control Center down and shipped most of us to the 793rd AC&W site in Hutchinson Kansas. I was there until discharge in June of 61.

If anyone who was at the 34th at this time sees this, please write back to me I would appreciate hearing from you. Jerre P Moser