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Mill Valley Air Force Station – 1963

In 1942 the federal government leased land on Mt. Tamalpais. First came a radar site looking for Japanese ships, submarines and airplanes. Then came a Cold War-era air defense radar station with 62 buildings plus a radar dome tower. Recreational facilities included a tennis court, pool, bathhouse, theater, gymnasium and bowling alley. Isolated on the top of Mount Tamalpais, the airmen had numerous activity centers at their disposal.  They worked eight hour shifts, six-days a week, and single men spent most of their free time in comfortable barracks watching television, reporting the best reception in the county.  There was housing for families.  Blue air force busses took the children to Mill Valley schools. The Mill Valley Air Force Station was integrated into the Army’s antiaircraft defenses. With advances in satellite tracking, early warning radar stations soon became obsolete.  In the early 1980s, most of the stations, including the Mill Valley site, were closed or re-designed to meet other needs. The Radar Squadron was inactivated in 1980 and operational control was taken over by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The Mill Valley Air Force Station was closed in 1983.

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