By Adolphus Ames –
The Cape Charles Museum added an air force exhibit this past spring. The exhibit honors the Cape Charles Air Force Station located in lower Northampton County.
The station began as a coastal defense artillery instillation named Fort Winslow in 1941 and was later renamed Fort John Custis in 1942. Following World War II, the United States Air Force acquired the site from the army as a temporary radar site and the 771st Aircraft Control and Warning Squadraon was activated to operate it. The site was soon designated as the Cape Charles Air Force Station.
In 1959, the station joined the Semi-Automatic Ground Environemnt (SAGE) sytem and was re-designated as the 771st Radar Squadron. The squadron provided information to the SAGE Direction Center where it was analyzed to determine range, direction, altitude, speed, and whether an aircraft was friendly or hostile.