1871-1900 Yaquina Head Lighthouse Letter books

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Pages That Mention District Coast Guard Office

Coast Guard District narrative histories 1945

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daily and then having no assurance that relighting was accomplished. In order to verify the conditions that existed in connection with this situation, visibility tests were made on all ten buoys twice each day without the use of control equipment. A tabulation sheet showing all ten controlled buoys, the date and hour, an indication of each buoy light that was visible before 0800 and after 1200 each day was submitted to the District Coast Guard Office weekly. In 3920 observations, lights were visible by telescope from Cape Disappointment Lookout Station only 2900 times. This figure included all ten buoys listed on the previous page, during period from 17 July, 1944, to 12 February, 1945, at which time the visibility tests were discontinued.

By November, 1944, Headquarters became interested in the peace time value of ANRAC and requested that the District Coast Guard Officer prepare a list of such locations in the 13th Naval District where ANRAC could be used for peace time operation. The major complicated features (essential for security) were to be simplified to meet peace time application to unattended radiobeacons or fog signals where maintenance by an operating crew and expenses related thereto presented objectionable difficulties. In response, the District Coast Guard Office listed five fog signals near the mouth of the Columbia River within a three mile radius from Point Adams Lifeboat Station, Hammond, Oregon, and the fog signals at Tacoma Waterway, Milwaukie Shoal and Point Defiance all within a radius of 4 1/2 miles of Browns Point Light near Tacoma, Washington. However, the District Coast Guard Officer did not feel that ANRAC control of shore lights during peace time would have any advantage over the sun relays currently installed due to the higher cost and a greater possibility for human error.

Headquarters was requested, since the war time ANRAC program had proved unsatisfactory, that authority to discontinue the radio control of the lights on the buoys at the entrance to the Columbia River be granted. Due to the fact

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PARTRIDGE POINT FOG SIGNAL ANRAC CONTROLLED FROM SMITH ISLAND LIGHT STATION, 6.5 MILES DISTANT. EQUIPMENT OPERATED MOST SUCCESSFULLY SINCE INSTALLATION

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space for and accept responsibility of the security, monitoring and maintenance of these installations. The local maintenance crew had no responsibility for repairing the equipment; this was the charge of the Radio Material Office.

By the end of May, 1943, RACONS were in operation at the above Coast Guard Units as well as at the Port Angeles Air Station and Tatoosh Island, Washington. The Army Signal Corps had installed a RACON at the Grays Harbor Fog Signal Station, Westport, Washington, which was operated and maintained entirely by Army personnel. The Coast Guard had no cognizance of this Army RACON other than its existence for the equipment and its operation was classified as "Secret" and carefully guarded. This RACON was discontinued and the maintenance crew was withdrawn about a year after its installation when a new RACON was established at Hoquiam, Washington, also under Army supervision.

The YH RACON installations were in operation only a few months when the Navy advised that all activities were to be equipped with the newer, improved model of RACON, the YJ.³ Two YJ RACONS were installed in the former locations of the YH and the latter models, together with their antennae, spares and instruction books were placed in storage. The installation of the new equipment was again done under the supervision of the Radio Material Officer, 13th Naval District. At the same time, the Chief Of Naval Operations directed that a site be selected, plans drawn and estimates made for a complete RACON Lighthouse (YJ, AN/CPN-3, and AN/CPN-6, in duplicate). Surveys for this site were made by Radio Material Officer's representative and a representative of the District Coast Guard Officer.

RACONS had not proved themselves "aids" to navigation by the beginning of 1944. Improper performance was prevalent and was due, in the main, to inefficient maintenance and to lack of appreciation of the importance such equipment bore to the safe passage of aircraft. At this time, a Chief of Naval Operations directive^4 transferred all Navy pulse equipment to the Coast Guard for operation and maintenance; the equipment was turned over to the custody of the Coast Guard, thus eliminating any financial transaction. The first RACON Station to be transferred was the installation at Tillamook Naval Air Station which was assumed by the Coast Guard on 1 May, 1945. An inventory of all equipment (together with condition in which it was received) was signed by the Commanding Officer of the Group, Hammond. Inventories were kept on file at the RACON Station, Group, District Coast Guard Office and Headquarters. Equipment was later signed for by the District Property Officer which left only the operational end of transfer to the Aids to Navigation Section.

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