Lafayette radio-telegraphic station built in Croix d'Hins, France started operation in 1920.
Conceived for the purpose of insuring adequate and uninterrupted (day/night) transatlantic communication facilities between the American Forces engaged in World War I and the government of the USA, radio-telegraphic station, the most powerful of the world at that time, was built in "Croix d'Hins" near Bordeaux, in collaboration between the US Navy and France. Station was actually finished after the war.
A team of 750 US Marines was sent to build the eight 250 meters high towers.
US Navy provided towers and transmitters
France provided antenna system, tower bases, buildings, energy supply.
Station was destroyed in 1944 by the Germans.
Last remaining tower (used for fire monitoring) was destroyed in 1953.
Amateur radio clubs F5KAY (Radio-Club du Bassin d'Arcachon) and F6KUQ (Radio-Club de Cestas)
will be commemorating this 100th anniversary
operating two special stations from August to December 2020
TM1LY & TM100LY operating schedule
The LAFAYETTE CENTENARY AWARDAny amateur radio station making a minimum of 5 QSO (or SWL reports) on 5 different bands with any of the stations (or both), any modes will be entitled to request a free special award (pdf delivered) granted by the organizing radio-clubs.
Online request only - Details can be found << HERE >>.
LAFAYETTE STATION - 1920
1000 kW arc transmitter (Poulsen arc) generating 500 kW on wavelengths 19150 to 23450 meters (12,8 to 15,7 kHz) built by FEDERAL TELEGRAPH Co (one + one backup)
Antenna : 1200 m x 400 m horizontal array (16 wires), up 250 meters (=capacitive termination) + vertical radiating section (10 wires) + giant ground network
8 Towers built by PITTSBURG DES MOINES Co (250 meters high), 560 tons each
Photos : gallica.bnf.fr (Bibliotheque Nationale de France) - Copy/usage rules apply.
Station included : main building, shop, refectory, technical buildings, coal building, train garage, 4 staff housing buildings, station manager house (called "The White House"), energy station, water tower, garage, gas station, station cooling basin (also used as swimming pool), school, and railway network going to each of the 8 towers and inside main building and inside train garage.
More information about the amateur radio operation :
QRZ.com page: TM1LY TM100LY
Radio Clubs web sites : F5KAY F6KUQ ( )
Blog pages (in french)
More information about LAFAYETTE Radio station :
US Navy History of communications
Elmer Peterson photos
Video (from 3'15'')