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Lake City Air Force Station

Lake City Air Force Station
Part of Air Defense Command (ADC)
Lake City AFS is located in Tennessee
Lake City AFS
Lake City AFS
Location of Lake City AFS, Tennessee
Type Air Force Station
Site information
Controlled by  United States Air Force
Site history
Built 1952
In use 1952–1960
Garrison information
Garrison 663d Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron

Lake City Air Force Station (ADC ID: P-42) is a closed United States Air Force General Surveillance Radar station. It is located 4.4 miles (7.1 km) west-southwest of Lake City, Tennessee. It was closed in 1960.


  • History 1
  • Air Force units and assignments 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


Originally designed as Cross Mountain Air Force Station, Lake City AFS was one of twenty-eight stations built as part of the second segment of the permanent Air Defense Command network. Prompted by the start of the Korean War, on 11 July 1950, the Secretary of the Air Force asked the Secretary of Defense for approval to expedite construction of the second segment of the permanent network. Receiving the Defense Secretary’s approval on 21 July, the Air Force directed the Corps of Engineers to proceed with construction.

The 663d Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron began operations at a temporary "Lashup" site L-47 located at McGhee Tyson Airport, near Knoxville, TN on 1 January 1951. It later moved to a Tennessee National Guard Armory in nearby Maryville, Tennessee in November 1951.

With construction at Cross Mountain AFS finishing in March 1952, the 633d AC&W Squadron began operating a pair of AN/CPS-6B and AN/FPS-10 radars from the permanent site, allowing for the deactivation of L-47 at Maryville. 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. The station was re-designated as Lake City AFS, TN, on 1 December 1953. An AN/FPS-6 height-finder radar was added in 1958. One AN/FPS-10 was removed in 1959.

In addition to the main facility, Lake City operated three unmanned AN/FPS-18 Gap Filler sites:

  • Aquone, NC (P-42A) , now a parking/hiking base for Wayah Bald
  • London, KY (P-42B)
  • Melvin Hill, NC (P-42C)

This site ceased operations on 1 June 1961 due to budget constraints. Today the site is the location for the WCYQ & WDVX radio transmitter and several towers including a Television station.

Air Force units and assignments

Emblem of the 633d Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron


  • 663d Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron, Assigned 6 February 1952
Activated by 30th AD at Willow Run AFS (P-23), MI, 1 January 1950 (Not manned or equipped)
Assigned to McGhee-Tyson Airport, TN, 1 January 1951
Discontinued on 1 June 1961


  • 541st Aircraft Control and Warning Group (30th Air Division), 1 January 1951
Transferred to 30th Air Division, 6 February 1952

See also


 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.

  • A Handbook of Aerospace Defense Organization 1946 – 1980, by Lloyd H. Cornett and Mildred W. Johnson, Office of History, Aerospace Defense Center, Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado
  • Winkler, David F. (1997), Searching the skies: the legacy of the United States Cold War defense radar program. Prepared for United States Air Force Headquarters Air Combat Command.
  • Information for Lake City AFS, TN

External links

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