Owingsville Air Force Station

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Owingsville Air Force Station (1954-1957) - A Cold War U.S. Air Force Radar Station located near Owingsville, Bath County, Kentucky. Initially assigned a Permanent ID of M-131. Closed in 1957.


Established in December 1954 and became operational in 1955 as Owingsville Air Force Station manned by the 809th Aircraft Control & Warning (AC&W) Squadron. The original mission is unclear but newspaper articles in August 1954 indicate that the site was established as a radar training facility. By 1957 the unit appears in the 58th ADD Yearbook as a small AC&W Squadron operating a split radar site.

Initial equipment included the TPS-1D search radar.


On 27 Jun 1957 a short article appeared in the Louisville Courier-Journal announcing reductions in the Owingsville-Section Radar Unit that would reduce the manpower from 62 officers and airmen to just 15 with the remainder to be reassigned to other units. The commander, Major Frank Smythe, was reassigned to Wright-Patterson AFB. The radar station and the 809th were deactivated sometime in November 1957.

Physical Plant

The physical plant of the site was divided into a main operations site and a separate cantonment area four miles away. The main site housed the operations buildings, the radar tower, 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.

Owingsville AFS Major Equipment List
Search Radar HF Radar Data Systems Comm
Unit Designations
  • 809th Aircraft Control & Warning (AC&W) Squadron (1954-1957)
809th Assignments
  • 25 Jun 1953 - Activated at Willow Run Airport, MI, as the 30th Air Division.
  • May 1954 - Transferred to 4708th Defense Wing.
  • Dec 1954 - Moved to Owingsville AFS, KY.
  • 1 Mar 1956 - Transferred to 58th Air Division.
  • ca. Nov 57 - Inactivated.

Owingsville Air Force Station Partial Commanders List (edit list)
Assumed Relieved Rank Name Cullum Notes
1954~ 1957 Major Smythe, Frank J. N/A

Current Status


Location: Near Owingsville in Bath County, Kentucky.

Maps & Images

Lat: 38.19203 Long: -83.81702

  • Multi Maps from ACME
  • Maps from Bing
  • Maps from Google
  • Elevation: 1,099'

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 117.
  • USGS Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) Database Entry: 2089744


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