Page 59 of 65
NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR
9 Wing Gander:
The current 9 Wing Gander is the sole survivor of numerous
military and civilian government sites in the Gander area. In 1938, the
British Air Ministry established a radar station for monitoring
Trans-Atlantic air traffic. As well, the RCAF established an Air Station
on a site that is now the Gander International Airport. The Station was
used throughout the war by British, American and Canadian pilots, and
at the time of construction, was the largest airfield in the world.
By 1940, the station had became the responsibility of the
federal Department of Transport and remained so for the remainder of the
war. Personnel from the Royal Canadian Navy were assigned to monitor
the station's radar.
Naval Radio Station Gander was re-opened in 1949 as a HF-DF station.
In 1954, the United States Air Force established an interceptor radar
and signal intelligence collection station near Gander, although RCAF
personnel staffed it.
As a result of the Unification, the Station 's name was changed
to CFS Gander in 1966.
In May 1977 Air Command assumed control of the Station. The
Supplementary Radio Station at the base was re-named 770 Communications
Research Squadron became simply a lodger unit at the station.
By 1988 the Station, now the home of 103 Rescue Unit and 770
Communications Research Squadron had been upgraded to a full Base and
was again re-named CFB Gander.
In 1985, the North American Air Defence Modernization Plan
resulted in the radar equipment at many Canadian Forces Stations was
replaced with a new automated system. The long-range radar equipment
was replaced with a Minimally Attended Radar system in 1990.
The introduction of the Wing concept at Air Force
establishments resulted in the base being re-named 9 Wing Gander in
1993. 444 Combat Support Squadron, originally a tactical helicopter
squadron from CFB Lahr Germany, re-formed at Gander in 1993.
On 23 June 1997, Prince Phillip presented 103 RU with their
colours and the unit was renamed 103 Search and Rescue Squadron. On 3
July 1997, the last American Exchange position departed 770 CRS, ending
fifty-six years of American military presence on Newfoundland soil.
Another milestone in Gander's history was the August 1997
renaming of 770 Communication Research Squadron to Canadian Forces
Station Leitrim Detachment Gander.
Today, 9 Wing Gander is the Search and Rescue centre for
Newfoundland and Labrador. As well Gander is the home of NATO Tactical
Flying Training School, playing host to aircrews from Germany, Britain
and The Netherlands.
Source material: DND press releases from May 1989 &
February 1994, the Communications & Electronics Museum site -
www.c-and-e-museum.org, History of the 400 Series Squadrons -
the 9 Wing Gander web sites -
Canadian Forces Station St. John's:
Originally established as a Naval Shore Station, His Majesty's
Canadian Ship Avalon at Buchmaster's Field on 1 May 1951. The station
served as the shore establishment for the Flag officer of St. John's
from 31 May 1951 until 31 July 1955.
The establishment moved to the former United States Navy base
at Pepperrell on 10 December 1962, remaining at this location until
closing completely in April 1964. The site lay dormant until 1968, when
it re-opened as CFS St John's.
CFS St. John's is an operational support base, housing 15
lodger units including 728 Communications Squadron, HMCS AVALON Sea
Cadet Summer Training Centre and a detachment of the Canadian Forces
Naval Engineering School.
In its primary role, CFS St. Johnï¿½s supports naval vessels
deployed from CFB Halifax which patrol waters off Newfoundland and
Labrador. The station also supports as many as 30 visiting NATO naval
vessels each year.
Source Material: "Badges of the Canadian Navy" by LT (N) Graeme
Arbuckle & DND press releases from May 1989 & July 2003 -