Barrington, NS

1997 - General History - The NBC Group

The first military installation at Baccaro Point, Nova Scotia, the eventual site of CFS Barrington, was a LORAN (Long Range Navigation) site that was put in place in 1943 and run by the RCN. When the war was over, the LORAN equipment was turned over to the Department of Transport.

A radar site was then needed in the Southern portion of Nova Scotia and a number of locations were looked at, including Sable Island. By 1953, the RCN decreed that Sable Island would be very difficult to keep supplied so it was decided to look once again for a suitable location. Baccaro was finally decided upon for a number of reasons including the fact that this was about as far south one could travel in the province and it would be able to provide suitable radar coverage seaward.

Work began at Baccaro, designated as site M-102/C-102, in 1955 with the paving of portions of a local road so that the heavy trucks required for the actual work would be able to travel safely to and from the site. Construction of Barrington Air Force Station began in the summer of 1956. Station Barrington was located on Baccaro Point, surrounded on three sides by the Atlantic Ocean. The majority of the construction on the station was completed in 1957. The main equipment when first installed was the AN/FSS-3A Search and AN/FPS-6B Height Finder radars.

In the spring of 1957, the advance party of the unit that would man the station, the 627th Aircraft Control & Warning Squadron USAF (callsign Redtape), arrived at Baccaro which had been named Barrington Air Station by the Americans. The 627th AC&W Squadron had been formed on 21 March 1956 at Kirtland AFB, Albuquerque, New Mexico and began training for deployment in Canada. The advance party arrived in the spring of 1957. In August, the first airmen and officers assigned to the station arrived. Construction of the radar facility was completed by the end of 1957. By June 1958, the entire squadron was in place and Barrington began limited operations during August of that year. The unit became fully operational in March 1959 despite a critical manpower shortage. Full manning would not be achieved until 1959.

The 627th reported to the Boston Air Defence Sector which was located at Stewart AFB, New York for operations and to the Bangor Air Defence Sector at Topsham AFB in Maine for administration. Like all of the USAF AC&W Squadrons in Canada, the 627th also received logistic support from the 4602nd Support Wing (USAF) located at Ottawa, Ontario.

In 1961, the radars were replaced by the AN/FPS-27 Search and AN/FPS-26A Height Finder radars. The unit also began receiving the required SAGE equipment, such as the FTS-2 Data Processor, and a GATR site was built. Prior to 1 June 1964, the station was a manual NORAD GCI facility, but on that date it began SAGE operations. About this same time, the site was re-designated from M-102 to C-102. The station was also a component of the BUIC system.

The RCAF took over the station on 1 June 1962 and became 23 AC&W Aircraft Control & Warning Squadron, RCAF Station Barrington. 23 AC&W reported to the Bangor AD Sector of the 26th NORAD Division, but their data was also fed to the NNR. From July 1964 through to September 1965, Barrington was a SAGE NGCI with manual Back-Up Interceptor Control capability.

In September 1965, Barrington was no longer part of the BUIC system and reverted to a Long Range Radar site. In January 1967, the Post Office gave Barrington the postal address Stone Horse. On 29 August 1967, 213 Radar Squadron, as it had become just a few months earlier, was renamed at the same time as the integration of the Canadian Forces. The unit was now Canadian Forces Station Barrington. They now reported to the 35th Air Division located at Hancock Field, Syracuse, New York. On 14 October 1969, they began reporting to the 21st NORAD Region which was also located at Hancock Field.

A mobile home site, with 35 units, was constructed on Sherose Island in 1971, and was located some 15 miles west of the station near Barrington Passage. Foul weather was a constant annoyance, but on 2 February 1976 it became ridiculous. Winds in excess of 100 miles per hour ripped through the area. Two mobile homes on Sherose Island were lifted from their pads and all power was lost. All the personnel and dependents were transported to the station for safe-keeping.

CFS Barrington finally began to report to the Canada East ROCC at North Bay as of 15 June 1983. The designation of the site was change from C-102 to R-01. CFS Barrington carried on with its assigned role until it ceased operations on 1 August 1990. A small detachment of personnel remained afterwards to prepare the location as a new Canadian Coastal Radar site.

-- The NBC Group - Don Nicks, John Bradley, Chris Charland