Ulakata Head WWII Radar Site (1)

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Ulakata Head WWII Radar Site (1) (1944-1946) - A World War II U.S. Army Radar Site established in 1944. Used to provide target information to large caliber (6" and above) coastal gun batteries in the Harbor Defense of the Dutch Harbor against enemy warships. Located on Fort Schwatka near Dutch Harbor, Aleutians West Census Area, Alaska. Closed in 1946.

Ulakta Head WWII SCR 582 Radar Site and HECP/HDCP/HDOP 3 Plan. (Annotated) Click to Enlarge.

History

Part of the Harbor Defense of Dutch Harbor.

Fort Dawes HECP in Operation, showing the SCR-582 Blister on Top.
Fort Schwatka HECP-HDCP SCR 582 Radar Installaction Plan. (Annotated) Click to Enlarge.

Constructed and transferred for use on 21 Feb 1944. The physical plant consisted of an SCR 582 radar set and an external antenna. The radar facility at Fort Schwatka was co-located with the HECP/HDCP/HDOP 3 type "E" command post but in a separate 22' by 13' room. The radar antenna blister was mounted atop the 2nd-floor observation post (HDOP 3) in this facility. The manning detail for operation required 5 officers and 20 enlisted men. The command post had access to post power and had it's own 31.3 KVA motor-generator as a backup.

The radar equipment was installed by the Signal Corps. It required 3.7kW of 120/240 AC, 1 phase, 60 cycle power furnished by post power backed up by the command post backup generator

Site Operation

In operation, the SCR-582 search radar provided an overview of all potential targets within its range. Once enemy targets were identified and plotted at the harbor HECP/HDCP/HDOP 3 command post, target assignments were passed by telephone to the appropriate SCR-296-A tracking radar site, citing the approximate range and azimuth of the target. Each gun battery 6" or larger had an associated SCR 296-A radar site to track specific targets. The SCR-296-A radar operators would then find the assigned target and pass the precise range and azimuth to the plotting room at the gun battery by phone. The radar operators would continue to track the target and update the plotting room as the range and azimuth changed.

SCR-582 to SCR-296 Radar, Seacoast Battery Communications Paths.

This radar facility served the two gun batteries in the Harbor Defense of Dutch Harbor that had 6" or larger guns, the 8"Battery 402 on Fort Schwatka and the 6" Battery 298 on Fort Learnard. By the time these two batteries were operational with their radar sets installed, the 155mm batteries they replace were deactivated with the guns and ammunition stored at Fort Mears.

HD Dutch Harbor SCR 582 Radar Set Coverage. Click to Enlarge.

Closure

Closed circa 1946.

Current Status

Part of the Aleutian World War II National Historic Area. Remains on Ulakta Head, Amaknak Island, Aleutians West Census Area, Alaska. Much of the command post structure still survives and is now stop #7 on the self guided tour of Fort Schwatka described below. The Ounalashka Corporation and the National Park Service have developed an excellent NPS - Fort Schwatka Self Guided Tour booklet on Fort Schwatka. Hiking permits are required for visitors.


Location: Ulakta Head in Aleutians West Census Area, Alaska.

Maps & Images

Lat: 53.92061 Long: -166.51035


GPS Locations:

Local HD Lambert Coordinates:

  • X = 66101, Y = 89355


See Also:

Sources:

  • U.S.Army, Supplement to the Harbor Defense Project Harbor Defenses of Dutch Harbor, (SRHDDH), 1944, CDSG
  • RCW-Corrected to 1 Aug 1944, CDSG.
  • Denfield, Colt, Dutch Harbor Coastal Defenses, Coast Defense Study Group Journal, Volume 7, Number 1, February, 1993, page 30-36.
  • Willford, Glen M., Visitation to Alaskan WWII Coast Defense Sites, August 1997, The CDSG Newsletter, The Coast Defense Study Group, Inc., November 1997, page 2-3.
  • NPS - Fort Schwatka Self Guided Tour (large pdf) Excellent source

Links:

Visited: No


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