III. Miscellaneous Photos
Hilltoppers in the News
Ground Observor Corps in the 1950's the Cold War response for Pulaskians
Observer Corps -
Combating the 1950's Communist Threat in Mt. Pulaski &
the surrounding area
A lookout station above the Mt. Pulaski City Hall was constructed for the local Ground Observer Corps in 1952. Volunteer personnel in the lookout station were equipped with binoculars and a direct phone line to the Springfield GOC Filter Center (located downtown on 6th street), which was staffed by personnel from the Springfield Air National Guard. All aircraft flying in view of the observers were to be reported. Aircraft type (military or civilian), single or multi-engine, approximate altitude, approximate speed, time, and the aircraft's direction were logged in and then phoned in to the Springfield GOC Filter Center. GOC volunteers were expected to stand 2-hour shifts on a 24-hour around-the-clock basis - 7 days a week. While most of the volunteers were adults, many teenage children of the adults also served time as GOC observers.
The GOC lookout tower was in service for about four years, but was not removed until many years later. The picture above shows Chevrolets and Fords of 1956 & '57 vintage. Thomas Gupton, Sr., was the local Logan County Disaster coordinator at the time and organized the effort to build the GOC lookout tower. This effort was all part of the DEW line (Detection Early Warning) system set up by the US Air Force in the early 1950's to defend against possible Russian attacks by jet bombers flying over the North Pole. This "Cold War" readiness against the Russians was finally put to rest by an Illinois-bred President, Mr. Ronald Reagan, in the late 1980's.
Mt. Pulaski's GOC station was the first one established in Logan County. The elevation of over 700 ft. allowed observers to see planes land and take off from Springfield and Bloomington airports on a clear evening. This surprised the personnel in Springfield, who scrambled over to Mt. Pulaski to check us out. Upon seeing for themselves the excellent view from our GOC station, they reported back that the Mt. Pulaski GOC station was to be highly regarded and taken seriously at all times.