Historic California Posts, Camps, Stations and Airfields
Naval Direction Finder Station, Farallon Islands
Location: The Farallon Islands are a series of islands located approximately 30. miles west of San Francisco, California, trending in a northwest-southeast direction, with the largest island being the Southeast Farallon Island. The Farallon Islands are located within the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary (GFNMS).

Site History: In approximately 1852, the Lighthouse Board's construction program was instituted, and the Southeast Farallon Island was chosen as a lighthouse location. Several setbacks and engineering problems delayed the first operation of the lighthouse until 1856. Coast Guard personnel and/or lighthouse keepers were stationed on the island from 1853 to 1968 to
maintain and operate the lighthouse. In 1968 the lighthouse was converted to be fully automated.

In approximately 1905, the U.S. Navy installed and commissioned a Radio Direction Finder (DF) Station on the Southeast Farallon Island. Nine Navy personnel were stationed on the island to
support the mission of the Radio DF Station until after World War I. After the war, personnel to support Radio DF station were cut back to four or five people. Several buildings and other
structures were constructed to support the Navy's mission on the island. They included: officers quarters, dormitories, a powerhouse, two compass houses, several storagelwork sheds, and
equipment associated with the saltwater distillation facility. Navy personnel were stationed on the island up until the late 1930s.

In 1969, the Department of Transportation, which owned and controlled the islands, transferred the islands to the Department of Interior (managed by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service [USFWS]).
From 1969 to the present, the Farallon Islands have been used as a National Wildlife Refuge and Marine Sanctuary. Biologists from the USFWS and from the Point Reyes Bird Observatory, who are contracted by USFWS to man the island 365 daylyear, perform research and studies on wildlife and restrict access to the delicate habitat that the island provides.
Source: Sacramento District, US Army Corps of Engineers
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Updated 8 February 2016