Texas Towers

From Academic Kids

The Texas Towers were a set of off-shore radar facilities used by the United States Air Force during the Cold War that were modeled on the offshore oil drilling platforms first employed off the Texas coast. The platforms were used for radar surveillance of the Atlantic Ocean near the eastern seaboard of the United States from 1952 to 1965.

On January 11, 1954, the USAF approved the construction of 5 Texas Towers as part of the Air Defense System. Only four were built.

Texas Tower #4 suffered severe structural damage during Hurricane Donna and, before repairs could be completed, was destroyed by a winter storm on January 15, 1961. Twenty-eight airmen and civilian contracters were manning the station; none survived.

The name Texas Towers has also been applied to similar structures that were used as platforms for lighthouses. One notable example in the United States was the Buzzards Bay Light, located in Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts, and commissioned on November 1, 1961 (it has been extinguished and may be dismantled). A total of six Texas tower lighthouses have been constructed and four survive. All are primarily made of steel.

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