Evolution of the 758th

Its location as the northwesternmost point on mainland United States gave the Neah Bay area some military importance.  The goverment interest goes back to the middle of the 19th century when an 1852 survey selected Tatoosh Island as the site for a lighthouse.  The Cape Flattery Lighthouse was put into operation December 28, 1857.  Tatoosh Island came under the control of the United States Coast Guard and has maintained a presence ever since.  During World War II a radio intercept station was set up on the island and operated to the close of the war at which time LORAN equipment was installed.  In 1977, the lighthouse and LORAN station were automated which eliminated the need for personnel on the island.  This equipment was placed on a solar powered system in 1996.

In 1942, the U.S. Army leased 4,024 acres  from the Makah Tribe for the purpose of constructing a coastal battery.    Plans were to build four concrete batteries; two 6 inch and two 16 inch.  Land was cleared and roads were started in preparation for the construction of the concrete bunkers.   By the next year the progress of the war doomed the project and all work was stopped.   Guns were never installed.  The lease was terminated in 1945 and all land returned to the tribe with the exception of 10 acres on the thirteen hundred foot Bahokus Peak.   The Bahokus Peak lease expired in 1949 only to be renewed in the early 1950's.

A 1943 lease for 28 acres was made by the Seattle Air Defense Wing with the tribe.  The site was on Bahobobosh Point near where the Sooes River empties into the ocean.  A later lease was made for an additional 54 acres.  Construction of living quarters and a radar unit was started that same year.  This unit functioned at this location into the late 1940's.  In January 1952, the newly constructed 758th unit assumed coverage from the L-34 lash up site.  The operational area commanded the 10 acre Bahokus Peak.  The new cantonment area was located near the mouth of the Waatch River and was connected to the ops site by a one way unpaved road.  The late 1950's saw vast improvements in the housing conditions for personnel with seven new quarters for officers and thirty eight units for enlisted  ranks.   In addition, a trailer park with 22 spaces was developed a short distance from the cantonment area.
The 60's and 70's saw the installation of advanced radars and systems.  In February 1960 the SAGE system was in place and data was fed to the Seattle Defense Sector Center.  The 758th continued to operate until 1988 when all functions were turned over to the FAA.

By: B.G.McLeod
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758th AC&W  Squadron

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Neah Bay AFS Renamed
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