Baldy Hughes, BC

1963 – Historical Report – USAF Historical Division

Historical Report
918th AC&W Squadron
1 January 1963 to 31 March 1963

Section I


  1. Unit and Location

918th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron
(ADC) Baldy Hughes Air Station

  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 (3), 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


    This is the final history of the 918th AC&W Squadron. On 28 February 1963 the Air Defense mission performed by the squadron as a unit of the North American Air Defense Command ceased to be the responsibility of the USAF and became the responsibility of the RCAF. The squadron has been re-designated by the RCAF as the 54th AC&W Squadron.

    The activities of the squadron during the months of January and February were aimed primarily toward final preparation for the turning-over of the squadron to the RCAF. Phase-out activities and plans which had begun as early as August 1962 reached a point of maximum intensity during this period. All phase-out procedures were in accordance with the phase-out plan prepared by the 4602nd Support Wing. The 4602nd Support Wing is based at Ottawa, Ontario and is responsible for providing logistical support to all the stations of the Pinetree Line. This same plan was used by all stations of the Pinetree Line. The plan was carefully and explicitly written. It was designed so that each function of the squadron would be phased out before D-date, with D-date being the date for turning the squadron over to the RCAF. The success of the plan depended upon meeting established deadlines.

    Although the plan set deadlines, the actual procedures and steps to meet them were left largely to the discretion of the squadron commander. It was also necessary to appoint a Project Officer to insure that the requirements of the plan were adhered to. At this unit Lt. Colonel Naigle, Squadron Commander, was appointed by the 4602nd Support Wing as the Project Officer. It was also necessary that there be an RCAF Officer to act as Project Officer for the phase-in of the RCAF. In December 1962, Flight Lieutenant Graham Craig arrived at the station as Commanding Officer of the advance party of RCAF personnel and as project officer. He and Lt. Colonel Naigle worked closely together to insure the turn-over would be orderly and efficient.

    The phase-out plan had two main objectives. The primary objective was to effect an orderly phase-out of the USAF operation of the unit. The second objective was to perform the phase-out in such a manner as to allow an orderly and efficient phase-in of RCAF procedures. The second objective was especially important and critical in the turn-over of areas that had a direct bearing on the performance of the mission of the unit. It was necessary that the responsibility assigned in these areas be shifted from the USAF to the RCAF with no degrading effect on the operational capabilities of the unit. The section whose function is most related to the operational mission of the squadron is C&E.

    The procedure followed to change the C&E responsibility from the USAF to the RCAF was to gradually replace USAF personnel with RCAF personnel. This procedure provided for a period of time when American and Canadian personnel worked together to perform the required C&E functions. In this manner RCAF personnel were able to gradually become familiar with the equipment. Also there were experienced personnel available to explain the equipment. At the same time a depot level maintenance team from Canadian Aviations Electronics Ltd. Was at the unit. The depot level maintenance team was helpful in effecting the indoctrination of RCAF personnel. In this manner maintenance of the station equipment was continued at a normal rate and presented no problem areas.

    Supply Section has an almost equal effect on the ability of the unit to perform its operational mission. Without a continued supply of replacement parts the unit would soon lose its capability. Therefore, it was necessary to effect the turn over of the section in such a manner so as to insure a continued stock of necessary items. The supply section also had many other accounts to be transferred to the RCAF. The turn over was a lengthy process that demanded the concentrated effort of all personnel involved. Had one area in the large number turned over been neglected, the entire operation would have been disrupted. The section worked very hard, however, and all deadlines were successfully met.

    Other sections also required attention in accomplishing change over to insure that the operational capability of the unit was not degraded. The motor pool had to insure the continued operation of motor vehicles. As has been noted in prior historical reports, the section has been working hard for several months to place the vehicles in good condition. The two vehicles that had been damaged had been repaired under contract maintenance. Also several of the other vehicles have had complete overhauls under contract maintenance. Thus all vehicles were turned over to the RCAF in outstanding condition. The installations section was also turned over with a minimum of problems encountered. The section was manned by Canadian civilians while it was a USAF responsibility. The RCAF maintained the same employees. Thus with a minimum change in manning the section continued its operations with very little disruption.

    The change over of the remaining sections had less effect on the accomplishment of the squadron’s mission. Still it was necessary that they be turned over according to the phase-out plan. In no way was the importance of their being turned over in accordance with the established plan lessened. By following the plan all sections were turned over with very little problems encountered.

    The phase-out of the squadron also included the phase-out of certain USAF activities that did not involve their being turned over to the RCAF to be replaced by a counter-part. For example, such areas as non-appropriated fund activities, Air Force Aid Society, the Information Services program, and the Base Exchange were completely phased out without being taken over by the RCAF. These areas, too, were included in the phase-out plan. In their phase-out the plan was adhered to and in most cases establishing deadlines were met or beat.

    The operations section continues to be manned by USAF personnel. This manning is in accordance with the agreement that the USAF will maintain the Manual capability of the unit until the completion of SAGE installations.

    The phase-out plan was well carried out by the 918th AC&W Squadron. In all but a few remote instances deadlines were successfully met. In many cases activities were completed before the required deadlines. Both the officers and men of the 918th AC&W Squadron should be commended for the manner in which they willingly did everything they could to effect the smoothness of the phase-out. All personnel realized that the success of the plan depended on its being closely followed and all deadlines being met. They applied themselves in achieving these results. The result was the phase out was smoothly and efficiently completed. The personnel of the RCAF also deserve special thanks for the manner in which they worked to do their part, in which they worked to complete their share of the turn-over. When Wing Commander RD Sloat arrived as Commanding Officer of the 54th AC&W Squadron in late February, all that remained to be accomplished was the change-over ceremony.

    The change-over ceremony was held on 26 February 1963. The ceremony in following the phase-out plan was conducted in accordance with a pre-written format. The ceremony was scheduled to be conducted outdoors to permit the lowering of the American Flag and raising of the Canadian Ensign. However, rain forced the movement of the ceremony inside the heavy equipment building. General Grover C Brown, Commanding Officer, Seattle NORAD Sector was scheduled to represent the United States at the ceremony, but, because of illness he was unable to attend. Colonel Mulholland, Deputy for Operations of the Seattle NORAD Sector, represented the United States in his plane. The Canadian government was represented by Group Captain DSL MacWilliam, Commanding Officer of RCAF Station Cold Lake. Colonel SJ Veneziano, Commander of the 4602nd Support Wing, was also unable to attend the ceremony because of illness. The brief ceremony was witnessed by approximately one hundred and fifty military personnel and guests. It consisted of the signing of the document transferring the unit from the USAF to the RCAF. Following this signing the American flag was marched out and the Canadian flag and the RCAF ensign were marched in. The document turning the squadron over to the RCAF was signed by Colonel Mulholland. In a brief statement Colonel Mulholland thanked Canada, British Columbia, and Prince George for the favorable manner in which they had accepted the United States Air Force at Baldy Hughes. He also discussed the excellent community relationship that existed between the city of Prince George and Baldy Hughes Air Station. The Document acknowledging receipt of the station by the RCAF was signed by Group Captain MacWilliams. In his statement Group Captain MacWilliams thanked Lt. Colonel Naigle and the men of the 918th AC&W Squadron for the excellent condition in which the station was turned over to the RCAF. Following the signing of the document, the flags were changed. The turn over was now complete. All that remained was to wait until the first of March when the station would officially become the responsibility of the RCAF.

    The change over ceremony was followed by a reception held in the Officer’s Club. At the reception, the city of Prince George and the Riding (a riding is a federal political district represented by a member of Canadian Parliament) of Cariboo presented the 918th AC&W Squadron with an award. The award, a very large mounted Cariboo rack, was presented in appreciation for the outstanding contributions that members of the 918th AC&W Squadron had made to the city of Prince George and the Riding of Cariboo. The award was made by His Worship Garvin Dezell, Mayor of Prince George and accepted by Lt. Colonel Naigle. In his presentation, Mayor Dezell made mention of the many contributions that the squadron personnel had made to the local community. He commended the squadron for its participation in such events as sports, community clubs, and civic projects. He said that the community has been greatly benefited by the activities of the 918th AC&W Squadron.

    Colonel Mulholland, SNS, then presented the ADC Commendation Certificate to the City of Prince George, its citizens, and its civic organizations. The certificate was in recognition for the favorable acceptance of the USAF at Baldy Hughes and for the warm-hearted manner in which they had joined with Baldy Hughes Air Station in such worthy projects as "Operation Reindeer". The Commendation certificate accepted by Mayor Dezell on behalf of the city of Prince George, its citizens and its civic organizations is the first presented by ADC to a community.

    On 1 March at 0001 the 918th AC&W Squadron officially ceased to exist, and Baldy Hughes Air Station was no longer a part of the United States Air Force. In its place is the 54th AC&W Squadron and RCAF Station Baldy Hughes.


    The history of the 918th AC&W Squadron has been one of outstanding achievements. Since it was activated almost eleven years ago on 16 April 1952 at Geiger Field, Spokane, Washington, it has compiled a record that all men who have served in it are proud of. The squadron was established as a part of the Pinetree Line with the primary mission of maintaining radar surveillance for the purpose of providing early warning. In September 1960 the squadron took steps to create a control section. Subsequently the control of fighter interceptors was added to he squadron’s primary mission. On 18 July 1961, the 918th Squadron received the ADC "A" Award. The sward was presented for outstanding performance during the period 1 April 1960 to 1 April 1961.

    Not least among the squadrons many accomplishments is the outstanding relationship that it has created with the local community. Members of the squadron have participated in all phases of community life. Squadron personnel were active in a wide range of sports including softball, basketball, curling and auto racing. They were member of many clubs and organizations including the Lion’s Club, Elks Club, Rotary, and the Canadian Legion. The squadron was also active in many charity activities and civic events. The relationship that the squadron established beyond creating a feeling of good will to the 918th AC&W Squadron to creating a feeling of good will toward the USAF and the United States. One joint project of the community and the squadron "Operation Reindeer", was so successful in creating a feeling of good will between the United States and Canada that it prompted a letter of appreciation to the Department of State from the United States Consulate General at Vancouver. This letter resulted in a letter of appreciation to the unit from General Thomas D White, Chief of Staff.

    Thirty-one USAF personnel now remain at Baldy Hughes. This group, made up of operations personnel have remained as Detachment #3, HQ 325th Fighter Wing, McChord AFB, Washington. Their responsibility is to maintain the manual capability of the squadron until its SAGE equipment is installed and it is SAGE operational. SAGE construction was continued through the transfer activities and is progressing according to schedule. By 1 July the unit will be SAGE operational. After that date there will be no more USAF personnel at Baldy Hughes.

    Memorandum of Thanks – 20 July 1961

    Air Defense Command "A" Award – 14 July 1961

    Air Defense Command "A" Award – 21 June 1961

    Letter of Appreciation – 18 March 1960

    Editorial Commending USAF Radar Station – 31 December 1959

    Typed Name and Grade of Commander

    Alfred J Naigle, Lt. Colonel