Historic California Posts, Camps, Stations and Airfields
Birds Landing Very High Frequency (VHF) Site 4K4
(Birds Landing Direction Finding Station)
by Dan Sebby, Military Historian, California Military Department
VHF 4K4 Military Reservation was established at Birds Landing in 1942 as a radio direction finding station; it was part of a string of radar stations that ran along the coastal regions of the Continental United States. The Site was initially under the control of the 4th Antiaircraft Command's San Francisco Fighter Control Area. The 411th Army Air Forces Base Unit (AAFBU), headquartered at Berkeley, California, was responsible for manning the Site.

A San Francisco District Engineer, USACE, correspondence dated 28 January 1944 indicated only two buildings were built at the Site. One was a wood framed Theater of Operation type barracks. It is not currently known what purpose the other building served, but it could be surmised that it was a "Theater of Operations" type building. Photographic evidence indicates that for defensive purposes, the Site also had a concrete .50-caliber machine gun positioned at the highest point of the Site, allowing a 360-degree field of fire.

On 28 February 1947, as part of reorganization of the West Coast's air defense radar systems, the 411th AAFBU was consolidated with two other AAFBUs and became Squadron B, 412th AAFBU (Western Aircraft Control & Warning Group). On 21 May 1947, the 412th AAFBU was redesignated as the 505th Aircraft Control and Warning Group with Squadron B becoming 636th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron. Concurrent with the reorganization, the Site was deactivated and stripped of its equipment, which was shipped to the Berkeley Early Warning Station.

On 28 July 1947, the Site was declared surplus to the needs of the U.S. Army, and the lease was terminated on 1 January 1948.

Extract, War Department Inventory of Owned, Sponsored and Leased Facilities, December 1945


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Updated 23 June 2017