Charleston AFS is located atop Charleston Hill along Route 15 in Charleston, ME. It is approximately 30 miles and 45 minutes north of Bangor, ME. The site was active from April of 1952 through September of 1980.
In December of 1958, the gap filler annex on Musquash Mountain in Topsfield was brought online and under the control of Charleston AFS. Both sites joined the SAGE system in 1959. In 1965, the gap filler site in Sedgwick was transfered from Brunswick AFS to Charleston AFS.
During the fifties and sixties, several Aircraft Control and Warning (AC & W) "gap filler" sites were constructed along the borders of the United States and across many of the "lower 48" states and Canada. These sites filled in the low altitude gaps between the long-range radar stations.
Sites built before 1958 would have been part of a manual radar defense network. After 1958, new sites would have been part of the Semi-Automatic Ground Enviroment (SAGE) radar network and existing sites would have been upgraded. The last gap filler site in Maine was closed in 1968 and their phase-out continued across the country until approximately 1970.
Both Segwick and Topsfield were decommissioned in 1967.
Today, the former Charleston AFS serves as a juvenile detention center. The family housing has been razed, but many of the original buildings still stand and the support structures for the radar domes are still in place at the top of the hill.
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