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World War II Radar Station
Baboon Point, Elands Bay - Elandsbaai district, Western Cape

Type:Military structure


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32°19'02.93" S 18°19'03.42" E Alt: 37m

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From the Statement of Significance as a Provincial Heritage Resource:
The historical significance of Baboon Point is not only highlighted by the cultural sequence encapsulated in a number of ancient archaeological sites, but also by several World War 2 Radar station buildings. These structures are the testimony of South Africa’s role in a global historic event.
These buildings also have a particular association with important social developments in South Africa as a result of the institutionalised Apartheid system, namely their use to house migrant labourers serving the local fishing industry.

Concrete structures related to the most northerly and last to be constructed radar installation of the radar stations around the western Cape coast reporting to the Filter Room at the Cape Castle. While there was a shortage of men due to their volunteering for the War effort up north, this station, because of its remote location, had only male operators. Others of the array, such as Yzerfontein, Windy Ridge (Robben Island), Signal Hill, Rooikrans and Silversands, were operated by women especially recruited from the universities for this task and trained at the Training School established at the Cape to this end under the directorship of Prof Clarke recruited from the University of Natal. A 360 degree rotating antenna developed by Lieutenant Trevor L Wadley (see Wikipedia) through his invention an induction coupler, was located on one of the surviving concrete platforms. (Volker, 2010: 120 & 122,123).

[For a full history of Radar in South Africa during WWII see The Heritage Portal South African Radar in the Overstrand in World War II by Robin Lee.]

This forms part of a Provincial Heritage Site.

Writings about this entry

Volker, Walter. 2010. Army signals in South Africa : the story of the South African Corps of Signals and its antecedents. Pretoria: Veritas Books. pg 122 (Table), 123 (map)