Camp Hero

Camp Hero was established in 1942 as a series of defensive bunkers and gun batteries built into the hills on the eastern end of Long Island, New York.

With Montauk Lighthouse in the background, artillery stations were set up on the bluff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.

Montauk Air Force Station

In 1948 the Air Force placed radar systems on the site, and in 1953 the base was renamed Montauk Air Force Station.

Camp Hero State Park

The Air Force station was decommissioned in 1981, and in 2002 the property was opened to the public as a New York State Park.

The park offers hiking trails, interpretive signs, access to the rocky beach, and picnic day-use facilities.

With the exception of the main radar installation, visitors can walk throughout the entire military base.  The state park has a helpful handout brochure with labels that indicate the buildings’ original functions.

This was one of the most unusual state parks I’ve visited.  Notice that the photos are absent of other people.  There was practically no one else in the park on this Sunday afternoon.  Being alone amid the ruins and dreary skies was an interesting experience.

It was also a nice time of the year for wandering through the woods, with no bugs or poison ivy yet.

This appears to be an old irrigation channel, perhaps to drain water out of the low marshy spots.

It pays to watch your step in the forest around the military installation.

Now a picnic area, these are two of the three foundations of a large troposcatter communications antenna.

This security gate appears older than the gates on the main road.  It only guards a hiking trail and service road now.

The Cold War-Era radar system stands above the trees and is a landmark for miles around.


Montauk Air Force Station — 16 Comments

  1. Pic #13 looks like the Mess Hall. #14 is barracks 109. I lived there for 2 years (’72 and ’73). The small grey building to the right of it is the BX, or base exchange, like a mini mart. and the radar in the background. I was a cook, so I knew pretty much everyone, and what their job was. The Montauk Project is total
    Rick Law

  2. My dad was stationed there in the late 1950s approximately 1955 any records from that time regarding who was stationed there—last name was Gilnack

  3. Great set of pictures but a bit depressing. Stationed there ’75 – ’76, knew Gakie and Feese quite well, neighbors in the housing area. Picture #10 looks like it was the commissary, #’s 11, 12 and 13 maybe the dining hall? Used to be a path from there through the woods to the end of one of the streets in the housing area. First time learning of and experiencing ticks. Radar Maintenance FPS-35 an amazing piece of equipment for it’s time, back-in-the-day!

    • The state park has a pamphlet map with all of the building functions listed. Unfortunately I didn’t keep track very well as I walked around taking photos, and it’s been a while now since my visit.
      Thank you for the insight and sharing your experience.

    • Thank you for the comment. Perhaps the page layout is confusing but the security gate is shown beneath the text.
      I will add the “troposcatter communications antenna” information to the text above the supports.

  4. I worked on the team that sealed off the entrances to the underground berm quarters. This was back in ’93 or ’94. The seals are 16″ of poured concrete with rebar framework. I had an opportunity to walk inside some of the quarters. The one I remember most is what appeared to be an infirmary or sick bay. It still had some beds and numerous medical cabinets (empty) with a few bed pans (lol). Lots of bats! During the last few days of sealing some 12+/- openings, the Montauk Fire Department conducted a live fire drill. Thx for posting.

    • Hi! I am doing a research project on the Montauk Project. I was wondering if you had any facts or information that you could share with me that would help me better understand the Montauk Project.

      • I don’t have any information other than the photos and text I’ve posted here. But if you’re a fan of those fantasy novels, you really should see the place for yourself. Go mid-week in the late fall on an overcast or cloudy day and you’ll get a sense of what inspired the stories.

  5. As Always Bob! Great Work! I do Love the History, Pictures of all of your Ghost Towns of New Mexico! But my many favorite’s it is La Belle, Anchor and then Midnight! And you know my No. 1 favorite is Elizabethtown, N. M…. Thanks and Keep up the Great Work and wonderful Pictures and Histories!

    Chris Cooper

  6. I Love It! By far one of the Awesomeness Sites that you have shared here Bob! Very interesting and some interesting Pictures too! I do Like them and your information here Bob!

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