USAF Gap Fillers - Labrador/Newfoundland

National Archives of Canada

1327A Wellington Street
Ottawa, Ontario

6 October 1961

Air Marshal Hugh Campbell
Chief of the Air Staff
Air Force Headquarters
Ottawa 4, Ontario.

Dear Air Marshal Campbell:

On 1 April 1961 the US Government, in Note Number 546, requested the concurrence of the Canadian Government on the inactivation of three heavy radars and six gap filler radars in Eastern Canada. This Note indicated that the Baffin Island and Resolution AC&W sites would be reduced to communications only. Canadian Note Number 69 dated 4 May 1961 granted Canadian Government approval to the elimination of these radars. Since the exchange of these notes a requirement has been stated for use of the housing facilities at the Baffin Island Air Station (BIAS).

As you are probably aware, the Strategic Air Command is obtaining its support for the Frobisher Bay air refueling unit from the Department of Transport. With the limited amount of adequate housing available at Frobisher, the possibility exists for the USAF to provide the adjacent AC&W housing facilities at the BIAS to support DOT and sub-contractors. Under the financial support arrangements with DOT, the USAF can realize considerable savings if the BIAS housing facilities are retained by the USAF and made available to house DOT and contractor personnel. There is also a continuing requirement to provide for a small contingent of USAF communications personnel at the BIAS to support the SAC mission. These communications circuits are part of the polevault system orginally installed to support an air defense mission, but have also serviced the SAC unit and will continue to be required by SAC.

SAC and DOT have reached tentative agreement on the use of the BIAS facilities for the purpose stated above. However, since the withdrawal of the AC&W mission, there may be a question as to the propriety of such use of the entire facility without formal approval of the Canadian Government.

We desire to receive Canadian Government concurrence on the change in utilization of BIAS housing facilities to support the SAC air refueling mission in place of the AC&W mission. We would desire, if possible, to obtain this approval through service-to-service channels.


Robert Taylor, 3D
Major General, USAF