010AFB - Vintage 1953 Korean War 6th Shoran Beacon Sqd. USAF Landstuhl AFB Souvenir Tour Jacket
This is a super rare vintage circa 1953 estate find USAF satin souvenir / tour jacket for the 6th Shoran Beacon Squadron in Landstuhl AFB (Air Force Base) in Germany. The jacket comes from the estate of A/1C Erin D. Fox who's name appears on the jacket and the Taconeeer June 1957 issue of Radio, Radar and Shoran Magazine mentions his marriage and his position in the squadron (Taconner June 1957 Magazine is included in this grouping).
This jacket is a Sport Munzinger brand, of German manufacture, in a size 40, and has a great chainstitched patch on the back along with great stitched felt lettering. Jacket is black and yellow satin. Condition is very good with a minor 1/4" rip in satin at very top of back near neck, an 1-1/2" seam split on the right armpit area, a 1" seam split on left armpit area, and some minor moth holing on the cuffs and waist band (see pics attached).
1) Chest: 23"
2) Overall length: 24-1/2"
3) Sleeve (base of collar to tip of cuff): 28-1/2"
A brief history on the 6" Shoran Beacon Sqd, the AFB, and Shoran from Wikipedia****
The 6th Shoran Beacon Squadron, based at Landstuhl Germany with active sites in Winterberg, Pforzheim, Birkenfeld and Landsberg, Germany in the 1950's. Provided ground based Shoran systems for use by B-26 and B-57 aricraft equipped with onboard Shoran equipment.
The construction of the air base was a project designed and undertaken by the French Army and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from 1949 to 1952. It was an example of international collaboration: designed by French engineers, constructed by some Germans but with imported help from workers of Italy, Portugal, Spain, Greece, and Turkey (there were very few German men to work on construction projects after World War II) and operated by Americans.
The area was a swamp that had to be built up by two meters (six feet). A train line was laid out from Einsiedlerhof-Kaiserslautern in a yoke shape around to the current base and back down to the Landstuhl spur in 1948 by agreement of the U.S. and French Occupational Forces. Trainloads of earth were moved over the line and spread over the base's current area to raise it to its current level. Once the ground was level, building construction began. Two bases were laid out. Landstuhl Air Base on the south side and Ramstein Air Station (station, no airstrip) on the north. From 1948 to the opening of the bases in 1953 it was the largest one spot construction site in Europe employing over 270,000 Europeans at one time.
Landstuhl Air Base, 5 August 1952
Ramstein Air Base, 1 June 1953
SHORAN is an acronym for SHOrt RAnge Navigation, a type of electronic navigation and bombing system using a precision radar beacon. It was developed during World War II and the first stations were being set up in Europe when the war ended. It saw its first combat use in the B-26 and B-29 bomber aircraft during the Korean War.
SHORAN used ground-based transponders to respond to interrogation signals sent from the bomber aircraft. By measuring the round-trip time to and from one of the transponders, the distance to that ground station could be accurately determined. The aircraft flew an arcing path that kept it at a predetermined distance from one of the stations. The distance to a second station was also being measured, and when it reached a predetermined distance from that station as well, the bombs were dropped. The basic idea was similar to the Oboe system developed by the Royal Air Force, but in Oboe the transponder was on the aircraft. This limited Oboe to guiding a single aircraft per ground station, while SHORAN could guide dozens, limited only by how rapidity the ground station's transponders could respond.
SHORAN was sent into combat due to the presence of the MiG-15 over Korea, which drove the B-29's from daylight combat in June 1951. Night operations were not very productive and the US Air Force became interested in any way to improve their results. The system was in place and the crews trained by November 1952, and SHORAN remained in use from then until the end of the war. It was particularly effective during early 1953 when the North Korean Air Force began to re-equip in case a new offense opened. B-29's began the campaign, but only a dozen aircraft were available, so they were soon supplanted by B-26s to maintain constant bombing of the airfields. The possible offensive never occurred; the armistice was signed in July. It was not used after that point, due to Strategic Air Command's increasing focus on long-range bombing with nuclear weapons.
Although SHORAN was used by the military only briefly, surplus equipment soon found a new use in the oil and gas industry, where it was used to position ships with high accuracy for seismic measurements.