St. Margarets, NB

1956 – Historical Narrative – National Archives of Canada

1 December 1956 – 31 May 1957


Construction of new buildings – Admin, Hospital, Fire Hall, Barrack Block, and PMQs – was delayed by another carpenter’s strike in May. None of the station buildings were completed at the end of May.

The first four PMQs were occupied 8 Feb 57. At the end of May, 40 units were in use. These were all class 1 (airmen’s) houses; but two were used temporarily for officers for whom accommodation problems had developed.

The James Park School was nearing completion. It is anticipated that it will be in use for the new school term.

Barracks remain over-crowded, necessitating that some personnel live out; this condition is expected to be alleviated when the new barracks and offices are completed.

Recreational and utility facilities on the unit consist of Sports Stores where equipment is available on loan, a skating rink, a ball park, a library, two Messes and one Wet Canteen, a dry canteen, a snack bar, a laundry, a barber shop, and a gas pump.

The Rec. Hall and other facilities at Station Chatham are available for the use of St. Margarets’ personnel, but are fifteen miles away. There is only one ME Recreation run to Chatham each evening.

See Appendix "B"


1 Dec 56

An SAC exercise mission of 36 B-47 aircraft penetrated 21 Squadron sub sector inbound to USA.

3 Dec 56

F/O Skeaff proceeded to ADCHQ for ECM Indoctrination course.

5 Dec 56

Mechanical jamming was experienced from an exercise aircraft (NJ26) operating units in this area. A SAC overfly mission of 24 B-47s passed through this unit’s area of responsibility. Tactical action was taken against these aircraft using F-89s from PQI and F-86s from 1(F) OTU.

6 Dec 56

At 0100Z Electronic and Communications jamming encountered. Source determined as a B-47 aircraft. Jamming conditions varied strength 2-4.

12 Dec 56

At 1930Z night flying commenced Station Chatham. A total of 40 missions carried out under surveillance of this unit.

14 Dec 56

At 1326Z, a KC-97 (call sign Inkspot 20) called radar advisory for assistance, when contacted the pilot advised he had lost the majority of Nav aids and had developed engine trouble as well. The aircraft was positively identified and given flight following to Loring AFB where it landed without further incident.

23 Dec 56

For purpose of Christmas-New years holidays a six crew schedule was adopted with a total of 53 FtrCops on duty for each period.

25 Dec 56

At 1305Z a call for radar assistance was received from TWO flight 863, enroute Boston from overseas. Pilot advised he had lost one engine over PEI and his compasses were erratic. Aircraft identified and a join up was made with Lufthansa flight 205 (another L1049) who escorted flight 863 through to destination.

27 Dec 56

An SAC training mission of 17 KC-97s penetrated the unit sub sector at 0835Z- No tactical action possible.

2 Jan 57

An overfly consisting of 3 B-47s and 3 B-52s passed through the unit’s area of responsibility at 1450Z. No tactical action possible due to weather.

4 Jan 57

The Operations crew schedule reverted back to 4 crew system upon completion of holiday period.

6 Jan 57

An overfly of 15 B-47s on a Round Robin mission this date carried by this unit.

14 Jan 57

F/O Anonsen proceeded to Station Foymount for two weeks AW(F) tactics course.

21 Jan 57

F/O Foreman proceeded to Val Cartier for Current Affairs Course.

23 Jan 57

At 1753Z message received from Moncton ATC that a MATS #5553 was encountering severe weather between Charlottetown and Moncton enroute Dover Mass. The aircraft was contacted by radio and given courses to steer until clear of storm area.

28 Jan 57

F/O Ralston proceeded on temporary duty for a two week period to Station Foymount for AW(F) tactics course.

1 Feb 57

An SAC overfly of 6 B-52s penetrated the unit’s sub sector against which tactical action was taken employing F-86s from 1(F) OTU.

8 Feb 57

A large scale command directed synthetic exercise conducted during mid-night shift.

11 Feb 57

F/O Campbell proceeded to Station Foymount on TD for a two weeks AW(F) tactics course.

15 Feb 57

At 1523Z an emergency IFF point was picked up on the radar scopes at this unit some 80 miles east over the Gulf of St Lawrence. By flight plan correlation and radio transmissions received it was established as a T-33 (USAF) aircraft en route Loring AFB from Stephenville Nfld. Contact established on distress frequency and pilot stated he had lost all gyros and had partial electrical failure as well. A T-33 on local instrument flying was vectored on to the distressed aircraft and both were then recovered by a GCI/GCA descent at Station Chatham.

18 Feb 57

Three synthetic exercises were conducted during the normal day shift. F/O Boyle proceeded to Station Lac St Denis on TD for a two week AW(F) tactics course. At 2330Z 1(F) OTU commenced night flying with this unit providing surveillance to aircraft involved.

28 Feb 57

At 1758Z a single aircraft (one of a section of 4 F-86s) under surveillance of this unit was observed breaking away from the section. No radio contact could be made by the section leader or the controller, nor could any visual contact be made by any of the aircraft in the section. Quick action by the Controller involved resulted in all agencies concerned being immediately alerted. Shortly after a GObC parachute sighting was received that correlated with last known position of the aircraft with the result that the pilot was retrieved within one hour after emergency occurred.

4 Mar 57

0930Z a synthetic mission was carried out to practice telling procedures.

7 Mar 57

1235Z a SAC overfly of 18 B-47s passed through the sub sector. The weather at Station Chatham below limits for scramble of F-86s.

8 Mar 57

At 1500Z, 21 Squadron was on a "Cocked Pistol" – This state was called in conjunction with a movement of SAC aircraft through the unit’s area of responsibility. The required number of personnel were on hand and all positions manned in accordance with Unit Alert Procedure. Tactical action against the SAC aircraft taken using F-86s from 1(F) OTU. At 1720Z Mechanical jamming experienced. Aircraft conducting exercise against adjacent radar units.

11 Mar 57

Northern electric team on hand to carry out annual overhaul and peaking of FPS-3 equipment.

16 Mar 57

At 2225Z the FPS-3 equipment was returned to operation upon completion of overhaul.

26 Mar 57

Night flying carried out at Station Chatham under radar surveillance by 21 Squadron. A/C Reyno D/AOC arrived for inspection of the unit.

1 Apr 57

The following promotions of airmen were announced. Sgt Smith to FS, Sgt Nelson to FS, A/Sgt Gullupe to Sgt (Substantive), Cpl Taylor to A/Sgt, A/Cpl Morrell to Cpl (Substantive), A/Cpl Richard to Cpl (Substantive). Two synthetic exercises carried out during early morning period.

2 Apr 57

F/O Gaston transferred this unit reporting from Station Mont Apica. At 2300Z night flying commenced at Station Chatham with aircraft under surveillance of this unit.

3 Apr 57

A training mission of 18 B-47s passed through unit sub sector at 0543Z with nil tactical action taken.

11 Apr 57

Installation of a new synthetic trainer completed this date.

15 Apr 57

Trade Board examinations held on unit with 51 FtrCops writing.

16 Apr 57

At 1640Z an aircraft of ADC ECM flight commenced jamming exercise against unit search equipment. The results were considered good and several excellent photographs were obtained.

25 Apr 57

F/O Blackburn proceeded to Station Lac St Denis for one month to participate in Harlequin III evaluation.

30 Apr 57

At 2240Z a GObC exercise commenced with this unit participating throughout.

6 May 57

Night flying carried out by 1(F) OTU with a total of 40 sorties being flown.

7 May 57

A test of Broadcast Control facilities utilizing the transmitter at CBA Sackville was carried out. A T-33 from Station Chatham was used to assess the area of coverage in transmissions. Results were satisfactory.

8 May 57

F/L Shephard and associated members of the Harlequin evaluation team arrived to evaluate tactics during forthcoming exercise. The Acceptance team arrived this date to carry out flight trial on FPS-6 height finder gear.

9 May 57

At 1300Z exercise "Ball Hawk" commenced. 21 Squadron participating in a full tactical role. Mechanical and Electronic jamming were experienced during the first wave giving unit opportunity to test ECCM measures fully.

13 May 57

F/L Bogle and Miss J Fulton of ADCHQ (SOID) arrived for conference re Quality Control procedures. The Firestone Rubber Company personnel commenced painting of radomes in accordance with contract. Unit operational capabilities reduced due to above.

18 May 57

The acceptance trials of the FPS-6 gear completed this date.

20 May 57

F/L Turner and F/O Goodmanson of Station Chatham Flying Control arrived for conference re GCI/Flying Control procedures.

28 May 57

S/L Wenz accompanied by 3 officers of SOPC branch ADCHQ arrived for liaison visit to the unit.


Identification 1 Dec 56 – 31 May 57

During this period 21 Squadron carried 18,027 tracks of which 47 were classified unknown and of this total 32 were later identified leaving 15 tracks unknown.

Surveillance 1 Dec 56 – 31 May 57

This unit is still responsible for the display of all tracks in #2 Sector since one room operation still being carried out. A total of 50,506 flight plans were received during this period. Tote Boards are used extensively for the display of amplifying track and tactical data.

Role 1 Dec 56 – 31 May 57

During this period, 21 Squadron functioned in its assigned role as directed in ADC Ops Plans.

Aircraft Control 1 Dec 56 – 31 May 57

This unit continued to provide control for air to air firing and flight surveillance for training aircraft of 1(F) OTU at Station Chatham. Throughout the period an average of 5 controllers operating on regular day shift compiled a total of 1,905 scope hours. A total of 3,359 missions were flown by 1(F) OTU during this time. Considerable SAC overfly activity was apparent during the six months against which all possible tactical action was taken.

21 Squadron Controllers completed:


AI Intercepts


Day Intercepts


Assent and Recoveries


Synthetic Intercepts

Personnel 1 Dec 56 – 31 My 57

This unit had an average of 117 FtrCops divided into four crews in addition of a day shift dais crew. Supervisory personnel included 5 Senior NCOs and 8 Cpls. On first of May crew schedule changed from a four crew to a six crew operation. During this period, controllers strength averaged nine, of this number six were employed as crew controllers with the balance working on a normal day shift schedule.

Training 1 Dec 56 – 31 May 57

The training of controllers and FtrCops was carried out by one Officer, one Sr NCO, one Cpl and two LACs. Trade Advancement courses began on the fifteenth of February, consisting of four courses of 2 weeks duration with a total of fifty FtrCops in all attending. The Trade Board examination was held in April with fifty-one FtrCops writing. Results of this board gave a 94% pass for the unit. On the first of May Training section was reduced to one Officer and one Cpl. A new syllabus was drawn up and Trade Advancement is now being given by Crew Controllers and Crew chiefs every weekend.

All controllers on this unit successfully wrote ASIs 1/6 and 3/4/5 during April and May.



In this report a brief description will be given of major incidents that occurred in the Telecommunications section during the period 1 Dec 1956 to 31 May 1957. It will be broken down into three main divisions:

  1. Radar History
  2. Communications History
  3. Personnel Movements


11 Apr 57

15-J1D Trainer equipment, used in training Operations personnel in the art of performing intercepts, became operational 11 Apr 57. Several difficulties were encountered during installation but have been completely overcome.


The FPS-3, GPX-7s and GPA-30 were overhauled in the period 11 Mar 57 to 20 Mar 57. The TPS-501s were overhauled in the period 5 Jan 57 to 12 Jan 57. No major deficiencies were observed.

FPS-6 Installation

Work has progressed on this installation during the whole period mentioned. The electronic equipment is completely installed and handed over, but is not operational due to lack of commercial power and adequate diesels. The associated buildings housing the FPS-6 have not been completed.

Trade Advancement

A heavy schedule of Trade Advancement has been followed by all Radar Techs. Three men, LACs Herd, Hoge and Jones wrote and passed the April 57 Trade examinations. Cpls Abbot and Hulley attended an NCO course at Station North Bay.

Visits by High Officials

Air Commodore Reyno visited the Station on 26 Mar 57.


10 Jan 57

GT28 Transmitter on loan to TCA. Early in January a new armoured coax cable was installed between the GT28 transmitter and the antenna tuner hut, approximately 1,200 feet distant.

26 Jan 57

In January personnel from TCA installed a remote relay in the GT28 Keyer unit to provide weather report operations directly from RCAF Station Margarets. Weather reports to Trans-Canada Aircraft over the Atlantic are being transmitted successfully.

17 Mar 57

One UHF Transmitter and Receiver was added to the emergency lash-up installation in the North Tower. A switching arrangement was installed in the Duty Controller’s Cabin to switch from prime to emergency VHF equipment; changeover time was cut down from 25 minutes to a few seconds.

7 Apr 57

A VHF/FM voice link between Chatham Control Tower and Duty Controller RCAF Station St. Margarets was installed.

2 May 57

Net 4 RTT Back-up – This Telling Circuit to COC has been undergoing continuous and successful testing.

21 May 57

This unit’s participation in the exercise Operation Beegee 2 was providing HF relay communication between the ship and COC. Amplifiers from the NE603 Volcas equipment were installed on the transmit lines of 12 VHF channels. This raised the transmitted energy to a level sufficient to adequately modulate the VHF Transmitter.

27 May 57

A detailed plan has been prepared to centralize all teletype services through the Teletype Switchboard located in the Message Centre. This switchboard is presently in service but not used to it’s full extent.

1 Dec 56 – 31 May 57

Much emphasis has been placed on the revision, and the keeping up-to-date, of all communications records, especially in the Telephone Section.


Teletype Traffic Analysis – These analyses made by CanairCom show a continued increase in the efficiency of the Message Centre. An average of 0.2 errors per message has been achieved to date, placing this Message Centre in the top bracket within its own class.


1 Dec 56 – 31 May 57

Movements of personnel in the Telecommunications Sections for the above mentioned period are as follows.





1 Officer

2 Officers

Radar Maintenance

1 Cpl.
2 LACs

1 LAC (released)

Telephone Section

1 Cpl.

2 Cpls.
2 LACs (released)

Message Centre

2 Cpls.
2 AWs

1 Cpl.
2 LAWs