Vint Hill 80th Anniversary Special Event Station

Sponsored by the Cold War Museum in Vint Hill VA and the Fauquier Amateur Radio Association in Warrenton VA.

Members of the FARA will be using the K4V callsign
October 1st 04:00 UTC through October 3rd 04:00 UTC

History of Vint Hill Farms Station

People really don’t know and understand that the Cold War was a real war with real deaths. At least 382 Americans died as a result of direct enemy action during the Cold War. This tally only includes those documented military personnel or government operatives killed by Communists between 1945 and 1991, excluding those killed in the Korean and Vietnam wars. The nation’s Cold War adversaries included the conventional forces of the Soviet Union, China, North Korea, Yugoslavia and Cuba as well as a host of Third World Marxist guerilla and terrorist movements that targeted Americans. Many deaths remain unacknowledged.

During World War II, in June of 1942 the US Army bought Vint Hill Farms and immediately the Second Signal Service Battalion began interception of enemy radio transmissions, establishing the country’s first secret “listening post”. The barns on the grounds housed this monitoring station. The Signal Corps cryptographic school, which taught personnel to encode, decode, and translate messages, also moved in.

Here Pvt. Leonard A. Mudloff is credited with intercepting a message from Oshima Hinoshi, the Japanese ambassador to Germany, on 10 Nov, 1943. It described German coastal fortifications in western France, troop strengths, and contingency plans. General Dwight D. Eisenhower confirmed the Oshima intercept was a crucial contribution to the planning for D-Day, the Allied invasion of Europe.

During the Cold War the facility conducted signals intelligence operations and served as a training center for radio-intercept operators, cryptanalysts, and radio-repair technicians. VHFS intercepted key Soviet and other countries’ diplomatic and military communications.

In 1973 the VHFS’s mission changed to research, development and support of intelligence and electronic warfare for the Army, Department of Defense and foreign allies of the United States.

Control of the facility was transferred from the Army Intelligence and Security Command (the successor to the Army Security Agency) to the Communications-Electronics Command in 1987. The base took on a support role, developing and testing signal equipment and supporting the operations of agencies such as the Central Intelligence Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The 1993 Base Realignment and Closure Commission recommended the closure of VHFS, which would produce savings of $10.5 million annually. At the time there were 846 military personnel, 1,356 civilian personnel and 454 contractors based at the facility. It closed in 1997.