Yachats WWII Radar Site
Yachats WWII Radar Site (1942-1946) - A World War II U.S. Army Signal Corps Radar Site first established in 1942 as Cape Perpetua, Oregon. Used to provide early warning and direction of intercepts of approaching enemy aircraft. The radar had relocated from Cape Perpetua WWII Radar Site to a site above the community of Yachats sometime in 1942. Deactivated circa 1946 after the end of the war. Also known as Station B-27.
This radar site was established during World War II in 1942 as part of a chain of some 65 radar stations along the United States and Canada West Coast. These secret radar sites were built to provide early warning and interception of approaching enemy aircraft and ships but also served to assist friendly aircraft that were lost or had in-flight emergencies. This radar network was in addition to a network of search and fire control radars established at each of the West Coast harbor defenses.
This chain of West Coast radar stations was established in response to the June 1942 Japanese invasion and capture of the U.S. Aleutian Islands of Attu and Kiska. The islands were both recaptured by U.S. forces and declared secured by 24 Aug 1943. The radar chain was constructed in late 1942 and early 1943 while the Japanese still had control of the islands and conducted air raids on the U.S. bases at Dutch Harbor. The threat of further air attacks on the West Coast appeared real as did a possible Japanese invasion of the Pacific Northwest.
Two types of Air Warning Service (AWS) radar stations were built, long-range search radars (200~ mile range) and short-range Ground Control Intercept (GCI) radars (50~ mile range). The search radars would pick up and track possible enemy aircraft while the GCI radars would guide U.S. interceptor aircraft to these targets. The long-range search radar sites typically used the SCR-270 series radars while the GCI sites typically used the SCR-270-B series radars.
The Yachats radar site was sited with a SCR-270-B radar set under the command of the Portland Air Defense Wing (ADW).
The radar site was operational from sometime in 1942 until 1945-1946. Manning over this period of time was typically 45 to 50 men operating as a detachment with a headquarters at Portland Air Base. An interview with Captain James M. Wilson who was in charge of the Military Police at Yachats indicated that the Signal Corps section had 20-25 technicians while the Military Police section had 20-25 Military Police to guard the site. The Military Police operated from a circular emplacement dug in near the radar equipment manned with 4-5 MPs in each shift. The emplacement was armed with a 50 Cal machine gun and two 30 Cal machine guns. There was no indication of how many support personnel were at the site (cooks, admin, etc).
This installation was a split site with the Radar Operations area separate from the Cantonment area. Captain Wilson's interview indicated that the operations site radar equipment was the mobile configuration mounted on mobile vans. The cantonment area included barracks in Yachats where off-duty single personnel were quartered. Accompanied married personnel rented quarters in the area.
The site was deactivated circa 1946.
Visited: 1 Jun 2022