Beausejour, MB

1958 – Historical Report – USAF Historical Division

Historical Report
916th AC&W Squadron
1 July 1958 to 30 September 1958

Section I


  1. Unit and Location

916th Squadron (ADC) (Beausejour Air Station) 18 miles NE of Beausejour, Man., Canada

  1. Name and Grade of Commander

AJ Rantal, Major

  1. Chain of Command (Superior Echelons)
  2. The 916th Squadron is operationally responsible to the 31st Air Division, Fort Snelling, Minnesota. It is logistically responsible to Detachment #1, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. (ADCR 24-10)

  • Subordinate Units (Down to and including squadrons)
  • N/A

  • Mission (Give authority and brief statement of primary mission)
  • (Attachment 12 to 31st CONAD Regulation 24-1). The 916th Squadron will operate and maintain a Direction Center, (except when reported as a surveillance station under CADF 55-24), part of the integrated air defense system of the 31st Air Division (Defense) for the purpose of conducting air defense operations within the area of responsibility assigned, and to conduct training required for the effective accomplishment of this mission.

  • Personnel

















  • Equipment (Give official nomenclature and quantity of mission-type equipment)
  • AN/FPS-3C (1); AN/FPS-502 (1); AN/TPS-502 (1); AN/GPS-T2 (1); AN/UPS-T5 (1).

    Section II




    Major Atha L LeCroix departed for reassignment on 15 July 1958 and relinquished his duties as squadron Operations Officer to Major Roy B Carris.

    Major Carris subsequently departed 23 September for reassignment and was replaced by Captain Reuben W Aschbrenner.

    Operations activities were considered normal during this reporting period. WEXVAL and STP exercises were the highlights of activity. Our participation in the WEXVAL missions was primarily surveillance with only an occasional requirement to aid in recovering interceptors at Fargo, North Dakota. ECM encountered during all of the WEXVAL missions was slight and for the most part ineffective.

    A movements and identification section was set up and activated a training status on 21 August 1958. The lack of a complete AMIS function at Winnipeg ARTC and existing landlines from Winnipeg ARTC (AMIS) and all adjacent direction centers with movement and identification functions hampered our training.

    Both of these deficiencies should be corrected during the 2nd quarter 1959.

    It is anticipated that our movements and identification function will be officially integrated during the 2nd quarter, 1959.

    Intercept training for directors assigned was very low during period July – September 1958. The lack of interceptors available for such training being the major cause. This problem has been discussed with the 31st Air Division and they are fully cognizant of our need for increased intercept training.


    During this historical reporting period there was a large influx in the officer personnel with many departures and arrivals.

    Major Archie J Rantal, A0789266, assumed command of the 916th Squadron on 25 September 1958. The previous commander, Major Robert E Evers, being rotated to the ZI for reassignment.

    Majors Atha L LeCroix, AFSC 1616 and Roy B Carris, AFSC 1744, Captain Oscar M Belk, Jr., AFSC 1744, and Lt. Carroll E Besing, AFSC 3034, rotated to the ZI for reassignment.

    New arrivals were: Major Archie J Rantal AFSC 1416, Squadron Commander, Captain Reuben W Aschbrenner AFSC 1744, Operations Officer, Captain Ray M Ratcliffe AFSC 1744, Intercept Director and 1st Lt. Ronald J Boyer, AFSC 1744, Intercept Director.

    The Airman reenlistment rate for this period was 80%. The break down as follows:

    (see the matrix at the end of this report)

    A Technical Sergeant, 56770, Electrical Power Production Technician slot was authorized for the squadron.

    Tow of our Master Sergeants, Douglas E Boyd and RC Gilbert were promoted to the new E-8 grade, Senior Master Sergeants, on 1 September 1958.

    The average squadron strength was 12 officers and 142 airmen.

    The Communications Officer, AFSC 3034 authorization was deleted.

    The squadron received an authorization for five (5) Radio Operators to operate and maintain a cross-border net. Four operators were assigned.

    The site engineer, Mr. James Trencher, took an extended leave of absence to return to England. Mr. Trencher was replaced by Mr. Wally Buechler.

    Equipment Performance:

    All equipment performance during this period was normal with no significant areas for discussion.

    The Radio Maintenance personnel designed and fabricated an amplifier control unit which was installed within the radio monitor booth in Operations to simplify HF monitoring and operation.


    Because of the rather severe winter weather, the summer months are more conducive to construction and this accounts for the large number of facility repairs and other construction which occurred during this period. The major constructions and repairs were: (a) The new supply building, which was greatly needed, was completed and occupied 1 July 1958. (b) The new wash house in the lower trailer court was near completion at the end of the reporting period. It has installed three (3) washing machines and three (3) dryers and sufficient laundry tubs and counters for work space. (c) The old supply building was used to make a new day room which was rehabilitated and furnished with a pool table, ping pong table, Coca Cola vending machine, chairs etc. (d) A new dental room was completed 1 September 1958. This included an A-ray room, dark room and a waiting room. (e) A new asphalt road was constructed around the lower trailer court and completed on 18 July 1958. This also included parallel parking space for trailer court tenants. (f) Each shower room in the four barracks was refinished with ceramic tile on both floor and ceiling.


    Supply activity was highlighted by the sections occupation of their new supply building on 1 July 1958.

    Three of the supply airmen rotated to the ZI for reassignment in July. One new supply airman arrived in August.

    A UMD change was approved in September which added a slot for a transportation specialist in the supply section.

    Community Relations:

    The constant effort on the part of personnel of this squadron to improve and encourage good community relations continued during this period. Many of the local base social activities were the predominant source of contact with leading citizens from the cities of Beausejour and Winnipeg. During this period the American Consulate Mr. Paul C Hutton and wife, and the Winnipeg Chief of Police, Mr. Robert Taft and wife, and also the Mayor of Beausejour, Mr. Burt T Larsen and wife, attended base social functions.


    Morale continues to be high and there is no indication of any let down. This is substanced by the many tour extensions made by the NCO’s of the squadron.



    Typed Name and Grade of Commander

    AJ Rantal, Major



    Airman Reenlistment Rate