Live Free or Die

Copyright 2012, Scott D. Murdock


We spent half of our nights on this trip in New Hampshire. We suspected the local residents were serious about their state motto when we were told that automobile insurance was not mandatory. Then we learned that seat belts are only required for those under the age of 18. Then we noticed state-controlled liquor stores at the highway rest areas. Yup, they are a different breed in New Hampshire!

Sunday, 10 Jun 2012

We had a noon flight out of Denver, arriving in Manchester, New Hampshire, (on the former Grenier AFB) just in time to secure lodging before dinner. Our rented chariot for this excursion was a new Ford Mustang convertible. (Never again....)

Monday, 11 Jun 2012

From Manchester, we headed north for a long day of driving.

Lyndonville AFS VT (3324) This Air Defense Command (ADC) radar site, at 44-39-54, 71- 46-17, was originally named North Concord AFS. It was also known as site M-103 and Z-103. It was active from approximately 1956 until 1963. Our visit was thwarted by a gate, signs, and a very large dog.
(Gate)

Burlington MAP VT (1519, CURZ) Located at 44-28-30, 73-09-00, this airport is now Burlington International Airport (BTV). During W.W.II the Burlington airport was improved under the Development of Landing Areas for National Defense (DLAND) program. The 1 May 1943 AAF Station List shows Burlington associated with 1 AF or Troop Carrier Command. In about 1952, ADC started operations at the airport. In approximately 1960, the Air Force property was transferred to the Air National Guard (ANG). Currently, the Vermont ANG still operates at Burlington, though on the other side of the airfield from the former ADC fighter alert area.
(ADC fighter-interceptor alert hangar)

(ADC fighter-interceptor alert hangar)

(ADC fighter-interceptor alert hangar)

(ADC fighter-interceptor alert hangar)

(ADC fighter-interceptor alert hangar)

(ADC fighter-interceptor alert hangar)

(ADC fighter-interceptor alert hangar)

(ADC fighter-interceptor alert hangar, detail)

Ethan Allen AFB VT (1520) Located near the Burlington Municipal Airport at 44-30-00, 73-09-22, the former Fort Ethan Allen was transferred to the Air Force and designated Ethan Allen AFB in 1952. It provided base support facilities for the flying operations at the nearby airport. It was inactivated in 1960, and became the Vermont National Guard's Camp Johnson. Currently it has a mix of college and business uses.
(General view)

(Pump house)

(Quartermaster storehouse)

(Water tower)

(Water tower detail)

(Water tower detail)

(Riding hall)
(Building)

(Building)

(Building)

(Building)

(Building)

(Building)

St Albans AFS VT (1454) This ADC radar site, at 44-46-54, 73-03-49, was in use from approximately 1951 until 1979. It was disposed of on 27 Mar 1984. It was also known as site P-14 or Z-14. We heeded the no trespassing signs on the access road.
(Beginning of access road)

(Signage on access road)

(Housing area)

We stopped in Montpelier, Vermont, for the night.

Tuesday, 12 Jun 2012

After this brief stay in Vermont, we drove east.

Mount Washington Icing Research Site NH (4975) Located at 44-16-14, 71-18-12, this installation was on the highest peak in New England. There is still a weather observation station topside, along with accommodations for the throngs of tourists that visit when the weather is nice enough. I was greatly disappointed that none of the museum exhibits, signage, etc. mentioned the Air Force presence on site. Air Force icing research and jet engine testing started in approximately 1949 as the Climatic Projects Laboratory; by 1957 it was called Mount Washington Icing Research Annex, and when disposed of on 15 June 1964 it was Mount Washington Icing Research Site. My photos show the current buildings; some are post-Air Force but a couple of the older ones would have been familiar to Air Force icing researchers in the 1950s.
(General view)

(General view)

(General view)

(General view)

(Tip Top House)
(Tip Top House)
(Stage Office)
(Stage Office)
(Air Force site may have been at the far left of this view)

(Navy hangar may have been at the left of this view)

(Cog train)

Bangor Ammunition Storage Annex ME (2305, FKNR) Located south-southwest of Dow AFB, a bridge had to be constructed to allow access from the main base to this storage area after Interstate 95 was built. At 44-46-35, 68-49-20, the area has a mix of structures from the ADC and SAC missions. This annex supported Dow Field, later Dow AFB, from W.W.II until base closure in July 1968.
(General view)

(General view)

(General view)

(General view)

(General view)

(General view)

(Earth covered magazine)
(Earth covered magazine)
(Earth covered magazine door)
(Earth covered magazine detail)
(Earth covered magazine detail)
(Earth covered magazine detail)

(Multi-cubicle magazine)

(Multi-cubicle magazine)

(Multi-cubicle magazine)

(Multi-cubicle magazines)

(Elevated water storage tank)

(Water system building)

(Building)

(Building)

(Building)

(Building)

(Building)

(Building)

(Building)

(Building)

(Building)

(Building)

(Building)

We settled into a hotel in Bangor, Maine, for two nights.

Wednesday, 13 Jun 2012

As we had arranged, my pal Dave showed up at half-past early to start our day. Dave is a history enthusiast specializing in Maine's Cold War military installations. You can check out his explorations at Cold War Relics. Due to the limited time we had, we didn't get to the Dow BOMARC site, or any of the Loring Nike sites.

Presque Isle AFB ME (1481, NRCV) Located at 46-41-30, 68-02-40, this was a W.W.II Army Air Field and later hosted ADC fighter-interceptors. It was also home to the only operational Snark missile launch facility. It is now Northern Maine Regional Airport at Presque Isle (PQI). The steady rain limited my photo opportunities.
(Snark missile hangar)

(Snark missile hangar)

(Snark missile hangar)

(Snark launch pad, now housing a fire training aircraft mockup)

(ADC fighter-interceptor alert hangar)

(ADC fighter-interceptor alert hangar)

(ADC fighter-interceptor alert hangar)

(Building)

(Building)

(Building)

Caribou GLOBECOM Transmitter Annex ME (2286) Located in the woods near Perham at 46-51-05, 68-13-54, this was a Global Communications transmitter site, supporting nearby Loring AFB, and activated approximately 1954. Some records suggest it was shut down in 1962, but communications enthusiasts report it was operational until the 1990s, possibly controlled by MacDill AFB FL after Loring AFB closed. I shot very few exterior shots due to the pouring rain.
(Building interior)

(Building interior)
(Building interior)
(Building interior)
(Building interior)
(Building interior)
(Building interior)
(Building interior)
(Building interior)
(Building interior)
(Building interior)
(Building interior)
(Building exterior)
(Building exterior)
(Building exterior)
(Building exterior)
(Building exterior)
(Building exterior)
(Building exterior)

Loring AFB ME (2283, NRCH) This former SAC base, at 46-56-55, 67-53-30, is now Loring International Airport (Private) (ME16). This is one of the few Cold War USAF airfields that did not have its start in or before W.W.II. Construction began in 1947, and the base was activated on 5 June 1950 as Limestone AFB. It was redesignated Loring AFB on 1 October 1954, and served until 1994. Due to the rain, my photos were shot from inside the truck.
(SAC double-cantilever hangar)
(SAC thin-shell concrete hangar)
(SAC Hound Dog missile run-up shop)
(SAC Hound Dog missile run-up shop)
(SAC Hound Dog missile run-up shop, interior)
(SAC Hound Dog missile run-up shop, interior)
(SAC alert area)
(SAC alert area)
(SAC alert area)
(SAC 70-man "molehole" readiness crew building)
(Jet engine test cell)

(ADC fighter-interceptor alert hangar)
(ADC fighter-interceptor alert hangar)
(ADC rocket storage building)
(ADC rocket storage building)

Caribou AFS ME (2092) This storage area was adjacent to Loring AFB at 46-58-05, 67-52-15. It is currently a wildlife refuge, and we were not allowed access.

Dow AFB ME (2300, FKNN) Located at 44-48-30, 68-49-35, the Bangor Airport was acquired for military use in 1940, becoming Dow Field. It was redesignated Dow AFB on 13 January 1948, and was briefly inactive between 1949 and 1951. On 1 July 1952 it was transferred from Tactical Air Command to SAC, and it stayed with that command until closure on 1 July 1968. At that time, part of the base was transferred to the ANG, who still use part of the base. Due to the present configuration of fences and gates, it is tough to get close to either the ADC fighter-interceptor alert hangar or the SAC "molehole" readiness crew building. The airport is is now Bangor International Airport (BGR).
(W.W.II hangar)
(W.W.II hangar)
(ADC rocket storage building)
(ADC rocket storage building)
(ADC rocket storage building)
(ADC buildings)
(ADC building)
(ADC building)
(ADC building)
(ADC building)
(Buildings)

After a soggy but fun day, I said goodbye to Dave and hunkered down for a second night in Bangor.

Thursday, 14 Jun 2012

After a delicious truck stop breakfast, we packed up and headed south out of Bangor.

Mount Cadillac Air Warning Station ME Located at approximately 44-20-50, 68-13-30, this W.W.II radar site was located near the current parking lot on Mount Cadillac, one of the main tourist spots in Acadia National Park. A real estate map shows the site consisted of four parcels of land, but that particular map does not indicate structures. I've estimated the approximate location of the air warning station.
(General view)
(General view)

Bar Harbor NAAF ME Located at 44-26-55, 68-21-40, we viewed this Naval W.W.II airfield from the highway. We did not see any signs of W.W.II structures, so we didn't stop. It is now Hancock County-Bar Harbor Airport (BHB).

Pease AFB NH (4453, SZDT) Located in Portsmouth at 43-04-40, 70-49-00, this was another SAC base. It is now Portsmouth International Airport at Pease (PSM). During W.W.II, it was known variously as Portsmouth Airdrome, Portsmouth Airfield, and Portsmouth MAP. Built as a civil airport, during W.W.II it was improved under the Development of Landing Areas for National Defense (DLAND) program. In 1943 it was listed as a subbase of Grenier Field, and in 1944 it was transferred to the Navy and briefly known as Portsmouth Outlying Field. It reverted to civilian use after W.W.II, and on 24 December 1952 it was designated Portsmouth AFB. It was redesignated Pease AFB on 7 September 1957, and served until 1995. At that time, part of the base was closed and became Pease International Tradeport; but much of the base was transferred to the ANG as Pease ANGB.
(Aircraft shelters)
(SAC maintenance dock)
(SAC maintenance dock)
(Building)
(Building)
(Building)

We checked in for two nights in a Portsmouth, New Hampshire, hotel.

Friday, 15 Jun 2012

From Portsmouth, we drove south for the day.

Fort Dearborn NH Located at 43-02-50, 70-43-08, this was an Army coast defense installation during W.W.II. It was equipped with two 16 inch guns at Battery Seaman (initially known as Battery Construction 103), two 6 inch guns at Battery 204, and four 155mm guns. After the war, it was transferred to the Navy for a few years, and part of it went to the Air Force in the 1950s. The majority of the fort became Odiorne Point State Park in 1961.
(Battery 204 right side entrance)
(Battery 204 left side entrance)
(Battery 204 rear (main) entrance)

(Battery 204 battery commander's station)
(Battery 204 battery commander's station)
(Battery 204 battery commander's station)
(Battery 204 battery commander's station)
(Battery 204 battery commander's station)

(Battery Seaman gun emplacement #1)
(Battery Seaman gun emplacement #1)
(Battery Seaman gun emplacement #1)
(Battery Seaman gun emplacement #1)
(Battery Seaman gun emplacement #1)
(Battery Seaman gun emplacement #1)
(Battery Seaman gun emplacement #1)
(Battery Seaman gun emplacement #1)
(Battery Seaman gun emplacement #1)
(Battery Seaman gun emplacement #1)
(Battery Seaman gun emplacement #1)

(Battery Seaman gun emplacement #2)

(Battery Seaman gun emplacement #2)

(Battery Seaman gun emplacement #2)

(Battery Seaman gun emplacement #2)

(Battery Seaman gun emplacement #2)

(Battery Seaman gun emplacement #2)

(Battery Seaman gun emplacement #2)

(Battery Seaman gun emplacement #2)

(Battery Seaman main entrance)
(Battery Seaman main entrance)
(Battery Seaman main entrance)
(Battery Seaman gun group commander's post)
(Battery Seaman gun group commander's post)
(Battery Seaman gun group commander's post)
(Battery Seaman gun group commander's post)

(Battery 155mm - Ordiones Point, gun emplacement #1)
(Battery 155mm - Ordiones Point, gun emplacement #1)
(Battery 155mm - Ordiones Point, gun emplacement #1)
(Battery 155mm - Ordiones Point, gun emplacement #2)
(Battery 155mm - Ordiones Point, gun emplacement #2)
(Battery 155mm - Ordiones Point, gun emplacement #3)

(Battery 155mm - Ordiones Point, gun emplacement #3)

(Battery 155mm - Ordiones Point, gun emplacement #3)

(View from 155mm gun emplacements south toward Pulpit Rock Fire Control Station)

Rye AFS NH (3313) Located on part of Fort Dearborn, this was an ADC long-range radar site also designated as M-104 and P-10B. Toward the end of it's Air Force service it was known as Rye Gap Filler Annex, Z-108. It was in use from 1955 to 1965. I've selected some photos that show areas the Air Force likely used, though these could just as easily be included above as Fort Dearborn photos. Specifically, a radar antenna was mounted on the top of Battery 204. The stone building (now much enlarged) was used as a dormitory.
(Battery 204 general view)
(Battery 204 top)
(Battery 204 top)
(Battery 204 top)

(Sugden House general view)

(Sugden House showing large addition)

Pulpit Rock Fire Control Station NH Located at 43-01-59, 070-43-11, this small property housed a fire control tower (also called a base end station), support buildings, and an Anti Motor Torpedo Boat (AMTB) battery of four (two fixed, two mobile) 90mm guns, Battery AMTB 951.
(Fire control tower)
(Fire control tower)
(Battery AMTB 951 gun emplacement #1)
(Battery AMTB 951 gun emplacement #1)
(Battery AMTB 951 gun emplacement #1 and fire control tower)

After a leisurely drive down the coast into Massachusetts and back, we returned to Portsmouth for the night.

Saturday, 16 Jun 2012

We drove west out of Portsmouth, past Manchester.

New Boston AFS NH (1025, RNGF) Located at 42-56-20, 71-38-30, this was a W.W.II bombing range, later adapted to a mix of satellite tracking and recreation. When I visited over a decade ago, access to the recreation area was easy. Now, you have to plan in advance and take an unexploded ordnance course before you can access the recreation area. We had not, so we were politely turned away at the gate.

Grenier AFB NH (1023, JQNZ) This was Grenier Field during W.W.II, and became Grenier AFB on 13 January 1948. It had been a civil airport before the war, and it reverted to that role after the Air Force departed in 1966 (though a portion of the property remained in AF use until the 1970s as Grenier Air Force Station). Located at 42-56-00, 71-26-20, it is now Manchester Airport (MHT).
(Pre-war airport terminal)
(Pre-war airport terminal)
(Pre-war airport terminal)
(Pre-war airport terminal)
(Pre-war airport terminal)
(Building)
(Building)

After exploring the back side of the airport, we turned-in the car and started our return trip to Denver. We put 1,540 miles on the Mustang during the week.


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