Fort Worden WWII Radar Site (1)
Fort Worden WWII Radar Site (1) (1943-1946) - A World War II U.S. Army Search Radar Site established in 1943. Used to provide target information to large caliber (6" and above) coastal gun batteries in the Harbor Defense of the Juan de Fuca Strait against enemy warships. Located on Fort Worden near Port Townsend, Jefferson County, Washington. Closed in 1946.
Part of the Harbor Defense of Puget Sound.
Constructed under project No. RAD-9-193 and transferred for use on 23 Dec 1943 as Fort Worden WWII Radar Site (1). Construction costs to date of transfer were $ 1,000. The physical plant consisted of an SCR-582 radar set, with the antenna mounted atop the recently completed HECP building atop Artillery Hill on Fort Worden. The rest of the radar equipment was located in the HECP structure.
The radar equipment was installed by the Signal Corps. It required 2.5 kW of 120/240 AC, 1 phase, 60 cycle power. The radar set used commercial power backed up by the HECP emergency generator.
This radar set was originally installed in a nearby temporary location on 20 May 1943 while the HECP was still under construction.
In operation, the SCR-582 search radar provided an overview of all potential targets within its range. Once enemy targets were identified and plotted at the harbor HECP/HDCP command posts, target assignments were passed by telephone to the appropriate SCR-296 tracking radar site, citing the approximate range and azimuth of the target. Each gun battery 6" or larger had an associated SCR-296 radar site to track specific targets. The SCR-296 radar operators would then find the assigned target and pass the precise range and azimuth to the plotting room at the gun battery by phone. The radar operators would continue to track the target and update the plotting room as the range and azimuth changed.
Closed as a joint Army/Navy HECP circa 1946 and after that operated by the U.S. Navy as a harbor control command post. Navy SG-2 S-Band short-range radar replaced the SCR-582 and that antenna is now on display in the Coast Artillery Museum on Fort Worden. The Navy manned the facility 24/7 until late 1959.
The HECP building is now a part of the Coast Artillery Museum on Fort Worden and the interior is being restored and interpreted by Museum volunteers. Several displays have photos and text associated with the radar(s) that were associated with the wartime HECP and successor facilities after the war up until the Army base closed in 1953.