The following article is from RCAF Radar 1941-1945 (Royal Canadian Air Force Personnel on Radar in Canada During World War II) and is used with permission of the author, WW McLachlan
Tusket was a self contained detachment of Yarmouth air base. It was situated overlooking the Tusket River, about seven miles from Yarmouth and two miles from the village of Tusket. It had it's own cooks, security, male nurse and of course radar personnel. The equipment, of Canadian manufacture, was installed in mid-August 1942. The first radar technicians were Cpl Clayton Cunningham, LAC's Tom Mackay, Ernie Cormier, and Steve Stephens. Sgt Jack Bradley and eight operators completed the radar contingent. Guy Randall of Victoria, BC, was the first security of the establishment. The O/C was F/O Curtis and the adjutant P/O Sproule. F/O Allen became the CO in 1943. Flight/Sergeant Coleman was in charge of discipline and LAC Cecil Goodwin manned the telephone centre. Cecil also owned a very handy 1923 Buick car which was used for night-time adventure. AC2 Boucher was drowned when a sail-boat capsized on Lake Vaughan. He was from Toronto and was a security guard. Brothers Jim and John Long survived although only Boucher could swim.
Tusket produced a number of station papers called "The Tuskan".
Frequently, those fortunate enough to be posted to Tusket arrived from Halifax on the "Blue-Berry Special" express ????, which actually stopped at times to allow passengers en-route to engage in the picking of the "blue fruit" which is in abundance on the railway right-of-way. The actual speed of the train sometimes exceeded 20 miles per hour. Good old Dominion Atlantic Railway!.
The card-shark, Charles Levine, was always ready and willing to extract a "bubbly" from anyone naive enough to gamble in the art of chess, checkers, cribbage or ping-pong of which he was a master. Charles had an unnerving eye-squint which enticed the unwitting to take him on.
Each of the four shifts supplied information to the station paper, relating the events of their crew. The educational promoter Bob Fitz-Henry, was always willing to assist with the Royal Canadian Legion courses available to all. They had study sessions Tuesday evenings 7:30 to 9:00 and Thursday afternoons 2:30 to 4:00. University courses were available in the same correspondence mode as all others. A record was kept of each student's progress and assistance in clearing up encountered difficulties was available. Deer hunting was a popular sport which provided meat for the camp as well as another 48 hour pass for the successful hunting party. The mode of transportation on these ventures was Cecil Goodwin's buick. In season, a clam-digging group would provide the fruits of the sea for an "all you can eat" session. Swimming was a favourite pasttime for some, as the local beauties in their scanty suits displayed their figures at the canal bridge. Floor hockey, bowling and basketball teams competed in the Yarmouth station leagues.
A number of married men lived in the village with wives and children. Jack and Muriel Bradley's daughter was born while there. This was a most civilized station, but then does war have to be grim?? It has been reported that a local Greenwood preacher was hearing an airman's confession, in the middle of which, the coloured preacher stopped the young man saying "young man, you ain't confessing - you's a bragging". And so ends the Christmas 43 edition.
The next edition of the Tuscan was January 1944. A party was held for F/O Sproule who was moving to another location. The radar guys did it right in the midst of distinguished guests, the CO of Yarmouth station W/C S Volk, S/L Dewar chief of operations, F/L Stacey of accounts, F/L Bryce adjutant, P/O Toll and F/O Melsom along with our Protestant Padre F/L Estey. The group were welcomed by F/O Allen, the OC of Tusket. Also leaving the station, Cpl McLachlan who has gone to Toronto to begin Air-crew training. He was always one of the gang even on work detail. We wish you luck, Bill, in your new venture.
The March 44 edition of the Tuscan mentions LAC Ray Dawson, a Montreal and Clinton graduate, who is taking a correspondence course in Radio Engineering and plans to remain in the technology field after the war.
Tusket station has provided a valuable contribution to the defence of Yarmouth area while, at the same time, providing working conditions and comradship of which it can be proud. Very few radar stations are as well geographically situated, which perhaps is a factor.
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Updated: August 26, 2003