Hanna City Air Force Station
||This article includes a list of references, related reading or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations. (December 2012)|
|Parts of this article (those related to uses after state control) are outdated. (September 2013)|
|Hanna City Air Force Station|
|Part of Air Defense Command (ADC)|
|Type||Air Force Station|
|Controlled by||United States Air Force|
|Garrison||791st Aircraft Control and Warning (later Radar) Squadron|
Hanna City Air Force Station (ADC ID: P-63, NORAD ID: Z-63) is a closed United States Air Force General Surveillance Radar station. It is located 1.6 miles (2.6 km) west-northwest of Hanna City, Illinois. It was closed in 1968. It is still in use by the Federal Aviation Administration as a Joint Surveillance System radar station.
Hanna City Air Force Station (AFS) was one of twenty-eight stations built as part of the second segment of the Air Defense Command permanent radar 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 permanent network.
Receiving the Defense Secretary’s approval on July 21, the Air Force directed the Corps of Engineers to proceed with construction. 42.8 acres (17.3 ha) were acquired between 1952 and July 1959. The Air Force constructed and operated the station, which included over 35 buildings and miscellaneous smaller structures.
The 791st Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron was activated at Hanna City AFS on 10 May 1951 and began operations using AN/FPS-3 and AN/FPS-4 radars, 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.
In 1958 Hanna City AFS replaced the AN/FPS-3 with an AN/FPS-20 search radar, and added an AN/FPS-6A height-finder radar. During 1959 the AN/FPS-4 was replaced by a second height-finder radar (AN/FPS-6B), and Hanna City AFS joined the Semi Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE) system, feeding data to DC-07 at Truax Field, Wisconsin. After joining, the squadron was redesignated as the 791st Radar Squadron (SAGE) on 1 November 1959. The radar squadron provided information 24/7 the SAGE Direction Center where it was analyzed to determine range, direction altitude speed and whether or not aircraft were friendly or hostile. On 31 July 1963, the site was redesignated as NORAD ID Z-85.
In 1964 the AN/FPS-20A was upgraded and redesignated as an AN/FPS-67, and an AN/FPS-90 replaced the AN/FPS-6B height-finder radar. The AN/FPS-67 was upgraded to an AN/FPS-67B in 1968. The AN/FPS-6A was removed some time in this time frame.
The 791st Radar Squadron was inactivated on 18 June 1968, and the site was closed on 30 June due to budget reductions. The radar towers and four buildings were transferred to the FAA and site remains an active JSS radar site.
The remainder of the site was then declared excess to GSA on 28 January 1969 and conveyed to the Department of Health, Education and Welfare (HEW) on August 8, 1969. It operated as Hanna City Work Camp, a State of Illinois Department of Corrections minimum security prison. The old USAF buildings are still in use and structures used as observation towers appear to be the old four-legged steel temperate radar towers.
Air Force units and assignments
- Constituted as the 791st Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron
- Activated on 10 May 1951
- Redesignated as 791st Radar Squadron (SAGE) on 1 November 1959
- Discontinued and inactivated on 18 June 1968
- 543d Aircraft Control and Warning Group, 10 May 1951
- 31st Air Division 6 February 1952
- 20th Air Division, 1 March 1956
- 37th Air Division, 15 October 1958
- 30th Air Division, 1 April 1959
- Chicago Air Defense Sector, 1 June 1959
- 20th Air Division, 1 April 1966
- 30th Air Division, 1 December 1967 - 18 June 1968
- List of USAF Aerospace Defense Command General Surveillance Radar Stations
- List of United States Air Force aircraft control and warning squadrons
- Cornett, Lloyd H; Johnson, Mildred W (1980). A Handbook of Aerospace Defense Organization, 1946 - 1980. Peterson AFB, CO: Office of History, Aerospace Defense Center.
- Winkler, David F.; Webster, Julie L (1997). Searching the skies : the legacy of the United States Cold War defense Radar Program. Champaign, IL: US Army Construction Engineering Research Laboratories. LCCN 97-20912 Check
- Information for Hanna City AFS, IL on Radomes.org