Baldy Hughes, BC

1962 – Historical Report – USAF Historical Division

Historical Report
918th AC&W Squadron
1 July 1962 to 30 September 1962

Section I


  1. Unit and Location

918th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron
Baldy Hughes AFS, Prince George, BC

  1. Name and Grade of Commander

Lt. Colonel Alfred J Naigle

  1. Chain of Command (Superior Echelons)
  2. NORAD
    Air Defense Command
    25th Air Division (SAGE)
    Seattle Air Defense Sector

  • Subordinate Units (Down to and including squadrons)
  • None

  • Mission (Give authority and brief statement of primary mission)
  • Maintain radar surveillance and report surveillance information to Seattle Air Defense Sector for identification and action. Exercise control fighter interception within the limited capacity provided as directed by Seattle Air Defense Sector. Render emergency assistance to distressed aircraft.

  • Personnel

















  • Equipment (Give official nomenclature and quantity of mission-type equipment)
  • AN/FPS-20A (1), AN/FPS-6B (2), AN/GPS-T2 (1), AN/GPX-7A (1), AN/GRC-27 (2), AN/UPS-T5 (1), AN/GRT-3 (2), AN/GRR-7 (2), AN/FRT-503 (1), AN/FRT-502 (2), AF/URG-60 (5), AN/GPA-30 (1).

    Section II


    Activities at the 918th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron during the past three months have been slanted toward getting ready – getting ready for phase out and getting ready for winter.

    With only five months remaining before the Royal Canadian Air Force takes over the station, preparations for phase out activities have assumed a high priority. Activities began in August with a coordination and information gathering trip to the 53rd Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron at Kamloops, British Columbia. It was felt that since the RCAF had recently assumed command of the Kamloops Air Station from the USAF, valuable information concerning phase out procedures could be learned from such a trip. The trip to Kamloops was made by the C&E Officer, the Site Engineer, and the Station Installations Engineer. Much information that should greatly aid in making the turn over to the RCAF more smoothly was learned.

    Actual phase out procedures were begun by several sections of the Squadron. The non-appropriated activities; Officer’s Club, NCO Club, and Unit Fund; initiated plans to return non-appropriated property to other units in the Division. All non-appropriated activities have inventoried their property and sent a list of this property to the 25th Air Division for dissimulation to other units. The motor pool has also taken steps to prepare for phase out. One vehicle has already been repaired under contract maintenance. Several other vehicles have been repaired by squadron personnel. These repairs include painting of the vehicles. All vehicles must be painted and put in top condition before they are turned over to the RCAF. The motor pool has also been preparing for winter. To operate in the extreme cold temperatures of this area vehicles must be in excellent condition. The large amount of snow fall also make additional equipment for snow removal and other winter operations necessary. The heavy equipment and snow removal equipment was painted and repaired as necessary to put it in top condition.

    Even with preparations for phase out in full swing, the squadron continued to place primary emphasis on its mission of gathering radar surveillance for the purpose of providing early warning. In performing its mission, Operations met with no major difficulties. A minor problem concerning T-33 target aircraft for intercept training missions was encountered; but it was successfully solved. The problem was in meeting approach times of the T-33’s and still getting full utilization of them as targets. It was decided to extend the airborne time of the aircraft as much as possible but still provide sufficient fuel remaining over "home plate" to meet with any emergencies that might arise. Effective utilization time of targets was also extended by expediting their turn over to this squadron’s control.

    Communications and Electronics was concerned with depot level maintenance on the radome. All three radomes were completely recaulked and refurbished. They were also scheduled to be painted but this painting had to be postponed because of the onset of unfavorable weather. C&E personnel realized that the station’s fire alarm system was inadequate and volunteered to design and install a new system. The old system used the same siren as the station alert system. The similarity between the two systems often caused confusion as to whether there was a fire alarm or a base alert. The new system is made of electrically sounded horns. Three magnetrons were installed by C&E during the past three months. The first one was installed in July on the number one FPS-6B, whose maggie failed after 7444 hours of operating. This new magnetron lasted 1326 hours before it failed in August and had to be replaced. The magnetron on number zero FPS-6B failed in August after operating for 3159 hours. The thyratron on number one FPS-6B was also replaced in August. Total red time resulting from failure of these tubes was 15 hours. There was an additional 231 hours of red time on FPS-6B number one. The set was ROCP for a pulse generator. This 246 hours of red time had no effects on the station’s operational capabilities because there was one set on at all times. There was no red time for the FPS-20.

    Other sections of the squadron continued to support the mission in an outstanding manner and with no major problems. The Security and Law Enforcement Section received the new standard ADC automobile bumper stickers. The automobiles of all station personnel were inspected to insure that they were in safe operating condition and the new stickers were issued. The Physical Fitness testing program was completed during the quarter. The testing is completed at a late date at this squadron because of extended periods of cold temperatures and snow. All but a small percent of the personnel passed the testing on the first try. Those who failed to pass the first testing were able to pass after several weeks of intensive physical training. The 5BX program was received by the squadron after the testing under the old system was completed. However the program has now been placed into effect. How seriously personnel have undertaken the program will be determined at the next testing. Food Services continues to provide excellent meals to station personnel. One of the best morale factors of this squadron is the excellent food services program. Hennessey Trophy competition is now utmost in the minds of all Food Services personnel. Their desire is to surpass last years second place standing in the competition. Competition for the 1963 Trophy begins for this squadron with an inspection of the Food Services program in October.

    Staff visits to the squadron during the summer were at a minimum. Supply received a staff assistance visit from the 4602nd Support Wing. The only other visit was from the 4602nd Support Wings Fire Prevention Inspector and Instructor. The squadron received an outstanding rating from the inspector.

    Construction at the station is continuing at a steady rate. Contract personnel recently completed reconstruction of the dikes around the POL tanks. Construction of the SAGE building and installation of the T-2 equipment was completed in July. July also marked the completion of the GATR building. Another step which brought this station closer to its SAGE operational date was the laying of internal SAGE telephone lines by the British Columbia Telephone Company. The big remaining obstacle is the completion of the FPS-26 and FPS-27 radar towers. Work on these system is progressing on schedule with both towers nearing completion.

    Social and recreational activities at the station have not been neglected. The coming winter points toward hunting. Hunting season opened in British Columbia in September. The event saw the station’s personnel leaving the lakes and taking to the bush in search for moose and deer. Hunting has also been excellent and several personnel have already got their deer or moose. Autumn also means a revival of interest in bowling. Station leagues for men, women, and mixed doubles have been established and participation has been excellent. The 918th Unit Fund sponsored a squadron bowling tournament and a squadron golf tournament. Both tournaments were outstanding successes with very good participation. In the ADC Tennis Tournament, Airman Second Class Larry T Praster, representing the 918th Squadron, made a very fine showing. Teamed with a partner from the Seattle Air Defense Sector, he advanced through both Sector and Division Tournaments before bowing out in the ADC finals.

    The highlight in social life at Baldy Hughes was the Air Force Fifteenth Anniversary Celebration Ball. The Ball was a combined effort of many station personnel and clubs. Much work was expended in converting the heavy equipment building into an attractive ball room for the affair. Military and civilian guests attending the ball totalled more than 225 persons. The highlight of the ball was the cutting of the birthday cake by Lt. Colonel Alfred J Naigle, the Squadron Commander.

    Personnel manning has begun to reflect the approaching turn over to the RCAF. Many of the personnel scheduled for rotation are leaving without replacements being sent. However some new personnel are arriving and manning situation is far from critical. Among the new personnel assigned to the Squadron was Chaplain (Captain) Mark L Smith. Chaplain Smith’s assignment to this station marks the first time that a chaplain has been permanently assigned to this squadron.

    The community relationship between Baldy Hughes Air Station and the city of Prince George continues to be very cordial. Each person assigned to this station has extended himself in order to promote this excellent relationship. This squadron co-operates with the citizens of Prince George on several projects that helps to improve community relationship. Preparation for one of these projects, Operation reindeer, was recently begun. 1962 will be the fifth year this squadron has co-operated with the Prince George Lion’s Club on Operation Reindeer. Operation Reindeer provides Christmas activities for approximately 150 Indian children at the Lower Post Indian Residential School which is located on the British Columbia-Yukon border. The project was initiated this year with the Operation reindeer kick-off dance. The dance was given by the Prince George Lion’s Club and was in honor of the 918th Squadron.

    Typed Name and Grade of Commander

    Alfred J Naigle, Lt. Colonel