Goose Bay, Labrador
1955 – Historical Report – USAF Historical Division
641st AC&W Squadron
1 July 1955 to 30 September 1955
641st Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron
APO 677, New York, New York
10 October 1955
Subject: Report of Historical Program (RCS: 1-AF-D2-64-1)
64th Air Division (Defense)
ATTN: Director of Statistical Services
Pepperrell Air Force Base
- During the period 1 July 1955 to 30 September 1955, the following prominent events occurred at the 641st ACWRON, Goose Bay, Labrador, for the betterment of mission capability.
- The new Commander for the 641st, Major Paul H Hansen, arrived in July and officially assumed his new duties. He relieved Major Richard E Barr, who is now attending the Command and Staff School.
- During July the operations coffee room was painted to make it a little more attractive. The necessary materials were requisitioned, this month, for painting the operations vertical plotting and status boards. These boards have been in very bad condition; they are now done in grease pencil, and this precluded any kind of cleaning, other than superficial, without having to completely do the boards over. To date, however, only one can of paint has arrived. This will not be sufficient. An Intelligence Training Chart, indicating intelligence training completed by officers and airmen of this organization, was completed this month, and is displayed in the operations office.
- Captain Lowman, the Operations Officer, was assigned duties as Special Project Officer, and went TDY to the 931st ACWRON. He was to be one of the Intercept Directors with the NEAC Rocket Firing Team. After spending about a month training at Thule, he accompanied the team on to the States. The competition takes place at Yuma sometime in October.
- Through July, and to this present date, the personnel shortage in Operations has reached critical proportions. To alleviate the condition, communications people were relieved from their jobs, and were placed in Operations. They have been receiving training while filling positions in Operations. This is certainly not adequate in that the men filling these positions have no training in radar operations. And now at the end of September, it has been determined that seventeen airmen, due to rotate in November, must be extended into December. This does not pertain only to the airmen; several Directors also will be extended.
- In the month of July, the Communications section moved our air to ground VHF and UHF monitors into the Communications center. They now advise operations, over an intercom system, of any aircraft calling our station. This has lowered the noise level in operations, and has proven satisfactory. The back-up radio facilities were repaired and its operational capacity was improved. Our overall mission capability has been improved by this.
- The UAL changes were submitted to the Command Equipment Review Board on 5 July 1955, by the squadron supply section. The quantity of items was substantial because UAL changes has been frozen for a period of several months.
- During July, a Canadian RCA Technical Representative visited the site and assisted Radar Maintenance in improving the overall performance of the back-up height finder.
- During the month of August, it was suggested by the Commander, that we have a sign posted by our main gate designating the site as the 641st Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron. A large, six foot by four foot, sign was completed which has an ultra-high finish. Red, white and blue made up the color scheme. A structure, from which the sign was to be suspended, was constructed from hand-hewed logs giving a rustic touch to the sign. The highly finished surface of the sign, with the log structure, should tie in nicely with the rugged landscape surrounding the site. The Intelligence Officer and the squadron draftsman worked together designing and constructing the sign.
- During the month of August we started cross training between Controllers and Directors with the Control Center. Only those personnel with the most retainability will participate in this training. It has proven very satisfactory.
- During the first part of August, the radomes were painted by Canadian Marconi personnel. The painting took longer than was expected due to inclement weather. On the 22nd of the month, the interconnecting box J-500-CPS-6B was installed. The switch provides a bypass for the pressurizing controls of the radomes.
- The Supply Section received a good report in August. All old UPREAL’s, Plant Account Records, Control Numbered Documents and Allied Files for Fiscal Years 1952, 53, 54 and 55 were examined by personnel from the office of the Goose Air Base Inspector. A certificate of inspection was issued and the records were boxed and placed in storage. This should be done each year.
- We finally for a carpenter from Goose Air Base AIO to do some of the badly needed carpentry work here at the site. He was only here a few days in August and therefore repair work was the only thing done. During August, a NEAC team inspected the boilers and found them to be in good operating condition. No major discrepancies were found and the only recommendation made was for the installation of a system to treat boiler water. This has yet to be installed. By using an improvised pump seal on the condensate pumps, it was possible to return many of them to operation.
- In September we received detailed plans for the modification of our operations room to conform with ADC. Initial steps for the remodelling have been coordinated with Goose Air Base Installations Engineers. The plans call for a glassed-in room at the rear of operations where Directors will work on their own scopes. More light is provided in operations with additional room and clearer vertical plotting and status boards. Lighting on the vertical boards will be provided by florescent tubes, which is a decided advantage over the other type of lighting. In passing, it might be interesting to note that Goose Air Base rejected a work order for this lighting to be installed here.
- For six weeks, from September into October, the 127th Canadian Anti-Aircraft Artillery is training with us in co-ordinated activities.
- In September the antenna beam for the MARS Station was redesigned. The power output was also increased and phone patches have now been doubled. The MARS Station, with its phone patch traffic, has done much for the morale of the squadron.
- During this quarter many improvements have been seen in the Mess Hall. For example there has been music added to make the meal time a little more enjoyable. A speaker was installed at each end of the Mess Hall and music is supplied by records from our Special Services. By placing the trays, cups and utensils in another place, more space was obtained along the steam table line. By rearranging the tables the men are able to enter the Mess Hall and file along the wall along to the serving line. This has eliminated the confusion of men walking among the tables to get to the serving line.
- During this reporting period, Special Services has made many changes. All of them aimed at better service for the personnel of the squadron. By moving into one of the dayrooms, we were able to expand our facilities. We now have adequate space for our library. There are easy chairs, sofas, writing desks, game tables, plus a phonograph for those who like to listen to records. Through these improvements we have noticed an increase in interest toward our educational program. We have received theater seats, and hope to have them installed in our theater very soon. For six months now we have been without a qualified airman in the Special Services career field. We have had to use an airman with the AFSC of 29350 (Radio Operator). This is definitely not to the advantage of the squadron.
For the Commander:
John M McGregor
2nd Lt, USAF