Radar Operations & Training Information



568th SAW Bn. MEW Standard Operating Procedures July 1945

568th SAW Bn. MEW Standard Operating Procedures August 1945

588th Signal Air Warning Battalion
Part 1
Document size approximately 50 pages (11, 297 KB)
Part 2 Document size approximately 50 pages (11, 639 KB)
Part 3 Document size approximately 50 pages (11,056 KB)
Part 4 Document size approximately 50 pages (11, 496 KB)
Part 5 Document size approximately 65 pages (13,132 KB)
{web master note: This unit history has a lot of good information in it about the early days of training radar operators, repairmen and filter center personnel. The quality of the material may be less then ideal in areas, but there isn't much that can be done as the blurring etc. was done during the microfilming process year ago.}

Aircraft Warning, 25 June 1943

Aircraft Warning Service, FM 11-25, August 3, 1942

FDP - Forward Director Post
A FDP was equipped with GCI (Ground Control Intercept) and height finding radars, and IFF.  In addition it had VHF Air/Ground, and HF radio, and telephone channels to TAC operations.  There were controllers at the FDPs that directed fighter/bombers to their targets and helped them get home if they got lost.  There were  three FDPs in each SAW Bn.  One in each battalion had an MEW for the GCI radar, the remainder were equipped with British Type 14, 15, or 21 for GCI radar. The height finders were British Type 13 radars. (William L. Freienmuth 573rd SAW Bn, ETO)

Filter Center (1945)
The purpose of the Radar Filter Room is:

1. The analysis of information relating to air activity received from radar stations and other sources.
2. the transmission of "filtered" and "identified" information regarding such activity to the Region and Fighter Control Area Operations Room.

The Filter Room will be organized with these objectives in view and its efficiency will be measured by the accuracy and speed with which this information is handled and transmitted as well as by the completeness of this information.

Marine Tactical Air Control Center
The Marine Tactical Air Control Center started during World War II and was the land-base equivalent of the shipborne C.I.C., operating under Marine Air Control Group Two.
The general function for the control center was to organize, collect and display all available information for its use by command and control stations.
The TACC of MACG-2 worked directly with Marine Ground Control Intercept Squadron One, receiving information from that units radars via radio. IT was augmented by the addition of more intercept squadrons located at various pint on the coast line, or a string of islands to form a band of warning areas in the event of an aerial or surface attack.
The radar plot information was received in the TACC by men who recorded all data on a horizontal plotting board. Plots were indicated by plastic arrows and blocks giving the information as to friendly or enemy. Information on friendly flights was kept on a status board by a plotter. Another blackboard was kept of all enemy flights by a plotter also.
The Tactical Air Controller and assistant TAC, kept track of all the information on the various status boards. The TAC and assistant TAC maintained contact with all flights until they were turned over to the intercept controllers of the particular ground control intercept squadron which was handling the intercept, or to a close air support section that requested support aircraft.
The TAC officer was directly responsible to the command post of the wing commander, with the TACC acting as a filter for the incoming information and maintaining that information so there was an up-to-date picture of the air or surface battle for the wing commander.

May 1945 - Conferences at Fifth Air Force and Fifth Fighter Command Headquarters were held discussing a proposed reorganization of the Air Forces in the Pacific Theater to assure efficient operation in the future air operations against Japan. The proposed streamlining that would dispense with Fighter Commands and Fighter Wings, and create Tactical Air Forces, Tactical Air Commands, and Aircraft Control and Warning Groups. This would make possible better coordination for joint operations of the Air and Ground Forces.

The Aircraft Control and Warning Group would be a streamlined organization capable of providing airwarning, offensive and defensive control of fighter and bomber aviation, and control of antiaircraft artillery in the communication zone. The group would consist of a Group Headquarters, two Aircraft Control Squadron (Mobile and Light Weight), an Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron (Heavy), two Aircraft Warning Squadrons (Mobile and Lightweight), and a Tactical Control Squadron. A Radar Calibration Detachment would be attached to the Group. The primary mission would be accomplished by the Aircraft Control Warning Group with radio direction finding, ground control interception and other types of radar equipment essential for the detection of enemy aircraft and control of our own. The group would be capable of accomplishing the establishment of fighter defense and offense facilities, the first prerequisite for the gaining of air supremacy (AFHRA C0041.jpg).

To accomplish its mission the groups would be divided tactically into three elements: The Tactical Control Center, The Forward Director Post, and the Tactical Control Post.

The Tactical Control Center would be physically located in close proximity to the headquarters of the Tactical Air Command, being the nerve center of the command. All information utilized in accomplishing support missions was received, plotted and evaluated. Ground intelligence was received at the center from the air-ground information center at Army Headquarters, always located with the Tactical Air Command.

The Forward Director Post was normally a radar unit located so as to be capable of tracking aircraft flights and vectoring the aircraft to any given position within its area of coverage. When the situation warranted, a Post would also serve as a Ground Control Intercept or Radar Reporting Unit.

The Tactical Control Post was a small unit which control aircraft to targets in direct support of ground operations, and was normally located in the front line area so targets to be attacked could be observed either visually or by radar.

All radar units not utilized in primary support missions were dispersed throughout the area to provide complete early warning coverage.

On 25 May 1945, Fifth Fighter Command informed the 86th Fighter Wing that three Aircraft Control and Warning Groups were immediately organized and trained.

Units to be utilized for the reorganization were:

Headquarters Wing Detachment "G"
Headquarters Wing Detachment "I"
596th Signal Aircraft Warning Battalion
565th Signal Aircraft Warning Battalion
583rd Signal Aircraft Warning Battalion
349th Signal Company Wing
35th Fighter Control Squadron
33rd Fighter Control Squadron
56th Fighter Control Squadron

Officers' Orientation Course, 29 September 1943

Portable AWS (Air Warning Service) Information Centers, TM 11-487, 2 October 1944

Radar Operations Training, SCR-527, 14 June 1943

Ramblings Of An Old Vector Vender, by Col. Lawson P. Wynne, (Updated 14 December 2007)

SCR-584 Duties

"Superman" Fighter Control Net System
The "Superman" Fighter Control Net System (mobile communications equipment for ground control of tactical aircraft), consisted of a transmitting and receiving station (SCR-567 or SCR-573 and 574) and a mobile direction finding and homing station (SCR-566). This equipment was designed to provide only homing facilities and air-ground, ground-air communications with tactical aircraft.

What did the WW II Signal Aircraft Warning Battalions do in the ETO? By William L. Freienmuth, 573rd SAW Bn, ETO





Continental Air Command AC&W Operator Manual 1952, ConAC Manual 52-27-350
Part 1 Document size 49 pages (15,199 KB)
Part 2 Document size 49 pages (17,293 KB)
Part 3 Document size 47 pages (15,364 KB)

Enlisted Controller training was conducted by the 611th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron, Detachment 4, in January 1952.

Radar Operations, Saipan

Tactical Air Control System - 1953

Training of Radar Operators, by Lt. Col Leonard M. Orman, Coast Artillery Corps 1947


The Tour Through The Eyes Of Pyramid 05, by Lt. Col. Jon Stacey


Weapons Controller Badges

1970's Tactical Air Control System, The

Air Mass Position Indicator (AMPI) Also known as a "Handy Aid"
Used to manually calculate the "Line of Position (LOP)" based on intercept geometry (varying speeds of the interceptor and the target). Used to conduct air to air intercept missions. We could run 90 beam attack 135, 150, 180 frontal attacks also stern attacks. We would compute the lag and/or angle off using a handheld calculator using altitude ,speed and wind. We would then mark it with a grease pencil on the attached handy aid. Depending upon the type of attack resulted in how we marked the handy aid. After all was set up, we could tell tell the Pilot where his target was by azimuth and mile--"Your target is 15 right 20 miles" etc. (By Jon Stacey and Harold Archibald)
Photo (Photo by Ralph Lehman)

Air Navigation Attack Computer (Whiz Wheel)
Technical Order 5N5- 14-14-1, Type CPU 73A/P, 1972
Calculates the heading, speed, lead distance and time required to intercept a target. The Air Navigation Attack Computer, manufactured by the Allegheny Plastics Company under contract with the US government, was used by the USAF, USN and US Marines for target interception and interdiction. In addition to calculating fighter/target intercept headings, speeds, distances and times, the CPU-73A/P was used for dead reckoning (DR) navigation by aircrews.
Photo Front (Photo by Ralph Lehman)
Photo Rear (Photo by Ralph Lehman)




First Enlisted Controller in Air National Guard, Oregon Air National Guard New Release

Training Locations:


1st Signal Air Warning Training Battalion - Drew Field, Tampa, Florida
2nd Signal Air Warning Training Battalion - Drew Field, Tampa, Florida
4th Signal Air Warning Training Battalion - Drew Field, Tampa, Florida
5th Signal Air Warning Training Regiment -
6th Signal Air Warning Training Battalion - Drew Field, Tampa, Florida
588th Signal Air Warning Training Battalion - Drew Field, Tampa, Florida
Army radar school at Georgia Tech -
Army radar training facility - Camp Murphy, Florida.
Camp McDowell, Naperville, Illinois - From 1942 to 1947; Trained on SCR-268...?
Camp William Murphy, Florida, 1942 - 1943; Trained on SCR-602
Drew Field, Tampa, Florida - Training Center disbanded February 1945. Aircraft Warning activities to continue under Western Signal Aviation Unit Training Center
Keesler Air Corps Station #8, Biloxi Air Corps Technical School, Keesler Field, Keesler Air Force Base - See Keesler Air Force Base, Below
Lexington Signal Depot at Avon, Kentucky 1942; Trained on SCR-268, SCR-270 and SCR-271
Interceptor Command School - Orlando, Florida 1942, Mission: to train personnel in the use of equipment used to intercept enemy aircraft.
Army Air Forces School of Applied Tactics - Originally designated 31st Fighter Control Squadron, assigned to Orlando, Florida 7 July 1942; Redesignated, conducted training in Fighter Control Operations and development work in tactics and techniques of Fighter Control
Western Signal Aviation Unit Training Center - Camp Pinedale, Fresno, California


Air Force

Aircraft Control and Warning Training Center - Orlando Air Force Base, 539th Aircraft Control & Warning Group, activated 20 November 1948. Established as the first postwar school to train Aircraft Control and Warning Teams. Training with AN/CPS-5 and AN/TPS-10 radar sets.

Keesler AFB, Mississippi -
Note: August 1939 through present day. Base originally designated as Air Corps Station Number 8, Biloxi Air Corps Technical School, later as Keesler Field, and then as Keesler Air Force Base. Base named in honor of 2nd Lt. Samuel Reeves keesler of Greenwood, Mississippi, Aerial Observer and Gunner with the 24th Aero Squadron in France during World War I. He was shot down and killed on 9 October 1918.
Note: March 1941, Biloxi, Mississippi, site selected for military base. Originally the old Biloxi, Mississippi Country Club, and was built on the golf course which was about 135 acres. By 1941, the training center had expanded to 3,564 acres. From 1941 to 1968, one million students graduated from Keesler.
Activated: 12 June 1941, under jurisdiction of Technical Training Command
Note: Wartime mission was not limited to teaching aviation technicians, but was also site for basic military training, chemical warfare and emergency rescue.
Subordinate to: 17 August 1943, Keesler Field became part of Army Air Forces Eastern Technical Training Command.
Note: 1944, Due to changes occurred because of revised Training Plan, Keesler Field was largest station of Western Technical Training Command.
Note: May 1947, Radar training relocated to Keesler from Boca Raton, Florida.
Mission: 1951, To train personnel who operate electronic equipment used in the Korean Police Action and maintenance and operational staff for Radar Warning Screen.
Redesignated: 1 January 1959, 3380th Technical Training Wing, redesignated Keesler Technical Training Center.
Note: 1960s, training focused on electronics, communications and radar.
Redesignated: 14 February 1992, Keesler Training Center, from Keesler Technical Training Center
Inactivated: 1 July 1993, Keesler Training Center, Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, inactivated.
Note: 1 July 1993, 81st Training Wing assumed mission.
Mission: 1995, Wing absorbed training courses transferred from Lowry Air Force Base Colorado
June 1941, Lt. Colonel William J. Hanlon
17 July 1941, Colonel Arthur Brock
15 April 1942, Colonel Robert E. M. Goolrick
1 May 1945, Colonel Thomas S. Voss
6 October 1945, Colonel John R. Morgan
8 February 1946, Brigadier General Hugo P. Rush
15 April 1947, Brigadier General Edward W. Anderson
5 April 1948, Major General Charles W. Lawrence
18 May 1949, Major General James F. Powell
20 August 1953, Major General Harlan C. Parks
2 April 1955, Brigadier General James H. Davies
1 September 1955, Major General Fay R. Upthegrove
3 September 1957, Major General John R. Sutherland
12 July 1960, Major General John S. Hardy
27 July 1964 Major General Romulus W. Puryear
1 August 1967, Major General James C. McGehee
1 August 1969, Major General Thomas E. Moore
29 November 1969, Major General Frank M. Madsen, Jr.
26 February 1973, Major General Bryan M. Shotts
1 August 1975, Major General Winfield W. Scott, Jr.
29 July 1977, Major General John S. Pustay
24 May 1979, Major General Don H. Payne
8 May 1982, Major General Thomas C. Richards
26 September 1983, Major General Thomas J. Hickey
18 August 1986, Major General James G. Jones
22 June 1988, Major General Paul A. Harvey
30 August 1991, Brigadier General Paul E. Stein
30 April 1992, Major General John C. Griffith
1 July 1993, Brigadier General Karen S. Rankin, first female Commander of Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi
7 November 1995, Brigadier General Andrew J. Pelak, Jr.
4 August 1997, Brigadier General John M. Spiegel
14 July 1999, Brigadier General Elizabeth A. Harrell
5 September 2000, Brigadier General Roosevelt Mercer, Jr.
3 May 2002, Brigadier General Michael W. Peterson
20 April 2004, Brigadier General William T. Lord
15 November 2005, Brigadier General Paul f. Capasso
2 October 2007, Colonel Gregory J. Touhill

81st Training Wing - Keesler AFB, Mississippi

Yokohama, Japan Radar School, June 1947


Fort Bliss, Texas, 5th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Replacement Training Center Training Battalion (AAA RTC Training Bn.)
Mission: To train personnel in such specialized fields as Fire Control and Radar Operator, Air Warning Specialist and Operations Assistant


(?) - (?) 303X1 Air Traffic Control Radar Technician, 303X2 Aircraft Control and Warning Radar Technician, 303X3 Automatic Tracking Radar Technician

1947 - 1949 Radar Maintenance: 953, Radar Scope Reader 514