Historic California Posts, Camps,
Stations and Airfields
Olema Radar Site J-77
The antenna of an
SCR-588 Radar Set at Olema Radar Site (Air Force Historical Research
An Aircraft Warning Service radar station
located in Olema on Point Reyes (vicinity of 38° 2'1.82"N
122°49'30.46"W). Established in 1942, this site was
equipped with the SRC-588 radar set. The site was occupied 656th
Signal Aircraft Warning Company and later Detachment F, 653rd
Signal Aircraft Warning Service Company. Both elements were under
the control of the San Francisco Control Group (411th Army Air
Forces Base Unit). After 24 February 1947, the garrison was mannded
by a detachment of Squadron B, 412th Army Air Force Base Unit
(Western Aircraft & Control Group). After 21 May 1947, it
was manned by a Detachment, 636th Aircraft Control and Warning
Squadron. The site was declared surplus on 25 July 1947. The
site was completely dismantled and turned of to the Sacramento
District, US Army Corps of Engineers on 31 March 1948 for disposal.
SCR-588 Long Wave Aircraft Detector
and Ground Control Intercept Radar
Fixed medium-range, long wave aircraft detector and GCI. Provides
azimuth, range, and altitude data. Type HR and PPI scopes.
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:
*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.
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.
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.
8 men are operating crew. For 24-hour operation about 54 men
are required to run radar, communication radio, and camp.
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.
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