Bartlesville Air Force Station

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Bartlesville Air Force Station (1951-1961) - A Cold War U.S. Air Force Radar Station established during the Korean War. Located near Bartlesville, Osage County, Oklahoma. Initially assigned a Permanent ID of P-77. Closed in 1961.

Bartlesville AFS Power generator Building.
Bartlesville Air Force Station Tech Supply Building.
Former Bartlesville Air Force Station Operations Building in 2019. Now the Red Dirt Soap Company.


Established in 1951 and became operational in 1951 as Bartlesville Air Force Station manned by the 796th Aircraft Control & Warning (AC&W) Squadron.

Initial equipment included a pair of FPS-10 radars.

Manual System Operation

On 1 May 1951 the 796th AC&W Squadron was activated at Bartlesville Air Force Station and assigned to components of the 33rd Air Division (Defense) (33rd ADD) then Headquartered at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma. The 33rd ADD provided command and control over subordinate radar stations from a manual direction center. On 1 Mar 1956 control was transferred to 20th Air Division and the Richards-Gebaur Manual Direction Center SM-169. Operations continued in the manual mode until the site was closed 1961


The closure of Bartlesville AFS was announced by the Pentagon on Monday, 28 Jul 1960. The Bartlesville Air Force Station and the 796th AC&W Squadron were deactivated on 1 Jun 1961.

Gap Fillers

Bartlesville AFS was responsible for the maintenance of two remote unattended gap-filler radar sites. The unattended gap filler sites were placed in locations where the main search radar lacked coverage. These sites were equipped with short range FPS-14 or FPS-18 search radars and FST-1 Coordinate Data transmitters that sent digitized radar target data to a SAGE direction center and to the main radar site. Both the radar set and the FST-1 were dual channel to increase site up time. Maintenance teams were dispatched for regularly scheduled maintenance or when fault indicators on the FSW-1 remote monitoring equipment suggested the site had problems. The FSW-1 also allowed remote operation of specific functions such as channel changes for the radar and for the FST-1, it also allowed remote operation of the diesel generators at the gap filler site. The Bartlesville AFS gap-filler radars were located at Ottawa, OK, and Winfield, KS. Two additional FPS-18 gap filler sites were planned for Savonburg, KS and Reece, KS but these sites were never constructed.

Bartlesville AFS Gap Filler Radar Sites (edit list)
ADC NORAD Location State Type From To GPS Notes
P-77A Ottawa OK FPS-14, FST-1 1957-05 1960-12 36.860239,
P-77D Winfield KS FPS-14, FST-1 1958-04 1960-12 37.21329,

Physical Plant

Bartlesville Air Force Station Composite Plan.

Bartlesville AFS Water Plant now used by the City.
Bartlesville AFS Motor Pool Building.
Bartlesville AFS Recreation Building Repurposed.
Bartlesville AFS Former Housing Area.

The physical plant of the site was divided into the main site, a cantonment area, a housing area, and two radio sites. The main site housed the operations buildings, the radar towers, and the backup generators.

The cantonment area housed the enlisted barracks, the bachelor officer's quarters, the orderly room, the dining hall, the motor pool, and other support buildings.

South from the main site was a small 9 unit housing area for married personnel.

Bartlesville AFS Major Equipment List
Search Radar HF Radar Data Systems Comm
Unit Designations
  • 796th Aircraft Control & Warning (AC&W) Squadron (1951-1961)
796th Assignments

Bartlesville Air Force Station Partial Commanders List (edit list)
Assumed Relieved Rank Name Cullum Notes
1956~ Captain Paliafito, Richard L. N/A *
1956~ Major Hudgens, C.E. N/A *
1960~ Major Winn, R.W. N/A *
  • From newspaper articles.

Current Status

Of the remaining structures most have been converted into various residential and commercial establishments.

Bartlesville AFS Structures (edit list)
Number Building Area Currently
1 AC&W Operations Bldg Operations Yes
2 Power Plant Operations Yes
3 FPS-10 Tower Operations No
4 C&E Bldg Operations Yes
5 Tech Supply Operations Yes
6 Heating Plant Cantonment Yes
7 BOQ ???? Cantonment No
8 Dining Hall Cantonment Yes
9  ???? & Issue Gas Cantonment  ????
10 Headquarters Sqdn Cantonment No
11 Surge Pump Station Cantonment  ????
14 Auto Maintenance Cantonment Yes
15  ????  ????  ????
16 Traffic Signal ???? Cantonment  ????
25 Multipurpose Rec Bldg Cantonment Yes
26 Gas ???? Bldg Cantonment  ?
46 Radio Receiver Site Operations  ????
47 Radio Transmitter Site Operations  ????
64 Dormitory Cantonment No
65 Dormitory Cantonment No
66 Dormitory Cantonment No
67 Dormitory Cantonment No
68 Dormitory Cantonment No
69 Dormitory Cantonment No
101-109 Family Housing Housing Yes

Note: Source was low resolution & hard to interpret, some bldg numbers may be incorrect

Location: Bartlesville in Osage County, Oklahoma.

Maps & Images

Lat: 36.76222 Long: -96.03833

  • Multi Maps from ACME
  • Maps from Bing
  • Maps from Google
  • Elevation: 974'

GPS Locations:

See Also:


  • Cornett, Lloyd H. & Johnson, Mildred W., A Handbook of Aerospace Defense Organization (1946-1980), Office of History ADC, Peterson AFB, Colorado, 31 Dec 1980, 179 pages, Pdf, page 101.
  • Winkler, David F., Searching the Skies: the Legacy of the United States Cold War Defense Radar Program, USAF Hq Air Combat Command, 1997, 192 pages, Pdf, page 148.
  • USGS Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) Database Entry: 2086835


Visited: 14 Sep 2019

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