Goose Bay, Labrador

1995 - Dedication Ceremony - Kevin A Hills

On the morning of June 1st, 1995, a long awaited dedication took place at 5 Wing Goose Bay. This ceremony was for the unveiling of the AN/FPS-507/6B/6X height finder antenna which was in service at the Melville Long Range Radar Site from August 1st 1953 to July 1st 1988.

The Melville Manual NORAD Control Centre (MNCC) originated in the early 50's when the Distant Early Warning (DEW) line was built. There was also a line of radar sites built along the Newfoundland and Labrador coasts which were to join the DEW line at Cape Dyer.

The Melville MNCC was constructed by Fraser-Bruce Terminal Ltd., and was completed in the spring of 1953.

The 641 Aircraft Control and Warning (AC&W) Squadron (USAF) at Melville was activated on 1 August 1953 under the command of Major Joseph A. Kuhborn. The site responsibilities were surveillance, identification, and interceptor control for the Labrador area. This was accomplished through the outlying radar sites (Saglek, Hopedale and Cartwright) reporting to Melville, where overall command was exercised.

From its beginning Melville was maintained by the USAF until July 1st 1971 when it was handed over to the Canadian Forces. The Melville MNCC then became part of the Canadian Forces Air Defence Command System which stretched from coast to coast. In July of 1975, the MNCC became a Long Range Radar (LRR) where all radar inputs were automatically passed to a Control Centre in North Bay, Ontario.

In February 1988, the closure of Melville was announced and on July 1st 1988, it ceased operations.

The monument consists of the Antenna and pedestal of the AN/FPS-507 Height Finder Radar. Its purpose was to find the altitude of aircraft ranging from 5,000 feet at ten miles to 100,000 feet at 200 miles. The system went through many changes over the years. With the installation of a new type of magnetron, the system was renamed AN/FPS-6B and then finally with the installation of a new pre-amp, the system was renamed AN/FPS-6X.

The plaque on the monument reads:

This antenna is dedicated to the members of the Canadian Armed Forces who served diligently at Melville Radar Site, Canadian Forces Station Goose Bay from 1 July 1971 to 1 July 1988, and to all the men and women employed on the Pinetree Line from 1953-1988 AD,

this 1st day of June 1995.

-- Kevin A Hills