North Truro Air Force Station

Truro, Massachusetts
The North Truro Air Force Station in Truro, Massachusetts, nestled on the scenic Cape Cod National Seashore, has been abandoned since 1994.
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About This Location

The North Truro Air Force Station in Truro, Massachusetts, nestled within the scenic Cape Cod National Seashore, stands as a testament to the nation’s Cold War history. Initially established as part of the Air Defense Command (ADC) radar network, North Truro AFS played a crucial role in monitoring and safeguarding the airspace along the eastern coast of the United States.

Constructed under the direction of the Army Corps of Engineers, North Truro AFS became operational in 1951. The 762d Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron commenced operations with World War II-era AN/CPS-3 radars, serving as a Ground-Control Intercept (GCI) and warning station. Its primary mission was to guide interceptor aircraft toward unidentified intruders detected by its radar scopes.

A notable chapter in its history unfolded when North Truro AFS became the operational parent station for Texas Tower 2, an offshore radar platform situated 110 miles east of Cape Cod in the Atlantic Ocean. Operating from May 1956 to January 1963, Texas Tower 2 extended East Coast radar coverage significantly, providing the United States with increased warning time in the event of a potential threat.

With the end of the Cold War, North Truro AFS ceased operations in 1994, marking a shift in its purpose. Much of the land was transferred to the National Park Service, leading to the site’s inclusion in the Cape Cod National Seashore. Some structures fell into disrepair, while others underwent renovation.

In 2023, major developments are reshaping the North Truro Air Force Station. The family housing units have been demolished, and barracks are undergoing destruction. The fate of the remaining structures remains uncertain. The area is being transformed into the Highlands Center, operated by the National Park Service. This redevelopment project includes the construction of a performing arts center and other facilities to serve both the National Park Service and the local community. The site also hosts an FAA long-range radar station and the Jenny Lind Tower.

For visitors eager to explore the remnants of the air force station, ample parking and pathways provide easy access. Approximately a dozen parking spots are available near the entrance, with additional parking along the entry road. Visitors can explore the former base’s surroundings, witnessing the historical echoes of a bygone era. Parking is free, and no permits are required, but visitors should be attentive to any posted signs indicating road closures near the base. The evolving landscape of North Truro AFS invites both reflection on its Cold War legacy and appreciation for its future role as a vibrant community center within the Cape Cod National Seashore.

Location

Address: 29 Old Dewline Road, Truro, Massachusetts
Place GPS Coordinates: 42.031660, -70.054166
Parking GPS Coordinates: 42.031660, -70.054166
Parking Notes: There are about a dozen parking spots located close to the air force base entrance. Additional parking can be found outside the base on the entry road. Parking is free and no permits are required. Just obey any signs you may see considering sometimes the road is closed to cars near the base.

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