These sites were our “Go To” in term of obtaining old materials and maps:
- HistoricAerials.com: Probably the largest online repository of old aerials maps, many dating from the 40’s and 50’s.
- USGS Topoview: A great and easy resource to use to pull up historic topo maps of any given area.
- Library of Congress: Has a great online library of historic aeronautical sectional charts and other information that can be used to pin down LFR sites and their history.
- Flight Ontario has a downloadable cache of 48 Canadian World War 2 vintage charts at this link, which provides helpful coverage for this region. Please be aware that this an 80MB Zip File.
- McMaster University maintains an extensive online collection of World War 2 Era World Aeronautical Charts (WAC’s) that was helpful for areas outside of North America.
- Abandoned and Little-Known Airfields: This site has excellent documentation of many older facilities that were no longer with us. Many of the airport accounts contains snippets of contemporary aeronautical sectionals that can show the location of older low frequency ranges. This can be useful for establishing their location.
- NOAA Office of Coast Survey Historical Map and Chart Collection: Another good online map collection. While not as thorough as the Library of Congress this site does contain some sectionals, world aeronautical, radio facility and route charts that helped located many stations in Alaska, Northern Canada and Europe.
- Military Airfield Directory: The site contains a collection of airport facility, approach and radio facility charts from Europe dating from Cold War period (1945-1960). Along with a 1952 Route Chart that covered a large swath of Western Europe from Ireland to Italy, served as a primary source to provide a reasonably accurate identification of LF ranges in Europe.
- The New Zealand National Library has a good online collection of aeronautical charts and approach plates pertaining to that country and surrounding areas in the South Pacific.
- The Sheila Scott Map Collection also provides a variety of late 50’s and 60’s era aeronautical charts that were very helpful.
We are posting a few additional resources under downloads below that I’m hoping will be useful or anyone that want to track down a station in the Continental United States:
- August 1944 Army Air Forces Radio Facility Charts, Radio Facility Planning and Mileage Chart: These are 6 charts that cover the lower 48 states that show the ranges up and running at that time. This is a good place to see where stations existed relative to a location. The full manual provides 34 larger scale charts that covered each area in great detail and showed individual major airports and fan markers, but all of the low frequency ranges are show on the charts available here. As this is a work of the Federal Government, it is not copyrighted and thus in the public domain.
- August 1944 Army Air Forces Radio Facility Charts, Geographic Coordinates of Radio Air Navigation Facilities: As described above, this provide the latitude and longitude of each location and has been loaded in the map on the previous page. This is a .pdf of the same data that drives the map display on the other page. A great place to start a search is to input the station into Google Earth and see what’s there. Bear in mind the accuracy issues above. Once the location is established, check it against older aerials or contemporary USGS maps to find a station.
- Four-Course, Low-Frequency Radio Range History by U.S. State: Tom Johnson, who produced some of the source material / photos used on this site, created a comprehensive summary of the history of each LFR range by state. His list shows the status of most ranges in the US from 1929 to 1960, including changes in type, power and even location. This can be an invaluable aid for folks trying to track down a specific LFR site. Please note that this document is a working draft that may be incomplete in some areas and is subject to future updates.
All of what we did was from the “armchair” comfort of our home offices: frankly, it was a useful "shelter in place" pastime when we started in late 2020. It constantly amazes me how much is now available online. However, I know that there a treasure trove of old aerial images, maps, photographs, etc. that never made it to this medium sitting in old county archives, attics and musty file cabinets that might solve the mystery of the many stations we could not positively ID. Perhaps someone still with us has a distant memory of one of these stations, or navigating with them? If anyone has information on any of these own sites, please share per the Google Docs survey on the previous page.
Contact and About Me