Oklahoma City Air Force Station

Oklahoma City Air Force Station
Oklahoma City Air Force Station


Part of Air Defense Command (ADC)
Oklaholma City Air Force Station - 20 Feb 1995.jpg
1995 airphoto
Type United States Army Airfield (World War II)
United States Air Force Station (Cold War)
Coordinates 35°24′12″N 097°21′28″W / 35.40333°N 97.35778°W / 35.40333; -97.35778 (Oklahoma City AFS P-52)
Built 1942
In use 1942-1946; 1956-1968
Controlled by  United States Air Force
Oklahoma City AFS is located in Oklahoma
Oklahoma City AFS
Location of Oklahoma City AFS, Oklahoma

Oklahoma City Air Force Station (ADC ID: P-52, NORAD-ID: Z-52) is a closed World War II United States Army Airfield and a Cold War United States Air Force General Surveillance Radar station. It is located 10 miles (16 km) east-southeast of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, just to the southeast of Tinker AFB. It was closed in 1968.



World War II

The facility was built by the United States Army Air Forces in the fall of 1942 and early 1943 as an aircrew training field. Opened in March 1943 during World War II, the facility was known as Woodward Army Airfield (AAF) and was assigned to the Third Air Force, performing medium bomber training for newly-formed groups prior to their overseas deployment to the combat theaters.

In the fall of 1943, the 409th Bombardment Group trained at the airfield with Douglas A-20 Havocs before being assigned overseas to the Ninth Air Force in England. The 408th Fighter-Bomber Group trained at the airfield with a variety of aircraft (A-24, A-26, P-40, and P-47) in the spring of 1944.

The airfield was returned to civil use at the end of the war.

Air Defense Command

In late 1951 Air Defense Command selected Woodward AAF as a site for one of twenty-eight radar stations built as part of the second segment of the permanent radar surveillance network. Prompted by the start of the Korean War, on July 11, 1950, the Secretary of the Air Force asked the Secretary of Defense for approval to expedite construction of the second segment of the permanent network. Receiving the Defense Secretary’s approval on July 21, the Air Force exercised a right of return to the former World War II airfield and directed the Army Corps of Engineers to proceed with construction.

On 1 May 1951 the 746th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron was assigned to the new Oklahoma City Air Force Station by the 33d Air Division at nearby Tinker AFB. The squadron began operating a pair of AN/FPS-10 radars from this site in May 1952, and initially the station functioned as a Ground-Control Intercept (GCI) and warning station. As a GCI station, the squadron's role was to guide interceptor aircraft toward unidentified intruders picked up on the unit's radar scopes. The 746th AC&WS added a AN/FPS-6 height-finder radar in 1958. The AN/FPS-l0’s were phased out, with the last one being removed in 1962.

The 33d AD moved to Oklahoma City AFS on 8 May 1956 and activated a Manual Air-Defense Control Center (ADCC), P-86 for ADC interceptors in Oklahoma, Kansas and the panhandle of Texas. It also formed a number of new Aircraft Control and Warning Squadrons which it deployed to newly-built radar sites in its assigned area. On 1 January 1960, the Oklahoma City Air Defense Sector (OCADS) was established, however it remained a manual ADS, with no SAGE blockhouse being constructed. OCADS was re-designated as the 4752d ADS briefly in 1960-61, then taken over by the 32d Air Division in 1961-63 before being returned to its designation in 1963. On 31 July 1963, the site was redesignated as NORAD ID Z-52. In 1963 the station became a joint-use facility with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), with Oklahoma City AFS using AN/FPS-67 search and AN/FPS-6 height-finder radars.

OCADS was re-established in 1963 and was re-designated as Manual Combat Center (MCC-11)/NORAD Sector Combat Center (Manual). In 1965 the search radar was upgraded to the AN/FPS-67B variant. On 1 April 1966 OCADS was again re-designated as the 31st Air Division

The Air Force deactivated Oklahoma City AFS on 31 December 1969 and closed MCC-11 due to budget reductions. The FAA continues to operate the AN/FPS-67B search radar today as part of the Joint Surveillance System (JSS). What was Oklahoma City Air Force Station is today used by the FAA, with most buildings remaining in use.

ADCOM units assigned to Oklahoma City Air Force Station

  • 31st Air Division, 1 April 1966-31 December 1969
  • 32d Air Division, 1 August 1961-4 September 1963
  • 33d Air Division, 8 May 1956-1 January 1960
  • 4752d Air Defense Wing, 1 September 1961-25 June 1963
  • 732d Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron, 8 November 1956-25 July 1957
  • 733d Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron, 8 September 1956-3 July 1957
  • 742d Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron, 8 September 1956-1 July 1957
  • 746th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron, 8 July 1956-8 September 1968
  • 811th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron, 8 April 1956-1 January 1958
  • 812th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron, 8 April 1956-30 April 1957
  • 813th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron, 18 December 1956-1 July 1958
  • 814th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron, 8 May 1956-14 February 1957
  • 815th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron, 8 November 1956-1 November 1957

See also


 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.

  • Maurer, Maurer (1983). Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0892010924.
  • A Handbook of Aerospace Defense Organization 1946 - 1980, by Lloyd H. Cornett and Mildred W. Johnson, Office of History, Aerospace Defense Center, Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado
  • Winkler, David F. (1997), Searching the skies: the legacy of the United States Cold War defense radar program. Prepared for United States Air Force Headquarters Air Combat Command.
  • Information for Oklahoma City AFS, OK

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