Puntzi Mountain, BC

1965 – Historical Summary – National Archives of Canada

Appendix "A"
To Historical Report

Historical Summary
RCAF Station Puntzi Mountain
1 Jan 65 to 31 Dec 65


1 As mentioned in earlier histories, RCAF Station Puntzi Mountain (Group III Site C-19) was taken over from the USAF on 1 Nov 62 and renamed the 55th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron. The site is located in the British Columbia Cariboo area – 117 road miles west of Williams Lake, BC, on the Chilcotin highway. The operations area is seven miles from the domestic site. All major "house-keeping" services were broken down in the 1964 history introduction.

Major Functions of the Unit

2 In summarizing unit activities, it becomes clear that the overall operational and administrative functions of the unit did not change appreciably during the period under review. However, the efficiency of the unit increased as the different staffs became more familiar with their duties. Moreover, several additional recreation facilities were developed or improved on a self-help basis for our unit personnel.

3 The current operational role of the unit is as follows:

    1. Provide air surveillance information to Commander, Seattle NORAD Sector during Mode I, and to Commander, appropriate NCC during Mode III;
    2. Provide autonomous Mode IV control; and
    3. Act as an emergency recovery base.

4 The unit continued to take part in many operational and training exercises in accordance with NORAD regulations and requirements. Regular on-the-job training was carried out during the period.

5 The turnover of key personnel is as follows:

F/L WJ Carleton


F/L AK Weeks

as unit pilot

F/L JP Bastien


F/O A Stratychuk

as SLogO

F/L DV Crandell


F/O AA Binnie

as STelO

F/O ME Ronberg


F/L TR Drinkwater


F/O LA Saunders


F/O GC Slavinski


F/L CJ Forget


F/L GR Baker

as SAO

F/L DF Stewart


F/L CJ Forget

as SAO

6 A total of twenty-three staff visits and inspections were carried out by various ADCHQ branches. The unit was visited by several very distinguished guests. The first to arrive was the AOC ADC, A/V/M MD Lister on 4 Feb 65; accompanying A/V/M Lister were G/C JC Hovey, G/C AC Bowes, and party. On 8 May 65, we were visited by Major General J Rockingham, Commanding General Army Western Command, and Brigadier F Danby and Lt. Colonel MV Matthews of Vancouver. Major General WE Edlder USAF, 25 NORAD Region Commander, and A/C GH Elms, Deputy Commander, arrived on 9 Aug 65 to carry out an operational inspection of the unit. We had the pleasure and privilege of hosting Major General George Randolph Pearkes, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, Mrs. Pearkes and Commander Dixon, their secretary, during their visit to the unit on 7 Sep 65. Our last distinguished visitor arrived 12 Oct 65; this was Brigadier General JA Rouse, Seattle Sector Commander. With him were G/C D Williams, Deputy Commander and staff.

7 Recreation functions and facilities were quite active during the year and the major ones will be touched on. On 6 Mar 65 the first Puntzi Mountain Winter Carnival was held and the response was remarkable. The day started off with a parade of 7 floats from the different sections; during the day many and varied winter games were played for appropriate trophies; and the wind-up was the Gala Ball that night in the Airmen’s Club during which our Carnival Queen was crowned. The renovations to the Airmen’s/Corporals Club were finally completed and the CO, W/C FD Avent, officially opened the club on the night of the Spring Ball, 15 May 65. The Officers and Sergeants Messes donated a plaque to commemorate this occasion. Next came 12 Jun 65, when the Puntzi Mountain "Frontier Golf Club" was officially opened with our first station tournament; the tournament was followed with a station Bar-B-Que and dance that night. The course has 9 holes covering nearly 2,000 yards and is an excellent example of the community effort prevalent on this unit. During the course of the summer and early fall, many tests were made on the unit to prove the feasibility of a TV receiving system. In August, unit personnel, again on a self-help basis began to install the necessary antenna and co-axial cable. Approximately 16,000 feet of co-axial cable had to be strung to complete the system, which is now operating most efficiently. The unit sports fans are particularly happy. Finally in late summer construction began on the curling rink. This rink is built of upright logs set two feet in the ground with log supports and beams. At present it has a temporary roof which will be completed next year, and the two sheets will be natural ice. Curling will begin promptly after the New Year.

8 The Otter aircraft and MSE from the unit were called upon on 21 occasions to assist ill or injured people in the area; 9 of these were air evacuations. The aircraft flew a total of 355 hours, carried 900 passengers and 49,800 pounds of mail and freight to and from the station. Several searches were flown with the Otter – one of them to assist the RCMP in their hunt for a suspected murderer.

9 On 9 Jul 65, five members of the Unit Ground Search and Rescue Team were sent out to the site of the CPA DC-6 crash west of 100 Mile House. They were required to assist the RCMP at the crash site in the recovery of evidence and bodies.

Note: The Pinetree Line web site has been able to obtain the following detail on the DC-6 crash mentioned above.