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Texas Tower No. 4

The Texas Tower is not a shipwreck, but it is one of New Jersey’s premier offshore diving destinations.  The towers were a set of off-shore radar stations manned by the U.S. Air Force during the Cold War era. The name came from their likeness to the oil drilling platforms first used in the Gulf of Mexico.

They were used as part of an early warning defense system off the east coast of the United States. In 1954 the Air Force approved the construction of 5 towers, but only 3 were ever built:

Tower 2 – Georges Shoal, 110 miles off the coast of Cape Cod

Tower 3 – Nantucket Shoal, 100 miles S.E. of Rhode Island

Tower 4 – Unnamed Shoal, 84 miles S.E. of New York City

Tower 4 was constructed in the deepest water (185ft) and had problems early on. Nicknamed “Old Shakey”, it required continuous maintenance. In September of 1960 it suffered extensive damage from Hurricane “Donna”.

Repairs were planned as soon as the weather permitted, but during a fierce winter storm on January 15, 1961, the tower collapsed into the sea.

Twenty-Eight airmen and civilian contractors were manning the tower at the time of the collapse. No one survived. Within 2 years the remaining towers were decommissioned and shortly after dismantled.

 

 
 

      
 


 

 


 


 

 

 

A government film showing life aboard Tower No. 2.