St. Margarets, NB

1954 – Historical Narrative – National Archives of Canada

1 DEC 54 – 31 MAY 55


(1) The total strength of RCAF Station St. Margarets as of 31 May 55 stands at:



Sr. NCOs


Jr. NCOs








There were no staff changes among the senior officers. In January F/L Fernie assumed the position of STelO and in May F/O F Bogstad arrived to fill the vacant position in our Tech/Tel establishment. These two officers replace F/O Ireland who was transferred to RCAF Station Cold Lake and F/O MacDonald to No. 2 ADCC. In March F/O FC Campbell replace F/O ME Vaughan as Adjutant. Two new Wire Chiefs, Mr. R Prime and Mr. R Hughes of the NB Telephone Company arrived in January.



The major change in organization was the deletion from unit establishment of an Assistant CAdO position, leaving the present positions of a F/L CAdO and F/O Adjutant unchanged. A great improvement in efficient administration of this unit will be facilitated by addition of an Accounts Officer and an enlarged Accounts staff within the next two months.

Inspections and Visits

1 Dec 54

F/L Hodgins SOSup/2 made an inspection of the Supply Section.

3 Dec 54

S/L McKergow SOMS MESS visited the unit during her Command Inspection trip to check on Messing.

7 Dec 54

F/O Langille SO Maint 2-1 inspected the ME Section during a field a trip from Command.

9 Dec 54

Mr. SC Northover from AFHQ/DND arrived to investigate the area where the PMQs will be sited.

10 Dec 54

G/C Willis SPSO paid a familiarization visit to this unit.

9 Feb 55

Sgt. O’Leary from Command carried out a Sanitary Inspection.

10 Feb 55

W/C Briese W/C Ops AC&W arrived as guest speaker for a Sector Conference held at this station.

15 Feb 55

S/L Sarty SOGT, made a routine visit.

3 Mar 55

F/O Hind SOAF A3 conducted an Accounts inspection.

7 Mar 55

S/L Rogers, CC PROT, called during a field trip from Command.

1 Apr 55

G/C Howes, CO of No. 5 Supply Depot, Moncton, was guest speaker at a Mess Dinner in the Officers’ Mess.

3 May 55

A/V/M Wray, AOC, visited to carry out a familiarization inspection accompanied by S/L Skinner, AOC/EA. Luncheon included all officers, who were introduced to the AOC.

11 May 55

G/C Gwinn, CTelO; W/C Steeves, SOComm; S/L Shaw, SOPC 2; and F/L Quickfall, SOPC 1-2; spent a day on the unit to discuss local problems in their respective fields.

14 May 55

G/C MacLean AFHQ/DRA(P) and S/L Rogers from ADC visited the unit to inspect the chapel facilities located in the recently completed Station Theatre.

24 May 55

S/L Evans AFHQ/WP and W/C Walker (MATP) spent the day checking on conditions pertaining to the airwomen.

30 May 55

F/O Barker SOCE 3-1, from Command, carried out an inspection of the CE Section.

31 May 55

F/O Sinclair SOCE 1-2, Command Fire Marshall, conducted an inspection of the station.


The total strength of the unit has increased to 344. 27 civilians have been added to our establishment, bringing the total to 108. At present there are 81 civilians employed on this station.

Accommodation and Facilities

No additional Barrack accommodation has been constructed, leaving the accommodation picture acute. All rooms in all barrack blocks are filled to capacity and it might prove necessary to authorize single personnel to board in the Chatham area. Recreational facilities now include the Snack Bar which opened in March, and the Station Theatre which opened in May. The facilities are accommodated in a new Armco building constructed by the CE section. Movies are being shown twice a week. The Theatre also serves as a Station Chapel where both RC and Protestant denominations hold services every Sunday afternoon.


The standard of messing is excellent. The sale of meals to living out personnel continues to be an important source of revenue. The supervision is good, and the civilian staff remains fairly constant.


Highlights in December were a Girls Basketball game on 19 Dec, a children’s party in the Sgts.’ Mess on 20 Dec, an evening of entertainment sponsored by the Glee Club on 21 Dec, Christmas Dinner in the Airmen’s Mess on Christmas Day, and a Station Dance on New Years Eve. All these events were a great success.

In January a Curling Rink was formed and obtain membership in the Newcastle Curling Club. Inter-mess and inter-section bowling recommenced after the Christmas season. Hockey games continued, and badminton players held a tournament with Station Chatham before the Rec. Hall closed for repairs to the roof.

A Valentines Dance on 14 Feb was well attended by Station personnel. Boxing and wrestling classes at Station Chatham attracted several St. Margarets airmen. Hockey continued to provide keen interest in the sports line.

In March the Curling Rink held a small bonspiel with Station Chatham and No. 5 Supply Depot. Two trips were made to Moncton during March, one to the "Ice-Cycles of 1955" on 9 Mar and the second to lend support to the RCAF Rockcliffe Flyers in their initial game in the Eastern Canada Allan Cup series vs. Moncton Hawks. In both cases a block of tickets were bought, and a very good time was had by all.

April showers cut down on activities during this month. New Standing Committees were set up for Sports, Entertainment, and Hobbies.

The baseball season opened in May with two exhibition games against Chatham Town. Practising began on the sports field, and impromptu soccer and volley ball games were enjoyed by several sections. The new Station Theatre opened with two shows a week scheduled. The first Bingo for the year met with moderate success. Two experts in Handicrafts spent two weeks each conducting classes in the Hobby Shop, the first in leather work and the second in sewing.


Security clearances are being processed on unit personnel as follows:





D26 Action to be Taken


A female SP, A/Cpl R Gohrke is now on unit strength. A/Cpl Beer will soon be proceeding overseas, to be replaced by Sgt Lewis from Station Chatham.

The establishment for Commissionaires has been reduced from six to three. With this reduction and the loss of two SPs in the near future, it will be impossible to maintain adequate security vigilance. However, representation had bee made to have the Commissionaire establishment increased to six, and no reduction in strength is anticipated.


Commanding Officer’s Parades are being held twice a month and station work Parades each alternate week. Parades are handicapped by lack of an area large enough to execute manoeuvres.

Lack of a guard house and detention rooms causes difficulty in punishing offenders.

With the present SP strength it is impossible to maintain 24-hour duty on the unit. A duty SP is on call during the silent hours.


WO1 Round replaced F/O Stewart as Education Officer in Feb 55. In December Trade Board 54 wrote and 76% passed; in the March Trade Board 53 wrote and 79% passes.

With a new Station Theatre, the room in the right tower previously used for movies is now being outfitted as a class room. A master Vu-graph has been received and is being used extensively by Training Wing.

Several personnel are progressing in DVA courses.

Medical and Dental

F/O A Collette is the Nursing Sister on this unit. No changes were made in organization or strength of the MIR. Personnel from this unit are sent to the Station Chatham Infirmary for medical attention.

The Dental Clinic is now fully equipped, and Major Fell from Station Chatham spends one week each month on this unit administering dental treatment.

Chaplain Services

Both Protestant and RC Church Services are held each Sunday in the new Station theatre. The Protestant Padre from Station Chatham holds Sunday services for Protestant personnel and spends one day each week on this unit interviewing personnel. Father McMahon, a local priest, holds the Sunday services for RC personnel, and visits the unit frequently for interviews. Father McMahon has been appointed to the reserves and is serving as officiating clergyman.


Since moving from Station Chatham and assuming entity as an individual unit, Station St. Margarets’ personnel have enjoyed a growing sense of pride in their unit. In spite of limited accommodation and recreational facilities, a high level of morale and station spirit have been evidenced by the large turn-out of personnel for volunteer projects and unit activities. The entire station area has been landscaped, and shrubs have now been planted around the lawns.

The administrative, operational, and technical personnel of both Sector and Squadron strive toward a common goal; the smooth functioning of an efficient station.



21 AC&W Squadron is responsible to 2 ADCC for the Air Defence of its subsector and is to:

(a) Provide early warning and GCI control within its assigned subsectors.

(b) The display of all tracks seen on the radars of 211 AW Sqn

(c) The identification of all tracks in its identification subsector.

(d) The control and tactical employment of those assigned fighter aircraft.

(e) The flight following of all training exercises of 1(F) OTU.

The normal operational state maintained throughout the period was 8 hours GCI plus 14 hours EW.


21 AC&W is equipped with an FPS-3 Search radar and two FPS-501s as Height Finding radar. The IFF equipment control used is an aircraft set which has given satisfactory service, but has the disadvantage of being controlled from one position only which precludes the full exploitation of its identification capability. The standard control equipment is now in the process of being installed.

The VHF equipment in use is a "lash-up" installed in the right tower giving the 21 AC&W Squadron 9 usable frequencies. UHF equipment is now being re-installed on a "lash-up" basis to provide communication facilities for controlling USAF fighter aircraft.


21 AC&W Squadron had an average of 16 controllers and 148 FtrCops throughout the period, organized in six crews of 22 FtrCops each. These crews work a shift of 6 days on and 3 days off. During the state of GCI the Squadron maintains two crews on duty and one crew during EW States. 12 FtrCops are employed in the operations switchboard. Supervisory personnel include 1 WO2, 3 Sgts., and 9 Cpls.


On 1 Apr 55 the following promotions were announced:

FS Wealleans was promoted to WO2;
A/Sgt. Lohmaier was promoted to Sgt.;
LAWs Reese and Devin promoted to Cpl.

Air Surveillance

During the period, traffic carried by 21 AC&W Squadron averaged 8400 tracks per month for a total of 50,477 for the period. The identification efficiency increased steadily throughout the period. On the 18 Mar 55, one-room operation commenced at this Unit. This move resulted in a manpower saving of three FtrCops per shift and provides greater all around supervision of staff and a much more up to date operational display.

On 18 May 55, 22 AC&W Squadron took over responsibility for identification for their subsector on an 8 hour a day basis. This has resulted in a considerable reduction in work load during peak periods.

Aircraft Control

21 AC&W Squadron continued with control of Air Gunnery exercises and surveillance of training cross countries for 1 (F) OTU during the period. Three controllers are employed at all time 1 (F) OTU are flying. A summary of control operations is submitted as Appendix "A"


During the third week in February, 21 AC&W Squadron participated in exercise "Dry Run" a synthetic training exercise. The report and operation order in connection with this exercise are submitted as Appendices "B" and "C" to this narrative.

No other exercises other than local "canned" exercises were carried out during the period.


The Squadron was subjected to ECM on nine occasions during the period. All of these exercises consisted of mechanical and VHF Jamming. No electronic Jamming exercises were experienced.


A training organization consisting of one controller and four FtrCops functioned throughout the period. In addition to the prescribed syllabus of lectures which total some 60 hours per eligible FtrCop, a miniature operations room is used to familiarize new personnel with all operating positions. This method of training has proven of great value operationally because the personnel can each be taught the practical side of each position without interfering with the actual operations. This method resulted in a 100% pass on the trade examination of 15 Mar 55. In addition the following courses were attended by Squadron personnel:

NCO Course – Camp Borden

Sgt LP Lohmaier

Current Affairs – UNB

F/L JW Park

JSMIC – Clinton

F/O TE Meloche

Meteorological Course - ADCHQ

F/O Scott
P/O Beesley

MG2 Course

S/L Albert

Liaison Visits & Conferences

The following cross training was carried out: F/O Fisher, F/O Anonsen and F/O Stewart carried out one week of cross training with 22 AC&W Squadron, Halifax.

F/O Maxwell, F/O Burrill and F/O Quanstrom of 22 AC&W Squadron carried out cross training at 21 AC&W Squadron.

On 11 Feb 55, W/C Briese and S/L Evans of ADCHQ visited 21 AC&W Squadron.

On 17-20 may, S/L Forbes-Roberts and S/L Albert visited 765 Squadron at Casswell, Maine and 765 AC&W Squadron at Charleston, Maine.

On 9-10 February the Senior Controller, S/L ET Albert attended a conference at 2 ADCC.


In conclusion, a brief resume of the problems and deficiencies affecting the operating efficiency of 21 AC&W Squadron follows:

(a) The necessity of all external calls having to go through the switchboard causes delays in exchange of vital information with neighbouring AC&W Squadron. The addition of direct ringing circuits at the duty controller and identification officer’s position are considered necessary.

(b) The delay experienced in receiving flight plan information as tracks in the Seven Islands area results in identification problem that remains to be solved.

(c) Operations personnel are not able to obtain any practices in the 90 beam lead collision type of interception because the AW fighters are not available.

(d) A lack of experienced NCOs to provide adequate leadership and supervision of the operations personnel at 21 AC&W Squadron is a continuing problem. In order to provide this supervision it is deemed necessary that all crew chiefs be of Sgt rank and all key positions such as Ops B, NCO i/c Ident, etc., be of Cpl rank.



Dec 54

During this month, the ISG-98 in the North Tower was removed and placed in storage awaiting disposal action. Installation of the TPS-501 in the North Tower was started. The TPS-501 in the South Tower was made operational, but was not used due to the inability to blank the resultant interference in the FPS-3(C).

The only major fault in radar section was a defective HV relay which was finally removed and a new contact manufactured and installed. During the final week, a unserviceable Pulse Transformer resulted in limited operation.

The arrival of snow and winter conditions caused work to cease on the stumping, grubbing and grading contract at the TX Site, as well as the laying of the L.F. ground mat. Erection of all poles at this site was completed and all VHF Antennas installed.

On the 31 Dec, Mr. K Langan of NB Tel Co. (acting Wire Chief) was temporarily replaced by Mr. H Ponting.

Jan 55

On the 6 Jan, F/L JHP Fernie, Tech/Tel, reported from RU London, England as replacement for F/O JW MacDonald who was transferred to 2 ADCC. Upon assuming his new duties, a section re-organization took place abolishing the RadO and ComO positions. F/L Fernie became STelO with F/O Ireland as Tel 2.

An extreme shortage in personnel exists in some branches notably, in Radar Maint. In an effort to mitigate this situation as much as possible, personnel were shifted from other sections as qualifications and conditions permitted to re-enforce where necessary.

Technical assistance on the interference of FPS-3(C) by the TPS-501 confirmed previously formed conclusions that the trigger output of the latter equipment was of insufficient amplitude to operate the FPS-3 (C) blanking circuits. Local effort is being made to rectify this fault utilizing unused pulse amplifying circuits of the FPS-3(C) pending redesign of either the TPS-501 or FPS-3(C) affected states. Technical assistance was also obtained on the TPS-501 converters.

Outside work at the Remote Sites has halted due to inclement weather and shortage of materials. Equipment installation at the RX Site was nearly complete at end of month and most preliminary tests completed. Construction of TX building is approximately 60% completed.

In an effort to overcome interference to the Lash-up VHF Receivers caused by the TPS-501 in the North Tower, the VHF Antennas were raised an additional 10 feet and re-located.

Feb 55

New TPS-501 alternators were installed with technical assistance rendered by RCA Victor field representatives. The interference blanking problem was overcome with technical assistance rendered by NE Co. Field representatives.

On the last day of the month, a fire occurred in the Main Radome resulting in some cable damage and rather extensive smoke damage to the AN/FPS-3(C) and APX-6 (mod.) equipment.

Equipment installation at the Remote Sites has halted and the Cossor (Canada) Ltd. representatives returned to Halifax. Suitable arrangements have been made for safeguarding of the equipment. Most of the approximate 7% progress in construction of the TX building was divided between plumbing, heating, and electrical facilities.

Mar 55

At the end of March, F/O EA Ireland who occupied the Tel 2 position left on transfer to Cold Lake, Alberta. This necessitated the STelO assuming all Tel 2 duties with the exception of Officer i/c Charged Documents (Cryptocen) which was to be temporarily filled by F/O MacDonald from 2 ADCC.

The chief time loss in operating time during the month was of course caused by the fire which occurred at the end of the previous month. This time loss was considered small when the amount of smoke damage was considered. The running-in snags encountered after the clean-up was completed were few and of minor nature. Both TPS-501 equipment were operational during the month, but due to the interference caused to the VHF Lash-up equipment, the North Tower height finder is used on a requirement basis only.

Mr. MacNair from AMCHQ visited the unit in respect to the equipment installation tie up. Assurances were given that pressure would be exerted at AMCHQ to have the equipment installation at the RX Site and HF Monitor Room in the Main Ops Building completed as nearly as possible and as soon as possible.

On March 18, the changeover to One-room Operation was completed with all essential communication services operational. All facilities were completed three days later. This changeover took place in a very efficient manner from the telecom viewpoint in that there was never at any time a complete communications break. This was considered to be due to the careful detailed preliminary work which preceded the actual cut over.

On the last day of the month two channels of UHF A/G/A were installed at the lashup room in the North Tower.

Apr 55

From 01 to 09 Apr the NE Co. Field inspection party carried out the annual overhaul and inspection of the AN/FPS-3(C) and associated ancillary equipments such as pressurizing the systems, etc. According to these representatives, the equipment on this unit was found to be in the best condition of any encountered by the party to date. Only minor adjustments and changes were necessary.

Construction of the TX building ceases entirely at the end of March with formal notification being given on 05 Apr. Cause of this was the financial difficulties in which the prime contractor, Coldwell Construction Ltd. of Fredericton, apparently became involved with its bank, sub-contractors, etc. The equipment contractors returned to the job and continued with the equipment installation where possible.

The CTechO (S/L Battison) attended the AFHQ Tel Conference held in Clinton on 18 to 19 Apr as ADC Field representative. At mid-month, Mr. Hughes was loaned to Station Beaverbank for an equipment installation project for approximately one month. He was temporarily replaced by Mr. Frank Bourgeois of NB Tel. Co.

On 15 Apr a relocation of the VHF A/G/A Antennas was carried out in an effort to overcome a blocking interference which occurred between several channels. Since that change, this interference has been eliminated.

May 55

On 03 May the sections were inspected by the AOC, ADC on his annual inspection tour.

On 12 May the sections were inspected by the CTel’s G/C Gwinn and W/C Steeves. They were well satisfied with this section and few adverse comments were made.

From 28 to 30 May a party of field representatives from RCA Victor carried out a preliminary inspection of the TPS-501 equipment. They found the equipment in good mechanical condition but setting and adjustment left something to be desired due mainly to insufficient trained personnel.

On 11 and 12 May, the Area Supt. for Bell Tel. Co., Mr. Guile, inspected the telephone plant on a routine inspection. On 22 to 29 May Mr. H Ponting, Area Wire Chief, accompanied by Mr. V Lyons, visited the unit on his handover inspection. Mr. V Lyons has now assumed the Area Wire Chief position for this area. On 17 May Mr. Hughes returned from Station Beaverbank.

One decision made during the CTelO’s visit was that full UHF A/G/A facilities be re-installed in the Lash-up. Preparatory work for this was commenced. No further progress was made on the TX building. Work on cabling and rack wiring, etc continued at Rx site and HF Monitor Room.