St. Margarets, NB

1953 – Historical Narrative – National Archives of Canada

21 AC&W Squadron
RCAF Station St. Margarets

Historical Narrative
1 Dec 53 to 31 May 54


Staff Officers:



S/L RD Forbes-Roberts




F/L BA Eisenhauer

promoted to S/L effective 1 Jan 54

C Tech O


S/L FH Battison


Sr. Controller


F/O JW Park

replaced by 25685 S/L ET Albert effective 28 Jan 54

The administrative staff was located in a portion of the Sgts. Mess until Jan 54 when they moved into the left tower of the Operations Building.

The Commanding Officer holds weekly Staff Conferences Wednesday mornings.

In December 53, G/C Doyle, ASR, and F/O Robertson, Command Accommodation Officer, made a liaison visit to the unit.

The Maritime Area Dental Officer, Lt. Col. Harris, from HMCS "Stadacona" visited the unit on 6 Apr 54 to discuss arrangements for the establishment of a Dental Clinic at St. Margarets.

On 23 Apr 54, S/L Sutherland, AFHQ, and F/O Thompson, Area Welfare Officer, visited the unit to discuss welfare problems and procedures.


25 Jan 54

Cross training began between USAF Squadrons and 21 AC&W Squadron. Two crews arrived from the USAF and two local crews departed for 766th and 765th AC&W Squadrons.

28 Jan 54

New Senior Controller arrived on transfer (25685 S/L ET Albert).

2 Feb 54

Evaluation Crew, Lt. Burris USAF OC, arrived for evaluation of the unit Radar. During evaluation the unit was on standby Ops EW.

7 Feb 54

Evaluation completed.

9 Feb 54

One cross training crew proceeded to 766th AC&W Squadron USAF and one crew arrived from 765 AC&W Squadron USAF.

1 Mar 54

Senior Controller proceeded on TD to ADCHQ for Senior Controller’s Conference.

2 Mar 54

221 AW Squadron Moisie became an EW Station reporting to 21 AC&W Squadron.

4 Mar 54

21 AC&W Squadron took part in CPX "Blue Ice" as synthetic exercise. Copies of the Operations Order and Unit Report are attached as Appendix "A".

6 Mar 54

IFF equipment installed.

19 Mar 54

Briefing held for exercise Dust Devil II.

20 – 22 Mar 54

Unit took part in exercise Dust Devil II. Operations Order and Unit Report on file S4-11-6.

8 Apr 54

21 AC&W Squadron experienced window jamming.

16 May 54

Unit took part in practice alert.

17 May 54

211 AW Moisie became operational and began telling track information to this unit.

20 May 54

Unit took part in synthetic exercise CPS "Brown Trout". Copy of Operation Order attached as Appendix "B". Unit report on file S4-11-9.

21 May 54

Unit began 30 day Radar Weather Reporting trial with Station Chatham. Unit call sign changed from Bromide to Chopstick.


(a) Communications:

During December 53 additional voice lines were connected to Caswell, Charleston and St. Hubert. Two lines to RCN Shearwater and a teletype line to NEAC and SAR Halifax were connected. The status loop and the omnibus teletype loop were connected. By 17 Dec 53 all Teletype personnel were at St. Margarets.

On 11 Jan 54 Admin teletype traffic was being received and transmitted from St. Margarets and the Met teletype loop was connected.

During Feb 54 voice lines were connected to GCI Halifax and Sydney.

On 6 Jan 54 the Admin staff moved to South Tower of the Ops Buildings and phones were connected on the 551B switchboard rented from the NB Telephone Company. Prior to this there were two lines connecting St. Margarets with the Newcastle exchange and the Admin Staff, located in the Sgts. Mess had one dial phone to Newcastle as their only communications.

On 1 Mar 54 the Crypto Centre became operative and all messages from the unit now handled by the Message Centre.

On 18 May 54 a new status loop was installed and Moisie, Sydney, Chatham and COC were connected with this station.

(b) Radar:

This unit commenced operating the FPS-3 at 2000Z on 26 Oct 53. At the outset our technical efficiency was handicapped by having only 5 inexperienced technicians (directly from the course at Senneterre) of Group 1 and 2 level. Maintenance was carried on without the aid of the scheduled program, which was not received until mid-November. During this initial period of operation, flight trials on the ISG-98 were conducted (27 Oct to 30 Oct) but were not entirely completed due to adverse weather conditions, however, the results were concluded to be satisfactory by inspection service for subsequent processing of the A & I notes.

No experienced technicians were obtained until 10 Nov when one Flight Sergeant arrived. Operations have been carried on continuously from the 26 Oct 53 on a 24 hour basis but the AMC maintenance program was not received and instituted until 11 Nov. Since gaining this NCO and the initial experience for all other technicians, no difficulties, not peculiar to the lack of numbers, have been experienced.

Operation of ISG-98 was not commenced pending instructions from AMC and the processing of the A & I notes. Considerable difficulty was experienced in obtaining lubricating oils for the system so that this equipment was not placed in service until 12 Apr 54. Proper test equipment has not been received so that even now the set cannot be adjusted to maximum efficiency.

On 7 Feb 54 the evaluation crew (ADC) visited this site and carried their exercise through the 12 Feb 54

On 11 Mar 54 the IFF installation was completed by a crew from 6 RD who also installed video cables to the Video mapping circuits on all PPIs. This is presently employed for synthetic targets. The 15-J1C trainer has been installed by unit technicians in Room 412 and made available for use on 12 Mar 54.

Considerable difficulty has been experienced in obtaining certain critical spares (T-R tubes, coax to wave guide adapter, pulse transformers) but in the main spares have been adequate.

(c) Supply:

The Supply section was fully operational when the station opened 1 Nov 53.

During May 54 the Section was modified to conform more closely with the standard layout in accordance with the AOC’s instructions.


4-5 (Blue Ice)

CPX Operation "Blue Ice"


Following is a summary of events and actions taken as a result of information received at 21 AC&W Squadron during operation "Blue Ice".


4 Mar 54 a condition of "cocked pistol" Blue Ice was received from ADC COC.


12 aircraft from 1 (F) OUT allotted to 21 AC&W Squadron by 2 ADCC.


Condition of "Lemon Juice" declared by 2 ADCC, aircraft of 1 (F) OUT brought to progressive states of readiness.


Condition of Applejack ordered by 2 ADCC. All remaining aircraft brought to status of stand-by by 1530Z.


Lemon Juice by 2 ADCC.


Signal from NEAC simulated hostile track at JKEH 0010, heading SW, strength 76, Angels 30, speed 400.


Signal from NEAC, YG20E at JKBG35, headed SW, track was redesignated XG20E.


Applejack by 2 ADCC.


8 aircraft of 1 (F) OTU scrambled on track XG20E.


Lemon Juice by 2 ADCC.


Snowman by 2 ADCC.


(a) This unit experienced some difficulty in manipulation of the fighter status, mission and assigned forces displays due to a paucity of communications between the Ops B and the status board operators. This unit is at present utilizing a ringing field telephone for this purpose.

(b) The attempted interception scrambled at 1635Z was not successful. This is felt to be due to the fact that the Controller on duty failed to realize that the simulated tracks received from NEAC involved a 30 minute delay.

(c) No simulated equipment or communications failures were experienced.

Suggestions and Recommendations:



(ET Albert) S/L
Senior Controller
21 AC&W Squadron