Cold Lake, AB

1954 – Memories of Cold Lake – As Indicated

Pinetree Line Web Site Note:

The radar station located at Cold Lake has remained something of a mystery and we have not been able to obtain any detail which explains the operational picture during the early years of Cold Lake.

Our records (unconfirmed) indicate that the unit became operational on 1 August 1954 and that the unit became SAGE operational in June 1963. But what took place between 1954 and 1963? Was this location operational as a Pinetree Line CGI or early warning unit – similar to other long range radar stations such as Foymount and Senneterre – or, as has been suspected for a number of years, was Cold Lake simply functioning as a control unit for jet fighter operations which originated in Cold Lake? There were also unconfirmed stories to the effect that the AC&W facilities were being used as a training unit for AS/FtrC personnel (Officer controllers).

Many of the Officer controllers took their basic trade training at Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida – while the FCO’s (enlisted personnel – also known as FtrCops) completed their basic training at Clinton Ontario, before being transferred to one of the operational Pinetree Line stations.

Comments by Mike Morris - Sorry..... I didn't own a camera in those days. I've read through the posted history articles about 42 AC&W and to add to the "mystery", no mention was made of the WWII vintage Ames-11 Radar (RCAF Reserve Squadron) that was operating in 1954 at the site of the yet-to-be built 42 AC&W building. I believe that 42 AC&W's original equipment was the FPS-3 and TPS-501. I recall that the Radar would be shut down and the Operatios personnel would head home as soon as the CF-100s stopped flying for the evening. On graveyard shifts, after all the equipment checks were completed, our shift of three Radar Techs and one Comm Tech would conduct a contract bridge marathon until the Radar had to be fired up for the following morning.

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Updated: August 21, 2002