Gander

INTRODUCTION


gander_cfs_badge1.jpg During WWII, Gander Airport was placed under the control of the Royal Canadian Air Force. Naval personnel were assigned the task of long distance radio communications and Direction Finding because they were experienced in this area. After the war, the RCN continued to maintain an official interest in the site. Naval Radio Station (NRS) Gander, call sign CGV, was formally established by the RCN in 1949 when Newfoundland joined Confederation. 

In 1968, the station's name changed to Canadian Forces Station [1] and it was issued the badge shown on the left.  In 1977, Gander the radio station, became 770 Communications Squadron when command of Gander switched from Communications to Air Command. In 1984, Gander became a base so its name changed again from CFS to CFB. In 1993, 9 Wing Gander was formed and it adopted the badge originally issued to CFS Gander. 

Blazon: Azure , in front of a sun in splendour, a Canada gander rising. 

Crest Significance: The badge depicts the namesake of the town in Newfoundland where the radio station is located. A navy blue field denotes its past naval affiliations. 

Motto: Fidelitas (Steadfastness)


 
gander_770_squad_badge2.jpg When 770 Communications Research Squadron was created in 1977, a new badge [2] was also created to acknowldge the SIGINT section of Gander. 

Motto: FOREWARNED FOREARMED

Crest Significance: The pomme alludes to Newfoundland, the unit's location, and the compass rose to its past as one of the original Royal Canadian Navy direction finding stations in Canada. The crossed DF loops are a symbol of historic and sentimental value to communicator research tradesmen and refer directly to the role of the unit. The lightning flash extended over the water indicates the unit's activities beyond the land mass of Newfoundland.

LOCATION


gander_map.gif
Gander is situated at Latitude: 48° 58' North and Longitude: 54° 34' West. Map courtesy of MSN Encarta Maps.com)

HISTORY

The Province of Newfoundland was not yet a part of Canada during the Second World War. In 1934, staggering under the horrendous weight of its accumulated debt, Newfoundland gave up self-government. From then until the time Newfoundland joined Confederation in 1949, the island was ruled by an appointed Commission of Government. The Commission of Government was composed of six members, exclusive of the Governor, three of whom would be drawn from Newfoundland and three from the United Kingdom. After some 79 years of responsible government,  "The Rock"  had once again become a British Crown colony after acquiring a Dominion of Newfound status on September 26, 1907.

The development of Gander airport originated from a 1935 agreement between Canada, the United Kingdom, the Irish Free State, and Newfoundland. This agreement called for cooperation in establishing a regular North Atlantic flying boat service with Botwood, Newfoundland, as a main refueling terminal. It was further proposed at the time to experiment with land-based aircraft. To accommodate land operations, officials chose a large heavily wooded and uninhabited plateau on the north shore of Gander Lake. Known locally as Hattie's Camp, the site boasted good weather and lay adjacent the Newfoundland Railway, an important consideration when it came time to ship building supplies and equipment. Equally important was nearby Gander lake, a potential flying boat base and bad weather alternative should Botwood,  Nfld be inaccessible. Furthermore, both Botwood and the proposed Gander Lake sites were on the great circle route - the shortest geographic air route from eastern North America to Europe.

In 1936 construction of the base commenced and the town of Gander began to develop. Two years later, the airfield had paved runways and was the largest airport in the world. The first landing occurred in 1938 by pioneer Newfoundland aviator Douglas Fraser who piloted a ski-equipped Fox Moth. The first landing of an aircraft from abroad occurred on 15 May 1939. Until 1941, Gander was simply known as the Newfoundland Airport.

As the war in Europe escalated, the British military saw little value in the airport, and at one point made plans to mine the huge runways in case of a German invasion of North America. Britain was struggling for survival and unable to spare any resources for the defence of Newfoundland and the Government of Newfoundland had no money or standing defense force. After negotiating with Great Britain, the task of defending the airport and the waters around Newfoundland fell into the hands of the Canadian government. Later on, it was proven that the size and location of Gander airport made it an extremely valuable asset in the war against Germany. Gander's location on the great circle route made it an ideal wartime refueling and maintenance depot for bombers en route overseas.

Once the agreement with the Government of Newfoundland was finalized, Gander Airport was then placed under the responsibility of the Royal Canadian Air Force. Department of Transport personnel and naval rates were jointly assigned the task of long distance radio communications and Direction Finding. Naval personnel were also assigned the task of monitoring  the station's radar system. The DF site was located about two miles from the town of Gander and would be known in later years as the  "Old Navy Site". It consisted of a three story building which housed the administration , accommodations and messing spaces.  A small room on the top floor was the Operations area.

In the early years of the war, a small RCN contingent consisting of a leading telegraphist and several other ratings commenced an around the clock D/F operation in Gander. This small scale operation continued until 1945. Throughout WWII,  Gander's radio station  provided a lot of valuable military information including the identification and location of the German battleship Bismark.  Because of that, the RCN did not wish to give up the facility at war's end.

In 1945, the RCN officially assumed control of the Direction Finding station at Gander. RCN personnel continued to operate out of the Gander facilities with equipment on loan from the American forces despite the fact that control of the airport officially returned to Newfoundland after the war. In the post-war era, the RCN continued to maintain a high interest in the site.

When Newfoundland joined confederation, the RCN formally acquired the property known as the "Old Navy Site" and Naval Radio Station (NRS) Gander, call sign CGV, was born. NRS Gander consisted of four buildings, four sailors and a few civilian personnel. Their primary task was High Frequency Direction Finding (HFDF) and communications monitoring. Slowly the radio station was upgraded and conditions improved with 6 permanent married quarters (PMQs) being built close to the station. Further upgrading of facilities followed the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between Canada and the United States Navy (USN) to share HFDF information.  As part of the MOU, fifteen  exchange positions were established and in June 1949, the first USN sailors reported for duty at NRS Gander. Less than a year later, the RCN and USN formed the North Atlantic HFDF Network with NRS Gander, along with NRS Coverdale, being the major Canadian members.

Gander was a tender to GLOUCESTER, as was Aklavik, Inuvik, Gander, Frobisher Bay, Masset, Bermuda and in its day, Chimo. None of them had an official badge, at least as tenders.  Gloucester provided all the administrative functions, pay etc, in its capacity as home to the Senior Officer, Supplementary Radio System (SOSRS).  In actual fact, SOSRS was also the Commanding Officer of  HMC NRS Gloucester which became HMCS Gloucester sometime around 1956.

Throughout the 1950's and early 1960, NRS Gander remained a small HFDF station, reaching a maximum complement of 30 personnel in l962. NRS Coverdale, on the other hand, grew quickly in the l950's with responsibilities beyond their HFDF role and in 1958, HMCS Coverdale assumed the additional responsibilities as Alternate Net Control Station for the North Atlantic HFDF Net. HMCS Coverdale also peaked in l962 with a total of 174 Officers and Men.
 

gander_old_navysite2.jpg
The location of the Old Navy Site is indicated by an 'X' and is shown relative to the airport and the Town of Gander. 9 Wing Gander and 103 Search and Rescue Unit are at location  #19 on the map. (Graphic courtesy Turner Realty, Gander NF) 

The 1960s were a period of growth at the base and also in the town of Gander. In April 1960, a recreation center was completed which housed a sports hall, bowling lanes, theater, snack bar, swimming pool and a barbershop. In June of the same year, a sports field was opened with softball and baseball diamonds, tennis courts, soccer field and a small athletic track.

In 1965, it became obvious that new facilities would be required to replace the World War II construction in both Gander and Coverdale. At the same time, new technology was being contemplated that would both greatly increase the cost of the facilities and potentially render one of the stations redundant. In late 1966, it was announced that a new facility would be constructed in Gander and it would assume the duties of NRS Gander and HMCS Coverdale. With that announcement, Gander was established as the largest station in the Supplementary Radio System.

By 1966, NRS Gander had 25 military and 4 civilian personnel with all administration support for the unit now provided by the RCAF at 226 Aircraft Control and Warning (AC &W) Squadron. Around the same time, studies were being made to evaluate the location for the next generation HFDF center at Gander.  Originally the new centre was to be built at the existing NRS site but space required for the large CDAA (Circularly Disposed Antenna Array)  precluded this plan. An alternative site, bordering on the airport perimeter, was used instead. Work on the new facility commenced in August 1967.

The closeness to the airfield became apparent on 5 September 1967 when a Czechoslovakian Airlines IL-18 crashed near the new site which was being cleared at the time. Base personnel reacted quickly and were credited with saving many lives. While construction was still under way on the new HFDF site, all three arms of the Canadian military were being combined under the process known as Unification. RCAF Station Gander became Canadian Forces Station Gander on 1 April 1968.

As the HFDF center neared completion, the size of the new unit compared to the existing 226 Squadron made it logical for Canadian Forces Communications Command to take operational control of CFS Gander, so in 1970, 226 AC&W Squadron became a lodger unit at the station it created. The new HFDF unit finally became operational in July 1971 and operations at the Old Navy Site were shut down after 31 years of continuous 24 hour service. As staffing levels at the HFDF site approached 200, the expansion of support services followed with another 60 PMQs being built. The number of support personnel at CFS Gander also increased considerably to provide various support functions

As a result of Project Beagle, the plan to modernize and consolidate the Supplementary Radio System, HMCS Coverdale closed it doors in  June 1971. Coverdale's personnel were transferred to CFS Gander where they eventually became part of 770 Communications Research Squadron (CRS). With the arrival of 103 Rescue Unit (RU), CFS Gander was now an operational flying base, requiring a change in the command structure. Therefore on 9 May 1977, Air Command regained control of CFS Gander from Canadian Forces Communications Command and Gander became an Air Command Unit.

With this change in command, Gander the SIGINT station, now became a lodger unit in an Air Command station. To recognize its new status, the unit was given the name "770 Communications Research Squadron" (CRS) and was allocated to Canadian Forces Supplementary Radio System. Due to many delays in the approval of the badge design,  the squadron did not receive its new badge until the late 1981 or 1982 time frame. Although its primary duties remained unchanged, 770 CRS also took responsibility for the CFS Gander communications center until December 1980 when the communications center was formally established as 727 Communications Squadron Detachment, parented by 727 Communications Squadron at CFS St. Johns, Nfld.

Throughout the 1980's,  770 Squadron continued to evolve in line with the changing world situation. In the summer of 1980, it returned once again returned to its naval roots with the formation of a sea-going team within the Squadron, tasked to support the Commander of Maritime Command (Marcom). This is in reference  to the Cryptologic Direct support Element (CDSE) comprised of SRS personnel assigned to afloat duties supporting Marcom requirements. By mutual agreement between Marcom and SUPRAD, such deployment began in 1980. Doug Stewart was Marcom Staff Officer Electronic Warfare/Sigint at that time and convinced his superiors on the feasibility of such a venture.Through successful operations against real world and exercise targets, a memorandum of understanding was reached between MARCOM and Suprad, whereby CDSE ready-reaction teams would become available through the Gander manpower infrastructure. That responsibility has since shifted to CFS Leitrim. Doug continued to be the Marcom contact until his retirement in 1991.

By 1984 the military strength at the station was 420 personnel, making CFS Gander the largest station in the Canadian Forces. With such a large unit establishment and considering the high profile role of 103 RU, the station was officially upgraded to Base status on 24 March 1984. It then became known as CFB Gander.
 

gander_newsite_map.jpg
770 Squadron conducted all its radio operations from the building within the AN/FRD-10 antenna. (Image courtesy Multimap.com).

On 1 April 1993, Canadian Forces Base Gander was renamed 9 Wing Gander. Among its many roles, 9 Wing Gander is responsible for providing search and rescue services throughout Newfoundland and Labrador as well as northeastern Quebec. Crews of 103 Search and Rescue Squadron are on 24-hour standby, ready to answer the call in one of the busiest search and rescue regions in Canada.

The technology which brought the closure of 226 Squadron, did not spare 770 CRS. The replacement of old technology reduced personnel strength  in 770 Squadron from over 200 in 1989 to 17 in 1997 when the Gander SIGINT facilities were placed under remote control. The significant advances in reliability and range of the new equipment again meant that fewer people at a remote location could perform all operational duties. On July 25, 1997, after 25 years as 770 CRS and almost 50 years as an operational unit,  770 Communication Research Squadron stood down and returned as CFS Leitrim Detachment Gander. Today, the Gander SIGINT facility is maintained by a handful of dedicated on-site personnel.

CFS Leitrim Detachment's remote operation now operates and maintains signals intelligence collection at Gander and geo-location facilities in support of the Canadian cryptologic program. It also operates and maintains radio frequency finding facilities in support of search/rescue and other programs.

Summary of key dates and eras for Gander, the SIGINT station:

1939 to 1945 - WWII era listening and D/F post operated by the RCN.
1945 to 1949 -  Remained as a D/F station and operated by the RCN as a special interest.
1949 - NRS Gander created when Newfoundland joins Confederation.
1968 - Renamed to CFS Gander during Unification and placed under Communications Command.
1977  - Gander comes under control of Air Command.  The 770 Communications squadron is created to acknowledge the radio section and it becomes a lodger unit at Gander.
1984  - CFS Gander became CFB Gander with 770 Squadron still remaining as a lodger unit.
1993 -  CFB Gander changed its name to 9 Wing, Gander.
1997  - 770 Squadron stood down and returned as CFS Leitrim Detachment Gander
 
 

gander_9wing_aerial.jpg
9 Wing HQ at Gander. This included a gym, barracks, admininistration, transport, and MP's buildings. The former 770 CRS was a lodger unit here having administration and mess facilities. The vertical road to the right of 9 Wing is Washington Ave while the horizontal one at the top of the picture is James Street. (Photo courtesy "History of Canadian Signals Intelligence") 

9 Wing facility supported 770 Squadron, the 103 Rescue Unit (later becoming a squadron), the radar squadron, as well as local cadet and militia units.  This is one of the ways the station became a  base, because it contained several lodger units, most of which had their operational centres elsewhere.

Gander's history, as presented in this document, focuses on radio operations. To read a  comprehensive history about Gander which includes much of its aviation heritage,  please read "The Complete History of Gander" by Al Ingram. Special acknowledgment is hereby given to Alan since a lot of Gander radio history has been borrowed from his document in order to develop this document.

RADIO OPERATIONS
Gander was one of the initial members of the North Atlantic HFDF net when it was formed in 1950. The initial Canadian members of this new net were Chimo, Coverdale, Gloucester and later Frobisher Bay when that station replaced Chimo. Bermuda was the last Canadian station to join the net. A detailed listing of all the stations which comprised the North Atlantic HFDF can be found in the Bermuda document.

In its simplest form, a net station operated in the following manner. When a prospective target made an emission which was heard by the Control Center, Control "flashed" the details of the emission (frequency and call sign) to the other stations of the network. The stations tuned in the signal, took bearings then reported the bearing to Control. At Control, the bearings were collated and a fix area established. By the time computers had been introduced to help automate the process, the end was near for this method of obtaining a bearing on a target.

In the 1950's, Gander used rhombic antennas. They were situated at a sufficient distance so as not to cause any danger to air operations. Operations was in old house with the receivers situated on the main floor along with the galley/mess and the administration office. Living quarters, a recreation room plus a bar were situated on the second floor.

George Wilton served at  Gander 1951 to 1953 and remembers the nettlesome moose. "It was decided that  Adcock array for the CNF-4 set  was to be placed in a very damp spot just to the right of the DF shack. Unfortunately this was also the place where I would assume large moose had bedded down for years. Many mornings we would find the masts knocked down and the ground array all ripped up".

In 1965, it became obvious that the new facilities would be required to replace the World War II construction in both Gander and Coverdale. At the same time, new technology equipment was being contemplated that would both greatly increase the cost of the facilities and potentially render one of the stations redundant. In late 1966, a part of a consolidation plan, it was announced that a new facility would be constructed in Gander and that it would assume the duties of NRS Gander and HMCS Coverdale. With that announcement, CFS Gander was established as the largest station in the Supplementary Radio System. In 1970, the new signals intelligence facility became operational.  The sobriquet "Turkey Farm" was just one of the names applied to the monster antenna system known as the AN/FRD-10 and the 291 operators were sometimes referred to as "Turkey Farmers" in jest. In daily usage, the operators called the CDAA the "Wullenweber" and never "FRD-10" . This was also the case at Masset.

Chris Collin who served at Gander in 1982-83 remarks on the sobriquet. "A fun drawing was made of an Operations badge, with a turkey in the middle, the usual maple leafs around surmounted by a crown, and the
motto "Poverty with Pride."  Gander was an expensive posting! At Masset, the FRD-10 was sometimes referred to as the Elephant trap although this term was not widespread.  I think the 103 Rescue Unit, and other military units in Gander  meant an inter-unit rivalry, hence the term Turkey Farm

Both Gander and Massett had "X-Loop" antennae, for DF work at frequencies below what the Wullenwebbers could handle.  These were VLF loops, electrically steerable using a goniometer.They were much larger than the crossed loops often seen on ships.".

A complete technical description of the AN/FRD-10 and CDAA technology can be found in the Masset document.
 
 

gander_wullenweber_grc90_3404.jpg
A low level aerial of Gander's FRD-10. North is roughly to the right of the photo. The military routing indicator for CFB Gander is RCEQPSA. This applies to both classified and unclassified traffic. (Photo # GRC90-3404 courtesy DND, Canadian Forces Joint Imagery Centre provided via by Robert  Langille)
STORIES
Morley McAllister served at Gander in 1952-53. He recalls one memorable incident. "CPO Stu Eaton was in charge when I arrived and was responsible for the erection of the antenna system by local personnel. On completion Eaton received a cheque from a government agency in the amount of $45,000 to pay the local department. This ended up causing us a problem because we had no local bank account  and all the invoices had already been submitted to Ottawa for payment.  In any event, we were all headed into town with the cheque in Stu's pocket. We never made it because the cheque blew out of his pocket. Can you just imagine six radio operators jumping out of the jeep and chasing a cheque across the runways! We never did  recover it. Eaton was also quite a character because he always wore a Fedora - never a Chief's hat".

Gord Walker was an LSRT at Gander 1967-69.  "At that time the GRD501 was certainly operational - I know because Bernie Richiliski and myself spent hours out at the antenna shack tuning those "cans" and cleaning contacts.  Bernie liked to "snappa cappa" at the site occasionally and we had to be very careful to make sure the intercom was off when the cap came off and dropped onto the deck. Bill Collings, who served at Gander between 1967 and 1971, was Chief Tech and Bernie, Bill Bulley, Gary Harvey and myself were the techs I remember best.  Collings replaced George McFarland as Chief Tech in 1968.  I also recall working at the transmitter site out on the TCH with Tony Whittall at times. Sometimes moose would get tangled in the feeder lines and usually didn't survive.

At the GRD-501 site, there was good blueberry picking nearby and sometimes we would encounter black bears when we went to the antenna.  One tech, myself when I was there, and the Chief Tech each had one of those PMQs at the base, the logic being that we could get to the Ops Room quickly in the event of a problem, which there often was. Whenever any of our rhombics need work, we would call in the riggers.

While I was stationed at Gander, hockey players Gordie Howe and Jean Beliveau visited the station.  Beliveau was more popular because he laid on a few rounds for the boys, but of course the Habs were sponsored by Molson at the time.  Howe was a gentleman but only stayed long enough to shake a few hands.  Beliveau didn't seem to be in any hurry to leave".

CTRC Donald J. Wagner, USN (Ret.) relates this search and rescue story which involved Gander. "This incident occurred on  a dark and stormy night over the Atlantic sometime between March '72 and March of '74. While working as a watch supervisor at the AN/GRD-6 site at NSGA Azores, we were tipped off that there was a "Mayday" on  (I believe 2182 kHz) heard from the civil airfield on one of the other islands in the Azores group.

Seems we initially thought it was a single aircraft that was lost in the storm , enroute from Newfoundland to Israel via the Azores for refueling. It turned out that we had to extend the crypto period for the net some two hours while this distress was going on (net control was going ape and anxious to get the "flash" terminated). The static was horrible because of the lightning and the call signs were often garbled We had trouble getting a line bearing because of the swing of the lobe on the scope. Other stations (including Gander) were often reporting an "NB - no bearing" although the flight originated in Newfoundland. It turns out there was not one, but two, single engine agriculture aircraft being ferried to Israel by the manufacturer in the U. S. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) would not let them fly the Atlantic so they filed their flight plan to Newfoundland. They "jerry-rigged" the crop spraying tanks into the fuel system then waited for a good tail-wind and took off for the Azores. They ran into the electrical storm over the Atlantic that night and also encountered a "head-wind" that was encroaching on the available fuel.

The lightning was creating havoc with their magnetic compass so they were lost. During the time (about four hours) that the Atlantic HFDF net had this "active distress" up, we were communicating with civil air via telephone; trying to obtain a "fix" from the net stations that could hear them and vector a Navy P-3 "Orion" anti-submarine aircraft out to find them in the storm. Anyway, the short of the long is - the P-3 brought one of them back to Lajes military field and the pilot damaged the plane on landing. The P-3 went back out to see if he could find his buddy that took off 30 minutes afterwards, but that spray plane was presumed "lost at sea". The pilot that did land, abandoned the aircraft by a military hanger and caught the Portuguese TAP commercial airliner back to Boston. These young pilots, both mid to late 20s in age, were paid $300 each to ferry these aircraft and all they had were single man life-rafts aboard for survival equipment!


SOME OF THE EQUIPMENT USED AT GANDER

sp600_s.jpg 1950's: Hammarlund SP-600 Receiver. Coverage: 0.54 MHz to 54 MHz, in six bands. SP600's were produced between 1950 and 1972. (Image courtesy Kurrarjong Radio Museum)
masset_cnf4_pa142540_s.jpg 1950's: CNF-4 HFDF Set. The three band set could receive from 2.7 to 25.0 MHz.  (Photo by Leblanc, DND. National Archives of Canada, photo # PA-142540)
gander_pv500h_s.jpg 1950's: Canadian Marconi PV-500HM Transmitter: Range - 3 to 19 MHz. 500 watts. Crystal or VFO control. CW or MCW. Used for transmitting bearings to the North Atlantic HFDF net control station. Gord Walker says that CGV shared the DOT transmitter site on the Trans Canada Highway a few miles northwest of the town of Gander in the direction of Grand Falls/Windsor. "We often used to meet a large bull moose on the highway just before getting to the transmitters". (Image courtesy RCN)
mod15_teleprinter1_s.jpg 1950's: Teletype Model 15 KSR 60 wpm teleprinter. (Photo by Jerry Proc)
grd501_s.jpg 1960's: Gord Walker was an LSRT at Gander 1967-69 and confirms the use of the AN/GRD-501 DF set. (Image courtesy RCN)
alert_m28_s.jpg 1960's: Teletype Model 28 KSR 100 wpm teleprinter. (Image courtesy Teletype Corp)
r1230_receiver_s.jpg 1960's: R1230/FLR wide band receiver. Click on photo for more info. (Photo courtesy National Radio Products)
gander_frd10_graphic_s.jpg 1970's to present: AN/FRD-10 system. (Graphic courtesy www.fas.org)
bermuda_br133s.jpg 1970's: AN/UYK-3  general purpose 15 bit,  transistorized computer. Click here for additional info

PERMANENT MARRIED QUARTERS

Chris Collin describes the Permanent Married Quarters (PMQ).  "The PMQ's were in the town of Gander itself, amongst the civilian houses.  I suspect that the person who designed the PMQ's was a maritimer, as it was sometimes difficult to tell the difference between the PMQ's and some of the local civilian houses   At other bases, PMQ's tended to be in blocks, but in Gander they were not all always grouped together, as I recall.

There were also PMQ's in use at the Old Navy Site. This was some additional hardship here for the residents because these buildings were much older than the other ones, and backed onto a forest very frequented by bears!  But, the people living in them liked them because of their isolation from town".

gander_pmq1_colour_1970.jpg
1970: A typical PMQ at Gander. (Photo by Bill Collings. Submitted by Ron Collings) 

AMATEUR RADIO

Harry Billard, currently holding call sign VE7JH,  operated amateur station VO1CC while he was stationed in  Gander between 1975 and 1976. This was not a club call sign but one he procured for himself in order to run phone patches. He operated Collins type equipment into big beams which he set up at his own expense. It is not known if there was any other amateur radio operation at Gander.

Graham Collins, VE3GTS, adds the following. "About the 1978/79 time frame, Pat Stever (a teletype tech at the time) and currently VE3PZ/VE3MPZ set up an amateur radio station at CFS Gander - VO1RCS. I helped him a little, but by the time I got involved Pat had done most of the work.

It was located in a small room in the large radome building closest to what is now called Washington Ave. The antenna was a Tribander (20/15/10) on a small tower south of the radome. At the time, Pat's FT-101E HF transceiver was the radio in use. I held call sign VO1QC at that time and shortly afterwards I was transferred to Leitrim".

In March 2014, DND issued a Request for Quotation to overhaul antennas at various sites across Canada. Shown below are the antennas for Gander.
 

QTY MODEL No.  of 
MASTS
MAST 
HEIGHT
TYPE OF
MAST
MFG DESCRIPTION
1 AN/FRD-10 40 (?) folded dipoles ( 2 to 8 MHz)
120 (?) sleeve monopoles (8 to 30 MHz)
  Aluminum  RCA CDAA Array
1 ? 51 x 100 feet
4 x 30 feet 
110 feet
30 feet
Aluminum  ? Crossed loop 

 
PHOTO  SECTION
Low Level Aerial Photos
Site Photos
People
Memorabilia
Satellite Photos
Other
AN/FRD-10 Technical Detail
FOOTNOTES:

[1] In the book "Badges of the Canadian Navy" by  J. Graeme Arbuckle, it is incorrectly stated that Gander was commissioned in 1957. In 1968, the station was renamed from NRS to CFS.  There is no evidence to show  Gander was ever in commission.

[2] Guy Savard,  CWO (Ret), CD1, MMM adds this footnote about the 770 Squadron crest. " I served in  770 and was the designer of the 770 Comm Rsch Sqn crest.  At the time, George Fraser was the Commanding Officer and supported the entire design although HQ at some issues with some features (e.g. the Motto, the Moose) but they were all reserved and the design remained intact thanks to George`s support and my own research to support the rationale behind each feature.  I was presented with a duplicate of the original version with the Queen`s signature".
 

QUESTIONS:

1) What equipment was in use at Gander other than what's depicted in the equipment table?
2) Besides the AN/FRD-10 system were there any other antennas erected after 1971?

Contact: jerry.proc@sympatico.ca


Contributors and References:

1) Newfoundland Map http://encarta.msn.com
2) Canadian Warship Names. David Freeman. Vanwell Publishing, St. Catharines, Ont.
3) Bruce Forsyth's  Canadian Military History Page http://www.geocities.com/Pentagon/Quarters/2529/
4) http://www.airforce.forces.gc.ca/9wing/squadron/cfs_e.asp
5) SUPRAD Consolidation Plan. May 1966.  http://watserv1.uwaterloo.ca/~brobinso/srsmay66.html
6) DND Web site http://www.img.forces.gc.ca/commelec/brhistory/mar_e.htm
7) Al Ingram:  2000 History of CFB Gander  http://www.pinetreeline.org/other/other18/other18am.html
8)  History of Canadian Signals Intelligence and Direction Finding by Lynn Wortman and  George Fraser.
9) Military Routing Indicators  http://www.milspec.ca/others/cdnrtg.html
10) History of 9 Wing/CFB Gander   http://www.airforce.forces.gc.ca/9wing/about_us/history_e.asp
11) History of Newfoundland  http://www.collectionscanada.ca/military/025002-7012.01-e.html
12) Gander Airport History http://home.thezone.net/~ainal/Gander.htm
13) Claude Bélanger, Marianopolis College, Montreal PQ.
14) Newfoundland History http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newfoundland_and_Labrador
15) Douglas Stewart <dougjoy(at)ns.sympatico.ca>
16)  9 Wing History  http://www.airforce.forces.gc.ca/9wing/squadron/cfs_e.asp
17) Gander Badge courtesy "Badges of the Canadian Navy" by  J. Graeme Arbuckle. Nimbus Publishing , Halifax. (1987)
18) 770 Squadron Badge courtesy DND.
19) Spud Roscoe <spudroscoe(at)eastlink.ca>
20) George Fraser <caperfca(at)sympatico.ca
21) Morley McAllister  <morley.mcallister(at)sympatico.ca>
22) Don Wagner <navwags(at)earthlink.net>
23) Chris Collin <collin(at)mondenet.com>
24) Robert Langille   <ewcs(at)ewcs.ca>
25) George Wilton <gwilton(at)shaw.ca>
26) Gord Walker <walker6(at)sympatico.ca>
27) Ron Collings <roncollings(at)gmail.com>
28) Chris Collin <cc(at)295.ca>
29) Guy Savard <gcsavard(at)sympatico.ca>
30) Graham Collins, VE3GTS, <planophore(at)aei.ca>
31) Nick England,  K4NYW  http://www.navy-radio.com
32) DND RFQ for antenna overhauls.   https://buyandsell.gc.ca/cds/public/2017/03/14/87288759e7f2c9bd239926ff13d5a1fa/ABES.PROD.PW__HN.B460.E72685.EBSU000.PDF

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Mar 17/17