Goose Bay, Labrador

1959 Historical Report USAF Historical Division

Historical Record
641st AC&W Squadron
Goose Bay, Labrador
1 July 1959 to 30 September 1959

Section I


  1. Unit and Location

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

  1. Name and Grade of Commander

Delbert R Smyth, Major, 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



    The ADC ORI Team evaluated our combat ready efficiency from 21-25 July 1959.

    A new debriefing circuit between the 641st ACWRON, the 59th FIS, and other sites in the Labrador complex was installed in September and is now being utilized regularly for debriefings.

    Equipment Performance:

    All radar power was turned off for approximately two hours on 12 July due to a forest fire that threatened the site. Buda standby diesel power was used to run three pressurization units for the radomes.

    A Bendix installation team arrived on 17 July and commenced assembly of SIF equipment. The units were installed, operationally checked, and the team departed on 28 July. Formal classes for maintenance personnel were held during August on the SIF equipment with Lt. David C Dillon, Radar Maintenance Officer, as the instructor. During September these classes were again held for personnel from other 64th Air Division Units.

    A three man Canadian Marconi Company Team completed installation of the AN/CPS-6B low noise receiver modification in August, and a latter of unsatisfactory installation was submitted to 64th Air Division. Inspectors from the Canadian Marconi Company and the Department of Defense arrived on 3 September to investigate the discrepancies cited. Corrective action has been delayed until after the AN/CPS-6B annual overhaul scheduled for October 1959.

    Emergency back-up teletype nets were activated during the Operational Readiness Inspection 21-25 July. A readable copy from 64th Air Division was printed; however, no intelligence was passed on the circuits.

    A modification kit for improved ventilation on the AN/GPS-T2 was received and installed on 27 August. This kit is expected to prolong the life of the AN/GPS-T2 components and improve its functional stability. A modification of the support assembly for the AN/GPS-T2 was installed on 3 September, which will extend the life of the drive system from 300 to 2000 hours.

    A lack of sufficient tape reproducing equipment continues to cause unnecessary delay in the handling of message traffic being relayed. Assistance was requested from 64th Air Division on 18 September 1959.

    A Canadian Marconi overhaul team arrived on 17 September and began IRAN on the AN/TPS-502, AN/GPS-30, AN/GPS-T2, AN/UPS-T5 and all indicators.

    Radio Net 61 was deactivated until further notice because of BMEWS construction on site.


    Manning in the Communications center has remained critical during the past quarter, and Crypto personnel are still being utilized to continue the operation of the minor relay station. Additional personnel are not scheduled to arrive until December.

    Philco technical representatives arrived during August and September 1959.

    Civilian manning in the Installations Section has been a problem. The squadron has averaged ten (10) assigned versus an authorization of thirteen (13). Requests for an electrician and two heating specialists have been pending since May 1959.


    The barracks are still extremely crowded, with lower grade airmen living three (3) to a room.

    Six (6) additional tons of air conditioning was installed during July 1959 to cool the upper dias in Operations. New electronic equipment added over the years had rendered the initial installation of 20 tons inadequate. A project to build an 1878 square foot addition to the Operations building is included in the FY-60 MCP and additional air conditioning is included for the existing area.

    Shortage of storage space for the Installations Engineer continues to be a problem.

    BMEWS construction has been progressing at a moderate rate. The dormitory and messing facilities for contractor personnel have been completed, and construction has begun on the power plant and TROPO additions.

    BMEWS construction has increased water consumption by one-third. Water is now being pumped three times daily. Action is being taken to install remote controls, since 105 man hours per week are now being used to pump water.


    A total of 76,011 miles have been driven in the past 423 days without a reportable accident.

    Mobile radios have been installed in seven vehicles. One ground station is installed at the Air Police gate post, and a remote keying unit is installed in the Motor Pool. This system will assure better traffic control and vehicle utilization.

    Personnel Services:

    Entertainment has been excellent with good USO shows being presented each month.

    Our cabin at Virgin Lake and one outboard motor was lost in the forest fire during July. A ten horsepower motor has been purchased to replace the one that was lost.

    The 641st participated in tennis, softball, and golf tournaments this past quarter, and basketball practice has now started. Operation "Fish-Fry" has been a great success, and all participating personnel brought back proof of their catches.

    A Survival Team was organized this summer. Trails have been cut to surrounding lakes, and members of the team have been camping on the Hamilton River on weekends.

    Typed Name and Grade of Commander

    Delbert R Smyth, Major, USAF