Historic California Posts, Camps, Stations and Airfields
Oceanside Radar Site L-1
US Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District History (1993)
The former Oceanside Radar Site is located on the west side of Interstate Highway 5, south of the Santa Margarita River and is entirely within Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton.
On 3 February 1943, 20.086 acres were acquired by temporary use permit from the Navy Department for the Army Air Forces. The site was used for an air defense radar site as part of the Pacific Air Warning and Defense System. The site was equipped with an SCR-588 radar set.
An additional 7.563 acres locateted on the east side of Interstate Highway 5, north of the Santa Margarita River was acquired for the site's cantonement area.
Both parcels were declared surplus 30 January 1948 by the Department of the Army. The Department of the Navy, acting for the Marine Corps, assumed jurisdiction of the site on 15 September 1948 and are now part of Camp Pendleton.
SCR-588 Long Wave Aircraft Detector and Ground Control Intercept Radar

Description: Fixed medium-range, long wave aircraft detector and GCI. Provides azimuth, range, and altitude data. Type HR and PPI scopes.
Uses: To give continuous plan position and accurate relative height of enemy plane and friendly fighter plane for GCI. Set can also be used for early warning and to give increased coverage at low angles of search. IFF equipment RC-188 is used. When operating as GCI, VHF equipment SCR-624 is required.
Performance and Siting: Maximum range on a medium bomber, with set on flat sea level site:
 Altitude, feet




 Range*, miles




*Range of PPI limits GCI operation to about 45 miles.
When operating as GCI, set must be sited so that a flat unobstructed surface extends at least 1/4th mile in the height-finding sector. Good GCI sites are extremely rare. For early warning, sets should be sited between 100 and 1,000 feet above an unobstructed surface.
Transportability: Set is packaged for shipment in 55 units, weighing a total of 54,000 lbs. Largest unit measures 15.3' x 3.8' x 1.8'. Total shipping space is 3500 cu. ft.
Installation: Requires a weatherproof building approximately 20' x 40' for housing radar components and a building approximately 20' x 20' for power units and switchboard. A 25' tower on concrete footing is required for support of antenna. Buildings and tower can be built by Engineers in about 3 weeks. Radar can be installed by 5 men in 2 weeks.
Personnel: 8 men are operating crew. For 24-hour operation about 54 men are required to run radar, communication radio, and camp.
Power: 4 KW at 230 volts and 1 KW at 115 volts, from three PE-198 electric diesel units, supplied with set. (Two units operate simultaneously). Fuel consumption is 21/2 gals. of Diesel fuel oil per hour.
Site Maps


Search our Site!
Search the Web Search California Military History Online
Questions and comments concerning this site should be directed to the Webmaster
Updated 8 February 2016