Military Communications and Electronics Museum | Musée de L'électronique et des communications militaires

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THE 1920's and 1930's

BIRTH OF RCAF TELECOM

1 April 1924 the Royal Canadian Air force (RCAF) was born. All ground communications requirements were provided by army signalmen. The RCAF was unique in that all members of the earlier Canadian Air force were released the previous day, those wishing to continue with the new RCAF were enrolled and began service under new common terms and conditions of service. This solution was not employed in 1968 when vested rights and multiple service and retirement plans carried over into Canada's new unified force.

In 1924 1 officer and 4 wireless operators were attached to the RCAF to provide communications for the RCAF in Jericho Beach, Vancouver. They provided wireless services and a pigeon loft of 36 birds. Between July and September of 1924 the RCAF's HS2L flying boats were equipped with wireless. After extensive air-ground-air trials, wireless supported coastal patrols became routine.

By 1931 the RCAF Communications System had grown to 3 networks and 15 stations manned by Army Signals.

Following massive cuts in 1932, the RCCS could no longer support the RCAF's signal service. In future, this would have to come from the RCAF's own shrinking resources.

On October 1934 the RCAF commenced its own signal training in Bordon, Ontario, formed around a core of personnel trained or transferred from the RCCS. Thus began the Signals Branch of the RCAF, later to be the Telecommunications Branch.