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The Ground Observer Corps (GOC) was a Cold War civil defense program established by the U.S. Air Force in early 1950. It was based on a similar World War II program in which civilian observers scanned the skies with binoculars along our coastlines and reported any aircraft sightings to the military authorities. During the early 1950’s a series of GOC posts were established in Mahoningtown, New Wilmington, Bessemer, Harlansburg, and Ellwood City. A crude GOC tower was erected in Mahoningtown at the end of West Madison Avenue in late 1952, but it was replaced with a new tower (shown above) in December 1954. The new tower, designed by the W. G. Eckles Company, cost $3,500 total of which the city paid a share of $978.48. The volunteers at this post were supervised by Mrs. Myrtle Blasdell of #606 West Madison Avenue. (2014) (Photo courtesy of Judie Stodolak) Full Size
During World War II a small observation tower, manned by volunteers led by Lee Hanna, was utilized on West Clayton Street. That tower was abandoned by late 1944. Beginning in July 1952 a GOC observation post was established in the roof of Jameson Hospital. By late 1952 it was replaced with a crude GOC tower, donated by the Penn Power Company, located at the end of West Madison Avenue in Mahoningtown. It was replaced with a new GOC tower (shown above) directly across the street in December 1954. The older tower was relocated to the town of Bruin in Butler County in April 1955. The former GOC tower on West Madison Avenue is still standing and now situated on private property. (Aug 2015) Full Size
This photo reveals the exact location of the old GOC Tower in Mahoningtown. (c2014)