Fort MacArthur Direction Center

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For the nearby Fort MacArthur IFC area for fire control of the Fort's LA-43 Nike launch area[1]:57 (now White Point Park), see California Nike sites.
Fort MacArthur Direction Center
Fort MacArthur,
Los Angeles, California
Coordinates 33°42′49″N 118°17′16″W / 33.71361°N 118.28778°W / 33.71361; -118.28778Coordinates: 33°42′49″N 118°17′16″W / 33.71361°N 118.28778°W / 33.71361; -118.28778[2]
(now 3390 S Pacific Av, San Pedro)
Site history
Built 1959 (1959)
Materials 1960: AN/FSG-1
1967: AN/TSQ-51

The Fort MacArthur Direction Center (DC) was the U.S. Army Air Defense Command Post (AADCP) for the Project Nike batteries of the Los Angeles Defense Area. It was located at Fort MacArthur on the eastern Palos Verdes Peninsula, in the San Pedro community of Los Angeles, California.


The Cold War Direction Center−DC provided radar netting ("electronic umbrella") for integrating the area's Integrated Fire Control (IFC) sites (16 sites for Hercules missiles until 1968). [3] [4] The DC had High Frequency Crosstell communication with the 1959-1966 SAGE Master Direction Center at Norton Air Force Base (DC-17) for coordinating Army intercepts of targets penetrating through the larger USAF Los Angeles Air Defense Sector defended by ground-controlled aircraft.


In World War II, Fort MacArthur had a Harbor Entrance Command Post and a Harbor Defense Command Post for US seacoast defense of shipbuilding factories (e.g., CalShip, Todd Pacific), "giant aircraft factories"[5] (Douglas, Hughes, Martin, Northrop), the Huntington Beach Oil Field, and the San Pedro Bay harbor (Port of Los Angeles & Port of Long Beach) which made the Los Angeles metropolitan area a target for attack.

During the Korean War, the fort's L-43 Lashup Radar Network site provided 1950-2 radar surveillance for the area. [6] The 669th Radar Squadron was assigned to the Army Installation on January 1, 1951.[7] On February 16, 1960, Lt Col James L McCallister was the Missile Director for the defense area.[8]


The Fort MacArthur Direction Center began in 1960 with an AN/FSG-1 computer that was the last of 10 installed and which replaced an Interim Battery Data Link (IBDL). The Army dedicated the DC's Missile Master nuclear bunker with an Antiaircraft Operations Center ("Blue Room") on December 14, 1960,[9][10] prior to[clarification needed] the USAF/FAA ARSR-1C radar opening in 1961 at San Pedro Hill AFS.[6] Fort MacArthur's 47th Artillery Brigade operated the DC,[11] and the vacuum tube AN/FSG-1 was replaced on January 31, 1967,[12] with a solid-state Hughes AN/TSQ-51 Air Defense Command and Coordination System. On November 15, 1968, the 19th Artillery Group (Air Defense) replaced the 47th Artillery Brigade in command of the DC and its batteries.[1] The 19th Group deactivated July 1, 1974, after Project Concise ended Nike operations,[13] the tennis courts next to the bunker remain at the former site of the AADCP's building 554,[2] and the Missile Master nuclear bunker (building 550) was razed c. 1985.[14]


  1. ^ a b Berhow, Mark A; Gustafson, David (2011) [1st published 2002]. Fort MacArthur (PDF) (Report) (electronic ed.). Fort MacArthur Military Press. p. 55. Retrieved 2012-03-27. RP-39 San Pedro Hill AFS (Z-39) … This was a gap filler radar for Site LA-78C and a NORAD radar site with an AN/FPS-27 unit. 
  2. ^ a b Lower Reservation of Fort MacArthur (Map). available at Fort MacArthur Museum Archives: military publisher tbd. 1972.  map published in Berhow/Gustafson 2002, p. 55.
  3. ^ "Army Installing First of 19 Midget Missile Master Systems" (PDF). Army Research and Development Newsmagazine. Washington 25, D.C. October 1961. Retrieved 2011-09-27. 
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ [2]
  6. ^ a b Winkler, David F; Webster, Julie L (June 1997). Searching the Skies: The Legacy of the United States Cold War Defense Radar Program (PDF) (Report). U.S. Army Construction Engineering Research Laboratories. Retrieved 2012-03-26. RP-39/Z-39/J-31 — San Pedro Hill…this Los Angeles area site was an ADC/FAA joint-use facility that began operations in 1961 with an FAA ARSR-1C radar. … L-43 — Fort MacArthur (A-l) In December 1950 an AN/TPS-1B radar operated at this coastal site near Los Angeles. Coverage was assumed in January 1952 by site P-74 at Madera. [verification needed]
  7. ^ compiled by Johnson, Mildred W. (31 December 1980) [February 1973: Cornett, Lloyd H. Jr]. A Handbook of Aerospace Defense Organization 1946 - 1980 (PDF). Peterson Air Force Base: Office of History, Aerospace Defense Center. p. 33 ("1961…1 April - Los Angeles ADS became operational."). Retrieved 2012-03-26. 669th Radar Sq (SAGE): assigned 1 Jan 51 at Ft. MacArthur, CA,…moved to Santa Rosa Island AFS, CA 11 Feb 52;…moved to Lompoc AFS, CA 1 Apr 64 … 670th Radar Sq (SAGE):…redesignated to 670th Radar Sq (SAGE) (from AC&W Sq) 1 Apr 61; moved to Ft. MacArthur AI, CA in Apr 61 
  8. ^ [3]
  9. ^ "New Missiles Based Near 18 Important US Targets". The Daily Telegraph. Nashua, New Hampshire. December 16, 1960. Retrieved 2012-05-29. The 18 areas where Hercules missiles are to be installed this summer are Boston-Providence; Arlington Heights Chicago; Cleveland; Detroit; Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash; Seattle; Hartford-Bridgeport; Loring AFB, Maine; Los Angeles; Milwaukee; New York; Niagara-Buffalo; Norfolk; Philadelphia; Pittsburgh; San Francisco; Travis AFB, Calif; and WashingtonBaltimore.  [sic] (same article in Eugen Register-Guard, etc.)
  10. ^ Leonard, Barry (2011). History of Strategic and Ballistic Missile Defense: Volume II: 1956-1972 (Google Books). p. 314. Retrieved 2011-09-29. 
  11. ^ [4]
  12. ^ "'Missile Mentor' to Coordinate L.A. Weapons Unveiled". Los Angeles Times (archives). February 1, 1967. Retrieved 2011-09-30. 
  13. ^ [5]:30
  14. ^ Page, Tom; Morgan, Mark. "Nike 'Missile Master' / 'Missile Mentor' at Fort MacArthur (Site LA-45DC)". Retrieved 2011-09-13. on…Lower Reservation, east of Pacific Avenue between between [sic] 33rd and 34th Streets. … This 1979 photo shows the Nike Missile-Master building while it was still standing; it would be torn down only 5 or 6 years later. 

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