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Catalog Number 2007.080.60
Collection Etta Gregory Watts Collection
Object Name Print, Photographic
Description Texas Tower 3 being worked on in the former shipyard basins that had previously been occupied by Todd-Bath Iron Shipbuilding during WWII.

The Texas Towers built in South Portland were large radar towers used by the Air Force as part of their Air Defense Command system, designed to provide an alert of enemy attack by air. In the mid-1950s, the Air Force decided to add these Texas Tower structures to the system, which was estimated to extend the radar coverage range by 300 to 500 miles - adding an extra 30 minutes of early warning time of an air attack.

The primary contractor was Steers & Morrison-Knudsen out of New York, and the lead contractor here in South Portland was Walsh Holyoke Division, Continental Copper and Steel Industries, Inc.

Construction of Texas Tower 3 was completed in 1956. TT3 was launched at night on August 7, 1956, and towed in one piece to the Nantucket Shoals, where it was stationed about 50 miles southeast of Nantucket Island, MA.

Construction of the Texas Tower 4 was done in two sections. The 3,200-ton three-decked steel platform was launched from Basin 3 at the shipyard on January 26, 1957, and towed to a temporary mooring about a mile away. Construction then progressed on the three-legged base for the tower. The tripod base was completed and launched in June 1957. The tripod and platform were then towed by ocean-going tugboats at the same time, although several miles apart, to their final destination off the coast of New York/New Jersey.
Year Range from 1956
Year Range to 1957
Search Terms Texas Towers
Walsh Construction Company
Continental Copper and Steel Industries, Inc.
Subjects Towers
Radar
Air forces