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History of Oil
World Oil Giants
US Oil Giants
The Texas Towers were a set of off-shore radar facilities used by the United States Air Force during the Cold War that were modeled on the offshore oil drilling platforms first employed off the Texas coast. The platforms were used for radar surveillance of the Atlantic Ocean near the eastern seaboard of the United States from 1958 to 1963.
On January 11, 1954, the USAF approved the construction of 5 Texas Towers as part of the Air Defense System. Only three were built:
* No. 2 - Georges Shoal, in 56-foot deep water,110 miles east of Cape Cod [show location on an interactive map] 41°44?N, 67°47?W
* No. 3 - Nantucket Shoal, in 80-foot water, 100 miles south-east of Rhode Island [show location on an interactive map] 40°45?N, 69°19?W
* No. 4 - Unnamed Shoal(Unofficially: Old Shakey) , in 185-foot water, 84 miles south-east of New York City [show location on an interactive map] 39°48?N, 72°40?W
The towers were phased into operation between 1958 and 1960.
Texas Tower #4 suffered severe structural damage during Hurricane Donna in September 1960 and, before repairs could be completed, was destroyed by a winter storm on January 15, 1961. Twenty-eight airmen and civilian contractors were manning the station; none survived.
With the advent of Soviet ICBM's, the bomber threat was reduced in importance. Thus due to a lower need and the perceived risk, the remaining two towers were decommissioned in 1963 and demolished shortly thereafter.