Bombing Waugoshance

Via our good friend, Terry Pepper.

On April 24, 1943, 2,513.54 acres of property in Michigan were withdrawn from public use and leased to the US Navy. Following the lease agreement, over 1944 and 1945 both Waugoshance Point and the abandoned Waugoshance lighthouse were used by the Navy for target practice using experimentation television equipped radio-controlled aircraft. These aircraft were flown out of the Naval Air Station at Traverse City and from the deck of the aircraft carrier SABLE. Naval Air Station in Traverse City was officially disestablished on November 15, 1945 and the Federal lease to the area expired on June 30, 1946, when the land reverted to the State of Michigan. While I had seen some footage of these targeting runs on the PBS show “History Detectives,” I recently came across some additional footage of some of these targeting runs at the Wilderness Park headquarters, and am sharing a couple of the more interesting runs here.