12 Radio Detachment - Bagotville, QC.

1943 - Extracts from Daily Diary - National Archives of Canada

January 1, 1943 to October 23, 1943

By the 7th of January 1943, prefabricated feeders for the antenna system had arrived with the return of P/O Robinson. Installation of these feeders immediately began and was finished by the 13th of January. P/O Wineberg arrived on No. 12 RD strength as RO under instruction Jan. 8th.

All installation work, with the exception of the line of control cables between the Operational building and the antenna system was finished by the middle of January. Since B X L wire demanded from No. 5 Equipment Depot had not been received, the work was at a standstill by mid-January. This wire was received on the 18th of January and by the 27th of January, the whole installation had been completed. There still remain the work of various adjustments necessary to the antenna system, for this purpose, a standing wave indicator was required which was ordered and expedited from No. 1 Maintenance Unit at Scoudouc. The installation performed very efficiently. It was now apparent, however, that the site of the Detachment was poor due to the proximity and considerable height of surrounding mountains.

The standing wave indicator was received January 26th, and P/O Robinson commenced work on the final adjustments to the antenna system.

Further guards for the Detachment arrived the 16th of January. Four supernumerary RDF Mechanics were posted to the Unit the 25th of January. More supernumerary Mechanics and were posted to the Unit the 3rd of February.

Telephone communication between the Radio Detachment and No. 1 OTU was expected to have been completed by the third week in February, but due to adverse delivery dates of the cable and associated equipment, the 26 pairs telephone cable could not be installed to conform with this date.

All final adjustments to the equipment were completed by the middle of February. Various modifications which had just been authorized to be done to the equipment were made. Since the work was now complete, P/O Robinson informed the OC of No. 1 Maintenance Unit. The installation party was ordered to remain at No. 12 RD until an inspection had been made by S/L Campbell. This inspection took place during the end of February and the beginning of March. The installation party left Bagotville for Scoudouc on the 4th of March.

(VS Parker) Group Captain,
Commanding Officer,
No. 1 OTU, RCAF,
Bagotville, QC.

1 Apr 43

A bad sleet storm prevented flying, and communication with 130 (F) Squadron was cut off by a break in the temporary telephone line. The gridding of the PPI tube was completed, and classes in dead reckoning were held for the operators; LAC Butler GST with 18 months operational experience in GCI, and Cpl Dubord EA, on TD from No. 1 RDF School conducted the lectures. These classes were begun by F/L R Canning, OC of the Detachment, and he insisted that all the operators should get as much experience as possible in all the phases of operating, plotting, telling, and dead reckoning.

2 Apr 43

Bad weather in the morning prevented flying. Maintenance carried out, and the spare diesel was put back into operation by cleaning the fuel lines. The telephone wa still U/S; it was handed over to the telephone company for repairs, but the roads were too bad for the repair truck to come in from Chicoutimi. Plans were set up for the disposition of armament for the detachment; it was decided that, besides the security guard protection, sten guns, rifles, and revolvers should be kept in the Operations building for use by operators and mechanics for emergency purposes.

3 Apr 43

Maintenance was carried out in the morning, and fine adjustments were made on the PPI tube for focus and linearity which were particularly bad. Snow prevented flying in the afternoon. Arrangement were made with the station Sports Officer for the men of the Detachment to have Tuesday nights as gym nights. The men off duty are eager to take advantage of this opportunity, and are arranging their teams and games.

4 Apr 43

The equipment was in operation all day after the usual maintenance period. Since there is no flying on Sunday, only a skelton crew was on duty to keep the equipment in operation.

5 Apr 43

Bad weather prevented flying, and the aerials were locked because of winds. General overhaul took place on the equipment which was not in operation. F/L R Canning, OC Detachment, devised a system of reporting and recording ADC reports which are handled by the signal section.

29 Apr 43

The equipment was put on the air after rigid maintenance period. Traces were cleared up by adjusting anti-jitter valves. Plots were taken as flying took place in spite of high winds. W/C D Nesbitt arrived from Ottawa to look over the sector set-up.

30 Apr 43

Equipment in good working condition for the test flights for W/C D Nesbitt; he commented on the efficiency of the detachment. Bad weather limited flying.


Officers - 3
NCO's - 9
AC's - 62


Officers - 1
NCO's - 1

(R Canning) F/L
O.C. #12 Radio Detachment
c/o No. 1 OTU,
Bagotville, Quebec.

13 May 43

Sgt. GH Evans arrived from Scoudouc to check the technical inventory.

14 May 43

Sgt. GH Evans proceeded with the taking of the inventory at the detachment. A bit of trouble was experienced with some loosened gears on the aerials, and care was taken in tightening them. The parts were greased at the same time. Preparations are being made for the telephones and mains voltage to be hooked up to the detachment, linking it with No. 1 OTU.

15 May 43

The inventory was completed and taken over by the technical officer, P/O A Wineberg, until final word is heard from No. 1 Maintenance Unit, Scoudouc. Sgt. GH Evans departed for Scoudouc. With the completion of the Victory Loan Campaign, it was found that this detachment had the biggest percentage subscribed of all the sections on the station - a worthy accomplishment. The station softball schedule was organized with this detachment entering one representative team. The season promised to bring hearty enthusiasm because already, the competitive spirit is very high.

16 May 43

The aerials were kept locked against very high winds; operational faults were practiced by the mechanics on the equipment under the supervision of Cpl. AA Edgecombe. P/O AH MacCarthy was taken on strength as a deputy GCI Controller; F/L W McRoberts arrived on temporary duty to look over the set-up.

17 May 43

Due to heavy rainfall, the Andrew's cable became very damp and its resistance to ground was very low; so, the received signals were greatly reduced. It was necessary to run a blow-torch up and down the cable sheath to dry it out; the ends were cleaned of dirt and sealed with paraffin. The equipment was put back on the air, and operational plots were taken for the rest of the day. P/O AH MacCarthy was introduced to his new duties, and given a demonstration of the efficienty of the equipment.

18 May 43

The equipment was operational. F/L W McRoberts was given a full demonstration and explanation of the GCI set-up on this station. Further lectures were held for the NCO operators; P/O A Wineberg spoke on lobes of radiation, gaps, etc., their causes and effects; F/L R Canning outlined the duties of the controllers, and worked out some of their practice problems. At 23.30 hours, the outward gear pinion of the turning gears snapped, taking the set off the air.

19 May 43

No. 1 Maintenance Unit was notified of the predicament, and request was made for the spare to be rushed. A repair of the snapped axle was made at the metal shop of the No. 1 OTU.

18 Oct 43

Dawn patrol washed out due to inclement weather. Sgt. Bouchard R and P/O OG Rogers walked over the area where the light was seen but no evidence of any intruder was found. A temporary aerial was erected on light poles for experiment in siting the permanent communications aerial to be erected. P/O RL MacKinnon returned from a 72 hours pass.

19 Oct 43

A fault developed in the height-finding system. Tracing of the difficulty was difficult and haphazard through lack of Oscilloscope which has been away for repairs for the past two months. A letter was sent to urge prompt return of this equipment. P/O RL MacKinnon held a pre-trade test board class for operators in the morning.

20 Oct 43

Dawn patrol controlled by R162207 Cpl. Edgar LJ it was requested that we sweep between St. Simeon and Tadoussac to try and follow aircraft searching for the Liberator which was reported missing the night before. The ceiling was low so the search aircraft must have been flying low as we received no plots.

21 Oct 43

A pre-trade test examination was held for the operators by R78337 Sgt. Maloney LO Word was received that the trade test board would arrive on November 8th instead of October 25th. Dusk Patrol was controlled by R162207 Cpl. Edgar LJ.

22 Oct 43

At 1105 hours a request was received from the control tower to sweep for a Hurricane from #1 OTU which had called in reporting itself over cloud at an unknown position. We immediately switched our RT over to the OTU frequency to be ready to take over control. We requested the control tower to have the aircraft climb to 7000 feet. An aircraft was picked up at 1114 hours travelling east. As there was another aircraft in the air at the time we requested the tower to give the aircraft a vector of 020. They were unable to contact the aircraft from OTU. R/T but the tower at the firing range at St. Jerome was able to pass the message. That moved proved we were following the correct aircraft and they were instructed to steer 125 for base. The aircraft became lost in the PE's so control was taken over by F/O AH MacCarthy and the aircraft was given a vector of 310. The aircraft appeared again in the clear and was given a vector of 110 to port. Through a misunderstanding the range at St. Jerome gave the aircraft a vector of 020. This was corrected and a vector of 110 was given. This was changed to vector 145 and the pilot was told to start letting down at a range of 12 miles from the station. One additional vector of 190 was given and the aircraft broke cloud at 2500 feet right over base.

23 Oct 43

R169300 Cpl. Lytle TJ and P/O Rogers OG erected an aerial for communications receiver. A half-wave doublet, centre fed with a twisted pair lead was used. It was mounted on temporary standards, which permit flexibility in placing.

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Updated: June 9, 2004