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Cockburn Town, Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos Islands — Caribbean Region (Atlantic Ocean)
 

U.S. Naval Facility

— Grand Turk —

 
 
U.S. Naval Facility Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, 2011
1. U.S. Naval Facility Marker
Inscription. In 1954 the U.S. Navy established a hydrographic research station on this northern promontory of Grand Turk, overlooking the strategic passage from the Atlantic Ocean. Quonset huts were erected to accommodate eleven officers and one-hundred enlisted men. The large water catchment can be seen within the confines of the base

Known officially as the U.S. Facility for Oceanographic Research, the base was established to improve knowledge of oceanographic and acoustic conditions. The U.S. had found during World War II a need to improve knowledge of ocean conditions in order to better deal with enemy submarines. After the establishment of the facility, U.S. atomic submarines frequently sailed off Grand Turk.

Another U.S. facility, the Guided Missle Base, was constructed on the island's southern end at around the same time. The number of American personnel and families resident in the island at one time exceeded three hundred.

On March 31, 1980, the U.S. Facility for Oceanographic Research was officially closed and turned over to the Turks and Caicos Islands Government. The facility currently serves as the Grand Turk Community College.
 
Location. 21° 30.738′ N, 71° 7.972′ W. Marker is in Cockburn Town, Grand Turk. Marker is on Lighthouse
U.S. Naval Facility 1958 at the gate image. Click for full size.
By Donald Barry Ratsch, circa 1958
2. U.S. Naval Facility 1958 at the gate
That's me at the watch gate while waiting for my clearance to come thru. After clearance came thru I worked down the hill in the Quonset hut where the sonar men worked and with their advanced equipment could detect Russian submarines 1500 miles away and could tell how many rpms their propellers were turning. When spotting a target they put the info and location of the target thru a slot that dropped into the crypto room where I worked and we encrypted the information and sent it forward to Norfolk, Va. The work was classified secret at the time and was later upgraded to top secret. That was 56 years ago.
Road, on the right. Click for map. Located at northern terminus of Lighthouse Road at Lookout Point . Marker is in this post office area: Cockburn Town, Grand Turk 00109-9000, Turks and Caicos Islands.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 kilometers of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Trouvadore Shipwreck (within shouting distance of this marker); Lighthouse Keeper's Residence & Bermuda Kitchen (within shouting distance of this marker); The Northeast Reef (within shouting distance of this marker); Grand Turk: The Original Columbus Landfall ? (about 90 meters away, measured in a direct line); Grand Turk Historic Lighthouse (about 90 meters away); Horatio Nelson Lookout Point (about 90 meters away); a different marker also named Grand Turk Historic Lighthouse (about 120 meters away); Miramar (approx. 4.8 kilometers away). Click for a list of all markers in Cockburn Town.
 
Regarding U.S. Naval Facility. Historically, the term hydrography has meant the scientific study of the physical conditions of systems of water. Within the field of physical oceanography, hydrography is the branch of our field which looks to understand the movements of the ocean through its measurable physical properties, including: temperature, salinity, and oxygen, and
chemical constituents
U.S. Naval Facility Marker with abandoned buildings seen in background image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, February 11, 2011
3. U.S. Naval Facility Marker with abandoned buildings seen in background
such as phosphates, silicates, **CFC's, tritium and helium. ( Oregon State University )

**chlorofluorocarbon (CFC)
 
Categories. ExplorationScience & MedicineWaterways & Vessels
 
View From The Lighthouse image. Click for full size.
By Max Henke
4. View From The Lighthouse
The base then.
Sign At Entrance image. Click for full size.
By Max Henke
5. Sign At Entrance
Back then.
As it Was in 1957 image. Click for full size.
By Max Henke, 1957
6. As it Was in 1957
Main Entrance
U.S. Naval Facility seen from Lighthose Road image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, February 11, 2011
7. U.S. Naval Facility seen from Lighthose Road
Panorama of NAVFAC Grand Turk In full Operation image. Click for full size.
By Bobby G. Bristoe, circa 1979
8. Panorama of NAVFAC Grand Turk In full Operation
U.S. Naval Facility Satellite Dish image. Click for full size.
By AGS Media, October 23, 2008
9. U.S. Naval Facility Satellite Dish
U.S. Naval Facility out buildings long ago abandoned image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, February 11, 2011
10. U.S. Naval Facility out buildings long ago abandoned
U.S. Naval Facility image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, February 11, 2011
11. U.S. Naval Facility
Turks & Caicos Islands Community College, Grand Turk Campus Entance image. Click for full size.
By AGS Media, October 23, 2008
12. Turks & Caicos Islands Community College, Grand Turk Campus Entance
The southern portion of the formal naval facility was re-purposed to serve the island's educational needs. The college has another campus on the island of Providenciales.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 3,445 times since then and 15 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on , by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.   2. submitted on , by Donald Barry Ratsch of Dundalk, Maryland.   3. submitted on , by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.   4, 5, 6. submitted on , by Max Henke of Topsham, Maine.   7. submitted on , by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.   8. submitted on , by Bobby G. Bristoe of Bloomington, Indiana.   9. submitted on , by Glenn Sheffield of Tampa, Florida.   10, 11. submitted on , by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.   12. submitted on , by Glenn Sheffield of Tampa, Florida. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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