The Pinetree Line Gap Filler Sites

USAF Gap Fillers:

The following detail pertaining to USAF gap-filler sites has been taken from an official document (Secret, and eventually Declassified on 23 August 1991) titled US Air Defense in the Northeast 1940 - 1957 - DND Directorate of History 73/770. A preface is dated 1 April 1957. Some of the detail was difficult to read as a result of poor photocopy capabilities.

There were six heavy radars between Hopedale and St. Johns located at Hopedale, Cartwright, St. Anthony, Stephenville, Gander and Red Cliff (St. Johns). To increase low altitude coverage along this line and provide some back-up for these radars, a small, light-weight radar (the AN/FPS-14), called a gap-filler, was to be placed between these heavy radars. The AN/FPS-14 was a medium-range search radar which was designed and built by Bendix as a gap-filler radar to provide low altitude coverage. It operated in the S-band at a frequency between 2700 and 2900 MHz and could detect traffic at a range of 65 miles. The system was deployed to locations within the Pinetree Line in Newfoundland and Labrador. There were six gap filler sites (approved in March 1955). Details are as follows:

Site Gap Filler Location Latitude Longitude Detachment # Photos
N-22B Elliston Ridge, NF 48 36 48 N 55 02 12 W Detachment 1, 642nd Sq.
Red Cliff (St. Johns), NF
N-27C Fox Harbour, Labrador 52 51 50 N 55 40 00 W Detachment 3, 922st Sq.
Cartwright, Labrador
N-26B La Scie, NF 49 59 24 N 55 33 24 W Detachment 2, 921st Sq.
St. Anthony, NF
N-27A Cut Throat Island, Labrador 54 30 00 N 57 07 25 W Detachment 1, 922nd Sq.
Cartwright, Labrador
N-27B Spotted Island, Labrador 53 30 55 N 55 45 20 W Detachment 2, 922nd Sq.
Cartwright, Labrador
N-28A Cape Makkovik, Labrador 55 13 30 N 59 08 45 W Detachment 1, 923rd Sq.
Hopedale, Labrador

Unlike the RCAF gap-filler units, the USAF gap-filler units were all manned sites and the number of personnel employed at these locations varied depending on the responsibilities allocated to the gap-filler. Elliston Ridge, Fox Harbour and Cape Makkovik became operational in February 1957. Cut Throat Island, Spotted Island and La Scie were scheduled to be operational by the end of April, 1957.

About This Page

This page is located at

Updated: April 23, 2002