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Canadian Forces Station Senneterre:

Opened as RCAF Station Senneterre on 1 June 1953, the home of No. 34 Aircraft Control & Warning Squadron, one of Canada’s Pinetree Line radar stations.

After the closure of CFS Val d’Or in 1976, CFS Senneterre took over Search and Rescue operations for Quebec’s northwestern region.

In 1985, DND announced that the Pinetree Line would be shut down as a part of the North American Air Defence Modernization Plan. As a result, CFS Senneterre closed on 1 August 1988.

Most of the buildings remain today.  The operations building was demolished after a fire in the early 1990s.  The height finder radar tower was demolished, but the other 2 radar towers remain.

Source Material: DND Press Releases from June 1989.


 

Canadian Forces Station Mont Apica:

Opened in 1952 as RCAF Station Mont Apica, with the radar functions being run by No. 201 Radio Station. No. 201 Radio Station was itself re-named No. 12 Aircraft Control & Warning Squadron. Part of the Station’s role was as a control centre for the fighter squadrons of Air Defence Command and a long-range radar station.

In 1963, The Intercept Controller School was established at the station, remaining until disbanding in 1969.

Technological changes made the station redundant and it closed in 1990.  No. 12 Radar Squadron was transferred to CFB Bagotville.

Nothing remains of CFS Mont Apacia today. 12 Radar Squadron relocated to 3 Wing Baggotvile where it continues to provide radar tracking for fighter aircrew training.

Additional Source Material: DND press release from May 1989 & July 1989.

 


 

Canadian Forces Station Chibougamau:

Opened on 1 May 1962 as RCAF Station Chibougamau, with the radar functions being run by No. 10 Aircraft Control & Warning Squadron, a Ground-Control Intercept unit with the job of directing fighter interceptors to oncoming enemy bombers. Chibougamau differed in layout in that while station headquarters and the domestic area was in the town proper, the operations site was some distance away a few miles north on a mountain-top.

The operating unit was re-designated 10 Radar Squadron in 1963 upon its automation.

The station was re-named CFS Chibougamau in 1968 as a result of the Unification.

In 1985, DND announced that the Pinetree Line would be shut down as a part of the North American Air Defence Modernization Plan. As a result, CFS Chibougamau closed 1 April 1988.

Most of the former station remains, with parts being used by the City of Chibougamau. The former PMQ area is now a golf course and the Officers’ Mess serves as the clubhouse.

The operations building was used briefly by Transport Canada, but was demolished in 1993.


 

Royal Canadian Air Force Station St Sylvester:

Opened in 1953 as RCAF Station Ste.-Marie, with the radar functions being run by No. 206 RCAF Radio Station. The radar unit was later re-named No. 13 Aircraft Control & Warning Squadron. The station itself was later re-named RCAF Station St.-Sylvestre.

Continued upgrades in radar equipment lead to greater coverage areas for Pinetree stations. As a result, stations like RCAF Station St.-Sylvestre were now deemed unnecessary as neighboring RCAF Stations were now able to cover St.-Sylvestre’s area of responsibility.  As a result, St.-Sylvestre closed in 1964.

All that remains of RCAF Station St.-Sylvestre today is the operation centre, one radar tower and the recreation centre.

The former station is now owned by Radar Domaine, an outdoor recreational tourism centre dedicated to providing a range of year-round activities and events for outdoor enthusiasts.

Additional source:  Radar Domaine – www.domaineduradar.com

 


 

Canadian Forces Station Lac St Denis:

Opened in 1952 as RCAF Station Lac St Denis, with the radar functions being run by No. 201 RCAF Radio Unit, later re-designated No. 11 AC & W Squadron.  At the same time, 1 AC&W Squadron was re-designated 1 Air Defence Control Centre and remained as such until its disbandment, as the Montreal NORAD Sector, on 15 September 1962.

The station became SAGE capable on 15 September 1962 and began to report to the Bangor Sector at Topsham AFS, Maine. In September 1963, 11 AC&W began reporting to the Ottawa Sector at CFB North Bay. At one time a detachment of 1 Radar and Communications School RCAF Station Clinton Ontario were training enlisted personnel as Fighter Control Operators at the station. In September 1965, a new basic trade school to train Air Defence Technicians was formed to meet the forecast trade shortage. By 1973, over 25 courses had been run with almost 500 graduates.

11 AC&W was the operation responsible for the control of all test flights of the CF-104 Starfighters being built at Canadair in Montreal. The aircraft would leave the Cartierville Airport and proceed to the testing area under positive control of Lac St. Denis.

With the Unification of the Forces, the station was re-named CFS Lac St. Denis.

In March 1972, CFS Lac St. Denis became a detachment of the North Bay based Air Weapons Control and Countermeasures School (AWC&CS). Eventually Lac St. Denis acquired the Air Weapons Control and Countermeasures School and they carried on training Air Defence Technicians for two more years. The school was later moved to CFB Falconbridge and then to its current location at North Bay, Ontario.

The Canadian NORAD Region’s ROCCs, both Canada East and Canada West, commenced operations in August 1984, with Lac St. Denis attached to Canada East.

The station ceased operations in December 1985 and finally closed on 1 August 1986.

Various business have occupied the site without ever achieving any long-term success, including transforming the former operations building into a medieval castle-themed restaurant called “Chateau Medieval Sire d’Howard (le)” (“The Medieval Castle of Sir Howard’).

The operations site is now abandoned.  All that remains is the abandoned and crumbling operations building, the concrete bases of the radar towers.

The PMQs are all that remain in the domestic area, some extensively remodeled, and are now private residences.

Source material: the personal recollections of the author (2004).


 

Canadian Forces Station Moisie:

Opened in 1953 as RCAF Station Moisie with the radar functions being run by No. 211 Aircraft Control & Warning Squadron.

The station was re-named CFS Moisie in 1968.

CFS Lac Moisie closed in 1986. The PMQs remain, as do some of the station’s buildings, but the main operations site was demolished in the 1980s.

 


 

Royal Canadian Air Force Station Parent:

Opened in 1953, with radar functions being run by No. 207 RCAF Radio Station. This was one of the last Pinetree stations to be built. The radar unit was later re-designated 14 Aircraft Control & Warning Squadron.

Continued upgrades in radar equipment lead to greater coverage areas for Pinetree stations. As a result, stations like RCAF Station Parent were now deemed unnecessary as neighboring RCAF Stations were now able to cover Parent’s area of responsibility.  As a result, Parent closed in 1964.

Only the PMQs remain today, some still inhabited, but little else other than the foundations of the demolished buildings.  All that remains of the operational site are the foundations and paved parking lot at the top of the mountain.

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