8 Radio Detachment - Sea Island, BC.

1942 - Daily Diary - National Archives of Canada


DAILY DIARY
8 RADIO DETACHMENT - Sea Island, BC.
December 1942

SUMMARY UP TO DECEMBER 1, 1942

Following is a synoptic review of events of importance from the date of formation of this Detachment to the date of commencement of this Daily Diary.

The effective date of formation of this Detachment was 1/AUG/42, as authorized by Secret Organization Order #91. Personnel required to to fill the establishment as show in HWE 40/8 date 21/MAY/42. The parent unit for this Detachment is RCAF Station, Sea Island, BC.

MT Vehicle provided for exclusive use of this Detachment.

Contract for the construction of buildings, which consisted of Power House, Operational Building and Guard House, was awarded to the Dominion Construction Company. The above contract, exclusive of water supply and fence, was completed August 31, 1942. The fence was completed without camouflage on December 15, 1942. The water supply has as yet not been installed.

In August, 1942, action taken by RCAF Station, Sea Island, with DAPS at Ottawa to fill the establishment for the Detachment. On August 19, 1942, the first personnel arrived and consisted of the following:-

Radio Officers

1

RDF Mechanic (G) NCO

0

RDF Operator NCO

0

RDF Mechanic (G) AC

5

RDF Operator AC

0

Security Guard

0

Diesel Oilers

0

Equip. Asst.

0

M.T. Drivers

0

Pilot Officer JN Dobbins C12601 arrived 29/AUG/42 on attached duty from #13 RCAF Detachment. On 7/SEP/42 installation party from WAC arrived in charge of F/S Michaels, MV for purpose of installing RDF equipment.

Works Construction personnel in charge of R101471 WOII Bates, W, reported 16 SEPT/42 to install power generating equipment.

Numerical Personnel List on 1 SEPT/42.

Radio Officers
 Att.

1
1

RDF Mechanic (G) NCO

0

RDF Operator NCO
 Att.

0
1

RDF Mechanic (G) AC

5

RDF Operator AC
 Att.

0
19

Security Guard

0

Diesel Oilers

0

Equip. Asst.

0

M.T. Drivers

0

Pilot Officer JN Dobbins on attached duty returned to #13 RCAF Detachment, Amphitrite Point on 24/OCT/42.

On 5/OCT/42 Diesels were completely installed, and power was available. Works Construction party then left for WAC.

Mr. WC Daniels from REL arrived here from #7 Detachment, Patricia Bay, BC to install aerial switching system in Gantry Hut. This work having been completed Mr. Daniels returned to REL.

RDF equipment installed by 1/OCT/42 and power was applied to Tx and Rx on 3/OCT/42.

Installation of heating equipment was started on 7/OCT/42 and completed one week later.

Eight Security Guards posted to this detachment, also one corporal and two AC's attached from RCAF Station, Sea Island.

On October 24, 1942, station became operational 24 hours daily.

Numerical Personnel list 1 NOV/42

Radio Officers

1

RDF Mechanic (G) NCO

1

RDF Operator NCO

1

RDF Mechanic (G) AC

7

RDF Operator AC

19

Security Guard

1 Sgt.
5 LAC
9 AC's

Diesel Oilers

0

Equip. Asst.

1 Cpl.

MT Drivers

0

Hastening action taken with WAC to provide Diesel Oilers and M.T. Drivers

All RDF operators were given a Navigation Course, authority WAC, by RCAF Station Navigation Officer, F/L Ramsay. Ten RDF Operators taking the first course which commenced 10/OCT/42, ending 24/OCT/42. Remaining RDF Operators took the second course beginning 28/OCT/42 and ending 12/NOV/42.

On Nov 13/NOV/42 this Detachment placed on a completely operational basis, with plotting and recording, as on active operational service.

C12600 P/O DB Meltzer arrived on attached duty from WAC to aid with the calibration of equipment.

Bolingbroke aircraft was assigned from #147 Squadron for calibration purposes on 30/NOV/42.

1 Dec 42

Numerical Strength of Unit as at Dec. 1, 1942.

Radio Officers
 (Attached)

1
1

RDF Mechanic (G) NCO

1 Sgt

RDF Operator NCO

1 Cpl

RDF Mechanic (G) AC

7

RDF Operator AC

18 AC's
1 L.A.C.

Security Guard

1 Sgt.
2 Cpls

Diesel Oilers

1 F/Sgt
1 Cpl
1 AC (GD)

Equip. Asst.

1 Cpl

MT Drivers

0

Weather: Light continuous rain. Fog & smoke increasing in late afternoon. Easterly wind 10 or less during morning, Westerly in afternoon. Plotting table and 10 - CRT's and spare RF and IF units for Rx. received by Security Xpress from #17 Equipment Depot at Ottawa. Installation of RT completed on this day; with RT Tx at Highbury operated by remote control, and at a freq. of 3805 Kc/s.Tx is type AT3. Type HRO Rx installed in operational building. Considerable interference on RT due to RDF Tx. was encountered. This intrference could not be eliminated.

2 Dec 42

Weather: Ceiling and visibility unlimited. Calibration flight attempted, but the assigned aircraft was unserviceable. Five new RDF mechanics (Ground) arrived today on attached duty from #9 RCAF Detachment. RDF equipment in good working order.

3 Dec 42

Weather: Skies overcast all day, visibility poor, light snow and rain during morning, light easterly wind. No unusual occurrences.

4 Dec 42

Weather: Skies clear all morning, visibility unlimited, fog and smoke during afternoon, and increasing. Light easterly wind. Calibration flight arranged for 1045 hour this morning. Just before take off of aircraft, instruments were found to be u/s, so the flight was called off.

5 Dec 42

Weather: Skies heavily overcast all day, with poor visibility, snow and light fog until mid afternoon. H/R tube on RX fast becoming u/s. K emission not sufficient to produce clear time trace. This defective CRT is a type 12EP7, and the only replacement available is the new type 12HP7 which has a different type base; and therefore requires a modification kit before it can be installed. As no Mod Kit is available, all CRT left in the Equipment for the time being.

6 Dec 42

Weather: Morning - partly cloudy, calm and considerable fog; becoming clear, with good visibility at noon. First calibration flight was taken this afternoon at an altitude of 18000. The main purpose of this flight is to find the azimuths at which the best signal to noise ration is received. The aircraft went out to 30 miles at an azimuth of 295 T, and then completely circled this Detachment at above range and altitude. The value of this flight was considerably lessened by the H/R CRT being approx 50% u/s. It was impossible to make height estimations or to determine S/N ratio.

7 Dec 42

Weather: Sky cloudy, visibility fair, with light snow and fog. Telephone cable (25 pair) installed today and tested by the BC Telephone Co. Magneto telephone used to RT TX at Highbury; also line connected from here to RCAF Station Sea Island local exchange board. New PPI tube installed in RX today.

8 Dec 42

Weather: Cloudy and calm. Visibility fair becoming good in late afternoon. Six RDF operators on attached duty from No 9 Detachment reported on attached duty to Signals Section, RCAF Station, Sea Island, authority WAC S-214-1-10(PS) d/28/NOV/42.

9 Dec 42

Weather: Low hanging clouds all day with light rain. Visibility poor. H/R tube 100% u/s now. Modification Kit for new type of H/R tube still not received, so an improvised socket was made, and new 12HP7 tube installed. This modification was successful and the equipment once more 100% efficient.

10 Dec 42

Weather: Overcast, slight NE wind. Visibility fair. Modification of #6 was carried out today. This consisted of installation of a by-pass condensers in the RF circuit, to decrease overloading in H/R time base.

11 Dec 42

Weather: Ceiling unlimited during early morning with scattered clouds forming and lowering and becoming overcast by noon. Light rain during afternoon. No unusual occurrences.

12 Dec 42

Weather: Cloudy- visibility poor. Scattered showers in morning and continuous light rain during afternoon. No unusual occurrences.

13 Dec 42

Weather: Overcast all day with light rain. Light fog all day improving for a short period about noon. No unusual occurrences.

14 Dec 42

Weather: Cloudy with light rain. Visibility fair. No unusual occurrence. Equipment in good working order.

15 Dec 42

Weather: Considerable fog all day with light rain. Calm. Visibility poor. No unusual occurrences.

16 Dec 42

Weather: Weather overcast with light rain until noon. Fog during afternoon and evening with visibility and ceiling near zero. Five new RDF operators posted to this Detachment from School of Fighter Control at Ottawa; reporting today.

17 Dec 42

Weather:Cloudy all morning. Clouds slowly lifting after 1300 hrs. Visibility good. No unusual occurrence.

18 Dec 42

Weather: Cloudy, with rain, smoke and fog until 1900 hrs, visibility poor. Some minor repairs made on RX today. Control Unit leads repaired. Brilliance on PPI very unsteady, caused by defect in deflection coil. This was repaired immediately.

19 Dec 42

Weather: Cloudy with light rain all day. Visibility poor. No unusual circumstances.

20 Dec 42

Weather: Overcast with light rain all morning, improving during afternoon, visibility fair. Heavy interference noted today on H/R and PPI trace caused by atmospheric conditions.

21 Dec 42

Weather: Scattered clouds, lowering during afternoon, visibility fair. No unusual occurrences.

22 Dec 42

Weather: Clear sky, visiblity unlimited. Calibration flight attempted at azimuth 295 T. Aircraft took off at 1445 hours, RT communications between this Detachment and aircraft not established. Later this Detachment advised that RT in aircraft was u/s. Aircraft reached altitude of 10,000 feet and then was called back to landing field by open order from Control Tower. No further flight was possible. Five RDF Mechanics (G) given a trade test for "A" grouping as per request by trade test officer F/L Nicholson. Only one of the five received sufficient marks to warrant "A" grouping. It was decided that due to the lack of operational experience, RDF operators would not be trade tested at this time.

23 Dec 42

Weather: Skies overcast all day. Easterly wind at 10 mph. No unusual occurrences.

24 Dec 42

Weather: Low heavy clouds. Rain, poor visibility all day. Equipment in good working order. PEs seen at 80 miles.

25 Dec 42

Weather: Clear bright day, becoming cloudy in later afternoon. No crew available for calibration flight. 50% of personnel on special Christmas 24 hour pass.

26 Dec 42

Weather: Cloudy, raining heavily with poor visibility. No unusual occurrences.

27 Dec 42

Weather: Overcast with poor visibility. SE wind 20 mph. No unusual occurrence.

28 Dec 42

Weather: Partly overcast with occasional showers. Visibility fair. Afternoon foggy. Calibration flight attempted today, but when aircraft was ready to take-off, a fairly heavy fog rolled in, and aircraft could not take off.

29 Dec 42

Weather: Ovecast and raining heavily, with NW wind, visibility poor. No unusual occurrences.

30 Dec 42

Weather: Cloudy and cold, with light rain and occasional snow. Visibility poor. No unusual occurrerences.

31 Dec 42

Weather: High overcast, lowering occasionally, visibility good all day. No crew available for calibration flight. P/O i Mudrick, Radio Officer from WAC visited Detachment today during tour of duty.

Strength:

Officers - 1
Officers Attached 1
Other Ranks - 56
Other Ranks Attached - 5

(G Schneider) Pilot Officer,
Officer Commanding,
#8 RCAF Detachment, Sea Island, BC.