US APO 677 PRESQUE ISLE/NEW YORK – GOOSE BAY, LABRADOR
60 degrees 24 minutes West
Origin of Name:
In July 1940 the North Atlantic Ferry Operation of World War II was arranged to allow US built aircraft to be flown from Montreal, Quebec to Prestwick, Scotland. In late May 1941 the US became directly involved in the ferrying operation. Additional airfields to the north were required for short range aircraft and to relieve congestion at Gander, Newfoundland. In June and July 1941 the Goose Bay, Labrador air base was surveyed and by mid November was operational. During late July, aerial reconnaissance of the Eastern Arctic was undertaken by the US and potential sites were found at Fort Chimo, Quebec, upper Frobisher Bay and Cumberland Sound (Padloping Island replaced this site).
In May 1942 the US War Department proposed the Crimson (code name for "Canadian") Project to alleviate the growing problems on the existing ferrying route. The US had by this time entered the war and was prepared to send troops and more aircraft to Europe. The Crimson Project was to consist of three new routes to Europe: the eastern comprising Fort Chimo, Frobisher Bay, Greenland to Iceland; a central route consisting of Moose Factory, Ontario, Richmond Gulf, Quebec, joining the eastern route at Fort Chimo; and a western route made up of Regina, Saskatchewan, The Pas, Manitoba, to Southampton Island joining the eastern route at Frobisher Bay. In July 1942 the project was downscaled because it would draw too heavily on shipping resources that would be needed for the invasion of Europe. Permanent airfields would be built at The Pas, Churchill and Southampton Island with winter airstrips at the Crystal bases.
In July 1943 the ferrying operations were re-appraised due to the increased range of aircraft and the ability to ship them safely by water. The western route of the Crimson Project was curtailed while the construction of eastern airfields was speeded up. The northern airfields of the Crimson Project saw very little traffic and few if any aircraft were ferried to Europe. Their major uses were in bringing in supplies for the bases and for aerial photography purposes.
Goose Bay continued to serve as a major American Air Force facility after World War II until they finally withdrew in July 1976. The Melville Air Force Station (or Site N-24 of the Pinetree radar line) was constructed by the US Air Force about six miles northeast of the air field beginning in July 1951. The site went into operation in November 1954. The facility was handed over to the Canadian military in July 1971 and was operated until it was closed in July 1988.
Opened: September 1942 (Parent Office Presque Isle)
------------August 31, 1945 (Parent Office New York)
------------January 1, 1965 (Changed to APO 09677)
Kevin O’Reilly made this detail available for use on the Pinetree Line web site in December, 1998. He would like to communicate with anyone on this topic and he would appreciate receiving information about this aspect of the Pinetree Line. Kevin can be reached at: