Site played vi­tal role over many decades

The Courier & Advertiser (Angus and The Mearns Edition) - - NEWS -

Edzell air­field was opened in the 1930s as a civil­ian fa­cil­ity on what had been a mil­i­tary site dur­ing the First World War.

The air­field re­turned to RAF ser­vice as RAF Edzell in 1940.

In the late 1950s it was used as a mo­tor rac­ing cir­cuit.

Only a few races were held be­fore the air­field re­opened. One of the last sports car races on the cir­cuit was won by fu­ture dou­ble World GP cham­pion Jim Clark.

In 1960 RAF Edzell was leased to the United States Navy to house a Naval Se­cu­rity Group Ac­tiv­ity dur­ing the Cold War.

The US Naval Se­cu­rity Group Oceano­graphic Mon­i­tor­ing Sta­tion mon­i­tored the North Sea, Bri­tish coast­line and Euro­pean Con­ti­nent, lis­ten­ing for ra­dio trans­mis­sions from the Soviet Union and its al­lies.

RAF Edzell was part of a net­work of 16 high-fre­quency di­rec­tion finder fa­cil­i­ties around the world that mon­i­tored the elec­tro­mag­netic spec­trum from 2 to 32 mega­hertz.

Up to 3,000 per­son­nel were said to have been sta­tioned at RAF Edzell.

The end of the Cold War and ad­vances in tech­nol­ogy made the HF net­work ob­so­lete, and the base closed in Oc­to­ber 1997.

By that time, staffing lev­els had fallen to 300 lo­cal and 700 mil­i­tary per­son­nel.

The clo­sure marked the end of 37 years of US Navy op­er­a­tions and 85 years of RAF ser­vice.

The base in Fe­bru­ary 1960, when it was leased to the United States Navy.

The en­trance to the base.

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