COLD WAR RELIC

and other stuff up in the air
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Joe Gopan
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COLD WAR RELIC

Post by Joe Gopan » Sun Mar 29, 2015 7:53 pm

It is called a "Pipper"
I found this back a few years ago, they were used in the Filter Center by members of the Ground Observer Corps (GOC) to track aircraft on a huge plotting board that were reported by volunteer observers in towers around the state. This was in the days before there was sufficient radar to track entire regions of the country.
I was a proud member of the GOC and spent hours at the local Filter Center tracking reported aircraft. I remember having a B-17 flying low with one engine out in our area (One Multi Low) and it was likely the U.S. Coast Guard PB-1G (Coast Guard version) coming to Dow AFB. Back in the fifties the PB-1G's were used to track iceburgs off New Foundland.
What was great about the Filter Center being handy to Dow was that Sgt Emerson would take a group of us to one of those domed Radar Stations 30 miles away and we observed Radar in action. A pair of ME ANG F-94B's asked for help in intercepting a B-36 that was in the area at 50,000 feet and could not catch it.
Attachments
Pipper+3.JPG
Pipper+3.JPG (75.95 KiB) Viewed 2575 times
Pipper1.JPG
Pipper1.JPG (78.32 KiB) Viewed 2575 times
2011 MVPA PIONEER AWARD - MVPA #1064
HONOR GRAD-WHEELED VEHICLE MECHANIC SCHOOL 1960 - US ARMY ORDNANCE SCHOOL(MACHINIST) ABERDEEN PG 1962 - O-1 BIRD DOG CREWCHIEF - 300,000+TROUBLE FREE M-38A1 MILES
LIFE MEMBER AM LEGION-40/8-DAV
7 MIL SPEC MAINTAINED MV'S
COL. BRUNO BROOKS (ARMY MOTORS) IS MY HERO


Joe Gopan
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Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2008 2:37 pm
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Re: COLD WAR RELIC

Post by Joe Gopan » Mon Aug 03, 2015 10:33 am

Any former GOC Members on G-503? It was a proud organization to belong to, Civilian Volunteers, the eyes and ears of ADC plotting aircraft that the military lacked the capability to do.
Back in those early 50's days it was common to find "chaff" in the trees of wooded areas surrounding USAF Bases in the Northeast. Canadian TBM avengers, CF-100's were occasional visitors to Dow Field and overflights of Canadian Lancasters were common. The daily rumble of B-36's could also be heard.
2011 MVPA PIONEER AWARD - MVPA #1064
HONOR GRAD-WHEELED VEHICLE MECHANIC SCHOOL 1960 - US ARMY ORDNANCE SCHOOL(MACHINIST) ABERDEEN PG 1962 - O-1 BIRD DOG CREWCHIEF - 300,000+TROUBLE FREE M-38A1 MILES
LIFE MEMBER AM LEGION-40/8-DAV
7 MIL SPEC MAINTAINED MV'S
COL. BRUNO BROOKS (ARMY MOTORS) IS MY HERO

Joe Gopan
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Posts: 49233
Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2008 2:37 pm
Location: Proving Ground

Re: COLD WAR RELIC

Post by Joe Gopan » Sun Jan 08, 2017 3:05 pm

We used to track Aircraft across our sector and hand them off to other tracking centers, one was at Moncton New Brunswick, Canada. Some of the Observation Towers were Forest Ranger Towers and were quite breezy. I enjoyed it a lot more at the Filter Center. We also learned to write backwards when plotting planes on a screen.

Anyone have any Ground Observer Corps (GOC) items for sale?
2011 MVPA PIONEER AWARD - MVPA #1064
HONOR GRAD-WHEELED VEHICLE MECHANIC SCHOOL 1960 - US ARMY ORDNANCE SCHOOL(MACHINIST) ABERDEEN PG 1962 - O-1 BIRD DOG CREWCHIEF - 300,000+TROUBLE FREE M-38A1 MILES
LIFE MEMBER AM LEGION-40/8-DAV
7 MIL SPEC MAINTAINED MV'S
COL. BRUNO BROOKS (ARMY MOTORS) IS MY HERO

Joe Gopan
Gee Addict
Posts: 49233
Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2008 2:37 pm
Location: Proving Ground

Re: COLD WAR RELIC

Post by Joe Gopan » Thu Apr 06, 2017 12:30 pm

Never thought, but should our power grid be eliminated, these may be back.
2011 MVPA PIONEER AWARD - MVPA #1064
HONOR GRAD-WHEELED VEHICLE MECHANIC SCHOOL 1960 - US ARMY ORDNANCE SCHOOL(MACHINIST) ABERDEEN PG 1962 - O-1 BIRD DOG CREWCHIEF - 300,000+TROUBLE FREE M-38A1 MILES
LIFE MEMBER AM LEGION-40/8-DAV
7 MIL SPEC MAINTAINED MV'S
COL. BRUNO BROOKS (ARMY MOTORS) IS MY HERO

Joe Gopan
Gee Addict
Posts: 49233
Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2008 2:37 pm
Location: Proving Ground

Re: COLD WAR RELIC

Post by Joe Gopan » Thu Apr 16, 2020 12:19 pm

Any Ground Observer Corps veterans out there?
2011 MVPA PIONEER AWARD - MVPA #1064
HONOR GRAD-WHEELED VEHICLE MECHANIC SCHOOL 1960 - US ARMY ORDNANCE SCHOOL(MACHINIST) ABERDEEN PG 1962 - O-1 BIRD DOG CREWCHIEF - 300,000+TROUBLE FREE M-38A1 MILES
LIFE MEMBER AM LEGION-40/8-DAV
7 MIL SPEC MAINTAINED MV'S
COL. BRUNO BROOKS (ARMY MOTORS) IS MY HERO

Joe Gopan
Gee Addict
Posts: 49233
Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2008 2:37 pm
Location: Proving Ground

Re: COLD WAR RELIC

Post by Joe Gopan » Thu Apr 16, 2020 12:19 pm

Any Ground Observer Corps veterans out there?
2011 MVPA PIONEER AWARD - MVPA #1064
HONOR GRAD-WHEELED VEHICLE MECHANIC SCHOOL 1960 - US ARMY ORDNANCE SCHOOL(MACHINIST) ABERDEEN PG 1962 - O-1 BIRD DOG CREWCHIEF - 300,000+TROUBLE FREE M-38A1 MILES
LIFE MEMBER AM LEGION-40/8-DAV
7 MIL SPEC MAINTAINED MV'S
COL. BRUNO BROOKS (ARMY MOTORS) IS MY HERO

Joe Gopan
Gee Addict
Posts: 49233
Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2008 2:37 pm
Location: Proving Ground

Re: COLD WAR RELIC

Post by Joe Gopan » Thu Apr 16, 2020 12:20 pm

Any Ground Observer Corps veterans out there?
2011 MVPA PIONEER AWARD - MVPA #1064
HONOR GRAD-WHEELED VEHICLE MECHANIC SCHOOL 1960 - US ARMY ORDNANCE SCHOOL(MACHINIST) ABERDEEN PG 1962 - O-1 BIRD DOG CREWCHIEF - 300,000+TROUBLE FREE M-38A1 MILES
LIFE MEMBER AM LEGION-40/8-DAV
7 MIL SPEC MAINTAINED MV'S
COL. BRUNO BROOKS (ARMY MOTORS) IS MY HERO

SGT Fish
G-Sergeant First Class
G-Sergeant First Class
Posts: 79
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:52 am

Re: COLD WAR RELIC

Post by SGT Fish » Fri Apr 17, 2020 7:31 am

Great stories. I never heard of such a thing. Very cool

Joe Gopan
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Posts: 49233
Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2008 2:37 pm
Location: Proving Ground

Re: COLD WAR RELIC

Post by Joe Gopan » Fri Apr 17, 2020 2:10 pm

I used to enjoy it when a scarce active duty warbird was called in. During early 1956 a B-17 was called in (One-Multi-Low) with one engine out. Found out later it was a Coast Guard PB1-G piloted by Coast Guard Captain Lester Slate, a legendary pilot and friend from here in Maine.
The Bangor Filter Center was the old Pine Street School, the Observation Towers were Maine Forest Service Towers. We would track all aircraft coming thru the Bangor Filter Center area and pass them off to the next sector. One sector was Moncton, NB, Canada. It was fun.
2011 MVPA PIONEER AWARD - MVPA #1064
HONOR GRAD-WHEELED VEHICLE MECHANIC SCHOOL 1960 - US ARMY ORDNANCE SCHOOL(MACHINIST) ABERDEEN PG 1962 - O-1 BIRD DOG CREWCHIEF - 300,000+TROUBLE FREE M-38A1 MILES
LIFE MEMBER AM LEGION-40/8-DAV
7 MIL SPEC MAINTAINED MV'S
COL. BRUNO BROOKS (ARMY MOTORS) IS MY HERO

SGT Fish
G-Sergeant First Class
G-Sergeant First Class
Posts: 79
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:52 am

Re: COLD WAR RELIC

Post by SGT Fish » Fri Apr 17, 2020 9:55 pm

would you communicate with the aircraft or just pass along the heading and other observations to the next tower?

Joe Gopan
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Posts: 49233
Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2008 2:37 pm
Location: Proving Ground

Re: COLD WAR RELIC

Post by Joe Gopan » Sat Apr 18, 2020 8:49 am

It was between Observers and the Filter Center at the GOC volunteer level. I haven't opened the GOC Manual since the mid 50's. There were higher levels in between that eventually contacted Air Defense. This is how primitive it was during the 50's cold war prior to having a sufficient radar network.
It was not dull for us Junior High School kids as we were plotting real time aircraft that were being reported to the Air Force. I learned to write backward on a plexiglass plotting board and was proficient with the current military phonetic alphabet. My most exciting experience was visiting the Charleston, ME 765th AC&W Radar Squadron and witnessing two F-94 aircraft unsuccessfully attempting to intercept a high flying B-36 (around 50,000 ft.).
2011 MVPA PIONEER AWARD - MVPA #1064
HONOR GRAD-WHEELED VEHICLE MECHANIC SCHOOL 1960 - US ARMY ORDNANCE SCHOOL(MACHINIST) ABERDEEN PG 1962 - O-1 BIRD DOG CREWCHIEF - 300,000+TROUBLE FREE M-38A1 MILES
LIFE MEMBER AM LEGION-40/8-DAV
7 MIL SPEC MAINTAINED MV'S
COL. BRUNO BROOKS (ARMY MOTORS) IS MY HERO


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