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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 Height Finder radars as well as the FTS-2 Data Processor and the GATR site.

The squadron had actually opened 2 years earlier and operated out of a hangar at Penhod until the new site opened.  Most radar personnel lived at the newly constructed Vista Village PMQ area in Red Deer until the mid 1970s.

During 1973-74, an Air Defence Command school was formed to administer the Junior Leadership Course offered to Non Commissioned Officers within ADC. The school was closed on 23 June 1986.

In August 1984, the squadron became part of Canada West ROCC.

43 Radar Squadron disbanded on 1 August 1986 and the radar site was closed.

Nothing remains of the radar station today. The station’s FPS-6X Height Finder radar was moved and mounted at CFB Penhold as a monument to the men and women of 43 Radar Squadron.

Canadian Forces Station Beaverlodge:

Opened 5 miles northeast of Beaverlodge in February 1953 as Saskatoon Mountain Air Force Station of the United States Air Force, with the radar functions being run by No. 919 Aircraft Control & Warning Squadron. The station was equipped with AN/FPS-3C, AN/FPS-502, AN/FPS-20A; AN/TPS-502, and AN/FPS-6B radars.

As a GCI base, the 915th’s role was to guide interceptor aircraft toward unidentified intruders picked up on the unit’s radar scopes. These interceptors were based at Larson Air Force Base in Washington.

The Ground Air Transmitting Receiving (GATR) Site for communications was located approximately 1 mile southwest from the main site.

Control of the station was transferred to the RCAF on 1 April 1963, with the radar functions being run by No. 57 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 57 Aircraft Control & Warning Squadron and the base, RCAF Station Saskatoon Mountain.

In November 1963, 57 AC&W Squadron, RCAF Station Saskatoon Mountain became 57 Radar Squadron, RCAF Station Beaverlodge.

On 1 May 1964 radar operations at 57 Squadron were automated with the implementation of the Semi Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE) system 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 Spokane Air Defense Sector SAGE DC-15 Direction Center of the 25th NORAD Region at Larson AFB, Washington.

As a result of the Unification of the Forces, the station was re-named Canadian Forces Station Beaverlodge in 1966. Also in 1966, the facilities at Larson AFB were closed, and CFS Beaverlodge was switched to the SAGE Direction Center at McChord AFB, Washington.

The station was administratively accountable to Canadian Forces Air Defence Command, and its successor Fighter Group. In August 1984, Beaverlodge became part of the Canada West ROCC. The station carried on its assigned duties until operations ceased on 1 April 1988.

Several of the former CFS Beaverlodge’s buildings remained until the mid 1990s, when they were all demolished. Nothing remains of the former station today.

Permanent link to this article: https://militarybruce.com/abandoned-canadian-military-bases/pinetree-line/alberta/


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  1. Barb

    There was a radar station in Gunn Alberta, the facilities are being used by the McCullough Centre.

    I don’t know much about it but I believe it closed in the 50s, the centre is using some of the old PMQs

    1. Bruce Forsyth

      Hi Barb,

      Thanks stopping by my web site and for the information about the radar station. I’ll have to look into it.


  2. Claude Couture

    I was posted at CFB Penhold in 1978-81, working at the GATR site. Amazing to see a photo of the site after so many years, thanks.

    1. Bruce Forsyth

      Hi Claude,

      Thanks for stopping by my web site. If you have any photos that you wish to share, I would appreciate seeing them.


  3. mario paradis

    i sas the station médoc from 1982 to 1984, the best posting of m’y life.
    By the way m’y name is Mario Paradis. (MCPL).

  4. Barbara

    Hi Bruce. I just came across this site. I loved it! I am trying to find my daughter’s birth mom who was at the Beaverlodge base in 1984. “Jessica Michelle” was born at the Beaverlodge Hospital Sept 29/1984. Mother’s age 22 years. Is there a certain person I should contact? It was my understanding that both bio parents were Air Defense technicians. Very sincerely, Barb. My email can be published:

    1. Bruce Forsyth

      Hi Barbara,

      Thanks for stopping by my web site and for the good words. Unfortunately, I don’t know who would be your best contact. The only things I can think of is if you can find out the name of the adoption agency or even the CF Medical Services to see if they keep records of births at military hospitals. A lot of people stop by my web site, so hopefully someone will see this post and contact you.


  5. Clement

    I was stationed at the 919th Beaverlodge Alberta in 1956…it hit -55 F a few times…

    1. Bruce Forsyth

      Thanks for stopping by my web site. If you have any photos or stories from your time at Beaverlodge that you would like to share, please send them to bruce@militarybruce.com

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