Goose Bay, Labrador

1956 – Historical Report – USAF Historical Division



of the
641st ACWRON


1 January 1956 to 31 March 1956







History of the 641st Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron
1 January 1956 to 31 March 1956



Prepared for the Office of Information Services
64th Air Division (Defense)
Captain RA Leed (Historical Officer)


23 April 1956



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


Richard A Leed
Captain, USAF


Paul H Hansen
Major, USAF



Operations Section

The accomplishments of the Operations Section continue to reflect the efforts of the entire squadron. The following chart shows the number of tracks that were identified in the Labrador Complex during the period of 1 January to 31 March 1956.






Initial Tracks





No. of Unknowns





No. of Remaining Unknowns





Unknowns Intercepted





The operations personnel carried on training in conjunction with the 59th Fighter Interceptor Squadron. This training was designed to increase the proficiency of both the interceptor crews and the directors. The training was divided into the following categories:






90 degree beam intercepts





Identification Intercepts





This unit was called on to provide routine navigational assistance to aircraft operating in this area many times. It should be noted that the navigational assistance is increasing with the amount of traffic carried. The following breakdown reflects the number of assists given during this reporting period:






Routine Navigational Assists





A RAPCON unit was established in the Goose Bay area and started operation on 15 March 1956. The RAPCON unit is a function carried on by the RCAF. The Military Flight Information Center (MFIC) is located in the same building. The functions taken over by the new RAPCON unit were previously carried on by the Tower.

Until 15 March most of the information needed to identify aircraft within this area could be secured either from the Tower or MFIC. The system did not work smoothly after the installation of the RAPCON unit. Coordination between the interested parties resulted in some improvement but not to the level that had been previously established. Rapid identification of tracks depends on the unhindered flow of flight plan information to the Movements and Identification section. This flow of information was interrupted and continues to fall below previously established standards.

The operational efficiency of the squadron was put to the test on 20-22 March. The number of SAC aircraft in this area at one time exceeded one hundred. The B-47’s and KC-97’s carrying on refuelling operations created several problems that had not been encountered by most of the squadron personnel. The first day of the mission was large enough in force to saturate the system. The amount of information that had to be relayed to the Control Center was staggering. This situation was relieved on the following days of the operation by the utilization of all communications circuits between the ADDC and the ADCC. The exercise permitted us to get the kinks out of many of our procedures and to train many of our new personnel.

The necessity for prior coordination was soon evident. The need for a SAC Liaison Officer was prominently established. The organizations engaged in the operations soon became aware that very close co-operation is a necessity in an operation of this magnitude.

The operations office was moved into the B scan room in January. This move offered many advantages. The foremost advantage was more space. The move put the office physically closer to the operations room and this in itself allows closer coordination and supervision of operations functions.

Radar and Communications Maintenance

The new reporting period almost started off with a bang when a break occurred in the fuel line to the Tropo building. Fuel oil, from the break, drained into the transmitter building. The situation created a serious fire hazard but it was handled very quickly. The excess oil was mopped up as much as possible and heat, from the Herman Nelson heater, was put into the cable troughs to hasten the drying process. Help arrived from Division and it was ascertained that very little damage was done to the cables in the building. The situation was used as a training problem when several transmitters were moved into the receiver site. The move enables operations to carry on even though on a limited scale.

It has become apparent that the Wire Maintenance Section needs a larger working area. The search for a suitable area resulted in selecting the base of the 6B tower as the most likely spot. The move could not be made until heat had been put into the tower. The heaters have been installed and the move will be accomplished shortly.

The Radar Maintenance Section has improved their own working conditions. When the operations office was moved into the B scan room it became necessary to move the 15-J-1C simulator. The simulator was moved into the maintenance room and a general re-organization of the working area resulted. The work spread from the shop to the cable troughs and several hundred feet of excess cabling in the radar maintenance room was taken out. The cable has been stored for future use. The amount of cable that was removed amazed all persons concerned.

In February, Captain Franck W Reed was assigned as OIC of the radar section. Captain Richard W Shawd took over the reins of the communications section during the same month.


The raining program has been progressing smoothly. Much effort and time has been spent in refining and improving. The military training program has been revised to include training in the use of weapons that are employed in the station defense. This program has also been modified slightly to include training under the new Code of Conduct.

The On-the-Job Training Program has been undergoing several revisions. The personnel in charge of the training program have spent many hours in preparing course outlines for their individual fields of endeavor. It is clearly understood that the new people who have been arriving in the squadron must be thoroughly trained and upgraded to improve the efficiency of the entire unit. The outlines will have to be revised periodically in order to insure that the materials being taught are in line with current operations procedures. Tests have been constructed to measure the progress of each man as he continues through the program. The tests have not been checked for validity and reliability because of the short time they have been in use and the small number of people who have taken the tests.

The job training program has been established for officers and airmen. The operations section of the squadron has established a five day course for the new personnel. The five days in the classroom permits the instructor to expose the students to a maximum amount of information that they will need for their jobs. The outline for the classroom period has been revised several times and is subject to further revision.

Further planning necessitated the establishing of a training program for new controllers. It was anticipated that the new controller would have a minimum of experience in the Aircraft Control and Warning field. The check list to be used in the training of these people allows for a maximum of flexibility time wise.

Another step was taken in officer training when an orientation program was started to familiarize all officers with the functions of all the sections of the squadron. The program started in March and will continue until all sections of the squadron have been covered.

Air Installations

The personnel of the Air Installations Section somehow feel that they are assigned to the "House of Headaches". Their new year started off with a blow when on 13 January the "Hill" was caught in the heaviest snow fall of the year. Thirty-nine inches of snow fell in three days. The problems of the section piled up almost as fast as the snow. The D-6 Caterpillar that was used to keep the roads open was helpless in the face of the snow storm. A Sno-Blow was rescued from the wrath of the storm and put back into action by the personnel of the squadron. An attempt was made to keep the fire lanes and the road open but breakdowns were numerous and eventually the Snow-Blow was abandoned.

The water supply for the site is supplied by pumps that are located at nearby Lake Alexander. The pumps cannot be turned on from the site so it is necessary for someone to go to the pumphouse to keep our water supply at a usable level. Some restrictions were placed on the use of water during the storm because it was impossible to get to the pumps and turn them on. AIO personnel have spent a considerable time on snowshoes trekking to and from the lake this winter.

The handling of garbage became a problems during the storm. The garbage is normally hauled away daily by Goose Air Base personnel. The roads were closed and storage containers became a scarce item. Enough containers were assembled to ride out the storm. This problem has been solved forever, we hope!. The base has built a heated storage room for the storage of garbage. No more cans with the garbage frozen solid and impossible to remove.

The power plant has received much attention during March. A top overhaul has been performed by the Marconi Depot personnel. The overhaul was followed by the complete repainting of the engines. The place looks real good and now when an oil leak develops it stands out like the proverbial "onion in a petunia patch".

The routine and preventative maintenance on the site keep the AIO personnel fairly hopping. The two people who work at the job full time spend most of their hours on routine maintenance with very little time for preventative maintenance. The storm windows, that were ordered from the base, finally arrived but it was so late in the season that they will be stored until the start of next years cold season. The AIO problem may be eased in the future since a survey has been completed and plans made for a preventative maintenance team to cover the whole site.


In February, Captain Kenneth W Kierst took over the supply section from captain Haward K Upton who rotated to the states. The section immediately tackled the problem of re-organization of the records in Tech Supply. The task has been completed and it is reported that anyone using the records can find what he is looking for.

The problem of personnel is evident in this section but different than usual. Supply is well supplied in top three graders but is lacking on the lower end of the scale. Two of the NCO’s in the section are eligible for training to the seven level but are stopped because of the lack of vacancies.

Motor Pool

The motor pool, with no personnel authorized, has driven 20,741 miles during this period without an accident. They have now surpassed their old record of 89,403 miles in 212 days. The new total is 91,975 miles in 271 days. The vehicles have hauled 173.7 tons of supplies and 10,784 passengers during this same period. We feel that this safety record is especially significant considering the hazardous condition of the road between the site and Goose Air Base.

Air Police

The Air Police section has implemented a new pass and identification system which utilizes the NEAC Form 205 series. The passes are laminated and allow quick identification of all personnel on the site. The Air Police section is hampered by lack of personnel.

Special Services


Special Services personnel have been busy during this three month period. A general program of improvement in the recreational facilities has included the receipt of two new ping-pong tables, a new cover for the pool table and the acquisition of a shuffleboard in March. The people of the squadron keep them in use most of the time. Future plans will result in a vast improvement in recreational facilities.

Many of the squadron personnel have taken advantage of the opportunity to improve their education by taking GED Tests and enrolling in USAFI courses. Much off duty time has been used in this activity.

The squadron basketball team completed in the 64th Air Division Tournament that was held at Harmon in March. They ended up in third place but all of the members of the team enjoyed the trip. The team was also entered in competition on Goose Air Base and were in third place when the season ended.

Annex "A"

Tracking Detail

Annex "B"

Military Training Schedule
Weapons Training Schedule

Annex "C"

Course: Aircraft Control and Warning Operator
Phase: 27350

Phase Breakdown:


Operators Diagnostic Test


Orientation in Air Defense


The Air Defense Team


Duties in the Air Defense Direction Center


Radar in Defense


Communications in Defense


Information Display Boards in the ADDC


Weather in Defense


States of Preparedness, Conditions of Warning and Air Defense Exercises


Air Rescue Services




Special Subjects

Instructional Plan:

Operators Diagnostic Test (1 hour) – The Operators diagnostic test will be administered to all incoming Operations Personnel. The test will also be used to check crew improvement during each training cycle.

Orientation in Air Defense (1 hour) – (a) Chain of Command, (b) Mission of each level in the chain.

Air Defense Team (2 hours)

Members of the Team

Aircraft Control and Warning





GCI Stations


EW Stations


Fighter Aviation

Discuss the location and function of interceptor arm


Antiaircraft Artillery

Discuss the function of AAA in this area

Duties in the ADDC (11 hours)

Surveillance Section




Movements and Identification Section




Control Section



Logs and Records

Maximum and Minimum Manning Requirements


Radar in Aircraft Control and Warning (4 hours)

641st Equipment (to be conducted by the Radar Maintenance Section)

Search Equipment

Primary Equipment


Backup Equipment


Height Finding Equipment

Primary Equipment


Backup Equipment

N Site Equipment

Search Equipment


Height Finding Equipment


Scope Interpretation

Ground Clutter Patterns


Lobe Patterns


Screening Angles


Scope Operation and Interpretation




Electronic Counter Measures



Identification (type and intensity)


ECM Reports


ECCM (to include clutter eliminator circuits)


Electronic Identification


Communications in the ADDC (5 hours)
(Briefing to be given by personnel at the location of the equipment)

Point to Point Communications







Teletype ( to include the utilization of AACS circuits)


Internal Communications

Air to Ground Communications





Backup Equipment

Information Display Boards in the ADDC (2 hours)

Plotting Boards

Polar Grid


Georef Grid


Local Plotting Board


Early Warning Plotting Board


Correct Method of Displaying Information

Height Tote Board

Need of Height Tote Board


Correct Display of Information

Fighter Status Board

Need of Information


Correct Display of Information

Weather Board

Need of Information


Correct Display of Information

C and E Status Board

Need of Information


Correct Display of Information

Weather Information (2 hours)









The Effect of Weather

On Radar Returns


On Interceptor Efficiency or Effectiveness

States of Preparedness, Conditions of Warning and Air Defense Exercises (1 hour)

Security (2 hours)

Special Subjects – Special subjects may be presented to enhance the background and/or increase the proficiency of Operations Personnel. This training will be conducted on a Crew basis.

Annex "D"

On the Job Training Duty Director – Operations Form #9
On the Job Training Senior Director – Operations Form #8