St. Margarets, NB

1955 – Exercise Crackerjack – National Archives of Canada



Operational States and Roles

(a) Ability to carry out assigned states & roles:

No difficulty was encountered except that on one occasion the Duty Controller became overloaded, and should have requested assistance approximately thirty minutes sooner than he did.

(b) Number of assigned personnel:

An adequate number of FtrCops and controllers were available. At the time of the incident in para (a) above two other controllers were available in the Ops building.

Operations (From Cocked Pistol to Fade Out)

(a) Total number of initially unknown tracks detected – 20

(b) Total number of initially unknown tracks re-identified – 11

(c) Number of Faker Tracks established – Nil

(d) Number of Faker Tracks intercepted – Nil

(e) Effects of ECM – None experienced

(f) Auxiliary AC&W Personnel – None employed

(g) Fighter activity – Nil

AC&W Organization

(a) Controller shift system – A copy of the controllers schedule is attached as Appendix "A". In addition the following personnel were working normal day shift and on 24 hour call.


F/L Park


F/O Fisher

ECM Officer

F/O Skeaff

One of the scheduled day shift controllers was also on 24 hour call.

(b) FtrCop shift system – The FtrCops were divided into four equal crews and worked a nine day on duty and three days off duty system. In addition 50% of the crew on days off were to remain on the unit and report for duty when an alert was sounded.


(a) Radar Performance – 21 AC&W Squadron was "off the air" for the following periods during the exercise;

(i) 0001Z until 0102Z 6 Dec 55

(ii) 0107Z until 0115Z 6 Dec 55

(iii) 0214Z until 0320Z 6 Dec 55

The first "off the air" period was caused by a faulty crystal in the lower beam receiver, the second because the AFC units were on manual tuning and the third period was scheduled preventative maintenance. At all other times the Radar Performance was satisfactory.

(b) Landlines and Microwave Communications – Two of the three lines from 21 Squadron to 221 Squadron were unserviceable from approximately 2000Z 5 Dec 55 until 0120Z 6 Dec 55. This unserviceability was caused by a snowstorm in Nova Scotia, however the forward telling line from 21 Squadron to 221 Squadron remained serviceable throughout the exercise and other calls were routed through 22 Squadron satisfactorily. No other unserviceabilities were experienced.

(c) VHF/UHF A/GA Communications – No unserviceabilities affecting the Squadron’s operational capability were experienced.

(d) HF Back-up Communications – Nil


(a) ADC – N/A

(b) Squadron

(i) Security – Effective 1 Dec 55 eight fire picquets were detailed to carry out security patrols in addition to their fire patrols. It was necessary to combine these two patrol because only two effective Air Force Police were on unit strength. During the exercise an armed AFP was on duty at the entrance to the station in addition to the Commissionaire, and a double check was carried out on personnel entering the operations building.

(ii) Public Relations – No press releases were issued.

(iii) Messing – The combined mess was placed on 24 hour duty on 1 Dec 55. In addition to regular meals a full course dinner was served at midnight, and light lunches between 1900 and 2130 hours and between 0300 and 0430 hours daily.

(iv) Supply – Effective 1 Dec 55 a duty storekeeper was on 24 hour duty in the supply section.

(v) Construction Engineering – Effective 1 Dec 55 the CE section maintained one man on 24 hour duty.

(vi) Telecommunications – A copy of the Duty Telecommunications Officer roster is attached as Appendix "B" and a copy of the telecommunications stand by or "on call" roster is attached as Appendix "C". Certain key airmen were also detailed to be "on call" and report for duty when an alert was received. The normal 24 hr duty schedule for radar and communications technicians was not changed for the exercise.


(a) Controller training on lead collision course techniques. N/A (see para 2(b) & (g).

(b) FtrCop Training proved to be very good. There were no cases of faulty identification or faulty surveillance procedures, and plotting, telling and tote operation was good.

(c) Auxiliary Personnel – None employed.


23 Nov 55



Maps as required


ADC TI Arm 05-1/5 dated 1 Nov 55

ADC Pilots Orders, Section 1, Order 12, dated 1 Feb 55

Time used throughout the order are GMT

Task Organization:


Air Vice Marshal LE Wray

5 Air Division

Air Commodore WA Orr

1 ADCC, Lac St Denis, PQ

W/C RW McNair

2 ADCC, St Margarets, NB

W/C EC Breise

3 ADCC, Edgar, Ontario

W/C HC Vinnicombe


Lt Gen GO Barcus


(a) The Air Defence forces of Canada and the US have a mission "to defend Canada and the US, including Alaska, against attack in order to protect our war making capacity to the extent necessary to support the prosecution of a general war". Specifically, the RCAF ADC has a mission to defend Canada against attack. Plans for employment of these forces have been developed.

(b) As the threat of attack on the North American Continent increases, particularly the capability of surprise air attack, HQ USAF and HQ RCAF consider it essential to exercise the air defences of North America in as realistic a manner as possible. Consequently such an exercise, to be known as Exercise "CRACKER JACK", has been jointly planned by HQ USAF and HQ RCAF.

(c) Faker Forces Elements of SAC USAF

(d) Friendly Forces


Continental ADC USAF



Canadian Army (Anti-Aircraft Elements)


(e) Attachments and Detachments as detailed below.

Civilian and service (RCAF) operational research Officers as supplied by AFHQ and ADC HQ to units within ADC as detailed. These personnel may be required to move from unit to unit within the ADC/Sectors to which they are assigned.


The forces listed in para 3(B)(ii) will participate in exercise "CRACKER JACK", during the period from 0001Z 1 Dec 55 through 2359Z 29 Feb 56, conducting operations against Faker Force surprise air attacks.


(a) General Exercise Cracker Jack will take place at unannounced date between 0001 1 Dec 55 and 2359 29 Feb 56.

(b) Control

(i) The overall control of the Canadian Forces participating in the exercise is vested in the AOC ADC.

(ii) The following forces will be under the control of the Sector Commander of 2 ADCC.

Sabre Squadrons

1 OUT Chatham

AC&W Squadrons

21 AC&W Squadron St Margarets

22 AC&W Squadron Beaverbank

211 AC&W Squadron Moisie

221 AC&W Squadron Sydney

AC&W Sqns (Aux)

2405 AC&W (Aux) Squadron Halifax

(c) Interceptor Aircraft. 1 (F) OTU Chatham will supply the following interceptor aircraft from 30 mins before sunrise to 30 mins after sunset:

(A) 2 Sabre aircraft at 15 mins.

(B) 2 Sabre aircraft at 30 mins.

(d) Operational State 21 AC&W Sqn is to maintain GCI Capability from sunrise to sunset. From sunset to sunrise this unit will maintain surveillance and identification role.

(e) Operations are contained in Annex "A".

(f) GObC The GObC will take part in the exercise as detailed below.

(i) GObC Filter Centres are on a 24 hour watch and will be manned at all times.

(ii) GObC Detachments are to alert their observation posts and man their Filter centres as required by the Sector Commanded, concerned. Unless specifically ordered by the Sector Commander, these detachments are not committed during the period of the exercise.

(g) Faker ECM is contained Annex "G".

(h) Intelligence is contained in Annex "A".

(j) Surveillance and Identification is contained in Annex "C".

(k) Analysis requirements and Instructions are contained in Annex "D".

(l) Public Information is contained in Annex "E".

(m) Security in Annex "F".

(n) Rules of engagement are contained in Annex "H".


(1)(a) Analysis information is to be forwarded to the Analysis team at 2 ADCC.

(b) A four crew system will be introduced at 0400Z 1 Dec 55.

(c) A briefing for Fighter Controllers and NCOs will be held at 1230Z 25 Nov 55.

(d) The NCO i/c Ops will ensure that all crews receive a comprehensive briefing prior to 1 Dec 55.

(e) All administrative calls to operations personnel will be routed through position 204 (NCO i/c Ops), the NCO i/c Ops will inform the person called by runner.

(2) Logistics

(a) Officers and Senior NCOs will be released from station duties during the actual exercise.

(b) The Combined Mess will operate on a 24 hour basis. Light lunches will be served to duty personnel from 0300 hours local to 0400 hours local.

(c) Supply, ME, and CE sections will have duty personnel available on a 24 hour basis.


Message prefix – all operation and administrative messages concerning the exercise are to be prefixed "Exercise Cracker Jack".


Annex "A" to
21 AC&W Ops Order 1/55
23 Nov 55



1. Antenna tilt will be 1.65 degrees electrical (2 degrees mechanical) throughout the exercise. The Duty Controller ONLY may alter the Antenna tilt.

2. Tote Boards will be manned on a 24 hour basis.

3. Fighter Status Display will be normal except that the Intercept Controllers station (i.e. as they appear on the Duty Controller’s phone Consul) will be shown instead of his Controller’s number.

4. When the Duty Controller requires an Intercept Controller immediately, or vice versa, he is to signal 3 or 4 short rings then continue ringing until answered. Normal calls will be one ring or approximately 10 seconds duration.

5. When fighters are scrambled and handed over to an Intercept Controller he is to identify the fighters and when sufficient time has elapsed for them to appear on the GSM he is to pass the Call Sign, position., and heading to the Duty signals Officer position. The same procedure is to be followed when his fighters break off from any merge.

6. Whenever spurious VHF/UHF transmissions are encountered a female voice is to be used for transmissions. Personnel available are: F/O Beesley and LAW Naugle (nee Russell).



9. The following positions will be monitored:

(a) 121.5

(b) 133.2

(c) 141.66

(d) Duty Controller

(e) Ops B

(f) Position 25

(g) Scope Teller 1

(h) Scope Teller 2

10. Identification of Unknowns. If an unknown track cannot be identified as a "Faker" then the Sector Commander or the AC&W Controller concerned is to advise the fighter pilot that this is an unknown and the fighter pilot is to operate (identify) in accordance with ASI 2/5.

11. Identification of Multiple Tracks. Provided that an unknown aircraft in a group or formation of Unknown Tracks has been positively identified as "Faker", then it may be assumed that all other aircraft within this group or formation are "Faker".


1. Scramble of fighter aircraft will be the responsibility of the Duty Controller.

2. Turnaround. Scrambled aircraft will not be recommitted until refuelled, rearmed and serviceable. If rearming does not actually take place, the minimum time for turnaround must be twenty (20) minutes, calculating the time taken from wheels touchdown.

3. Day Fighter Attacks. 1(F) OTU aircraft will not make attacks against Fakers during the period from 30 minutes after official local sunset to 30 minutes before official local sunrise, or when the intercept target is obscured by less than 5 miles visibility. (i.e. visibility at intercept altitude is less than 5 miles).

4. Claims – The rules established as a yardstick for estimating the number of Fakers destroyed, probably destroyed and damaged by Sabre aircraft are as follows:

(a) Destroyed. A Faker is considered destroyed when it has been subjected to a total of 2 effective attacks. An attack is to be considered effective when fire is opened at 500 yards and broken off at 200 yards. This may be done by one aircraft making two effective attacks or by 2 aircraft making 1 effective attack each. Interceptors will be presumed to have expended their ammunition after 2 firing attacks have been made.

(b) Probably Destroyed. A Faker is considered as Probably Destroyed when it has been subjected to one effective and one comparatively effective attack. A comparatively effective attack is considered as opening fire at 750 yards and breaking off at 400 yards.

(c) Damaged. A Faker is considered damaged when it has been subjected to one effective attack or two or more comparatively effective attacks by one or more interceptors.

5. Authentification Code. The Air-ground-air voice Authentification code to be used during the exercise is contained in AFSAL 5104.


1. Faker aircraft will monitor one of the following frequencies for purposes of emergency recall and termination of ECM actively under emergency conditions.

(a) 243.00 mc - Emergency

(b) 364.20 mc – RCAF/USAF GCI common

2. IFF will not be used by Faker aircraft enroute to target. Five minutes after simulated bomb release line, Faker aircraft will turn on IFF to normal and mode switch to mode 2 position until landing. Faker force aircraft displaying IFF for any reason will be considered out of the exercise.


Annex "B" to
21 AC&W Squadron Ops Order 1/55
23 Nov 55


Enemy Situation

1. General – The military and industrial power of North America constitutes a great obstacle to Faker success in a general war. If this war-making power could be reduced by the enemy, his chance of victory in a general war would be greatly enhanced. For this reason the Faker leaders will probably use their long-range aircraft for attacks on the industrial and military strengths of Canada.

2. Enemy Order of Battle

(a) Faker Bomber Force consists of:

350 B-47s – Jet medium Bombers

150 B-36 – Piston heavy Bombers

KC-97 – Tankers.

(b) Technical Characteristics and Attack Capabilities.

B-47 – with 10,000 lb bomb, W/V O.

Range – 4,000 nm (with air refuelling it could strike any target in North America)

Altitude – Max 40,000’, Bombing – 35,000’

Speed – Over 520 K

B-36 – with 10,000 lb bomb, W/V O.

Range – 10,000 nm

Altitude – Max 45,000’

Speed – Over 380 K

(c) Tanker Aircraft – It is probable that KC-97s will be used for refuelling B-47s.

(d) ECM. Faker capabilities in ECM constitute a threat. The defence system may be degraded 30 to 60% by Faker ECM Chaff, electronic jammers, and/or deception devices covering all communications and radar frequencies.

(e) TACTICS Simultaneous penetration of the air defence system at multiple points constitute the most dangerous threat by the Faker Bomber Force. Single aircraft or formations could approach at high or low level, and attack selected targets in any kind of weather by day or night.

(f) Intelligence Situation Summary. During the period of the exercise SO Intelligence ADC HQ is to prepare and transmit to subordinate units, an Intelligence Situation Summary.

(g) Duty Controller will disseminate Intelligence information as required.


23 NOV 55



In order to present clearly the operational situation at any instant it is essential that the conditions encountered by reported honestly and accurately.

The following are to be used to describe effectiveness of electronic jamming on a PPI scope.

(a) CONDITION ONE – this is the minimum amount which can be discerned normally appearing as one stroke of interference three to five degrees wide.

(b) CONDITION TWO – Receiver is saturated while sweeping through a small sector. Strobes of interference are apparent on each side of saturated portion; no visible jamming being received inside or back lobes.

(c) CONDITION THREE – Similar to condition two except that there are very clearly defined strobes of interference entering side lobes up to 90 degrees either side of saturated sector.

(d) CONDITION FOUR – Similar to condition three except that interference is being received in side and back lobes and jamming strobes visible over entire scope.

(e) CONDITION FIVE – Interference so intense that targets and PEs are not discernible on any part of scope – it is completely saturated.

2. MECHANICAL JAMMING – Chaff appears usually in a square bright pattern, moving slowly, and can be sown in a way to cover several degrees on a radar scope. By employing this method it provides a path to which several targets can proceed unprotected. It may also by used to simulate several other aircraft by dropping it at random.


Anti-jamming procedures are to be as follows:

(a) Recognize it as ECM, and check. (1) Direction of source, by D/F cut (if possible). (2) Type of interference (CW, MCW, Noise etc)

(b) REPORT it immediately in accordance with current instructions.

(c) CONTINUE TO OPERATE – The equipment should be kept on the air.

(d) DUTY CONTROLLER to contact radar section immediately jamming occurs. Radar Tech by means of "A" scope shall endeavour to determine type of jamming and will suggest what action should be taken in use of AJ circuits, or alteration of tuning. The Duty Controller is responsible for ordering the implementation of AJ circuits or alteration of tuning, and is to liaise continuously with radar technicians during period jamming is experienced.


All interference elimination circuits reduce overall sensitivity, resulting in a loss of blip or a reduction in intensitivity of blip. Even under the worst conditions of radar jamming azimuth information can normally be resolved by reducing video gain. Further range and height information can be obtained from lobe or height finder itself, if all receivers in system are not jammed.


The importance of A/G/A communications requires no emphasis. The vulnerability of this link in the Air Defence System to jamming and deception is well established. There are three basic requirements of A/G/A communications jamming. They are:

(1) Transmitters capable of transmitting continuous signals.

(2) The signal must cover a large band of frequencies.

(3) The signal must have sufficient power to over ride the victim’s signal.

Types that may be encountered:

(a) Spot jamming in which all available TX power is radiated in one frequency of an extremely narrow band of frequencies.

(b) Barrage jamming by means of which many Transmissions are tuned only a few megacycles apart to cover a large portion of the spectrum.

(c) Imitative Deception – This may be accomplished by the jammer imitating the voice and control techniques of the GCI Controller to transmit false information to the interceptor.

Note: During an intercept the distance generally between jammer and the interceptor is decreasing while the distance between the interceptor and the GCI is increasing.


AIM – To continue communications as long as possible in spite of jamming in such as manner that the jammer cannot determine his effectiveness. He must depend on indications from the victim’s signal in order to adjust for maximum effect.

There is no one method that is the complete answer to A/G/A jamming; the following are a few of the procedures that may be adopted.

(a) Controller and interceptor switch to alternate channels in accordance with a pre-arranged plan. The number of combinations possible is dependent on the number of channels available.

(b) Simultaneous Transmissions – GCI Controllers transmit on 2 or more channels simultaneous, including jammed frequency. Providing interceptor keeps his acknowledgements to minimum the jamming operator may believe an attempt is still being made to use the primary frequency.

(c) Duplex Operating – The interceptor acknowledges the GCI transmissions on a different channel.

(d) Broadcast Control Simultaneous multiple frequency transmissions requiring no acknowledgement, however this type of transmission is vulnerable to barrage jamming. The controller transmits at frequent intervals.

(i) Target designation when more than one target is being intercepted.

(ii) Position of target in Georef or in bearing and distance from a geographic landmark or navigation aid.

(iii) Any additional info the Controller deems necessary.


Reporting Procedures – All incidents of interference (ECM) adversely affecting ops performance of radar, Nav aids in ADC are to be the subject of Ops reports to ADC HQ. All ECM interference is to be reported regardless of whether it originates from known or unknown sources.


Immediately interference is encountered and recognized as ECM (or cannot be confirmed as being internal interference) a verbal report is to be passed by the most expeditious means through Ops channels to ADC HQ. This is accomplished at Sqn level by informing ADCC on L/Line. The information to be included in the Initial report is shown in Appendix B to ASI 3/1/2. Initial Reports are to be serially numbered starting at one each day at 0001Z. Items A to J inclusive are given in the initial report, therefore amplifying reports are to be passed through the same channels.

(2) AMPLIFYING REPORTS are to commence with code word "OPS ECM", station call sign and serial number of report referred to, and containing all information as it becomes available.

(3) RECORDING – Details of jamming (type, condition and position) are to be recorded in the Controllers or Ops B’s log.


ECM will fall into one of the three following categories:

(a) Electronic Radar Jamming

(b) Mechanical Jamming

(c) Communications Jamming

Once interference has been identified as ECM it is to be displayed on the GSM by use of a red circular symbol in accordance with this instruction.

(i) Electronic Radar Jamming – The ECM symbol is to be placed on the location of the site being jammed, and a red arrow is to be placed against the symbol pointing to the azimuth of the reported ECM source. The letter "E" followed by a numeral placed on the symbol will indicate the strength of electronic jamming being experienced.

(ii) Mechanical Jamming – ECM symbol is to placed on the reported position of mechanical jamming, and letter "M" is to be placed on symbol, if direction of movement of the aircraft is known it is to be indicated by use of a red arrow against symbol.

(iii) Communication Jamming – The ECM symbol is to be placed on the location of the site being jammed and the letter "C" followed by a numeral indicating the strength of jamming is to be placed on the symbol.

TOTE DISPLAY The letters ECM are to be placed in the remarks portion of the tote board and attention is to be drawn to this by the flashing of light(s).


(a) Electronic radar jamming state: "Electronic jamming", followed by condition, azimuth and range (if possible).

(b) Mechanical jamming state: "Mechanical jamming", followed by position of the centre of the leading edge and whether drop is solid or interval as well as direction of movement of leading edge.

(c) Communications jamming state: "Communications jamming", followed by condition and channel(s).

(5) Additional telling of jamming is to be made as follows"

(a) When azimuth of jamming source alters by 10 degrees or more.

(b) When condition jamming changes.

(c) When jamming ceases or recommences

ANNEX "H" to
23 NOV 55.



(a) During the period of Exercise "CRACKER JACK’ the following rules of engagement (excerpts from SAC Reg 51-6) are to take precedence over ASIs 2/5, 2/6, and 2/7 (Except as indicated in Annex "A" par 4.b.) and will apply to all ADC RCAF Air Defence Force aircraft.


(a) Interception missions will be conducted on a joint fighter-interceptor/bomber frequency when participating aircraft are equipped with similar communications equipment. After making radio contact bomber and fighter interceptor flight leaders will request and receive confirmation of camera safety check. (See sub-sub para (1) below for ADC/RCAF procedure).

(1) RCAF fighter aircraft may carry out simulated attacks against SAC aircraft provided that the AC&W Squadron maintains constant radio control with both the fighter and bomber aircraft and ensures that camera safety checks are carried out and so advise both parties. The AC&W Controller is to continue to monitor the interception until break-off occurs.

(b) Interceptors are not to practice attacks against target aircraft under the following conditions:

(1) If target aircraft are performing air-to-air refuelling.

(2) Using the Lead Collision Course concept against targets in formation; however; pursuit course attacks are authorized against aircraft in formation.

(c) Camera training may be conducted between bomber and fighter-interceptor aircraft not having radio contact provided that the fighter-interceptor leader receives positive verbal confirmation from the other fighter-interceptor pilots that camera safety checks have been completed. In addition, the following visual signal will be used:

(1) Prior to initiating the original attack, fighter-interceptor aircraft will fly formation with the bomber at a distance of 300 feet. The bomber aircraft commander will rock the bomber wings to notify the fighter-interceptor that he is aware of the fighter’s presence.

(2) A blinking white light from the rear blister of the bomber will indicate that gun camera safety checks have been accomplished by the bomber and acknowledgement of flight cameras checks is requested. The fighter-interceptor flight leader will check the gun selector switch to "sight-camera and radar" position, rock wings twice, wait 15 seconds, and rock wings twice again to indicate camera safety checks have been completed.

(3) A steady green light from the rear blister of the bomber aircraft will indicate that the bomber is ready for the attack to begin.

(4) A blinking green light from the rear of the bomber will indicate that the fighter-interceptor is to suspend attacks; e.g. Bomber is making a turn, etc.

(5) Steady red light from the rear blister of the bomber will indicate that the fighter-interceptor is to terminate attacks; no further attacks desired.

(d) The following minimum experience requirements are to be met by all fighter-interceptor pilots prior to engaging in interceptor bomber training. Attacks will be made in unit equipped (U/E) aircraft only. Commanders of fighter-interceptor units are to ensure that all participating pilots meet this criteria:

(1) 500 hours total time

(2) 100 hours in flight aircraft

(3) 20 hours in U/E aircraft within past 90 days.

(4) 8 hours in U/E aircraft in past 30 days.

(e) The following rules of engagement are to apply to all fighter attacks or interceptions executed against SAC bombardment aircraft:

(1) Pursuit course attacks. Pursuit course attacks are to be made only during daylight VFR conditions when visibility at intercept altitude is five miles or greater. Breakway on this type attack is to be no closer than 200 yards.

(a) The following attacks are authorized:

(i) High rear attacks left and right, which place the fighter within firing range between 30 degrees and 90 degrees when measured from the bomber stern, and not more than 20 degrees above the horizontal plane of the bomber.

(ii) Low rear quarter attacks left and right, which place the fighter within firing range between azimuth angles of 30 degrees and 90 degrees when measured from the bomber stern, and not more than 20 degrees below the horizontal plane of the bomber.

(iii) Tail attacks will originate between the azimuth angles of 30 degrees left or 30 degrees right when measured from the stern of the bomber, and not more than 30 degrees above or below the horizontal plane of the bomber.

(b) Unauthorized attacks: Front quarter or head-on attacks, e.g. attacks forward of 100 degrees azimuth when measured from the bomber stern will not be made.

(f) AI fighter-interceptor (other than collision course intercepts), may be made with the following minimum break-off ranges:

(1) (a) 1,000 yards prior to merging of the fighter and target radar returns on the GCI scope, if the fighter has not made AI radar contact.

(b) 500 yards if no visual contact is made after AI contact has been established.

(c) At a point no closer to the bomber than 300 yards when visual contact has been established.

(2) During day VFR conditions, at a point no closer than 200 yards.

Next item unreadable.