Goose Bay, Labrador

1955 – Historical Report – USAF Historical Division

of the
641st ACWRON


1 October 1955 to 31 December 1955







History of the 641st Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron
1 October 1955 – 31 December 1955



Prepared for the Office of Information Services
64th Air Division (Defense)
Lt. RA Leed (Historical Officer)
T/Sgt. RI Leonard (Special Services)

1 January 1956



(64th Air Division (Defense), Northeast Air Command






Operations Section

The operations section of an AC&W Squadron is the mirror that reflects the efforts of the entire squadron. A look at the accomplishments of this operations section will reflect the squadron spirit. In the past three months the squadron mission has been fulfilled. We have detected and identified aircraft within our area of responsibility. The times that navigational assistance, emergency or routine, has been rendered are too numerous to be mentioned at this time. Early warning for the defense of the Zone of Interior was demonstrated in the winter defense exercise "Cracker Jack".

Most of the time spent in operations is devoted to training. This training is carried on by the supporting 59th Fighter Intercept Squadron and the Strategic Air Command task force.

The 59th FIS normally flies two missions a day. Although the number of interceptors used for training missions varies, it does present a period of training for the interceptor crew and controlling crew at the AC&W site. The adjoining Ground Control Intercept sites at Hopedale and Cartwright are given opportunities to maintain their proficiency. It has become quite simple to pass interceptors from the control of Capable to the control of Dividend or Castaway. Constant practice has improved the method of passing control of interceptors therefore facilitating the early interception of unknown aircraft.

The operations section has been coordinating with the SAC task force stationed at Goose Air Base to eliminate problems found in the handling of air refuelling missions. Some cross training has been accomplished to familiarize personnel with the problems that have been encountered. SAC aircrews have visited the AC&W squadron and several directors have flown on refuelling missions.

December was the time of exercise "Cracker Jack" and the 641st flexed its muscles. The part we played was minor but it should have provided the defense areas of the ZI with adequate warning of the attacking task force. The initial shock the exercise provided realistic training. The exercise provided very little diversion from the normal day to day operations. In normal operation each unknown is treated and a possible hostile and no avenue of effort is left untried until the identification has been completed.

Personnel problems have been relieved somewhat but a new problem has arisen. Most of the replacements are relatively untried and with a minimum of training. The squadron has organized a training program to increase the proficiency of each airman as quickly as possible.

Several small jobs have been completed in the operations room. The operations office has been moved closer to the operations room. A coffee bar has been installed in an area outside the back of operations and provides a lounge for operations personnel on break. A new file for the forms necessary in the operations room provided an easily accessible storage cabinet. It saves steps and provides storage of the material.

Communications and Electronics Section

Maintenance, communications and radar, is charged with the task of keeping the mechanical and electronic equipment in operational order. The defense team is bound together by coordination and the team spirit.

Radar maintenance has experienced some difficulties but remedied the situations in the quickest possible time.

Early in the fall the Marconi overhaul team arrived for their annual repair period. Parts were strewn haphazardly about but out of the chaos orderliness finally preceded the completion of the job. The EW kit was returned to the air but soon failed. For the failure of this equipment the overhaul team was UR’d. The paint team arrived to paint the interior of the "balloons" but ran out of the necessary paint. The team has never returned to finish the project.

An extensive training program is being carried out by this section. The new personnel are subjected to more class room work in coordination with the maintenance work. The theme is to temper a union of theory and practical work.

Much difficulty has been experienced with the 15-J-1C but the circuit cards that were needed to put it into operation have arrived. It has been moved into the radar maintenance room where repair facilities are more readily available.

Communications maintenance has been plagued by the usual internal difficulties plus the force of the weather elements. The LF site has been a source of many problems. The loss of power from the base supply has made it impossible to de-ice the transmitter towers and the emergency power unit must be used to supply power for one circuit. It is impossible to use more than one circuit at a time. The location of the LF site makes it difficult to reach during period of inclement weather.

The HF net has been used several times in place of the LF net. When the HF net was used in November it was difficult to establish contact with the desired stations. Previous rulings had made it impossible to test the net and as a result it was very difficult to bring it into action when the situation required its use. Recent testing has helped to remedy the situation some.

The communications section has been carrying on extensive training. The personnel of the section have been receiving a thorough indoctrination in theory as well as actual practice. Some of the equipment being used is evident only in the Canadian equipment and probably will not be encountered in a ZI site. The experience on the equipment will serve to broaden the background of the trainee.

Air Installations Section

The new water supply system for the squadron has only to be accepted since the pipe has been insulated, treated and covered. Although some difficulty was encountered during the final phase of installation and water was occasionally turned off, the system is working very well at present. There was a time when the water for the dining room was trucked in from the supply at Goose AB but sterilization has been completed and a new pump installed and the system awaits final approval.

S/Sgt. Dewey J Nevins attended the fire inspection course at Pepperrell Air Force Base and has been appointed squadron fire inspector. He attended the November class.

Motor Pool Section

The most outstanding feature about this section is that according to the Unit Manning Document for this squadron we are not authorized one man in the Motor Pool for the entire squadron.

Although the last three months have brought the usual bad weather, we are proud to relate that at the time of this writing the men of this squadron assigned to the motor pool section have driven a total of 71,234 miles in 186 days without an accident.

The number of vehicles assigned to the squadron was decreased by one when the Goose Air Base motor pool recalled our ambulance. We have seven vehicles assigned to the squadron at present.

This squadron is no longer performing major maintenance on vehicles in its motor pool. They are taken to the base motor pool for servicing.

Supply Section

During the month of October the supply section reviewed all outstanding requisitions with Base Supply in accordance with Goose Air Base Regulation 67-4. This system of accounting will be followed every month and has reduced the supply problems somewhat.

Each section within the squadron has screened their requirements for Air Force Regulations and have turned lists into the supply section. Subject requirements have been requisitioned from 6606th Air Base Wing Adjutant.

Since October all items shown to be in excess of the current Unit Authorized List have been turned in.

During the month of December the supply section processed approximately thirty airmen outgoing and forty-five airmen coming into the squadron. This processing consisted of issuing and turning-in of field equipment, arctic clothing and bedding.

Provost Marshal Section

The shortage of Air Policemen assigned to this section has hampered the effective operation of the Provost Marshal’s section but the OJT program is helping greatly to bring up the level of efficiency. To eliminate some of the workload taxing the men in the section a Sergeant of the Guard position has been placed into effect utilizing all Staff and Technical Sergeants of the squadron.

At present we are now working on a new pass and identification system which we hope will be complete within the next thirty days.

Special Services Section

A change in personnel took place in the middle of December and although the airman assigned does not have the Special Services AFS he has worked in the Education and Information Services fields so has a fairly good background for working in this section.

Recreational equipment is being kept in constant repair to allow full use of the facilities available. We expect to cover the pool table in the near future.

Reading matter of all sorts is received with every mail delivery and the supply from the Goose Air Base Library is very good resulting in our having a very well stocked library.

The interest shown in USAFI courses and high school and college tests has been excellent and several men are taking advantage of the educational benefits available through this system.

The daily news as received on the teletype is posted on the bulletin board and a map and current affairs pamphlet is made available to us by the Canadian Forces.

Adding to the musical enjoyment for the squadron the first set of ten hit tunes ordered for our 45 rpm phonograph has been received. This supply will be forwarded to us every three months.

Despite the loss of the highest scorer on the basketball team this squadron leads the league at Goose Air Base, and this same team could very easily emerge winners in the 64th Air Division (Defense) tournament to be held sometime in February.