Goose Bay, Labrador

1968 – Historical Report – USAF Historical Division

Historical Record
641st AC&W Squadron
Goose Bay, Labrador
1 June 1968 to 30 September 1968

Section I


  1. Unit and Location

641st AC&W Squadron
APO New York 09677

  1. Name and Grade of Commander

Donald J McGibbon, Major, USAF

  1. Chain of Command (Superior Echelons)
  2. Aerospace Defense Command

    First Air Force
    37th Air Division

  • 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 function as a NORAD Surveillance Station detecting and identifying all airborne objects entering or operating within the units defined area of responsibility; to provide surveillance information to the Commander 37th Air Division concerning unknown, hostile and friendly airborne objects; to flight follow all air traffic operating within the scope of its radar coverage; and to function in a supervisory capacity over three outlying sites.

  • Personnel




























  • Equipment (Give official nomenclature and quantity of mission-type equipment)
  • AN/FPS-93A – Two Channel Prime Radar, AN/FPS-90 Radar Height Finder, 0A840A/GPX-7A Radar Identification Set, AN/GPX-27 Interference Blanker Group, AN/UPX-14 Radar Interrogator Responder, AN/GRR-7 Single Channel UHF Receivers, AN/GRT-3 Single Channel UHF Transmitters, AN/GRC-27 Multi Channel UHF Transmitter-Receivers, AN/FRT-502 Dual Channel VHF Transmitters, AN/URG-60 Single Channel VHF Receivers.

    Section II



    During this period the 37th Air Division changed its configuration and Hopedale, Cartwright, and St. Anthony ceased their functions. The 641st assumed Identification responsibility for the entire Division and moved its M&I table to accommodate the expanded function. Melville also took operational supervisory responsibility over Stephenville and Gander who now report all traffic directly to us. An increase in the UDL gave the Operations Section seven more people authorized including a 70250 clerk. Personnel manning at the close of the quarter was as follows:

    (see the matrix at the end of this report)

    In an effort to keep Captain Creighton and Lt. Holford (640th WC) operational ready, two F-89J aircraft from the Maine National Guard arrived at the end of June. Captain Creighton ran 19 intercepts, however, the aircraft were now scheduled to return in the immediate future. During this quarter the Operations Section was inspected by a Staff Assistance team from 37th Air Division. The overall rating was satisfactory with no recurring or major discrepancies. During the period, the section participated in the following number of exercises: (1) Live Exercises – 10; (2) STP Exercises – 7; (3) Active Air Defense Operations – 7. The following accomplishments were notable during this quarter: (1) Number of flight plans processed – 11,917; (2) Number of unknown tracks – 26; (3) Number of Soviet Block tracks identifies – 126. Receipt of a new TESTO bank reinvigorated the Testing and Evaluation program. Scores have been satisfactory. 447 tests have been administered thus far. Five people were evaluated for Operational Ready status – 2 initially and 3 for annual recheck. The 641st also began training 37th Direction Center personnel in M&I function. By the end of the quarter six had been made O/R M&I Technicians. OJT training continued to progress. Up-grading via the CDC program has been more formally organized. Job descriptions were updated and a new organization and function chart was completed. Also, several new viewgraph and 35mm slides were made for the Commander’s VIP slide briefing series. The Alert/Warning board was redesigned to include new code names and the plotting boards and status boards were repainted to show the new areas of responsibility of the three AC&W Squadrons. The NCOIC of Operations, SM/Sgt. Gilbert G Reyes, departed for HQ 1st AF, Stewart AFB, New York at the end of May. His replacement was SM/Sgt. Orville D Shrader. The first seven of 10 new Operations personnel arrived on 29 June and will go into training. The other three are expected in July.

    Communications and Electronics:

    During this quarter the manning was 41 authorized, 42 assigned with 12 losses and 13 gains. One officer, Captain Robert H Watkins departed PCS, and was replaced by Captain Charles W Gerson. The Radio Transmitter/Receiver site was relocated from building S-1550 to the T-4 room in the Operations building. This move entailed the relocation of all antennas and equipment. The Radios are now in controlled environment which seems to have improved power tube life. The antennas were relocated inside the AN/FPS-93 Radome which has shortened cables and removed the equipment from the adverse outside environment as well as eliminating line amplifier and cable noise present in the former configuration. The TX/RX range has been increased by 50 miles. The relocation was accomplished by site radio technicians. The quality of the installation was very professional and rapidly completed. Two modifications were completed, one a Class I Blower installation on the UPX-14. This modification is not considered adequate as it does not reduce the heat problem of this equipment significantly. The second consists of a Class V modification installing ground rods for all equipment. We had programmed to remove four radio channels this quarter, however, actual deletion will occur early in the next quarter. Three QK-338A Magnetrons were lost during June. The first high power tube failed 3 June after 3,245 hours of operation. The second tube failed 21 June after 382 hours and the third tube on 24 June after 275 hours of operations. Cause of the failures was determined to be the pulse transformer presently on order from Supply. The CEM office was reconfigured to consolidate the section supervisors and open up more room in the Maintenance Control Area. The new configuration has been more convenient and has provided better working conditions for the MCC Supervisor and Radar Maintenance Supervisor. Two five level personnel have been upgraded to seven level during this period.

    Civil Engineering:

    Bench Stock has been placed under lock and key; all items needed to complete bench have been ordered, received and placed on shelves with proper designations. Job descriptions have been updated designating supervisors, new personnel and other changes as appropriate. Action has been taken in accordance with direction from unit administration to correct errors in administrative procedures in the section. A new status chart was completed to reflect current status of all work requests and work orders. The exact status of each item is now easily available. A request for a complete inspection of our wiring system on the site was made and an engineer from Goose Air Base made the inspection. Several discrepancies were noted many of which our own electrician can and will correct. Others identified may require contractual services or assistance from the Goose. This will be determined during the month of July when the completed report is received. Project MEL 6-7, construct addition to building S-1536, was begun on the 24th of June. This project is presently approximately 8% complete and requires daily inspection by the site Civil Engineer. All progress and transactions are recorded daily on SAC Form 119, Construction Inspection Record. Lt. Wright of the 95th Civil Engineering Squadron has completed approximately 75% of the surveying for Project MEL 4-8, maintain roadways and parking areas. Word has been received from 37th EDC that pending early completion of design the project may be initiated and completed this summer. Surveying and design required for project MEL 6-8 (AFCS), alter latrine sewer line, is currently approved by Air Force Communications Service. As of June 68 two projects in the FY-69 Operations and Maintenance Program, MEL 3-8, maintain paint various facilities and MEL 4-9, maintain paint interior and exterior of buildings are still unfunded although MEL 3-8 has been approved with 95% design completed. MEL 4-9 is at 1AF for approval. These two projects will probably not be accomplished until FY-70 due to the shortage of funds in FY-69. (1AF only funded approximately 25% of its requirements). Through the conscientious efforts of our Fire Chief and his fire prevention program, we have suffered no fire losses during the month of June 68.

    Station Support:

    Implementation of Project "Prime 69" procedures into the Unit Support functional duties appear to be progressing normally. Additional control methods are scheduled for systems adaptation after Primer-69 Seminar to be held in the near future. Administrative and functional responsibility for the Unit Motor Pool was transferred from Station Support Office to Civil Engineering Office during period covered by this report. Captain John P Didlo reported for duty as Station Support Officer to relieve Captain Norman W Morris who departs in July. One civilian position is forecast for 1 August 1968 with the reassignment of Station Support Files Clerk to the 1932nd TROPO Section.

    Food Service:

    The majority of Food Service Equipment ordered during last reporting period has now been received on-station and is awaiting installation by Unit Civil Engineers Section. The station Maintenance Supervisor has estimated that total cost of equipment and installation combined will exceed $8,000.00. Newly arrived personnel include one NCO from St. Anthony AS and one Civilian Cook from Cartwright AS.


    During this quarter, routine administration inspections of all sections were conducted. There were no inspections or evaluations of the unit during this period. Continued emphasis is being placed on Command sponsored programs.


    Both S/Sgt. WJ Jackson and T/Sgt. Harlan Littleton departed PCS in May and June respectively. They have been replaced by Sgt. JC Decker and M/Sgt. JF Smith who has not yet reported for duty but should be arriving in July.

    Prepared By: Francis B Brake, Captain, USAF

    Typed Name and Grade of Commander

    Donald J McGibbon, Major, USAF



    Operations Personnel Manning