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NOVA SCOTIA

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.

Today, the former CFS Sydney is known as Pine Tree Park Estates. Carefield Manor, a nursing home, occupies the former station HQ building. Some of the station’s buildings remain, including the PMQs.

An unmanned Canadian Coastal Radar station, one of three on Canada’s East Coast, was also established to carry on with CFS Sydney’s radar duties.

Additional Source material: The Communications & Electronics Museum site’s www.c-and-e-museum.org, DND press release from July 1989.


Canadian Forces Station Barrington:

Originally opened in 1957 near Baccaro, Nova Scotia, as Barrington Air Force Station of the United States Air Force, near the site of a former World War II Royal Canadian Navy radar station, with the radar functions being run by No. 627 Aircraft Control & Warning Squadron.

As a Ground Control Intercept base, the role of 627 AC&WS was to guide interceptor aircraft toward unidentified intruders picked up on the unit’s radar scopes. These interceptors were based at the 26th NORAD Region bases at Loring AFB and Dow AFB, Maine.

Control of the station was transferred to the RCAF on 1 June 1962, with the radar functions being run by No. 23 Aircraft Control & Warning Squadron. This was part of an arrangement with the United States that came as a result of the cancellation of the Avro Arrow. Canada would lease 66 F-101 Voodoo fighters and take over operation of 12 Pinetree radar bases.  The operating unit was re-designated 23 Aircraft Control & Warning Squadron and the base became RCAF Station Barrington.

Radar operations at 23 Squadron were automated on 1 July 1964 by the Semi Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE) system, and the station became a long-range radar site. It would no longer guide interceptors but only look for enemy aircraft, feeding data to the Boston Air Defense Sector SAGE DC-02 Direction Center of the 26th NORAD Region.

With the Unification of the Forces, the station was renamed CFS Barrington. The newly established 213 Radar Squadron reported to the 21st NORAD Region SAGE DC-03 Direction Center at Syracuse AFS.

In 1971 the Canadian Forces constructed a mobile home subdivision on Sherose Island 27 km west of the station for housing personnel and their families. Beginning in 1983, CFS Barrington began reporting to Canada East ROCC at CFB North Bay.

The long range early warning radar became obsolete by the late 1980s and the facility was decommissioned on August 1, 1990. The Baccaro Point site currently hosts an unmanned Canadian Coastal Radar station, one of three on Canada’s East Coast, was established at the site (Fighter Group / Canadian NORAD Region – Detachment Barrington) to carry on with CFS Barrington’s radar duties. The site is controlled remotely from the NORAD bunker at 22 wing North Bay.


Royal Canadian Air Force Station Beaverbank:

Opened in 1954 as RCAF Station Beaverbank, with the radar functions being run by No. 22 Aircraft Control & Warning Squadron.

RCAF Station Beaverbank occupied a unique location in proximity to Canada’s largest Atlantic seaport and its biggest naval base, making it an important early warning radar during the manual environment of the 1950s. Since manned bomber raids by the Soviet Union in the area were considered quite likely, it was felt that RCAF Station Beaverbank fulfilled a critical role in the early days of Canada’s and North America’s air defence.

The radar unit itself was manually operated and reported to the Fredericton NORAD Sector at RCAF Station St. Margarets until September 1962, when this was changed to the Bangor NORAD Sector at Topsham AFS.

The station had a short life as it closed in 1 April 1964, made redundant by technoligical advances such as the implementation of the Semi-automatic Ground Environment (SAGE) system.

When the Royal Canadian Navy were looking for a replacement site for Naval Radio Station Albro Lake, the Beaverbank site was considered, but ultimately it was not chosen.

In the mid 70s the base was converted to a concrete plant. This was only used for a few years before the base was abandoned then resold.

Today, all that remains is the operations building, abandoned and crumbling, and the base headquarters, which was turned into a nursing home called Ivy Medows Retirement Homes.  The remaining buildings and PMQs were demolished in the fall of 2004.

It is noteworthy that Warrant Officer 1 (Ret’d) C.L. Grocer, holds the distinction of being the one man who saw both the birth and death of RCAF Station Beaverbank.  The “unofficial first CO” of Beaverbank, WO1 Grover was the first and only RCAF member on-site, serving as foreman of works from September to December 1953, when the buildings were being accepted by the RCAF from the civilian contractor.  After serving three years at Beaverbank, WO1 Grover was posted to No. 1 Air Division in Eurpoe.  Upon his retirement from the RCAF in 1963, WO1 Grover accepted a position with the Corps of Commissionaires, manning the main gate at Beaverbank.  When the station closed in 1964, Grover was there to close the station.  “I was here to open the station and I’ll be her to close it,” said Grover; “the first and last CO of RCAF Station Beaverbank”.

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