810th AC&W Squadron

Dedicated to the 810th Radar Squadron and all the US Air Force Radar Sites of the Past

The 810th Today

I had a number of folks contact me when I first posted this site, including Wayne Ashworth, who lives in the Winston Salem area. Wayne's brother John currently lives near the site of the old 810th, and was kind enough to go out and take a few photos of the site as it is today, in the Fall of 2006.

I'm amazed at how much of the place is still intact. I'm especially amazed that at least two of the old tin barracks are still there. They tore one of the four down just before I left, to make room for a modern new barracks. I never got to see that as I left NC for New Mexico before construction started. You can see this building in the background in one of these photos. However, my old barracks is still standing and I can clearly see the window of my old room!

These buildings were never great beauties, but they sure look sad today.

It looks as if the mess hall is still serving its original function. In fact it seems little changed from when I last saw it in 1969.

The concrete island visible in the two Entrance photos housed a small building - the guard shack - that was manned 24 hours a day. All cars had to stop before entering.

The base flag pole is still in the same spot. The building to the right of it was the motor pool and the Civil Engineering shop where I worked.

I was at the 810th at the time Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. President Johnson ordered all flags on government facilities, including military bases, to be flown at half staff. One of our civilian employees, the base electrician, was livid over this. He went home and refused to return to work until this flag was back up.

I clearly remember the riots coming to Winston Salem after that. We had a black military policeman who lived with his family in town and he couldn't leave the base to check on them. I and one or two other guys offered to ride into town with him, figuring it would be safer going as a group. There was a curfew in place but we were all in uniform driving an Air Force vehicle so we were allowed into the city. I clearly remember the National Guard troops with rifles on all the street corners in town. 

A day or two later we set out to pick up some supplies in Winston Salem and I remember seeing burned out buildings and other destruction.

Between the cold war and threats from the Soviet block, the war in Vietnam and the difficult changes we were going through at home, these were very difficult times for this country.

John Kessler (copyright, Nineveh Junction Digital, john@nineveh-junction.com) - Updated 3 Nov, 2006