Kamloops, BC

1963 – Historical Summary – National Archives of Canada


Historical Summary
RCAF Station Kamloops
1 Jan 63 to 31 Dec 63


1. As will be described in more detail in later Sections of this Summary, the major events of the past year were the integration of the unit into the NORAD Semi-Automatic Ground Environment system; and the changeover of the operational HQs from the Spokane NORAD Sector to the Seattle NORAD Sector.

2. Station Kamloops was not involved in the announcements of Air Force units closed down by the Department of National Defence during the latter months of the year. However, at year’s end, announcements of the closing of radar units have still to be made by the Minister, and a certain air of expectancy prevailed at this unit with rumour giving Station Kamloops.


3. The role of Station Kamloops, as laid down in AFHQ Organization Order 2.52, dated 28 Mar 63, shall be to:

  1. collect, discriminate and transmit to a designated SAGE Centre radar data appearing within the area of coverage.


4. While the role of the Station did not change during the past year, the means whereby it achieved its operational function changed from that of manual inputs to the Semi-Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE) system.

5. The unit’s operational sector HQ was changed when the Spokane Air Defence Sector was de-activated by the US Department of Defense and the Seattle Air Defense Sector took over operational responsibility for Station Kamloops and Beaverlodge.

6. 1963 also saw the unit prepare for the implementation of the BUIC concept of operations scheduled for 1964.


7. 1963 heralded the major changeover from the Manual Environment to the Semi-Automatic. The year was spent preparing, testing and training for the new role; however, the manual system did not disappear as might be expected, but indeed flourished as an influx of controllers towards the year end boosted the unit manual operational strength.

Semi-Automatic Ground Environment

8. The "manual" environment ended for Station Kamloops on 30 April as the first of May saw the unit tied in to the Spokane NORAD Sector (SAGE). The change did not last as SPNS was closed on 29 May and manual operation was resumed until Seattle NORAD Sector (SAGE) was ready to receive our information. This took time with delays caused by communication difficulties. Manual operations remained until 4 Oct when the SAGE links were completed. The year was finished "automatically".


9. Synthetic exercises disappeared during the latter half of the year, only four of this type of exercise was run, all prior to May. A considerable number (38) of live exercises were run during the year, ranging from Mode III (BUIC) operation to full-scale manoeuvres. February had the most activity with seven exercises, and June and August the least with one each.

Special Event

10. The Royal BOAC Boeing 707 overflew Station Kamloops in 31 Jan but was forced to return to Edmonton due to bad weather. The following morning the weather cleared and the Royal party flew to Vancouver. The Royal party returned from Australia on 28 Mar when they once more overflew the unit.


Corporals STS Course

11. Unit STS training for Corporals was given as a two-week course in May with twelve airmen successfully completing the training.

Trade Examinations

12. Each section performed their own TA training and this unit obtained a high standard of passes in April and again in October with passing percentages of 88 and 65 respectively.

General Courses

13. Projectionist. A one-day course was given on the Bell & Howell 16 mm projector with nine successful candidates.

14. Instructional Techniques. In conjunction with the Projectionist course a short course was given on instructional techniques.

15. OJT. The Radar and Communications sections carried out extensive on-the-job training programmes throughout the year.

16. First Aid, and Driver Safety. Programmes on these two important subjects consisting of films and lectures were carried out periodically.

17. Management. The ADC Management Correspondence Course was well received at this unit; sixteen officers and airmen completed the course and received certificates.



18. During 1963 the unit role was changed from a manual operation to a SAGE operation. This involved many equipment changes and a great deal of technical testing and peaking.

Equipment Installations

19. The RHI consoles were relocated from the manual Operations room to the DMCC area to facilitate SAGE integration of the unit.

20. An AN/UPX14 Transponder was installed to take the place of the existing AN/UPX6 installation. The new equipment is an improved transponder which has two channels and a greater ECCM capability.

21. The AN/FPS-6 and AN/FPS-6B were modified to incorporate an OA2325 ECCM kit. This kit provides the Height Finder operations with more ECCM facilities.

22. On-base communications were installed to provide the necessary communication for SAGE operation. This equipment was installed by the BC Telephone Company and is rented by the RCAF.

SAGE Peaking and Testing

23. Due to tighter equipment tolerances for SAGE operation all telecommunications equipment at the unit had to be peaked prior to SAGE testing. The peaking of the radar equipment was performed by unit personnel and the peaking at the GATR site was carried out by a civilian contractor.

24. SAGE testing was carried out by Western Electric with the unit personnel doing the technical adjustments and repair. SAGE testing was carried out twice during the year due to the closing of Spokane Sector. The second testing was reconfiguration testing into Seattle Sector.


25. Administration of the unit was on a routine basis throughout the year.

26. The PAdOs of Station Kamloops and Puntzi Mountain were scheduled for an exchange of positions effective 11 Nov. However, the proposed shutdowns of various air force units, among them Puntzi Mountain, forced a temporary postponement of the transfers. The exchange became effective 16 Dec with F/L EH Miller coming to Kamloops, and F/L WC Short leaving for Puntzi Mountain.

27. A Deputy Minister’s Audit Team inspected the unit administration and accounting from 24 Sep to 10 Oct; and in their final report rated the unit as "generally satisfactory".


28. During the past year several changes in the organizational structure of the unit were made on direction from ADC HQ. In most instances these changes resulted from the integration of the unit into the SAGE system, and the introduction of the DMCC and BUIC concepts of operations. Mainly, areas of responsibility and chains of command on the telecommunications/operations side of the house were involved, with little effect on the overall personnel establishment.

First Re-Organization

29. As a result of the unit becoming SAGE-tied the normal three-prong organization plan used at most RCAF units was superseded by a five-prong organization:

The PAdO, SSupO, SCEO, SAO, & CTO report directly to the CO. The MSEO reports to the SSupO. The SRadO, SOpsO, SComO report to the CTO.

30. The major effects of this system were:

  1. MSE, CE and Supply activities were removed from the control of the Chief Technical Services Officer, with MSE becoming a responsibility of the SSupO, and CE and Supply becoming responsible directly to the CO.
  2. The CTSO became the Chief Telecommunications Officer and moved his officer to the Operations Site from the lower area.
  3. The operations function became part of the CTO organization

Second Re-Organization

31. As a result of experience gained under the system of SAGE operations the CTOs organization was drastically revised on 23 Oct on direction from ADC HQ. The new Telecommunications organization now follows this pattern:

The Chief Ground Environment Officer (CGEO) is directly responsible for the STelOO and SCOO. The Squadron Telecommunications Operations Officer (STelOO) is responsible for Radar, Communications, Data Processing, Telephone Company FSR, PBX Technical, Tech Services. The Squadron Control Operations Officer (SCOO) is responsible for DMCC, BUIC/Mode IV, Height Finders, Mapping, PBX Ops, ECCMO.

32. The major changes brought about by this re-organization were that the CTO was re-designated the CGEO and the former three-prong technical set-up became two-prong: Telecommunications and Control, with new titles for the officers responsible for these two sections.


33. The following is a list of the personalities who visited or inspected the unit during 1963. Details of their visits will be found in the Monthly Record of Activities attached as Appendix "B" to this Summary.

21 Jan

Lt. R Davidson

Command Postal Office

22 Jan

Lt Col Hicks (USAF) and party

4602nd Support Squadron (USAF)

30 Jan

W/C CA Brunger


31 Jan



4 Feb

ADC HQ Evaluation team


4 Mar

S/L RL Phillips

Station Calgary, for annual M&I Audit

12 Mar

AOC ADC HQ and party


20 Mar

W/C RD Sloat

CO Station Baldy Hughes

3 Apr

F/L RD McKelvie

Rescue Co-ordination Centre

19 Apr

A/V/M MD Lister


22 Apr

COs of Stations Puntzi Mountain, Baldy Hughes, and Saskatoon Mountain


24 Apr

G/C RS Turnbull

Seattle NORAD Sector

24 Apr

Rear Admiral Landymore


6 May

Commissioned Officer Wilson

Reg. Surg. Pac, carried out a Hygiene and Sanitation Inspection

13 May

F/L J Patterson

PRO, 5 Air Division HQ

17 May

S/L E McCaffery

Food Services, ADC HQ

12 Jun

SOGT Inspection


8 Jul

Surgeon Captain Rogers

RCN, Regional Surgeon, Pacific Coast

21 Jul

F/L KM Cady


1 Aug

W/C W Riddell


17 Sep

General Brown

Cmdr Seattle NORAD Sector

18 Sep



24 Sep

Four-man DM Audit Team


11 Oct

F/Ls McLeod and Birch


21 Oct

Surg. Capt. Rogers, W/C Jackson and Col Ashley


5 Nov

Sgt Waddell, LAC Pritchard,

From Station Cold Lake, for Armament Inspection

18 Nov

S/L Greensword, F/L Jagoe

ADC HQ – EDP test

21 Nov

G/C Davignon(RC) AFHQ DRA,
W/C Poirier (RC) ADC SORA


25 Nov

F/L Lowes, F/O Dick,


5 Dec

W/C G Inglis

CO 409 (AWF) Squadron Comox

6 Dec

A/C Hull,

Chief of Staff, ADC HQ

11 Dec

W/C Bracher, Prot Chaplain




34. A varied and extensive recreation programme was planned and put into effect at this unit during 1963. A resume of the various sports and athletic events follows. Complete coverage including newspaper clippings and photographs are included in Appendix to this Summary.


35. Local League. The unit entered a team in the Kamloops Senior Men’s Softball League. The team finished in first place but were eliminated in the league semi-finals.

36. RCAF Zone Playdowns. The RCAF "Flyers" won the BC Zone playdowns, coming first in the round-robin series which included Puntzi Mountain, Baldy Hughes and Calgary. The "Flyers" were defeated in the BC-Alberta Zone games held at Station Namao.

37. Station Tournament. The Station Fund organized a tournament which was held at the station softball diamond. Seven civilians teams and this unit’s team participated with Dearborn Motors of Kamloops winning the first prize.


38. Zone Playdowns. Sgt Crawford’s team of F/L Short, F/L Hermanson and LAC Perkins represented the station in BC Zone curling playdowns held at Station Vancouver. The team did well in winning three out of five games, losing the last game in extra ends to the eventual winner.

39. Station Bonspiel. On 30 January, a "Tin Can’ bonspiel was held on a nearby slough (Pondalolo) using jam tins filled with concrete. Approximately 70 personnel participated and the success of this venture will ensure its continuance as an annual event.


40. The unit was represented in the Tri-Service Badminton playoffs by W/C Biden, LACs Walters, Lesergent and Holgate. The team placed second with 72 points, while Station Comox won the event with 116 points. W/C Biden won the singles and in doing so brought to Station Kamloops the Army Badminton Cup.


41. The Station held a "Duffers" tournament with about 30 personnel taking part. Cpl. Roberts, Rec. Spec, emerged the winner.

42. The unit was represented in the air force playdowns at Station Comox by a team comprising W/C Biden, F/L Forget, F/L Meinert and Cpl. Roberts.


43. Exceptionally good relations with the local radio and TV outlets, and the Kamloops "Sentinel" have existed since the inception of this radar base as an RCAF unit in April 1962. Similarly, this unit’s relations with the Town Councils of Kamloops and North Kamloops, the local RCMP Detachment and the local service clubs such as the Kiwanis and the Gyros have been uniformly good at all times. These amicable relationships have helped to project a public image of a happy and efficient air force unit in the public mind.

44. During 1963 Station Kamloops organized three major functions involving the general public; all of which were very successful. Their success can in no small way be attributed to the support accorded by the local municipal authorities and news media.