LORAN STATION SAN SALVADOR
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 stations 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:
A very special thank you to the principle of school for allowing to tour the station
Pictures Click on picture for larger image
Picture from google earth.
The below photos were contributed by Myron Hale c./1965
In January 1981 Coast Guard personnel with a contractor were
assigned to a mission to remove the PCB transformers and capacitors
Copyright © 2013, loran-history.info