Spring Break

Copyright 2017, Scott D. Murdock


Graduate school has kept me busy, and after four months of class with no break, I took advantage of a week off between classes. For the past few years most of my road trips have been to Wyoming and Montana. For a change of pace I headed south and east.

Saturday, 27 May 2017

I headed south through Colorado Springs to Pueblo, then east.

Plancor 1306 CO 38-52-42, 104-49-10 This 61,800 SF plant building was owned by the Defense Plant Corporation during WWII, and operated by Aircraft Mechanics, Inc. It produced engine mounts, supports, and gears for the Army Air Forces during.
(General view)
(General view)
(Window detail)
(Structure detail)

Manzanola State Armory CO 38-06-30, 103-52-05 This armory, designed by architect John James Huddart, was built around 1922.
(General view)
(General view)
(General view)
(Sign)

Rocky Ford Auxiliary Field CO 38-08-00, 103-41-15 This airfield served as auxiliary field #1 to La Junta AAFld during WWII. It was declared surplus by the AAF on 25 Jan 1946, then transferred to the WAA on 27 Feb 1946 (although records show that it was briefly assigned to SAC in Mar-May 1946). In approximately 1948 it was conveyed by deed to the Town of Ordway. By 1955 it showed as "Abandoned" on the USGS topographical map.
(General view)
(General view)

Arlington AF Auxiliary Field CO 38-19-58, 103-16-40 This was auxiliary field #4 to La Junta AAFld during WWII.It was headed through the disposal process when it was withdrawn from surplus on 10 Oct 1947. In 1949 the words "Air Force" were added to the installation name. The airfield remained on the books, under Air Materiel Command in an inactive status, until it was finally sold in 1956.
(General view)
(General view)

Haswell Radio Telescope Site CO 38-22-55, 103-09-20 This was never a military site, but research useful to the military was conducted here. The National Bureau of Standards owned this 60' dish and research into tropospheric scatter communications was conducted between this site and a site in Boulder. It was built in the early 1950s and last used by the government in 1975. Since 2010 it has been known as the Paul Plishner Radio Astronomy and Space Sciences Center, operated by the Deep Space Exploration Society.
(General view)
(General view with sign)
(Antenna structure)
(Antenna structure)
(Sign)

My destination for the night was Lamar, Colorado.

Sunday, 28 May 2017

More adventure, heading east into Kansas.

Hutchinson Naval Air Station KS 37-55-40, 97-54-15 The Navy acquired the land in 1942 and built a flying training base. The Air Force and ANG had a use permit from the Navy in 1950, but in 1951 the Navy reopened the base. It was transferred to the Air Force on 13 May 1959, and briefly assigned to SAC although it does not appear that SAC made use of it. The ANG used it from 1961 until 1968, when it was reported excess to GSA. Disposal took place on 26 Mar 1971.
(Base operations building and control tower)
(Base operations building and control tower)
(Base operations building and control tower)
(Base operations building and control tower)
(Base operations building and control tower)
(Base operations building and control tower)
(Building [1])
(Building [2])
(Building [2])
(Building [2])
(Building [2])
(Building [3])
(Building [4])
(Building [4])
(Building [4])
(Building [4])
(Building [5])
(Building [5])
(Building [6])
(Building [6])
(Building [6])
(Building [6])
(Building [7])
(Building [7])
(Building [8])
(Building [8])
(Water storage reservoir)
(Water storage reservoir)
(Hangar door rails)
(Deteriorating concrete ramp surface)

Hutchinson Air Force Station KS (CJFQ) 37-55-24, 97-53-14 The Navy granted the AF use of this land on the former NAS in 1950, officially transferring it in 1959. The radar station, initially known as site P-47, served ADC until 1968. The site was placed on inactive status on 1 Jul 1968 and reported excess to GSA on 4 Nov 1968. A bare concrete tower foundation formerly supported an AN/FPS-10 search radar. The former AN/FPS-66A search radar tower now houses a Federal Aviation Administration Common Air Route Surveillance Radar (CARSR). As always, my thanks to Tom Page of radomes.org for helping me understand what I see at radar sites.
(Possible base supply or administration building)
(Heating plant)
(Building)
(Operations building)
(Possible materiel control building)
(Former AN/FPS-66A search radar and operations building)
(Former AN/FPS-66A search radar, concrete AN/FPS-10 tower foundation, and power plant)
(Former AN/FPS-66A search radar, concrete AN/FPS-10 tower foundation, power plant, and operations building in background)

Hutchinson Ground-Air Transmitter-Receiver Site KS Located near the radar site it supported, this former ADC communications site is now private property.
(General view)
(General view)

My destination for the night was Wichita, Kansas.

Monday, 29 May 2017

From Wichita I headed south into Oklahoma.

Bethany #2 Airfield OK 35-32-00, 97-38-40 This airport was listed as an Army field in 1943 and 1944 airfield directories, but Army use seems to have been minimal. The field was improved under the Defense Landing Areas for National Defense (DLAND) program. I observed some large, older hangars, but aerial photographs in the current airport terminal building (if labeled correctly) indicate the hangars were placed after WWII.
(Hangar)
(Hangar)
(Hangar)

I continued west to Amarillo, Texas.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

From Amarillo, I headed generally northwest.

Dumas National Guard Armory TX 35-51-01, 101-57-52 This one unit, Type K armory was built in the 1950s and closed in 1968. It has become a community center, with additions on three sides. From the north it is still recognizable as an armory building.
(General view)
(General view)

Plancor 1251 TX 35-56-25, 101-55-59 The Defense Plant Corporation made improvements at a 160 acre, existing zinc plant during WWII. It was still labeled as a smelter on 1965 topo maps.
(General view)
(General view)
(General view)
(General view)
(Brick building)
(Metal building)

Boise City LORAN Transmitter Site OK 36-30-21, 102-53-59 This Long Range Navigation site, with a 705' guyed radio mast, likely closed in early 2010.
(General view)
(Building)
(Building)
(Building)
(Building)
(Close up)
(Close up)
(Top of antenna)
(Guy line support)

My destination for the night was Walsenburg, Colorado.

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

From Walsenburg, I drove north to Pueblo, then west to Cañon City.

Cañon City State Armory CO 38-26-17, 105-14-44 This armory, designed by architect John James Huddart, was constructed in the early 1920s.
(General view)
(General view)
(General view)
(Entrance detail)

From Cañon City I headed northeast to Colorado Springs, then north to Denver. This five-day adventure put 1,739 miles on the Outback.


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