While the Ground Observer Corps officially started in 1951, the Air Force began running test operations in 1950s. The January 22nd, 1951 issue of Life magazine gives us a glimpse of those early days and the first volunteers. The woman is working in a filter center and wears a distinctive striped apron. I've only seen … Continue reading The Early Days
Here in the United States, it's the 4th of July. This normally means fireworks, though this year many are canceled due to the pandemic. But if you have them in your area and you are wondering how high they are, you can use this handy Altitude-Distance Finder. These were handed out to all Ground Observer … Continue reading What’s Your Altitude?
July 2nd is World UFO Day. The Ground Observer Corps was the local contact for any UFO reports and other unusual activity. They worked with the Air Force's 4602nd squadron to locate downed aircraft and other unidentified aircraft. UFO enthusiasts, would often be denied access to GOC reports, which just fueled UFO conspiracy theories. Today, … Continue reading The GOC and World UFO Day
My June in-person presentation is now a virtual presentation on July 9th. Information and a sign-up link is here: https://arlingtonhistoricalsociety.org/events/virtual-program-the-ground-observer-corps-looking-up-from-ground-zero/ Hope to virtually see everyone!
The Aircraft Flash form went through 3 versions throughout the run of the Ground Observer Corps (GOC). The first was AF Form 6-2 in 1950. A book of Aircraft Flash Forms 6-2 shown with the 1950 Ground Observer's Guide entry. This form was probably only issued for a year as in 1951, the updated Aircraft … Continue reading In Good Form
Here's a Christmas message from the Commander of the Air Defense Command to the GOC in the January, 1958 issue of The Aircraft Flash. One would assume this would be sent out in December.
This is a great talk by fellow Ground Observer Corps historian, Jon Axline. He talks about the GOC in Montana, which had nearly 12,000 volunteers over the course of the program. Check it out! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jS8WTKVM8oc
Here are 4 types of brochures that the Ground Observer Corps used throughout its existence. The two at the end are from 1955 and 1951 respectively. The smaller one on the right is an updated version of the original 1951 edition. Two have contact information for the local Civil Defense offices and the other two … Continue reading Getting the Word Out
I've mentioned filter centers a bunch but have managed to completely forget to write a blog post about them. A lot went on at a filter center so there will be a series of posts about them. I also found out that my father worked at the filter center in Montgomery, AL in I think … Continue reading This Post is Filtered – Filter Centers
Being an observer could get a bit, well dull. Air traffic in the 1950s was a fraction of what it is today. Some places hardly had any air traffic. Air Force bases and the local Civil Defense office ran drills to keep everyone's skills sharp but it wasn't the same as the real thing. Fortunately, … Continue reading Spot All the Things!