Saskatoon Mountain, BC

1961 – Historical Report – USAF Historical Division

Historical Report
919th AC&W Squadron
1 July 1961 to 30 September 1961

Section I


  1. Unit and Location

919th AC&W Squadron (ADC), Saskatoon Mountain Air Station, Beaverlodge, Alberta, Canada

  1. Name and Grade of Commander

Jack E Williams, Major, USAF

  1. Chain of Command (Superior Echelons)
  2. Administrative: SPADS, 25th Air Division, ADC, NORAD
    Logistical: 4602nd Support Group (ADC)

  • 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 appropriate SAGE Direction Center for identification and action. Exercise control with the limited capability provided, as directed by the SAGE Direction Center.

  • Personnel

















  • Equipment (Give official nomenclature and quantity of mission-type equipment)
  • GPS-T2 (1), GPS-T2A (1), UPA-37 (2), AN/FRT-502 (1), AN/URG-60 (1), AN/FRT-503 (1), AN/FRT-501 (1), CR-91A (1), T-282 (1), T-217 (1), R-36/C (1), R-278B (1), FPS-6B (2), FPS-20A (1).

    Section II



    During the period 1 July 1961 through 30 September 1961, the 919th has participated in four live exercises and one large scale System’s Training Mission exercise.

    The first mission was held on 21 July and was a 25th NORAD Region Exercise. Very few targets entered our area during this exercise.

    On August the 4th, the second live mission was held, also known as a 25th NORAD Region Exercise. Once again this was not a large scale mission in that it only affected the 25th Air Division and not adjacent Air Divisions.

    On the 15th of August NORAD had an exercise that affected us called Desk Top IV. This was a simulated mission of many striking aircraft which was designed to exercise the Air Defense forces to their utmost capabilities without flying a single target. The mission was completed successfully by this squadron.

    The next mission was not held until the 16th of September when Spokane Air Defense Sector had a live exercise in which the squadron participated.

    The last mission of the reporting period was held on the 28th of September. It was also a 25th NORAD Region Exercise.

    During the month of August, the Operations Building was repainted on the inside, greatly adding to the over-all attractiveness of the area and making working conditions more pleasant.

    The new training room constructed in the bottom on the FPS-6B tower was moved into, as the Operations training program went into high gear. The room serves as a training office as well as a classroom. A black board, desk and ample facilities will enhance the training portion of our operation function.

    Also in August a rearrangement of the radar equipment was accomplished in the operations room, which greatly facilitates the accomplishment of our mission.

    In August a new Weapons Co-ordinator board was received from the Spokane Sector and installed. This new board has proved to be invaluable to the Weapons Co-ordinator in handling the air battle during live missions.

    During the last week of September the Radar Maintenance and Communications office was vacated by its personnel in anticipation of the Operations expansion into that area, utilizing it as additional office space. Radar Maintenance is relocating its offices nearer its equipment.

    In August 1st Lt. Robert Patty arrived from Weapons Controller School at Tyndall Air Force Base. Lt. Patty was formerly assigned to the 498th Fighter Interceptor Squadron at Geiger Field. Lt. Patty, as a pilot for the 498th, had flown many missions with the 919th in past months when the F-106’s came up to run intercepts for our control.

    During September the main surveillance plotting board, tactical action board and equipment status boards were reaccomplished by a team from 25th Air Division Headquarters at McChord Air Force Base. The reaccomplishment of these boards has proven beneficial in conducting our missions.

    Communications and Electronics:

    An extensive turnover of personnel has taken place within the C&E section. Lt. Kavinsky, who had been the C&E Officer here for the past year, was reassigned to Truax Air Force Base. Lt. Kavinsky was replaced by Lt. McGugin, who has been Communications Officer at Beausejour Air Station. The Ground Electronics Officer, Lt. James Mullady, has been reassigned to Headquarters, ADC. Lt. Mullady’s replacement is Lt. John Hornecker, who was formerly stationed at Havre Air Force Station prior to being assigned to the 919th.

    Two of the rigid radomes were re-caulked by Canadian Aviation Electronics. Prior to this being reaccomplished there was severe leakage due to faulty caulking compounds used when the radomes were installed. The problem now seems to have been eliminated.

    During the annual 25th IG Inspection, the Communications and Electronics section achieved an excellent rating.

    An IRAN Team from Canadian Aviation Electronics performed a complete depot level overhaul on all the radar equipment. No major problems were discovered, although many small items were corrected improving the equipment performance.

    An Evaluation Team from the 4754th Radar Evaluation Squadron at Hill Air Force Base conducted an evaluation on our height finders. This was the first evaluation the height finders had received since their installation.

    Special Services:

    The Information Services Program for the 919th swung into high gear this quarter with the appointment of a new Information Officer, Captain Jack R Crawford, and new guidelines being established by the Station Commander. A new base brochure has been published, expounding the various advantages of our site and the surrounding area. All personnel newly assigned to Saskatoon Mountain will receive a copy of this informative brochure before reporting to help them with their last-minute planning for the far North. (See attached brochure at the end of this report)

    Since the latter part of September, arrangements have been made to have personnel on the local radio station, CFGP – Grand Prairie, three times a day. Current weather reports in the morning and evening are given by the Duty Controller and a spot news broadcast on the noon news program is given by personnel from Special Services.

    Also arrangements have been made for a weekly news column to appear in the bi-weekly Grande Prairie Herald Tribune newspaper. The column is very appropriately named "Under Two Flags", symbolizing the dual manning of NORAD Units with Canadian and United States personnel.

    Our new Commander, Major Jack E Williams, has helped renew the spirit of co-operation between the local communities and our site by his active participation in local service clubs, athletic events, and social functions. With the introduction of television to this area in the very near future, we are looking forward to another opportunity for spreading the NORAD-ADC story, while at the same time furthering our station community relations.


    During the month of August, the installations section constructed a new archway at the main entrance gate to the base. The design of the structure was a squadron project in that a contest was held in an attempt to find a suitable plan. The person who submitted the design that was selected was awarded a cash prize. The archway was completed in the latter part of August and is very attractive and impressive to all who enter the base.

    Another project initiated during this period was the beginning of construction of the power plant with a new addition of two diesel electric generating units. The work has been progressing very satisfactorily as is seen in the attached photograph. The new construction is in preparation for the new SAGE equipment to be installed on base. It was required that the building be lengthened in order to house the new units.

    In September the first two miles of the access road from Highway #2 leading to the base was completely resurfaced as shown in the attached photograph. This was a joint USAF and Alberta provincial government project, each paying for one half of the cost.

    Also in September the remainder of the access road has had extensive work done to improve its surface. The road was smoothed, cleared and a new layer of gravel was laid providing a very usable surface.


    On July the 3rd, Major Ben M Hagan turned over the Base Command to his successor Major Jack E Williams. Major Hagan completed his one year tour and was assigned to Spokane Air Defense Sector at Larson Air Force Base, Washington. Major Williams was assigned to the 919th from the 823rd Radar Squadron, Geiger Field, Washington. Major Williams is accompanied with his wife and two children. Major Williams has been assigned to the 919th for a two year tour.

    In July of this year, the base experienced its annual 25th IG Inspection. The base came out with an overall evaluation of excellent. None of the sections on base received less than a satisfactory rating.

    Typed Name and Grade of Commander

    Jack E Williams, Major, USAF