Fort Heath Radar Site

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Fort Heath Radar Site (1959-1962) - A Cold War U.S. Air Force Radar Site established in conjunction with the Nike System's Boston Air Defense Area. Located on Fort Heath, Suffolk County, Massachusetts. Initially assigned a Permanent ID of MM-1 and a Sage ID of MM-1. Closed in 1962.


Established in 1959 and became operational in 1959 as Fort Heath radar site manned by the 820th Radar Squadron.

Initial equipment included two USAF FPS-6B height-finder radars and two US Army FPS-6A height-finder radars. Search radar video was provided by a joint use FAA maintained ARSR-1 search radar.

The Army continued to use the radar facility until the end of 1964 when the Nike control center there was deactivated. The FAA continued operating the ARSR-1 radar of the former Fort Heath -- renamed Winthrop, MA -- until the mid to late 1990s.

The ARSR-1 was deactivated when the FAA began operating a new ARSR-4 JSS radar at the former North Truro Air Force Station on Cape Cod.

SAGE System Operation

Abandoned Stewart SAGE Direction Center DC-02.
Fort Heath SAGE Direction Centers & Sectors
Assigned Direction Center Sector
18 Oct 1959 - 1 Dec 1962 Stewart SAGE Direction Center DC-02 Boston Air Defense Sector

The site began operation as a SAGE site in 1959 initially connected to the Stewart SAGE Direction Center DC-02. On 1 Dec 1961, the squadron designation was changed from 820th Radar Squadron to the 820th AC&W Squadron


The Fort Heath radar site and the 820th were deactivated on 1962.

Fort Heath Radar Site Major Equipment List
Search Radar HF Radar Data Systems Comm
Unit Designations
  • 820th Aircraft Control & Warning (AC&W) Squadron (1959-1960)
  • 820th Radar Squadron (SAGE) (1960-1962)
820th Assignments
  • 18 Oct 1959 - Activated at Ft. Heath, MA, as the Boston ADS.
  • 1 Dec 1961 - Redesignated from 820th Radar Squadron (SAGE) to 820th AC&W Squadron.
  • 1 Dec 1962 - Discontinued.

Current Status

Location: Fort Heath in Suffolk County, Massachusetts.

Maps & Images

Lat: 42.38955 Long: -70.96944

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

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 102.
  • 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 122.


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