Texas Tower Victims Honored

President Obama has sent letters to the families of the 28 airmen and civilians who died on Jan. 15, 1961, when the offshore NORAD radar platform on which they were serving sank more than 80 miles off the coast of New York during a storm. The Boston Globe reported that the President’s acknowledgment of the men’s and their families’ sacrifices came on the 50th anniversary of the loss of “Texas Tower 4,” one of several radar platforms sitting off the US East Coast in the 1950s and early 1960s to provide advanced warning of a Soviet bomber attack. Obama also sent letters to the families of four men who died in accidents on the other platforms, according to the newspaper. The Air Force closed the last tower in 1963. (For more on the Texas towers, see The Rise of Air Defense and More Guts Than Glory from Air Force Magazine’s archives)