Goose Bay, Labrador

1959 Historical Report USAF Historical Division

Historical Record
641st AC&W Squadron
Goose Bay, Labrador
1 January 1959 to 31 March 1959

Section I


  1. Unit and Location

641st AC&W Squadron
APO 677, New York, NY

  1. Name and Grade of Commander

Elmer E McTaggart, Lt. Col., USAF

  1. Chain of Command (Superior Echelons)
  2. United States Air Force
    Air Defense Command
    64th Air Division (Defense)
    4732nd Air Defense Group

  • Subordinate Units (Down to and including squadrons)
  • None

  • Mission (Give authority and brief statement of primary mission)
  • The mission of the 641st AC&W Squadron is to conduct Air Defense operations within that area assigned by Headquarters, 64th Air Division (Defense) and function as a Prime Direction Center within the Air Defense system.
    Authority: Paragraph 2, 4732nd Air Defense Group Regulation number 20-2, dated 1 April 1958.

  • Personnel

















  • Equipment (Give official nomenclature and quantity of mission-type equipment)
  • AN/CPS-6B Prime Radar, AN/TPS-502 Back-up Height Radar, AN/FPS-502 Back-up Search Radar, AN/GPX-6 Radar Identification, 10 Cummins Diesel Generators (100KW) model LGA, 8 AN/GRC-27 Multi-Channel UHF Transmitter-Receiver, 6 AN/GRT-3 Single Channel UHF Transmitter-Receiver, 6 AN/GRR-7 Single Channel Receiver, 5 AN/FRT-502 VHF Transmitters, 11 AF/URG-60 VHF Receivers.

    Section II



    Projects, Plans and Programs:

    System Training Program began for the operations section 11 February 1959. Dr. Hansen, a representative of the Systems Development Corporation arrived to set up procedures and to assist in establishing the STP training program. This training is now in effect with four training missions each week.

    Maintenance problems on the AN/GPS-T2 simulator have been minor. A pinion gear in the AN/UPS-T5 (15-J-1C) is badly worn however, shimming had corrected the situation temporarily. A replacement gear was ordered TDIOP 17 February 1959 and was received 26 March 1959. In general, spare parts peculiar to the AN/GPS-T2 and to the AN/UPS-T5 are difficult to obtain as the only known source of supply is Odgen Air Materiel Area. Recommendations were made to the 64th Air Division (Defense) that action be taken to assure an adequate supply of replacement components to units for the simulator devices.

    Accomplishing the Mission:

    This organization participated in an Operational Readiness Inspection conducted by the 64th Air Division (Defense) during the week of 2 March 1959.

    On 7 March 1959, Lt. Col. Elmer E McTaggart was upgraded to Qualified Controller and 1st Lt. John M Bergey was upgraded to Expert Controller by the 64th Air Division (Defense) Tactical Evaluation Team. 1st Lt. Kenneth A Davis was upgraded to Skilled Controller by this organization.

    Joint Operations with Other Units:

    Mr. Dudley Dorset of the 64th Air Division (Defense) Department of Transport Liaison Office visited the unit 19 February 1959. Purpose of this visit was to meet with appropriate personnel of this unit and those of Goose Base Control Center, to insure that all concerned have knowledge of a recently published agreement on procedures for exchange of Aircraft Movement Information between 64th Air Division (Defense) units and Goose Base Department of Transport Control Center. A meeting was conducted at 1330 hours and the following personnel were present:

    (see the matrix at the end of this report)


    Authorized Versus Assigned Problems:

    Physical manning of the Radar Maintenance section has been critical for several months and will become extremely critical soon. With this section less than sixty percent manned, sixteen hour shifts are worked and, in one case, an airman voluntarily refused emergency leave to carry out his duty. Five 30352 radar repairmen will rotate during April and May 1959. One five level and five three level repairmen are forecasted incoming during April. Loss of the experienced personnel will reduce the section efficiency temporarily until further training can be accomplished. With full operation of all scopes, new training equipment, and the incoming installation of SIF equipment, increased manning is still imperative to maintain the electronic equipment at its optimum performance levels. Present authorized manning versus assigned is as follows:

    (see the matrix at the end of this report)

    The Teletype section is authorized 20 personnel with 15 personnel assigned. A request for realignment of the UMD within the Squadron was submitted 2 January 1959. The new UMD, if authorized, would increase section manning to 24 personnel. The shortage of operator personnel caused by rotation without replacement has made it necessary to revert to a 12 hour on, 12 off schedule. This schedule requires each operator to work a minimum of 84 hours per week and each shift to work an additional 12 hours every other week to allow for "swapping" of shifts. The communications center gained seven personnel during the months of December and January and lost seven during the same period.

    Equipment Performance:

    Maintenance and Repair:

    A Canadian Marconi Company (Depot) team cleaned and inspected the AN/CPS-6B antenna drive system 16-17 January. Minor adjustments for the drive system were required. The azimuth drive oil pan was resealed in an attempt to stop oil leakage. Oil is seeping around the seal, however, it is not considered serious. This is the third attempt within the past year to prevent oil from leaking around these seals. During the antenna overhaul, Canadian Marconi Company installed a heat exchanger door and blowers on the EW Transmitter. The new door has reduced internal arcing and has improved the AFC stability, resulting in more efficient operation of the early warning kit. Squadron maintenance personnel performed extensive maintenance on the AN/CPS-6B transmitters and receivers while the radar was off the air for depot maintenance.

    The Depot (CMC) Cabling Team completed the radar cabling project on 17 March 1959. This project included a complete re-cabling of the radar equipment in the operations center and radar maintenance room. Cables are now tailored to their proper length and color coded. Equipment was re-arranged in the radar maintenance room to allow installation of the SIF equipment. Video cables have been removed from the cable troughs in the operations center and placed vertically along the walls to the various scope terminations. The cabling was started in November 1958 but a shortage of cable connectors delayed the completion of the project until this month.

    The AN/CPS-6B radome pressure system failed 22 February 1959, the result of a faulty power control relay. This failure pointed out several engineering deficiencies in the radome pressure control system, the major deficiency being the lack of audible alarm when radome pressure is lost. This condition is extremely critical, as extensive radome damage could easily occur without warning. To remedy this deficiency, Radar Maintenance section personnel has designed and are installing an alarm system which will sound of any one of various failures occur.

    A defective gear and associated assembly for the AN/GPA-30 Video Mapper was placed on priority requisition 12 October 1958. A request for command assistance was initiated 13 February to expedite delivery of this gear. The servo assembly for the AN/GPA-30 (Video Mapper) was received and installed on 25 March. Upon installing the assembly it was noticed that a drag was being introduced on the gear train by the metal cathode ray tube support bracket. It was determined that this had been assembled incorrectly at the factory. The Maintenance and Supply Section, 64th Air Division (Defense) was notified by telephone and an unsatisfactory report was submitted on 31 March 1959.

    Changes in Equipment:

    Contractor personnel arrived on 21 January for installation of the AN/FTA-13. Work began 22 January and installation of the communications system was completed and available for use by operations 17 February 1959. This unit feels that the inherent design of the AN/FTA-13 leaves much to be desired in that some of the excellent features of the AN/GTA-6 were not incorporated, such as the cannon plugs on TA-316, operators units, and the conference feature of these units.

    The Wire Maintenance Section is presently engaged in replacing and modifying special circuitry, such as a back-up radio and radio monitor panels, as well as modifying the TA-316, operators units, for conference capability in accordance with 64th Air Division (Defense) letter, OCC, dated 29 January 1959 Subject: Modification to AN/FTA-13 and 64th Air Division (Defense) letter, OCC, dated 13 February 1959, Subject: Intra-Division Battle Command Circuits.

    A "Multiple Teletype Distribution Unit" was designed, constructed and installed during the month of February 1959, by T/Sgt. Clifton L Smith, NCOIC of the Communications Machine Maintenance Section. This unit consists primarily of three 255A polar relays to send three signals to the transmitter site using only one teletype position. Formerly, three positions had to be employed causing unnecessary outage was caused by the removal of terminal equipment from existing circuits. A schematic of this unit was included in the monthly activities report for March 1959.

    The Canadian Marconi Company (Depot) repaired and placed four (4) AS-505/GR UHF antennas back in service at the transmitter site and one (1) at the receiver site in March. The outage of antennas at the transmitter site threatened possible outage of an operational channel. In addition to the above work, the CMC Technicians repaired connections on the RG-17A cable.


    Plans and Programs:

    1st Lt. Bennett, IEO, visited 64th Air Division (Defense) during the period late January, early February. During this visit various projects were coordinated which are already scheduled for construction during the coming building season. Several other projects were submitted to the Division IEO as follows:

    (see the matrix at the end of this report)

    The IOE section initiated a pre-fire planning program during this quarter. This program consists of outlining the frequency and possibilities of different types of fires occurring in the various buildings of the site. A card is then made up for each building outlining which type of fire is most likely to occur in each area, together with the action to be taken in the event of fire of that type did occur.


    Motor Vehicle operation and capabilities show a total of 36,714 miles have been driven in the past 240 days by this unit without a reportable accident. This is an unusually satisfying record in view of the hazardous condition of the access road. The first five miles of access road from the site to Goose Air Base are on a steep grade, with numerous dips and sharp curves. The road is open to two way traffic for only three months of the year.


    Personnel Services Activities:

    The Squadron Basketball Team completed the intramural season at Goose Air Base as runner up in the American League standing, and in third place in the "Base" championship playoff. The team composed of twelve members proceeded to Pepperrell Air Force Base to compete in the 64th Air Division (Defense) championship playoffs and again placed third. Four 641sy Airmen earned places on the 64th Air Division (Defense) all star team that journeyed to Stewart Air Force Base, New York, for Air Defense Team Competition.

    The two lane bowling alley has proved to be a terrific morale booster. Numerous persons who have never bowled before are taking up the recreation. Recently 129 lines were bowled in one day.

    A closed circuit radio station is installed and in operation twenty-four (24) hours a day. Interest in this new facility has been phenomenal. S/Sgt. Allen was designated manager of the station with responsibility for programming and operation. Lieutenant Dillon of the Communications and Electronics Section is in charge of maintaining the electronic equipment.

    Typed Name and Grade of Commander

    Elmer E McTaggart, Lt. Col., USAF



    Personnel Attending Meeting on 19th February 1959

    Mr. Dudley Dorset

    64th Air Division (Defense) DOT Liaison Office

    Mr. Jim Tully

    Chief, Goose Control Center

    Mr. George Machum

    Chief, Goose AMIS

    Lt. Colonel EE McTaggart

    Commander, 641st AC&W Squadron

    Captain CH Bell

    Operations Officer, 641st AC&W Squadron

    Captain AR Vaughn

    M&I Officer, 641st AC&W Squadron

    Radar Maintenance Section Manning




    Chief Master Sergeant



    Technical Sergeant



    Staff Sergeant



    Airman First Class



    Airman Second Class



    Projects Submitted to the Division IEO


    Modification of the Site Access road. Project is now carried as a repair project rather than a modification project.


    Construction of a new six room BOQ including a well equipped fireproof kitchen.


    Addition of a kitchen to the existing BOQ, Building S-1572.


    Installation of a water supply and sewage disposal system for Site TROPO facility previously not favorable considered was again postponed. Meanwhile "incinolet" type toilets are being studied to determine if they can be successfully operated here.


    Installation of hardboard wainscots in the Site corridors was proposed and was approved by the 64th Air Division (Defense). Work is expected to be completed during the coming building season.


    Modification of the basement of Building S-1570 to create a Special Services facility has been engineered by Pepperrell Air Force Base Installations. Construction of this addition will begin in the near future.