Goose Bay, Labrador

1955 Historical Report USAF Historical Division



641st AC&W Squadron


1 January 1955 to 31 March 1955






641st Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron
APO 677, New York, New York

4 April 1955


Subject: Report of Historical Program (RCS: AU-D5) (64-1)

To: Commander
64th Air Division
ATTN: Director of Statistical Services
Pepperrell Air Force Base

During the period from 1 January 1955 to 31 March 1955, the following prominent events occurred at the 641st ACWRON, Goose Bay, Labrador, for the betterment of mission capability.

January 1955 saw the following happenings:

  1. The Operations Section installed and Operations Information Board in the office, displaying overlays of missed intercepts and remaining unknown aircraft for past and current months. This proved to be an excellent aid for getting an overall picture of the Goose Complex. The receipt of flight plans and local traffic information was greatly improved by the placement of four men from this section on duty with the Goose Control Tower Operations Section. In addition to the normal hourly weather sequence, a system of obtaining weather data from the Base Meteorological Office was established, whereby information on existing weather conditions is received twice a day. Hourly winds aloft readings were also strived for, since the latter was especially imperative for successful accomplishment of 90 degree lead collision intercepts. Immediate voice contact between the Operations Office and the Operations Room was made possible by an extension of the intercom system. A complete remarking of the plotting boards was necessitated at this time due to fading and excessive use.
  2. The critical shortages of personnel continued to hamper the overall operation of the Radar Maintenance Section, necessitating the continuation of two twelve hour shifts for the second straight month. The situation was further complicated by the loss of one seven level technician in January. Two additional men (one seven level technician) were scheduled to rotate in February.
  3. The Communications Section phased over Net 47 to good day time RTTY communications, but had to revert back to CW operation for lack of good night time frequencies. Some difficulty was encountered using the 702 circuit because the site monopilized AACS facilities when the circuit was being used. The LF site neared acceptance, but lack of qualified maintenance personnel prohibits its use. Pole Vault also progressed steadily in January and one voice circuit was put into use with three stations (Cartwright, Hopedale and Saglek). Completion of the net was still dependent upon the advancements at the other stations.
  4. (1) A visit was made to this station in January by some of the officers of one of the EW sites. Some of the existing problems were discussed and solutions proposed to remedy the difficulties. Such meetings are not only informative but also prove beneficial to the successful accomplishment of the mission.

  5. Captain Howard Upton took over the duties as the new Supply Officer in January.
  6. The Motor Pool Section reported at this time that the 641st ACWRON drivers had driven 69 successive days without an accident and had driven 24,500 miles.
  7. The Food Service Section reported that Base AIO completed the painting of both the kitchen and the Dining Hall at this site in January.

February 1955 saw a minimum of scramble action by this ADDC due to the transition of fighter aircraft at the 59th FIS from the F-89B to the F-89D. An extensive training program was set up by the 59th in conjunction with one set up at this squadron, resulting in the mutual practice of 90 degree lead collision course intercepts. One very unusual occurrence took place this month, which will be explained under sub-paragraph b (2) of the February report. Here are the principal happenings for February.

  1. The Operations Section completely reworked the Directors Information file to conform with 64th ADM 55-2, and all squadron SOPs were brought up to date and/or changed. New covers with appropriate headings and index cards for regulations, SOPs and Operations Orders were completed to facilitate accessibility. Signs denoting the use of different types of fire extinguishers were drawn up by the Operations draftsman and conspicuously displayed for all personnel.
  2. (1). Two airmen were lost due to rotation. Eleven airmen were gained. One officer (1644 Controller) was sent TDY from this squadron to the 922nd ACWRON at Cartwright to coordinate rocket firing procedures between the two sites.

    (2). A brief schooling period was set up for all Controllers of this squadron to better indoctrinate them on 90 degree lead collision course intercepts. The school consisted of four hour classes for a period of three days, covering the use of the computer, speed ratios, wind correction, precise RT, and other pertinent procedures. Two officers (pilots) from the 59th FIS visited the site at this time, and thoroughly went over all of the pertinent characteristics of the F-89D fighter-interceptor. Upon completion of the classroom work, each Controller began to perform practice 90 degree intercepts, both actual with the fighter aircraft, as well as simulated on the target simulator.

  3. The Radar Maintenance Section modified the SB-292 switch box so that IFF returns are correct while the box is in the Search ("S") position. IFF paints are retained as usual when the Video Selector Switch is removed from remote.
  4. (1). The personnel shortage in this section remained acute. Three inexperienced 30332B Radar repairmen were gained. However, five experienced men were lost to rotation, three 30372 Radar Technicians and two 30352 Senior Radar Repairmen.

    (2). At approximately 1930Z, 12 February 1955, the antenna assembly of the back-up radar AN/CPS-5D blew off due to high winds. At the time the antenna left its mount, winds were recorded at approximately 105 MPH on the AN/CPS-5D Radome Pressure Control Panel. This section did all that was possible to correct some of the damage. They succeeded in straightening all the reflector sections so that they could be used again. The damage due to the winds was as follows: (a) seven sections of upper half of parabolic reflector. (b) six roller assemblies of the turn table. (c) MX/1233 adapter modification for GPX-13. It was estimated that the cost of reinstalling the antenna is $43085, broken down as follows: (a) Cost to replace damaged parts $2701. (b) Man hours (5 men 10 hours per day) 350 hours. The total cost was figured on the assumption of $1.10 per man hour. This estimate does not cover the cost of the MX/1233, as no prices were available at this site.

  5. The Communications Section reported that during the month of February, the HF site was put into full operation on a 24 hour basis. Nets 63, 64 and 65 were being operated successfully on CW. Radio Teletype Net 45 was removed from the Transmitter site to the LF Site. Duplex teletype operation with Net 47 did not prove satisfactory due to a lack of suitable frequencies. Once again the Tropo circuits were used to full extent to all GCI and EW Sites. The passing of plots and other pertinent traffic over the circuits helped relieve the workload of the Communications Center. A much needed increase of NCOs and airmen in teletype and maintenance positions helped relieve the manning problem and helped to increase the working efficiency of the entire Communications Section.
  6. The Supply Section completed the re-warehousing of Technical Supply. They pulled the annual inventory on all Stock Lists and Publications, and ordered whatever was needed. They also screened all outstanding Issue Slips, cancelled those no longer required, screened the Control Register against files, and turned in 25 M-1 Garand rifles that were not needed. All AF Forms 538 were screened for corrections in accordance with AFR 67-81. An inventory of USE and UME property was completed on 8 February 1955. Two five level airmen were due to rotate in March, and no replacements were due in.
  7. The Air Installations Section repaired the squadron automatic washers and dryers, and they were subsequently in good operating condition. New water pump drive pulleys arrived, and the water pump system became totally operational. The steam heating system at this site remained in poor condition as well as the auxiliary power plant at the LF Site.
  8. The Motor Pool Section report 93 consecutive days without accidents.
  9. The Food Service Section was allotted two airmen each day to pull KP work. Previously, Food Service personnel did their own KP work due to the existing personnel shortage throughout the squadron. The additional airmen working as KPs was a great help to this section in allowing further time to train apprentice cooks.

March 1955 saw the following events take place:

  1. The Operations Section completed the construction and installation of a sliding panel fixture for maps and charts. A partition dividing the Operations and Communications Offices was also completed. The partition, featuring air circulation vents, will reduce disturbances and allow for a more functional desk arrangement and neater looking offices. All the construction and labor of the above projects was performed by Operations office personnel, more specifically, by the draftsman, who designed the plans and executed the greater portion of construction on both projects. Plywood panels were obtained from Base AIO, and scrap lumber procured from squadron AIO.
  2. (1). Two Controllers assigned to the 922nd and 924th ACWRON underwent orientation at this site while awaiting transportation. This provided these officers with a better understanding of the ADDC procedures and problems at this station, and contributed towards better understanding and coordination between EW, GCI stations, and ADDC. Three airmen were lost during the month of March due to rotation, and five airmen were gained.

  3. The Radar Maintenance Section reported that a new rack was built for spare stalos. Bench alignment could be performed by one man on any of the five stalos, where under the old set-up, it required two men to take stalos out of the rack and move them to the bench.
  4. (1). Despite the arrival of one 30332D Radar Repairman, this section remained inadequately manned. Throughout March, personnel worked three shifts, eight hours per shift, with no time off.

  5. The Communications Section reported that Tropo teletype circuits were installed on Nets 64, 47, and 48. Since the initial operation of these new circuits, these Nets have been in approximately 100% of the time. By the use of these circuits, plus the use of the Tropo voice circuits, the work load in the Communications Center was greatly reduced, and messages no longer became back logged at any Net. The LF back-up circuits were used to a great extent, particularly as back-up for Net 49.
  6. (1). The addition of new personnel made it possible to run regular shifts at the LF, RX and TX sites. The Communications Center received an NCOIC, and has four full crews for efficient shift schedules. The workload in the Crypto Center was also helped by the addition of more personnel.

  7. The Motor Pool Section reported 121 consecutive days without an accident, and 49,302 miles driven.
  8. The Air Police Section reported the arrival of one 77150. Despite his arrival, this section continued to work three shifts. The authorized number of airmen for this section is eleven. Their present strength to date is eight.

There are no documents or photographs included in this report.

For the Commander:

Edward A Slye
1st Lt, USAF