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LORAN STATION SAN SALVADOR
24 07 16.25 N 74 27 04.72 W (1960 Mercury Datum)

Pictures

Fact Sheet

Site Survey:

JAN 1955

Construction Date

1955 – 1959 Mobile Unit – Waldo I
FEB 1958 to 12 APR 1958 Permanent station built

Constructed by:

FEB 1958 to 12 APR 1958 - Mobile Construction Battalion

Established:

FEB 1955 – WALDO I
JUL 1959 – Permanent station

Disestablished:

14 JAN 1981 

Operated by:

USCG

Chain:

WALDO – WEST INDIES; BAHAMIAN
U.S. SOUTHEAST COAST

Station Letter designation:

3L3, “S”
3L5, “B”

Station code name:

WALDO I

Station Unit Number:

NAVY 106

Radio Call Sign:

 

Station aka:

 

On-air testing date:

FEB 1955 – WALDO I

Operational date:

01 MAR 1955 – WALDO I

Operations Ceased:

312400Z DEC 1980

Station Operation:

01 MAR 1955 – 1968 Single MASTER (SM)
1968 – 31 DEC 1980 Double MASTER (DM)

Station pair:

3L3 – GRAND TURK
2L3, 3L2 - SOUTH CAICOS
3L5 – JUPITER INLET

Loran Rate:

2L3, 3L2, 3L5

On-Air:

3L3 – 01 MAR 1955 – GRAND TURK
2L3 – 03 JUL 1959 – SOUTH CAICOS
3L3 – 1968 SOUTH CAICOS
3L5 – 1969 JUPITER INLET

Off-Air

3L3 – 03 JUL 1959 Slave GRAND TURK operations relocated to SOUTH CAICOS
2L3 – 1968 Change of Rate
3L3 – 312400Z DEC 1980 Loran A phased out
3L5 – 312400Z DEC 1980 Loran A phased out

Monitor Rate:

 

Equipment:

T-325C/FPN S/N: 44
AM-1700/FPN S/N: 20
CN-324/FPN S/N: 1

Xmtr Coupler - CU-634/U S/N: 2
Antenna Type:

1955 - 1958 T Ant - 2 90 ft poles center fed

1958 - 31 DEC 1981 - 120 Steel Tower

Personnel Allowance:

WALDO - 1 LTJG, 1 ETC, 1 ET1, 3 ET3, 3 SN

Miscellaneous:

FEB 1955 – Jul 1959 Mobile unit transmitting (WALDO I)
8 FEB 1958 – CO assisted a disable Navy P5M to a mooring. see below
JUL 1959 – Permanent station

Commanding Officers / Officers in Charge

CO: LTJG Leon D Santman 1955 - 1956
CO: LTJG Arnold M. Danielsen AUG 1957 - AUG 1958
CO: LTJG Leo Jordan AUG 1958 - 1959
CO: LTJG Bill Mohin 1959 - 1960
CO: LTJG Keith R Ellington 1967 - 1968
CO: LTJG Cahalan 1968 - 1969
CO: LTJG Bye 1970 - 1971
CO: LTJG Wiley 1971 - 1972
CO: LTJG Oberst 1974 – APR 1975
CO: LTJG Freddy Montoya APR 1975 – APR 1976

CO: LTJG Ty G Waterman 1977 - 1978
CO: LTJG Steven Johnston 1978 - 1979
Last CO: LTJG Kent Mack 1980 - JAN 1981

8 FEB 1958-A U.S. Navy P5M aircraft enroute from San Juan to Norfolk lost one engine and changed course to the island of San Salvador, British West Indies, to attempt a night ditching.  AIRSTA Miami sent up a Coast Guard UF amphibian plane, later reinforced by a second amphibian. After contacting the disabled US Navy plane, the pilot of the first amphibian talked the Navy pilot out of attempting to ditch without benefit of illumination and alerted the commanding officer of the Coast Guard LORAN station on San Salvador for assistance after ditching. In true Coast Guard tradition, the LORAN station’s CO borrowed a truck and an 18- foot boat to assist. The commanding officer managed to be on the scene 1 1/2 miles offshore, when the Navy P5M landed with two minutes of fuel remaining. While one of the amphibians provided additional illumination, the Navy plane was guided through a dangerous reef to a mooring, using her operative port engine. There were no casualties. Article from CG News – Today in Coast Guard History February 8

JUL 2013 - The LORAN station is still in use as a Bahamian school for the grades 7 -12. 

In 1955 the US Coast Guard was granted permission to erect a temporary LORAN station on the island.  In the same year the US Air Force/ Army was granted permission to erect an airfield and tracking station for the downrange site of Patrick AFB missile proving grounds.  Other stations were located throughout the Caribbean and South American plus Africa.  In 1958, construction of a permanent Coast Guard LORAN was completed.  In 1961, the NAVY established a submarine tracking station (SOSUS) on the island.  With the advent of better communications and equipment, the Air Force/Army station was placed in the care taker status in 1965.  Both the Air Force/Army and Naval establishments were return to the Bahamian government in Dec 1970 while the LORAN remained in operation for another decade.  The Riding Rock Resort expanded on the site of the formal Air Force Base, the Naval facility became a research center (1971) and the LORAN is now a school.  Club Med open in 1992.  The airfield was extended from 4500ft to where travelers from Europe have a direct flight. 

I enjoy my recent visit to the island, the diving and people are fantastical.

Below are some photos of the present station:


Looking down from the office


From road looking toward transmitting antenna large slab in near field


The Office - Barracks
now use as the Principle and Admin office and classrooms on the left


The Office


View from the Signal Power Building
Galley and Barracks


Another view of Barracks and Galley


Classroom - door leading into the barracks


Another view of the classroom


The Signal Power Building


Water and Fuel storage tanks


ET3 Johnson left his mark with others


The Beach


Another view of the beach


Comms Antenna near the galley


Survey marker for Transmitting Antenna dated 1955


Transmitting Antenna Couple from office


Transmitting Antenna and pedestal

A very special thank you to the principle of school for allowing to tour the station

 

Documents:

202328Z OCT 75 - State Department Bahamas Base Negotiations - pdf

 

Pictures  Click on picture for larger image

Loran Station San Salvador

Picture from google earth.

Loran Station San Salvador
Loran Station San Salvador

The below photos were contributed by Myron Hale c./1965


Station


Myron himself


Station Inspection

Thanks Myron!

In January 1981 Coast Guard personnel with a contractor were assigned to a mission to remove the PCB transformers and capacitors
from both Sal Salvador and South Caicos.  Below are some of the equipment tags:

 

 

 

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