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The Pinetree Line

In the early 1950s the Pinetree Line network of radar stations was established. This line, which stretched along the 50th parallel, down the eastern coast and into southern Ontario and Quebec, acted as an early warning detection system against a Soviet air attack. The Pinetree Line was shut down in the mid 1980s as part of the North American Air Defence Modernization Plan.

For the full history of the following former Pinetree Radar stations, visit the Ren L’Ecuyer’s Pinetree Line web site – or Larry Wilson’s Radar Tech Page –

or read “Abandoned Military Installations of Canada Volume I: Ontario”, “Abandoned Military Installations of Canada Volume II: Quebec” and “Abandoned Military Installations of Canada Volume III: Atlantic by Author Paul Ozorak.

The source material that I used is from the above sources and any others listed in the individual entry.

Unless indicated, no military presence remains at the former Pinetree Stations.

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42 Radar Squadron Cold Lake See “Abandoned Military Bases – Alberta” 43 Radar Squadron: One of the last Pinetree stations to open, the facility opened in 1964 at a site 14 miles from RCAF Station Penhold, who provided support to the facility.  The radar station was SAGE-capable station with the FPR-27 Search, FPS-26 and FPS-506 …

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Canadian Forces Station Kamloops: Established as part of the Pinetree Line of radar stations in 1958 as Kamloops Air Station and operated by No. 825 Aircraft Control & Warning Squadron of the United States Air Force, one of the many that would make up the Pinetree Line of Ground-Control Intercept (GCI) radar sites. As a …

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Canadian Forces Station Beausejour: Opened in 1953 as Beausejour Air Force Station of the United States Air Force, with the radar functions being run by No. 916 Aircraft Control & Warning Squadron.  As a Ground-Control Intercept base, the 915th’s role was to guide interceptor aircraft toward unidentified intruders picked up on the unit’s radar scopes. …

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Canadian Forces Base Chatham – St Margaret’s Detachment: Opened in 1952 as RCAF Station St Margaret’s, the home of No. 2 Aircraft Control & Warning Unit (AC&W), which replaced the disbanded 2 ADCC from RCAF Station Chatham. In 1953, RCAF Station St Margaret’s became part of the newly formed Pinetree Line, a network of radar …

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Cartwright Air Station (United States Air Force): Opened in 1953 as Cartwright Air Force Station of the United States Air Force, with the radar functions being run by No. 922 Aircraft Control & Warning Squadron. Advances in radar technology eventually made the station unnecessary and as a result. the station closed in June 1968. Only …

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Resolution Island Air Force Station (United States Air Force): Opened in 1954 as Resolution Island Air Force Station of the United States Air Force, with the radar functions being run by No. 920 Aircraft Control & Warning Squadron. The station would guide interceptors from the 64th Air Division at RCAF Station Goose Bay. Although officially …

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Canadian Forces Station Sydney: Opened as part of the Pinetree Line of radar stations on the On 15 March 1953, located on the northern fringes of the city, with the radar functions being run by No. 221 Aircraft Control & Warning Squadron. The station was re-named CFS Sydney. Canadian Forces Station Sydney closed in 1993. …

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Canadian Forces Station Armstrong: Opened in 1954 as Armstrong Air Station of the United States Air Force, with the radar functions being run by No. 914 Aircraft Control & Warning Squadron. On 1 April 1963 Armstrong was connected to the Semi Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE) system, and the station became a long-range radar site. Also …

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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 …

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Canadian Forces Station Yorkton: RCAF Station Yorkton opened as a Pinetree Line radar station on 15 October 1962, about 10 miles west of the former wartime training base No. 11 Service Flying Training School. 46 Radar Squadron was formed to handle the radar duties, reporting to the Central NORAD Region. The station was re-named CFS …

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  1. Dora

    Dear Sir; I spent a short time in the RCAF, 1957-9, and have been searching for any archive photos and information on Manning Depot, St. John, QC. Unfortunately, there seems to be little or no information available. Have you any suggestions?
    Thank you.

    1. Michel Demers

      try St-Jean, QC or Saint-Jean QC

  2. Mac Fish

    There are stories about that allege there was an RCAF base on Lake Winnipeg, Manitoba at Victoria Beach. I can find no record on the net to verify this. Did this base exist? It may have been before 1930.

    1. Bruce Forsyth

      Hi Mac,

      Thanks for stopping by my web site. There was a RCAF base at Victoria Beach that existed around 1930, but unfortunately, I don’t have any information other than that. If you find something, please let me know.


      1. Hal

        Victoria Beach was established in 1921 as a flying boat detachment of Canadian Air Force Station Winnipeg to conduct aerial surveys and fire patrols between Lake Winnipeg and the Ontario border, and along the northern ends of the larger Manitoba lakes. “Royal” was added to the title in 1924 (RCAF). Forestry duty became the RCAF’s priority tasking until the responsibility was shed to the provinces in late-1930. The Victoria Beach det initially flew H2SL “flying boats” for fire spotting, upgrading to the Vickers Viking in 1923 and the Vickers Vedette in 1925. Arrival of the Vickers Varuna in 1926 enabled active fire suppression (mooring the aircraft and pumping lakewater onto the fire), even though aircraft performance was often wanting, especially with waterlogged floats (pilots kept to large lakes). Arrival of the Vickers Vancouver in late 1929 corrected many of the deficiencies but, a specialized aircraft, it essentially had no job when the RCAF exited forest fire fighting a year later. Radio communications remained difficult – pilots flew with two pigeons, one to relay in-flight report of fires spotted and the 2nd to send signal the plane was crashed, stuck or broken down at a remote Manitoba lake. Considered a poor harbour, RCAF operations moved from Victoria Beach to Lac du Bonnet in 1926/7, retaining only a limited logistic support capability (e.g. refueling)

        1. Bruce Forsyth

          Hi Hal,

          Thanks for stopping by my web site and for the information.


  3. martin brassard

    Bonjour. moi je Cherche quelqu’un qui pourrait répondre a mes questions.

    Ou peut-ont trouver des photos d’archive des la construction des bases militaire pinetree line en particulier celle de Senneterre en abitibi au Québec.

    Nous aimerions reconstituer le site pour en faire un lieu touristique mais Il nous manque des éléments.
    Voici mon adresse si vous voulez me parler en privé.

    1. Bruce Forsyth

      Bonjour, je suis en utilisant Google translate, alors j’espère que cela a du sens.
      Le meilleur endroit pour trouver des photos et plans sur n’importe quelle station de la ligne Pinetree, y compris de Senneterre, est des bibliothèques et Archives Canada à Ottawa. Le deuxième meilleur endroit est le site web de ligne Pinetree, que vous trouverez à ://
      Bonne chance.

      1. martin brassard

        Thank’s i Will checker that.

  1. Abandoned Military Base - CFS Foymount - Exploration Project

    […] CFS Foymount opened in 1952 as a radar and warning station. The radar was situation on top of 535 metre hill and was a part of the Pine Tree Line of Norad (North American Aerospace Defense Command) radar stations. These stations provided early warning in the case of a Soviet nuclear attack, which was of course, a looming concern at the time. CFS Foymount, however, was closed in 1974 due to other radar stations being powerful enough to cover its area of operation. […]

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