The Wrath of Mother Nature
It was not unusual to experience damage at Pinetree Line radar stations due to high winds. What is unusual is the apparent lack of a compiled documentation that provides details indicating "what happened, where, and when". This file contains a summary of "significant" Pinetree Line radar station "wind damage" that is known, and documented, to have occurred in Gander, NF.
The following detail has been taken from the Historical Records of RCAF Station Gander.
26 Dec 1955
One of the worst snow storms in the history of RCAF Station Gander left the Transmitter site inaccessible by road. Personnel on duty at this site were running short of rations by the 26th of December. This situation was further complicated by civilians who were also stranded on the Trans Canada Highway and used the Transmitter Site as a refuge. This situation was relieved after a USAF aircraft dropped rations and cigarettes to the site on the afternoon of the 26th of December. Snow plows finally made their way through to the site on the afternoon of the 27th of December.
There is no doubt in my mind that there have been other examples of "significant" Pinetree Line "wind damage" which has taken place. As an example, I keep hearing about the Saglek situation – where their height finder was an apparent victim. This unit was located at the edge of a 1,800 foot cliff – so you can imagine the damage to any radar equipment that "went over the side". I continue to hope that some day, some one will provide some "official detail" – and then we will be able to add this occurrence to our list.
If you have any knowledge of other "significant" Pinetree Line "wind damage", please help us out and pass the detail to us – via an email message. Many thanks.