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Home arrow Articles arrow History arrow A Short History of Abandoned and Downsized Canadian Military Bases
A Short History of Abandoned and Downsized Canadian Military Bases - Introduction Print E-mail
Written by Bruce Forsyth   
Article Index
Introduction
The Past
Pre to Post-Unification
Abandoned Bases Intro
Abandoned Bases: AB
Abandoned Bases: BC
Abandoned Bases: MB
Abandoned Bases: NB
Abandoned Bases: NL
Abandoned Bases: NT
Abandoned Bases: NS
Abandoned Bases: NU
Abandoned Bases: ON
Abandoned Bases: PE
Abandoned Bases: QC
Abandoned Bases: SK
Abandoned Bases: YT
Abandoned Bases: Outside Canada
Closed Bases That Still Have A Military Presence
Closed Bases That Still Have A Military Presence: AB
Closed Bases That Still Have A Military Presence: BC
Closed Bases That Still Have A Military Presence: MB
Closed Bases That Still Have A Military Presence: NB
Closed Bases That Still Have A Military Presence: NS
Closed Bases That Still Have A Military Presence: ON
Closed Bases That Still Have A Military Presence: PE
Closed Bases That Still Have A Military Presence: QE
Downsized Bases Or Bases That Have Changed Their Function
Bases That Have Downsized or Changed Their Function: BC
Bases That Have Downsized or Changed Their Function: NB
Bases That Have Downsized or Changed Their Function: NWT
Bases That Have Downsized or Changed Their Function: NS
Bases That Have Downsized or Changed Their Function: ON
Bases That Have Downsized or Changed Their Function: SK
Bases That Have Downsized or Changed Their Function: QE
The Pinetree Line
The Pinetree Line: AB
The Pinetree Line: BC
The Pinetree Line: MB
The Pinetree Line: NB
The Pinetree Line: NL
The Pinetree Line: NWT
The Pinetree Line: NS
The Pinetree Line: ON
The Pinetree Line: QE
The Pinetree Line: SK
The Mid-Canada Line
Distant Early Warning Line
The North-West Territory
Distant Early Warning Line
The British Commonwealth Air Training Plan
Canadian Army Training Centres of World War II
The Northwest Staging Route
Abandoned Armouries
Abandoned Armouries: AB
Abandoned Armouries: ON
The Future
The Future: AB
The Future: NL
The Future: NWT
The Future: NS
The Future: ON
The Future: QE
The Future: SK
Current Canadian Military Bases

BRITISH COLUMBIA


Canadian Forces Station Kamloops:

Established as part of the Pinetree Line of radar stations in 1958 as Kamloops Air Station and operated by No. 825 Aircraft Control & Warning Squadron of the United States Air Force, one of the many that would make up the Pinetree Line of Ground-Control Intercept (GCI) radar sites.  

As a GCI base, the 918th's role was to guide interceptor aircraft toward unidentified intruders picked up on the unit's radar scopes. These interceptors were based at the 25th Air Division, Larson Air Force Base in Washington.

On 1 April 1962, the USAF transferred control of the base to the Royal Canadian Air Force as a part of an agreement with the United States that came as a result of the cancellation of the Avro Arrow. Canada would lease 66 F-101 Voodoo fighters and take over operation of 12 Pinetree radar bases.

Radar operations were taken over by 56 Aircraft Control & Warning Squadron and the base became RCAF Station Kamloops.

Radar operations at 56 Squadron were automated on 1 May 1963 with the implementation of the Semi Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE) system, and the station became a long-range radar site. It would no longer guide interceptors but only look for enemy aircraft, feeding data to the Spokane Air Defense Sector SAGE DC-15 Direction Center of the 25th NORAD Region.


As a result of the Unification of the Forces, the station was re-named CFS Kamloops in 1967.

Beginning in 1983 the station began reporting to Canada West ROCC.

CFS Kamloops closed on 1 April 1988, the 64th anniversary of the Royal Canadian Air Force.

The Station briefly came back to life when the movie "Cadence", staring Charlie Sheen and Lawrence Fishburne, was filmed at the site in 1990.

The site is now virtually abandoned, except for two areas now used by Telus, which has a communication installation.

The buildings stood until around 1997 but have since been removed. The city of Kamloops moved the last search antenna to be used at CFS Kamloops, an FPS-20, to Riverside Park as a memorial to the former radar station.

Source Material: DND press release from July 1989. Mount Lolo - http://wikimapia.org/1246321/Mount-Lolo & http://news.webshots.com/photo/2598975200100953852FYcXTr

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Canadian Forces Station Baldy Hughes:

Opened in June 1953 as Baldy Hughes Air Force Station of the United States Air Force, with the radar functions being run by No. 918 Aircraft Control & Warning Squadron, one of the many that would make up the Pinetree Line of Ground-Control Intercept (GCI) radar sites.  The squadron's role was to guide interceptor aircraft toward unidentified intruders picked up on the unit's radar scopes. These interceptors were based at the 25th Air Division at McChord Air Force Base in Washington.

Control of the station was transferred to the RCAF on 1 March 1963, radar functions taken over by No. 54 Aircraft Control & Warning Squadron, as part of an arrangement with the United States that came as a result of the cancellation of the Avro Arrow. Canada would lease 66 F-101 Voodoo fighters and take over operation of 12 Pinetree radar bases.  As a result, the station was designated RCAF Station Baldy Hughes.

Radar operations at 54 Squadron were automated on 1 June 1966 with the implementation of the Semi Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE) system, and the station became a long-range radar site. It would no longer guide interceptors but only look for enemy aircraft, feeding data to the Seattle Air Defense Sector SAGE DC-12 Direction Center of the 25th NORAD Region at McChord AFB, Washington.

As a result of the Unification of the Forces, the station was re-named CFS Baldy Hughes in 1967.

The station began reporting to the Canada West ROCC in 1983.
 
The station closed in 1988. Today the former station is The Baldy Hughes Addiction Treatment Centre.

Visit - http://news.webshots.com/photo/2007559400100953852bQTHIa'&   www.baldyhughes.ca.

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Canadian Forces Station Holberg:

Opened in 1954 as RCAF Station Holberg, with the radar functions being run by No. 501 Aircraft Control & Warning Squadron, later re-designated No. 53 AC & W Squadron. The station was re-named CFS Holberg.

CFS Holberg closed on 31 August 1990, one of the last Pinetree radar stations to close. Other than the radar towers, which remain as one of four Canadian Coastal Radar facilities, nothing else of the former CFS Holberg remains today.

 Visit - www.holberg.ca 

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Royal Canadian Air Force Station Puntzi Mountain:

Opened in 1952 as Puntzi Mountain Air Force Station of the United States Air Force, with the radar functions being run first by No. 917 Aircraft Control & Warning Squadron, then 55 AC &W Squadron.  As a Ground Control Intercept base, the 917th's role was to guide interceptor aircraft toward unidentified intruders picked up on the unit's radar scopes. These interceptors were based at the 26th Air Division, McChord Air Force Base in Washington.

On 1 February 1963, the station was turned over to the Royal Canadian Air Force as part of an arrangement with the United States that came as a result of the cancellation of the Avro Arrow. Canada would lease 66 F-101 Voodoo fighters and take over operation of 12 Pinetree radar bases.  The operating unit was re-designated 55 Aircraft Control & Warning Squadron and the base became RCAF Station Puntzi Mountain.

Radar operations at 55 Squadron were automated on 1 October 1963 by the Semi Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE) system, and the station became a long-range radar site. It would no longer guide interceptors but only look for enemy aircraft, feeding data to the Seattle Air Defense Sector SAGE DC-12 Direction Center of the 25th NORAD Region at McChord AFB, Washington.

RCAF Station Puntzi Mountain closed on 1 October 1966. The closure was not expected and the community was shocked.

Very little remains of the former station today. The mobile equipment garage was left standing, destined to become a community hall for those who remained in the area. The gatehouse was turned into a pump house.  BC Telephone use a small portion for their communications equipment.

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Royal Canadian Air Force Station Tofino:

Originally opened 1943 as a "Radio Detachment", part of a chain of radar stations conducting surveillance of the Pacific Coast.  The threat of Japanese incendiary balloons was a significant threat at the time.  Due to it's remote location, the station had its own airfield, with a squadron for rapid response.

Due to the flying hazards presented by the mountainous terrain, a secondary responsibility was crash sight location and investigation.  Not one single incendiary balloon was ever recorded in our area.

The radar chain was disbanded in 1945 and the station closed.  

The station re-opened in 1955 using some of the WWII buildings, with the radar functions being run by No. 52 Aircraft Control & Warning Squadron.
 
The station had a very brief existence as it closed on 10 January 1958.
 
The airfield was transferred to the Department of Transportation.  It sat virtually abandoned for many years, but is now the Tofino Airport

Nothing remains of the former radar station today. A plaque was placed on Radar Hill to commemorate the men & women who served with No. 52 AC & W Squadron. 
 
Additional information supplied by Thomas Wagner. 



Last Updated ( Thursday, 21 November 2013 )
 
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