St. Margarets, NB

1955 – Historical Narrative – National Archives of Canada

1 Dec 55 – 31 May 56



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

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

(b) The display of all tracks seen on the radar of 211, 22 and 221 AC&W Squadrons.

(c) The identification of all tracks in #2 Sector.

(d) The control and tactical employment of 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 Squadron is equipped with an FPS-3 Search Radar and two FPS-501s as Height Finding Radar. No backup search or height finding equipment is as yet installed although, the FPS-6, a new Height Finder is programmed for the near future.

The VHF Transmitter Equipment in use is a "lash-up" installed in the Receiver Site giving 21 AC&W Squadron 9 usable VHF frequencies and 5 UHF frequencies. The transmitter site is now coming into use, and full facilities will be available, shortly.


21 AC&W Squadron had an average of 12 controllers and 128 FtrCops throughout the period organized in 5 crews of 23 FtrCops each. Four of these crews work a shift of 9 days on and 3 days off with the fifth crew on days for one month periods.

During GCI states the Squadron maintains two crews on duty and one crew during E.W. States. Two FtrCops are employed in the operations switchboard. Supervisory personnel include 3 Sgts. and 9 Cpls.


On 1 Apr 55 the following promotions were announced:

A/Cpl. Oram was promoted to Cpl.

A/Cpl Alexander was promoted to Cpl.

Air Surveillance

During the period, traffic carried by 21 AC&W Squadron averaged 7,640 tracks per month for a total of 45,863 for the period. The identification efficiency increased steadily throughout the period. On 1 Dec 55, the identification function of 22 AC&W Squadron was taken over by 21 AC&W Squadron. This function was still in effect at the end of the period.

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 times 1(F) OTU are flying. A summary of control operations is submitted as Appendix "A".


During the first week of December, 21 AC&W Squadron participated in Exercise Cracker Jack. The report and operations order in connection with this exercise is submitted as Appendix "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 twelve 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. In addition the following courses were attended by Squadron personnel:

Advanced Intercept Course
at Yuma, Arizona

F/O Spiller
F/O Scott

Advanced Intercept Course
at Moody AFB, Georgia

F/O Woodcock

Basic Controller Course
at Tyndall, Florida

F/O Hedley

In addition the following controllers were attached to 21 AC&W Squadron for contact training during the period, F/O Pottier, F/O MacKay, F/O Meredith, F/O Black, P/O Caldwell, P/O Boyle

Liaison Visits and Conferences

The following cross training was carried out:

F/O Thompson, F/O Buckley, F/O Little, F/O Hussey, F/O Lutes, and F/O Sperdakos of 76 GObC Det. Carried out cross training at 21 AC&W Squadron.

F/O Scott, F/O Woodcock and F/O Skeaff carried out one week cross training at 766 AC&W Squadron, Caswell, Maine.

From the 18 Nov to 20 Dec the Senior Controller, S/L ET Albert attended the meeting of the Early Warning Operations Working Group in New York City.

On 10 Jan to 1 Feb S/L Albert attended the meeting of EWOWG at Colorado Springs, Colorado.

On 25-26 May F/O EL Babcock attended an ECM Conference held at ADCHQ.



Dec 55

A complete section reorganization was carried out which resulted in the STelO assuming responsibility for Radar and Tel 2 responsible for all phases of communication. Also, FS Locke was made RadWO and FS MacDonald made Comm WO.

WO2 Haun who was RadWO was transferred to Station Foymount and Mrs. L Kindred was transferred into the section as Tel O Room stenographer.

The AN/FPS-3(C) continued to give satisfactory efficiency throughout the month.

The AN/TPS-501 underwent a major overhaul which was carried out by an RCA Overhaul party under Mr. K Phillips. Since completion of the overhaul, serviceability has shown a marked improvement which is attributed to the valuable instruction given the maintenance personnel as well as the maintenance procedure data, etc brought back by FS Blackman from his visit to RCA last month.

The temporary installation of the AN/GNH-501 Recorder-Reproducers Sound was completed and was used during Operation Crackerjack with fairly successful results. It is evident that considerable difficulty will be experienced in the maintenance of this equipment due to the lack of spares and test cables.

An interchannel interference between 141.66 and 122.2 VHF lashup installations at the RX Site was investigated and a report with corrective recommendations made by letter to ADCHQ.

Construction of the TX Site building continued very slowly. An A for P for kitchen facilities was raised by the unit as none was provided in the original plans.

Jan 56

Both the AN/FPS-3(C) and the AN/TPS-501 Radar equipment operated at peak efficiency during the month.

Mr. P Epstein of DND (IS) arrived 20 Jan to supervise the installation of the TX Site.

The removal of the ISG-98 Height Finder equipment was completed and preparation for returning same to supply was pushed forward.

Mr. W. Hobbs of Cossor (Canada) Ltd. arrived 31 Jan to complete the installation of the TX Site.

During Jan and Feb, there was a considerable movement of personnel in and out of the section on transfers and TD with an overall loss in quantity and experience to the section.

Feb 56

The radar equipment continued satisfactorily throughout the month and installation of an indicator unit on the forward dais was started and progressed favourably under the capable direction of FS Blackman.

A Bell Telephone Co installation party arrived 01 Feb to carry out the installation of the Model 28 teletype equipment. By the end of the month, completion was delayed due to non-arrival of the relay switching unit off contract.

Mr. E McNair of AMC arrived on 01 Feb to arrange and discuss details of completion of the TX Site with the contractor and DND (IS) representative. Actual installation was started on 14 Feb upon final acceptance (with deficiencies) of the TX building.

On 27 Feb, the NB Tel Co. commenced work cutting in the 200 pair cable into the building.

On 28 Feb, a Tower installation man arrived and repaired the damaged to-loaded antenna on the LF Tower.

New alternate-colour cord wire installed on the PBX to reduce the possibility of disconnects and was found to be effective.

The STelO lectured the pilots of Station Chatham on the use of Radar in GCI work, etc on 06 Feb.

Mar 56

Mr. CW Young of NW Co. arrived 14 March to carry out the pre-overhaul inspection of the AN/FPS-3(C).

The installation of the radar indicator monitoring unit on the dais was completed and was found operationally satisfactory.

On 01 Mar, Mr. J Ackerman of DND (IS) arrived to assist Mr. Epstein at the TX Site.

Mr. E McNair made a routine visit to the TX Site on 13 Mar. The installation progressed satisfactorily during the month.

The installation of termination racks and cutover of the 200 pair cable was completed by the NB Tel Co crews at the TX Site and the NE603 position installed by the Wire Chief and his personnel.

Installation of the Model 28 teletype equipment was completed 07 Mar with the arrival of the relay-switching unit and went into immediate operation in Operations.

During the month, the STelO also assumed the duties of Sector Tel O upon the departure of F/O J MacDonald to Mont Apica.

The type 551 PBX was removed from service and returned to the NB Tel Co with the station Admin circuits cut into the PBX Admin board on the NE603 system. This has been resulted in a greatly increased efficiency in the switchboard.

Apr 56

Four LACs were promoted to Corporal effective 01 Apr – LACs Drew, Dugas, Esliger and Hachey.

Mr. CW Young with an NE Co overhaul crew returned to the unit and carried out a major overhaul on the AN/FPS-3(C).

On 11 Apr, Mr. E McNair returned on another periodic inspection of the TX Site installation which is progressing satisfactorily and estimated to be ready for acceptance on 22 May.

The Tel Main. section has experienced a nearly complete changeover of AF staff as well as the loss of Mr. R Prime who returned to the NB Tel Co. He is replaced by Mr. R Hughes as wire chief.

Installation of the 100 Key telephone termination equipment in Sector has been successfully completed and placed in operational use. The 1A Key installation in Squadron Operations was 65% complete by end month.

FS Plytka of ADCHQ carried out a command inspection of the Message Center 26 Apr. It is noteworthy that this unit’s Message Center was second from the top in message transmission accuracy.

Operation of the radar was very satisfactory throughout the month with very little corrective maintenance logged.

Mr. P Epstein who has been the resident DND (IS) representative at the TX Site left for duties in the North and was replaced by Mr. Olfman.

F/L Cooper of Stn Chatham and F/O Hetherington of Station Moisie paid a familiarization visit to the unit.

F/L CH Brooks of ADCHQ Security Branch made a formal visit to the unit section.

May 56

Mr. CA Calhoun of TCA arrived earlier in the month for preliminary arrangements regarding use of the GT28 for radio teletype ground/air tests. At end month, Mr. BG Doutre carried out the installation of their keyer and necessary modifications to the transmitter. Com Maint personnel will carry out 1st and 2nd line Maint of this equipment.

Mr. E McNair arrived 22 May to carry out final acceptance tests of the TX installation. Final tests were commenced 31 May with final acceptance set for 04 June.

The move of VHF and UHF TX equipment previously in use in lashup at the RX Site was completed 22 May. This move lasted one week and was carried out with the minimum disruption to facilities.

On 29 May, a grass fire got away from the road crews at work burning brush along the highway and ran up a telephone pole where the outer sheath and wire insulation was burned off both the NB Tel Co cable and the RCAF 200 pr cable to the TX and RX Sites. This resulted in a nearly total loss of trunk and operational DND lines as well as 60-70% loss of lines to the RX Site which necessitated manning the old VHF lashup in the North Tower for a 24 hour period. Very prompt emergency repairs were carried out by the NB Tel Co. with permanent repairs still going on at month’s end.

Mr. V Lyons was replaced during the month by Mr. Dykeman as the Bell Tel Co. area Wire Chief and made his first visit to this unit 29 May.

The first three civilian teletype operators were TOS during the last 6 weeks and have been undergoing on-the-job training as well as lectures on procedure, etc.

Page 12 Missing

The Power Plant operation has been very good with all equipment in good condition. All engines will be given a 12000 hours overhaul during the summer months and the starting air compressors replaced at that time.

The Heating services on the station and remote sites are in good condition and gave good operating results throughout the winter.

All water services functioned normally but the septic tank has proved useless and will be by-passed to the proposed sewage treatment plant through a pumping station.

There was little change in the Fire Section during this period with the exception of the transfer of Sgt. Theriault, Fire Chief. Cpl. Finnigan is now Fire Chief. The problems of personnel shortages, poor accommodation and obsolete equipment still exists.

Station Supply Section

Dec 55

The remainder of the Operation "Crackerjack" equipment arrived early in December and was issued to Ops and Telecom with the exception of Photographic which was issued on a special inventory.

The SSO attended an SSO conference at ADCHQ during the month.

Jan 56

One Airman was TOS during the month.

The equipment for the new TX Site was moved to the Site and the balance held at 5 SD also delivered to the Site. A "low-boy" semi-trailer unit and "Bomb" truck were loaned from Station Chatham for this work.

Packing and crating of the AF/ISG-98 equipment was commenced.

Mar 56

A team of SOAF auditors headed by F/L Whitney visited the supply section and only two minor observations raised.

One Airwoman was SOS to release during the month.

Apr 56

The supply section took over control of CE Stores on 01 Apr.

A memorandum requesting an A for P be raised for construction of a scrap compound.

One carload of AN/FPS-6 equipment was received from Akron Ohio and was stored outside due to lack of inside accommodation.

The ISG-98 equipment weighing 25,000 lbs was shipped to 6RD by rail. 35 cartons (1,100 items) of ISG-98 spares returned to stock at 1SD.