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Abandoned Bases - NEW BRUNSWICK
Royal Canadian Air Force Station Moncton:
Originally established at the Moncton Airport in 1940, under the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan, as RCAF Station Lakeburn. The staiton featued 40 buildings including a 40 bed hospital, 5 double-sized hangars, barracks, mess halls and recreation facilities.
No. 8 Service Flying Training School (No. 8 SFTS) opened at the station on 23 December 1940, operating under contract by the Moncton Flying Club on behalf of the RCAF. Relief Landing Fields were constructed at Sailsbury and Scoudouc, although the later became No. 4 Repair Depot in September 1941.
No. 8 SFTS moved to Weyburn, Saskatchewan in January 1944, where it remained until it closed in 1944.
No. 164 Heavy Transport Squadron was formed at Lakeburn in January 1943 and one year later, the base was re-named RCAF Station Moncton, coinciding with the establishment of No. 21 Repair Depot. Both units remained at RCAF Station Moncton until 1945, when No. 164 (Heavy Transport) Squadron relocated to RCAF Station Dartmouth and No. 21 RD disbanded. No. 6 Reserve Equipment Maintenance Unit briefly assumed No. 21's duties before it too disbanded.
With the end of the war, activity at RCAF Station Moncton was greatly reduced. The station reverted to a civilian airport, but the RCAF maintained a presence at the station. During the 1960s, No. 8 Air Movements Unit also maintained a detachment in the terminal building.
No. 5 Supply Depot, located in downtown Moncton, maintained a detachment in three of the old hangars; a detachment that would survive until the 1990s, when the Air Force finally left the Moncton Airport.
The airport is now officially known as the Greater Moncton International Airport.
Only one of the original seven World War II era hangars remain, utilized by Irving Oil. All other buildings are long gone. The gunnery backstop remained standing until 2003, when it was finally demolished. Only two of the original six runways (Moncton had a double-runway triangle pattern airfield) remain in use, with a third used as a taxiway. The other runways were eventually broken up. A new Terminal building was opened at the airport in 2002 by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
In 2011, a milti-government infrastructure program resulted in Moncton Airport's runway being extended by 4,350 feet to 10,500
Source material: DND press releases from May 1989 & February 1994, information supplied by John Allain Corporation of the City of Moncton (1999), information supplied by Claude Despres, Corporation of the City of Moncton (1999), "History of Aviation in the Greater Moncton Area" by Jim Kinne (1987), information supplied by Bill Soucoup, Constable, RCMP Patrol Section Codiac Regional RCMP Detachment Moncton (1999), Abandoned Military Installations of Canada Volume III: Atlantic" by Paul Ozorak, the Greater Moncton Airport Authority web site - http://www.gma.ca/english/corp/history.asp, "The History of Monction 1855-1965" by Lloyd Machum, Canadian Aviator Magazine Feb. 28, 2011 & information supplied by Don McClure, Greater Moncton Airport Authority (2003).
Royal Canadian Air Force Detachment Sailsbury:
Opened in 1940 as a Relief Landing Field for No. 8 SFTS at Lakeburn. The Detachment closed at the end of WWII.
The former RCAF Detachment Sailsbury is now owned by Irving Oil, who built a Big Stop car and truck service center on part of the property, along with a helicopter pad. Unlike most Relief Landing Fields, there were no buildings or hangars at the Detachment.
Source material: DND press releases from May 1989 & February 1994, information supplied by John Allain Corporation of the City of Moncton (1999), information supplied by Claude Despres, Corporation of the City of Moncton (1999), "History of Aviation in the Greater Moncton Area" by Jim Kinne (1987), information supplied by Bill Soucoup, Constable, RCMP Patrol Section Codiac Regional RCMP Detachment Moncton (1999) & information supplied by Don McClure, Greater Moncton Airport Authority (2003).
Royal Canadian Air Force Station Scoudouc:
Originally established in 1940 as a relief landing field for No. 8 SFTS at Lakeburn. In September 1941, the aerodrome changed its function when it became the home of No. 4 Repair Depot, which later re-located to RCAF Station Dartmouth, and No. 1 Radio Direction Finding Maintenance Unit** (No. 1 RFD MU), a top-secret maintenance unit. In 1943, No. 1 RFD MU merged with No. 1 Repair Depot's Radio Repair Section.
**(during WWII, radar work was referred to as radio direction finding).
In 1945, the station was re-named RCAF Station Scoudouc. A new repair depot was formed at the site, as was No. 1 Maintenance Wing and No. 101 RCAF Equipment Park. These units were short-lived however, as they disbanded on 1 November 1945. The RCAF departed and the aerodrome was abandoned.
The post-war growth of the RCAF resulted in many WWII stations being re-activated and as a result, Scoudouc was re-activated in 1951 as a Detachment of RCAF Station Chatham. No. 5 Supply Depot, located in downtown Moncton, opened a seciton at the newly christened RCAF Detachment Scoudouc. While RCAF Station Chatham's runways were being repaired, No. 1 (Fighter) Operational Training Unit temporarily occupied space the detachment and 2 years later, the Royal Canadian Navy did the same while RCN Air Station Shearwater's airfield was being repaired.
As the decade progressed, RCAF activity at the detachment was being reduced. In 1956, the now abandoned runways were being used by the Maritime Motor Transport Annual Rodeo and by 1958, 27 unoccupied buildings had been removed.
With the impending Unification in the mid 1960s, a reorganization and consolidation occurred within the Canadian Military. Several bases were either downsized, merged or closed and as a result, RCAF Detachment Scoudouc closed on 1 January 1965.
Today, the abandoned and crumbling airfield remains. From 1959 until the early 1990's, the runways were used by the Atlantic Motorcycle Competition Riders Association as a race track.
The drill hall and a storage shed also remain, but of the original seven hangars, only two remain, extensively renovated for industrial use. None of the other World War II era buildings remain. The former station is now the Scoudouc Industrial Park. The park is home to 24 businesses with over 650 employed in a cross
section of industries, concentrated mostly in the manufacturing sector.
Source material: "History of Aviation in the Greater Moncton Area" by Jim Kinne (1987), information supplied by Claude Despres, Corporation of the City of Moncton (1999), Human Resources Development Canada - http://www.nb.hrdc-drhc.gc.ca/moncton/lmi/community.shtml#h39, the Atlantic Motorcycle Competition Riders Association web site - http://www.procycle-hdd.com/amcra/gridsheet/2000feb.html, Abandoned Military Installations of Canada Volume III: Atlantic" by Paul Ozorak, Enterprise South East web site - http://www.enterprisesoutheast.ca/scoudouc & information supplied by information supplied by Don McClure, Greater Moncton Airport Authority (2003).
Royal Canadian Air Force Detachment Saint John:
Established in 1939 at the Millidgeville Airport, near Saint John, where hangars and other buildings were built for the RCAF. No. 2 (Army Cooperation) Squadron was posted to the station until 1940. No. 118 (Coastal Artillery Co-operation) Squadron from replaced No. 2 ACS until April 1944, when the squadron was made unnecessary by army radar equipment. No 118 CAC transferred to RCAF Station Dartmouth and later disbanded.
Royal Canadian Air Force Detachment Saint John closed in early 1944, although a small six member Detachment remained behind until May 1947, when the Millidgeville Airport was returned to the City of Saint John.
The revived Millidgeville Airport would have a short life however, as an increase in air traffic necessitated construction of a new airport. The Millidgeville Airport closed in March 1951.
All that remains of the Detachment today is one hangar. A residential community and the M. Gerald Teed School, built in September, 1963, occuipy the former detachment.
Source Material: New Brunswick Military Heritage Project - http://www.unb.ca/nbmhp/02_NBMHPsites.htm, New Brunswick Community College - http://www.saintjohn.nbcc.nb.ca/~Heritage/Aviation/GoneButNotForgotten.htm, Abandoned Military Installations of Canada Volume III: Atlantic" by Paul Ozorak. & M. Gerald Teed School web site - http://mgeraldteed.nbed.nb.ca/default.htm.
Canadian Forces Station Coverdale:
Established near Moncton as Naval Radio Station Coverdale in 1941, part of the Canada-United States Atlantic High Frequency Direction Finding Network. The network was responsible for coordinating radar activities during search and rescue operations in the Atlantic area.
In 1949, NRS Coverdale was re-named His Majesty's Naval Radio Station Coverdale and PMqs were built. By 1956, the station was commissioned and again re-named His Majesty's Canadian Ship Coverdale.
One of Coverdale's claims to fame came in the early 1950's when a typographical error in the Moncton area phone book listed the station as "Naval Ladies Station Coverdale."
As a result of the Unification, Naval Radio Station HMCS Coverdale was again re-named CFS Coverdale.
The station closed in June 1971 and CFB Gander assumed CFS Coverdale's duties as the back-up control station for the Atlantic HF-DF network. The Station's personnel were eventually transferred to CFB Gander to become part of 770 Communications Research Squadron.
Some of the former station's buildings remain, including the PMQs, the Recreation Centre, some barracks, the Chief's & Petty Officer's mess and the water tower.
Source Material: "Sentinel " Magazine from July-August 1971, the RCAF Station Gander web site - www.watserv1.uwaterloo.ca/~brobinso/gander.html., New Brunswick Military Heritage Project - http://www.unb.ca/nbmhp/02_NBMHPsites.htm, hte HMCS Coverdale web site - http://webhome.idirect.com/~jproc/rrp/coverdale.html, "Abandoned Military Installations of Canada Volume III: Atlantic" by Paul Ozorak & "Badges of the Canadian Navy" by LT (N) Graeme Arbuckle
Canadian Forces Base Gagetown - Chatham Detachment:
Opened in 1940 under the British Commonwealth Air training Plan as RCAF Station Chatham. Two schools were established at the station: No. 21 Elementary Flying Training School on 3 July 1941 and No. 10 Air Observer School on 21 July 1941. No. 21 EFTS remained at Chatham until 30 May 1942, when it relocated to Neepawa, Manitoba and became No. 35 EFTS.
In 1942, a detachment of No. 113 bomber Squadron from RCAF Station Yarmouth was posted to Chatham to conduct anti-submarine patrols.
No. 10 AOS closed 30 April 1945 and the station itself also closed shortly afterwards. Only a small storage depot remained behind.
Post-war growth of the RCAF saw the re-activation of several WWII aerodromes. RCAF Station Chatham re-opened in 1949 and 2 Air Defence Control Centre (2 ADCC) was established at the site to support 421 (Fighter) Squadron and No. 1 Fighter Training School.
No. 2 Aircraft Control & Warning Squadron was also formed at the station, but with the formation of the Pinetree Line, the squadron transferred to No. 21 AC & W Squadron at RCAF Station St. Margarets.
In 1959, RCAF Station Chatham became the home base of the newly formed RCAF Golden Hawks aerobatic team, the predecessor to today's "Snowbirds". The golden hawks would have a short stay at Chatham, as they re-located to RCAF Station Trenton in 1962.
In 1961, RCAF Station Chatham ceased being a fighter training base and instead became an Initial Training Centre only. This new function continued until 1968.
In 1966, RCAF Station Chatham was merged with RCAF Station St Margarets and the Royal Canadian Naval Ammunition Depot at Renous and re-named CFB Chatham.
The Miramichi Municipal Airport opened in 1974, providing commercial air flights from the Chatham airfield.
In 1985, change was in the wind at CFB Chatham. The base was transferred to the Army's Mobile Command, thus ending 45 years of Air force control of the base. Also in 1985, the base became the new home to the Air Defence Artillery School, originally from CFB Gagetown and 434 Tactical Fighter Squadron from CFB Baggotville.
In the mid 1980s, a reorganization and consolidation occurred within the Canadian Military. Several bases were either downsized, merged or closed and as a result, CFB Chatham was downsized to a Detachment of CFB Gagetown in 1989. The Air Defence Artillery School and 119 Low Level Air Defence Battery remained at Chatham, but the St Margarets detachment closed.
The airfield at Chatham ceased military operations in 1990, but the Miramichi Municipal Airport continued operating the airfield. The New Brunswick Fire Protection Agency flies out of the airport during the summer months.
The downsizing of CFB Chatham was only the beginning of the end for the former fighter training base. In September 1995, CF Detachment Chatham finally closed. The Air Defence Artillery School and 119 Low Level Air Defence Battery re-located to CFB Gagetown.
Today, the former base is the Skypark Miramichi Industrial Park and most of it remains. The recreation centre and the base school are still used as such. The Royal Canadian Air Cadets Atlantic Region Gliding School operates a summer Regional Gliding Centre at the airport. Most of the airfield was abandoned, with only a 5900 ft section of runway 27-60 still in use.
Source material: DND press release from May 1989, Sky Park Miramichi Web site - http://www.mibc.nb.ca/sky-park/current/issue/frame.html, http://www.legion.ca/english/reveille/may/, http://members.nbci.com/101RCAirCS/flying.htm, "Abandoned Military Installations of Canada Volume III: Atlantic" by Paul Ozorak & "Wings For Victory" by Spencer Dunmore.
Opened in 1939 as an Artillery and Air Weapons Range firing range associated with the flying training schools in Chatham. The range consisted of more than 18,000 hectares of land and waterways near the town of Tracadie-Sheila.
After World War II, the range remained open as a Detachment of RCAF Station Chatham. The range closed in 1994.
Source material: New Brunswick Dept of Natural Resources - http://www.gnb.ca/0263/tracadie_range-e.aspb.
An Canadian Infantry Training Center (CITC A-30) from the early 1940s to the late 1950s. Today, the training grounds are blueberry fields and only a few ruins remain, as well as the main rifle ranges. The army base was also to assist the nearby RAF/RCAF air station (located southeast) if there was a Germany attack on Canada.
No. 2 Air Navigation School & No. 34 Operational Training Unit:
The airfield at Pennfield Ridge originally opened on 21 July 1941 under the British Commonwealth Air training Plan as No. 2 Air Navigation School. The station came complete with over 40 buildings including 4 large hangers, an observation tower, barracks, drill hall, mess halls and classrooms.
No. 2 ANS would be short-lived at Pennfield Ridge, as it disbanded less than a year later, but it would later be revived at Charlottetown in February 1944.
On 1 June 1942, No. 34 Operational Training Unit was established at the station. The station also had a radio communications section, one that also contained a Royal Canadian Naval contingent from 1941-1942.
No. 34 OTU closed on 19 May 1944. The station remained an active training station, however, with transportaion and operaitonal training courses, including survival training. The station finally closed in 1945.
The aerodrome was taken over for use as a municipal airport for the Saint John area. When the current Saint John Municipal Airport opened in 1950, the Pennfield Ridge airport closed.
From 1973-1977, the abandoned runways were used as a drag racing strip by the New Brunswick Drag Racing Association.
All that remains of the former station today are the roadways, the gunnery backstop, the hanger pads and the abandoned runways, two of which are used to dry out seaweed for use in fertilizer production. The third runway remains in use for small aircraft.
Source Material: Pennfield Ridge Air Base web site - http://www.geocities.com/blacksharbour/pennfield.html, "Abandoned Military Installations of Canada Volume III: Atlantic" by Paul Ozorak & Canadian Racer Web site - www.motorsportcentral.com.
No. 7 Area Ordnance Depot:
Opened in February 1943 on Rothesay Road west of Saint John by the Royal Canadian Ordnance Corps (RCOC). The Depot featuring 36, 000 square feet of warehouse space and 48, 000 square feet of workshops.
The personnel stregth of the Depot would eventually be reduced when several stores groups relocated to the Depot at Amherst, but Coldbrook was still a busy establishment. When the Royal Canadian Electrical Mechanical Engineer Corps separated from the Ordnance Corps, it took over the Workshop area.
The Depot remained opened after the war, becoming part of the post-war RCOC. During 1945 and 1946, the Depot also served as a storage depot for surplus Army vehicles. In November 1946, the Headquartes for No. 7 Militia District relocated to Fredericton.
In the mid-1950s, military establishments in New Brunswick were consolidated. As a result, No. 7 Area Ordnance Depot relocated to Camp Gagetown in 1957, abandoning it's WWII site.
In 1963, StresCon Concrete opened a manufacturing plant at the former Depot. Parts of the original ordnance complex do remain; the office building is original, but with a new interior, and both the Old Pipe Plant and the Warehouse have still have parts of the original buildings, but have been extensively re-built and remolded.
Source Material: New Brunswick Military Heritage Project - http://www.unb.ca/nbmhp/02_NBMHPsites.htm, information supplied by StresCon Concrete (2006) & "A History of the RCOC in Saint John", by Major G.H MacDonald (ret'd), supplied by Bert MacDonald (2004).
No. 32 Ordnance Depot:
Opened in 1942 on Highway #8 in the Village of McGivney as No. 1 Magazine Company, a Detachment of No. 7 Ordnance Depot. The depot, run by the Royal Canadian Ordnance Corps, consisted of 24 buildings.
The Depot remained open after WWII and was re-named No. 2 Ordnance Depot, but not long after, it was changed to No. 32 Ordnance Depot. Permanent Married Quarters were added in the 1950s.
As a result of the Unification, the Depot was re-named No. 32 Canadian Forces Ammunition Depot in 1966, but this would be short-lived. The Unification lead to the consolidation of numerous military establishments. No. 32 CFAD was deemed redundand and as a result, closed in 1969.
Today some of the Depot's buildings remain, including the ammunition storage bunkers and less than half of the PMQs. The camp chapel is now a Baptist Church and Sergeants' Mess was relocated off site, for use as the South Portage Recreation Center.
Source Material: New Brunswick Military Heritage Project - http://www.unb.ca/nbmhp/02_NBMHPsites.htm & "Abandoned Military Installations of Canada Volume III: Atlantic" by Paul Ozorak.
No. 70 Canadian Army (Basic) Training Centre:
Opened on 9 October 1940 at the Wilmont Park Exhibition Grounds near Fredericton as a Non-Permanent Active Militia Training Centre, but later became a basic infantry training centre. The Camp closed in 1945.
Today, only the roadways and the parade ground remain, the former of which is currently used by student driving instruction. The original firehall and the mess hall stood until around 2003, when they burned down. A number of the camp's buildings were moved the University of New Brunswick, although most of them are now gone. Other camp buildings were sold to the City of Fredericton.
Source Material: New Brunswick Military Heritage Project - http://www.unb.ca/nbmhp/02_NBMHPsites.htm & "Abandoned Military Installations of Canada Volume III: Atlantic " by Author Paul Ozorak.
Renous Naval Ammunition Depot:
Opened in 1943 near Renous as a Detachment of HMC Dockyard Halifax. The Depot would remain open as a part of the post-war RCN.
As a result of the Unification, the Depot was re-named Canadian Forces Ammunition Depot (CFAD) Renous and made a Detachment of CFB Chatham.
In 1973, CFAD Renous was declared redundant, and its functions were slowly taken over by CFAD Bedford, outside Halifax. By 1978, CFAD Renous finally closed.
Much of the former CFAD remains today. The site was taken over by the Correctional Service of Canada, who opened the Atlantic Institution in 1987. Most of the ammunition bunkers remain, but none of the PMQs.
Source Material: "Abandoned Military Installations of Canada Volume III: Atlantic " by Author Paul Ozorak.
MACHQ (Maritime Air Command HQ) Halifax:
Located at 17 South Street on the corner of Barrington and South.