Kamloops, BC

1958 - Historical Record - Anonymous



of the

825th AC&W Squadron

for the period ending

31 December 1958


1 Unit and Location

825th AC&W Squadron, Kamloops, BC, Canada

2 Name and grade of Commander

Ralph F. Gerdes, Major

3 Chain of Command (Superior Echelons)

825th AC&W Squadron, Kamloops, BC, Canada
25th Air Division (Defense), McChord Air Force Base, Washington
Western Air Defense Force, Hamilton Air Force Base, California
Air Defense Command, Ent Air Force Base, Colorado Springs, Colorado
Headquarters, United States Air Force, Washington 25, DC

4 Subordinate Units (Down to and including squadrons)

Not Applicable

5 Mission (Give authority and brief statement of primary mission)

5 Air Division Early Warning Training Status, authority 5 Air Division.

6 Personnel

Officers Airmen Civilians Total
Assigned 14 150 18 182
Attached 0 0 0 0

7 Equipment (Give official nomenclature and quantity of mission-type equipment)

Not applicable


The squadron, although experiencing growing pains has progressed very satisfactorily. Every action has been directed toward our becoming fully operational, and the support areas of supply, installations, administration, and food services are now equipped and ready to adequately support the operations section. The following is a break-down, by section, of this reporting period.


The activities of this section consisted mainly of clean-up, painting and general detail work; all of which was directed toward the coming operational date. The FPS-3A plotting board was installed on 5 October 1958. A painting team was requested from 25th Air Division, but none was available. One draftsman from the 758th ACW Squadron, Makah AFS, Neah Bay, Washington arrived this station on 12 October. Assisted by the draftsman from this squadron, the airman completed the job on 20 October.

During this period, publications and correspondence files were checked and made complete. A controller director information file was set up in accordance with CFWCR Regulation 55-10. This file was housed behind the senior director position.

Shift work started in Operations on 3 December, with 3 days each for days, swings, mid-nights, and off-time. Early warning status commenced 12 December, with our operational responsibility to RCAF, 5 Air Division, Vancouver. There was some question about this, but Captain Corcoran, the operations officer, confirmed this responsibility when TDY to 5 Air Division.

Transportation problems, due to adverse weather condition, presented themselves during mid and late December. As a result, twelve hour shifts were initiated. This was well received by the operations people. Although it meant longer shift hours; it also meant more time off during the holiday season.

Personnel assigned to operations during this period included five controllers and 4 non-commissioned officers, bringing our manning up to authorized UMD spaces.

Radar Maintenance:

Despite the 3 day installation and operational conference held in September, during which time we thought all problems resolved; all work ceased on equipment installation at the beginning of this period. This time was spent in (1) deciding the extent of contractual modification required to complete the actual installation, especially the AN/FPX-7A and an additional VHF channel; (2) determination as to when the Canadian Aviation Electronics installation team could complete the equipment installation; (3) ascertaining that telling lines to the 917th Squadron would be installed prior to 31 March 1959; (4) and coordinating expeditious procurement and shipment of the large number of missing items from the communications schemes. This problem was not especially difficult since the items required were mostly hardware, not equipment. Because of the faulty construction of the towers, many additional man-hours were expended by CAE personnel to make the installation complete.

On 10 November, Mr. Pritchard, project engineer from OOAMA arrived at this station to inventory items received since departure of installation team, which was recalled because of incomplete equipment. On 17 November, Mr. Ronald Blake, CAE installation team leader and his crew returned on station to complete installation. The installation contracts were revised to permit installation of equipment in accordance with current planning. A portion of this contract for installation of the AN/GPS-7 was deleted and a contract for the AN/GPX-7A was added to permit installation of a complete SIF system.

Installation was completed and equipment was turned on for testing and alignment. On 6 December, the required 120 hour hot check was started. On 10 December, Major Lange, 25th Air Division; Captain Melton and M/Sgt. Schell, 4602nd Support Group; Mr. Pritchard OOAMA; and representatives from the squadron started installation inspection. This was hampered by lack of sufficient test equipment. This was solved, however, by the installation contractor furnishing his own test equipment and obtaining on a loan basis some test equipment from the 917th Squadron. On 12 December the installation inspection was completed and installation inspection certificates signed, noting the existing discrepancies. Upon signing of these certificates, the squadron assumed maintenance responsibility for the equipment and the station became operational on an early warning status.

17 December saw the first of the contract augmentation personnel arrive, a radar maintenance technician. A second radar technician arrived on the 22nd of December. The site engineer arrived on 19 December.


Many changes occurred in this section. Personnel-wise, until 7 July 1958, there was only one man assigned to this section. At the end of this reporting period, it now numbers 1 officer and 15 airmen. These are distributed as follows: OIC and NCOIC; five men in transmitters; five men in the communications center; one each airman in wire maintenance and teletype maintenance; and two airmen assigned to crypto.

The mainframe of the GTA-6, installed in September, proved satisfactory and service was increased to 24 hours a day. Service was also extended to nearby Kamloops with the completion of the micro-wave building.

The transmitting equipment and antenna parts scheduled for this site arrived during the month of October and CAE returned in November to install this equipment. On 17 December, crew work started at transmitters and except for minor equipment troubles which were cleared up by the section, everything progressed smoothly. The minor equipment troubles included both VHF and UHF equipment malfunctions.

During this period, BC Telephone Company worked on the lease lines and as of 31 December, these lines were 90% operational. In conjunction, Canadian National Telegraph installed their equipment in the operations room for receiving weather and Canadian Pacific Telegraph installed a teletype machine in the Communications Center for administrative traffic.

Two (2) AN/GRC-26s arrived in December and both must be salvaged because of extensive damage.

Motor Pool:

In addition to routine maintenance and repairs, all vehicles were given an intermediate inspection and Forms 648 brought up to date. As a result of this inspection, it was determined that the Plymouth station wagon needed a complete overhaul. A further inspection revealed that it would be cheaper and wiser to have a new engine installed. The paper-work has been finished on this and anticipated completion date is February 1959.

Because of drifting snow and icing conditions, all two-wheel drive vehicles were restricted from being used on the operations road. This included all station wagons and the International dump truck. This restriction will remain in effect until conditions improve. This has limited the number of vehicles for use on the hill, but this situation will be alleviated when the expected twenty-nine passenger, four-wheel drive, Western Flyer bus and the four-wheel drive Jeep Station wagon arrive on the station.

All privately owned vehicles were inspected prior to issuance of base decal by the Air Police Section.

The contract to construct a personnel cab on the 6 x 6 was let, with work to be completed in February. Rather than to tie-up an operational vehicle, the 6 x 6 that was dead-lined, awaiting a front axle assembly, was sent for modification.

Three vehicles were placed on VDP during this period; (1) 6 x 6, vehicle registration number 52K9526, front axle assembly; (2) bus, vehicle registration number 51B1428, replacement of short block; and (3) International dump truck, vehicle registration number 51B1335, steering wheel. These parts cannot be locally purchased, and a five to ninety day wait for parts exists.

The D-7 Caterpillar arrived and was immediately put into use. Also a mobile air compressor arrived and is in the process of being modified for use in the squadron.

The supply problem of obtaining parts on VDP vehicles has been worked out by coordination with supply and the depot. We can reasonably expect parts for VDP vehicles within 5 to 10 days.

The construction of a broom and mop closet in the latrine has greatly helped in keeping the motor pool cleaning equipment orderly.

Air Police:

Decals for privately owned vehicles arrived and in coordination with the base motor pool, who had inspected these vehicles, were issued. Another air policeman arrived, bolstering the total to seven assigned. Airman Rafferty was given the temporary duty of Base Exchange Manager.

Restricted badges were procured and arrangements for lamination were completed.

The main gate was manned on a 24 hour basis in October. Four Air Police are used for this with additional Air Policemen from the office available to relieve them when they are on detail, leave, etc.

Training ammunition was ordered for the coming fiscal year, but as yet the targets are not available.


Supply geared itself to fully support the operations, radar maintenance, and communications sections. The amount of work expended in this area is readily seen, and no snags are anticipated.


The dispensary, activated 1 July 1958, now consists of the two rooms for administration and treatment, a waiting room, and a dental clinic. Everything is complete except for the installation of dental equipment, the X-ray room, and dark room. Due to the efforts of T/Sgt. Billy T. Oas, our utilization of civilian doctors and medicines has greatly decreased, thus saving this organization a substantial sum of 478 monies. His suggestions and daily inspections of the dining hall have resulted in a dining hall excellent in cleanliness and food preparation.

Difficulties arising from mess personnel arriving this station without food handlers permits have been worked out.

The preventative medicine program has been excellent, with the exception of the water chlorination system. This problem should be resolved with the arrival of a new chlorinator.

A large workload, was imposed upon this section with the authorization for dependants to procure necessary and prescribed medicines from dispensary stock, and if non-available through this source, at local drug stores. Coordination between Sergeant Oas and the local druggists has reduced the problems to almost non-existence.

A breakdown of the number of personnel treated at the dispensary during this period is as follows; immunizations 19; total visits 81; military 72; and dependants 9.


Personnel and administration geared itself to process, handle, assign, and care for the anticipated influx of personnel. Forty-two personnel were assigned during this period which brought our total assigned to 14 officers, 36 non-commissioned officers, and 114 airmen for a total of 164 personnel. Inasmuch as this large amount of people will be leaving one year hence, a program to adjust the DEROS date by either curtailment or extension to allow a smoother phasing out of personnel was initiated and received favorably at higher headquarters, although the curtailment of the tours was received unfavorably. However, this is to be taken under consideration by 25th Air Division and we will undoubtedly be spared the problems of losing a large amount of personnel in a short period of time.


Chaplain Sanders made three visits to the squadron during this period and both protestant and catholic missions were conducted in addition to the normal religious activities.


October saw new construction. A new cattle guard was installed above the cantonment area causing a 600 foot pipe and water trough to be built for the local ranchers convenience. A steel storage building was erected behind the installations building, which gives us the necessary room for installations to properly achieve our maintenance mission. BC Power Commission installed a new 10 KVA transformer behind the motor pool, replacing the one that had burned out.

The hiring of three more civilians brought our installations strength to twenty-one, eighteen of which are Canadian Nationals.

Weather during this period brought many headaches. Emergency road maintenance in November took 120 hours of scoopmobile rental. Widening shoulders and clearing ditches accounted for much of the repair. Icing conditions during December caused closing of the access road to site #2 for twenty-four hour periods and sanding crews worked around the clock.