Pinetree Line

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

 
Jump to: navigation, search
A rough map of the three warning lines. From north to south: Distant Early Warning (DEW) Line, Mid-Canada Line, and Pinetree Line.

The Pinetree Line was a series of radar stations located across the northern United States and southern Canada at about the 50th parallel north, along with a number of other stations located on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. Run by NORAD (after its creation), over half were manned by United States Air Force personnel with the balance operated by the Royal Canadian Air Force. The line was the first coordinated system for early detection of a Soviet bomber attack on North America, but the early 1950s radar technology quickly became outdated and the line was in full operation only for a short time.

History[edit]

Plans for what would become the Pinetree Line were underway as early as 1946 within the Permanent Joint Board on Defence (PJBD), a Canadian-U.S. organization. However, the costs of running such a system in the post-war era was too high, and instead Canada concentrated on the areas around Ontario and Quebec, while the United States set up stations in the Midwest and along the eastern seaboard.

With the successful test of an atomic bomb in the USSR, plans changed considerably. In 1949 Congress agreed to a $161 million construction program in co-operation with the RCAF, for a continuous line of stations across southern Canada. The USAF's Continental Air Command and the RCAF met in October 1950 to start planning, and in January 1951 the PJBD presented Recommendation 51/1 for the Extension of the Continental Radar Defence System. The USAF later requested an additional set of six (potentially) mobile stations to provide low-level coverage. It was later learned that the original radar systems performed better than expected, and a number of the mobile sites were never deployed.

The system was eventually deployed as a series of 33 main stations and 6 smaller "gap fillers". The majority of these ran in a line at about the 53rd parallel in the west (to offer coverage of major Canadian cities) and about the 50th parallel in the east. A second line ran up the eastern seaboard from the southern tip of Nova Scotia to the southern tip of Baffin Island. Of these, 22 of the main stations and all of the gap fillers were paid for by the USAF, leaving 11 to the RCAF. However 16 of the main stations were manned by RCAF personnel. On 1 January 1955, the system was officially handed over to RCAF command, and over time an additional 10 stations were added.

The Pinetree Line had several technical problems that limited its usefulness almost immediately. For one, the system used a "classic" pulsed mode radar, which made it unable to detect targets close to the ground due to "clutter". Another was that its location near population centres meant it offered only a "last minute" warning, and as the USSR moved to jet-powered bombers the warning time was falling. Studies were already underway in 1951 to build a much smaller series of much more capable Doppler radar stations somewhat further north, which would develop into the Mid-Canada Line, and just over a year after MCL, a more advanced system in the extreme north was built which would be known as the DEW Line.

The Pinetree stations were kept operational during this period, and most underwent modifications as a part of the deployment of SAGE. SAGE dramatically reduced the workload at the stations, cutting staff requirements by well over half. By the later 1950s some were being mothballed as newer systems came on line to the north. Nevertheless many of the Pinetree stations were kept operational into the 1980s, particularly on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts.

Radar stations[edit]

Site NumberNameProvinceLocationUnitServiceActivatedInactivated
C-53CFS AlsaskSK Saskatchewan51°22′00″N 109°58′59″W / 51.36667°N 109.98306°W / 51.36667; -109.98306 (CFS Alsask AS C-21)44 Aircraft Control and Warning (later Radar) SquadronRCAF19531986
C-15CFS ArmstrongON Ontario50°18′19″N 089°00′49″W / 50.30528°N 89.01361°W / 50.30528; -89.01361 (Armstrong C-15)914th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron
38 Aircraft Control and Warning (later Radar) Squadron
USAF
RCAF
19521974
C-20CFS Baldy HughesBC British Columbia53°37′06″N 122°56′08″W / 53.61833°N 122.93556°W / 53.61833; -122.93556 (Baldy Hughes C-20)918th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron
54 Aircraft Control and Warning (later Radar) Squadron
USAF
RCAF
19531988
C-102CFS BarringtonNS Nova Scotia43°27′06″N 065°28′17″W / 43.45167°N 65.47139°W / 43.45167; -65.47139 (Barrington C-102)}672d Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron
23 Aircraft Control and Warning (later Radar) Squadron
USAF
RCAF
19571990
C-17CFS BeausejourMB Manitoba50°08′53″N 096°13′24″W / 50.14806°N 96.22333°W / 50.14806; -96.22333 (Beausejour C-17)916th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron
48 Aircraft Control and Warning (later Radar) Squadron
USAF
RCAF
19531988
C-11RCAF BeaverbankNS Nova Scotia44°55′49″N 063°43′33″W / 44.93028°N 63.72583°W / 44.93028; -63.72583 (Beaverbank C-11)22 Aircraft Control and Warning (later Radar) SquadronRCAF19541964
C-21RCAF Saskatoon Mountain
CFS Beaverlodge
AB Alberta55°13′51″N 119°18′19″W / 55.23083°N 119.30528°W / 55.23083; -119.30528 (Beaverlodge C-21)919th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron
57 Aircraft Control and Warning (later Radar) Squadron
USAF
RCAF
19531988
N-28ACape Makkovik Air StationNL Newfoundland and Labrador55°13′30″N 059°08′45″W / 55.22500°N 59.14583°W / 55.22500; -59.14583 (Cape Makkovik N-28A)923d Aircraft Control and Warning SquadronUSAF19571961
N-27Cartwright Air StationNL Newfoundland and Labrador53°43′28″N 056°57′51″W / 53.72444°N 56.96417°W / 53.72444; -56.96417 (Cartwright N-27)922d Aircraft Control and Warning SquadronUSAF19531968
C-42CFS ChibougamauQC Quebec49°56′53″N 074°20′03″W / 49.94806°N 74.33417°W / 49.94806; -74.33417 (Chibougamau C-42)10 Aircraft Control and Warning (later Radar) SquadronRCAF19621988
C-36CFS Cold LakeAB Alberta54°26′05″N 110°10′47″W / 54.43472°N 110.17972°W / 54.43472; -110.17972 (Cold Lake C-36)42 Aircraft Control and Warning (later Radar) SquadronRCAF19541991
C-35CFB ComoxBC British Columbia49°42′39″N 124°53′12″W / 49.71083°N 124.88667°W / 49.71083; -124.88667 (Comox C-35)51 Aircraft Control and Warning (later Radar) SquadronRCAF19541958
N-27ACut Throat Island Air StationNL Newfoundland and Labrador59°29′47″N 057°08′00″W / 59.49639°N 57.13333°W / 59.49639; -57.13333 (Cut Throat Island N-27A)922d Aircraft Control and Warning SquadronUSAF19571961
C-52CFS DanaSK Saskatchewan52°16′42″N 105°46′09″W / 52.27833°N 105.76917°W / 52.27833; -105.76917 (Dana C-52)45 Aircraft Control and Warning (later Radar) SquadronRCAF19641987
C-4CFS EdgarON Ontario44°31′47″N 079°39′33″W / 44.52972°N 79.65917°W / 44.52972; -79.65917 (Edgar C-4)31 Aircraft Control and Warning (later Radar) SquadronRCAF19531964
N-22BElliston Ridge Air StationNL Newfoundland and Labrador48°37′33″N 053°03′31″W / 48.62583°N 53.05861°W / 48.62583; -53.05861 (Elliston Ridge N-22B)642d Aircraft Control and Warning SquadronUSAF19571961
C-9CFS FalconbridgeON Ontario46°37′34″N 080°50′36″W / 46.62611°N 80.84333°W / 46.62611; -80.84333 (Falconbridge C-9)33 Aircraft Control and Warning (later Radar) SquadronRCAF19521986
N-27CFox Harbour Air StationNL Newfoundland and Labrador52°22′12″N 055°39′52″W / 52.37000°N 55.66444°W / 52.37000; -55.66444 (Fox Harbour N-27C)922d Aircraft Control and Warning SquadronUSAF19571961
C-3CFS FoymountON Ontario45°26′01″N 077°18′08″W / 45.43361°N 77.30222°W / 45.43361; -77.30222 (Foymount C-3)32 Aircraft Control and Warning (later Radar) SquadronRCAF19521974
N-31Frobisher Bay ABNU Nunavut63°45′21″N 068°32′23″W / 63.75583°N 68.53972°W / 63.75583; -68.53972 (robisher Bay N-31)926th Aircraft Control and Warning SquadronUSAF19531961
N-25CFB GanderNL Newfoundland and Labrador48°56′36″N 054°34′57″W / 48.94333°N 54.58250°W / 48.94333; -54.58250 (Gander N-25)226 Aircraft Control and Warning (later Radar) SquadronRCAF19531990
C-24Goose Air Force BaseNL Newfoundland and Labrador53°19′09″N 060°25′33″W / 53.31917°N 60.42583°W / 53.31917; -60.42583 (Goose Bay C-24)Goose Air Defense Sector
64th Air Division
37th Air Division
USAF19531971
C-49CFS GypsumvilleMB Manitoba51°39′51″N 098°44′31″W / 51.66417°N 98.74194°W / 51.66417; -98.74194 (Gypsumville C-49)47 Aircraft Control and Warning (later Radar) SquadronRCAF19621987
C-18CFS HolbergBC British Columbia50°38′25″N 128°07′48″W / 50.64028°N 128.13000°W / 50.64028; -128.13000 (Holberg C-18)501 Aircraft Control and Warning (later Radar) Squadron
53 Radar Squadron
RCAF19541991
N-28Hopedale Air StationNL Newfoundland and Labrador55°27′59″N 060°13′47″W / 55.46639°N 60.22972°W / 55.46639; -60.22972 (Hopedale N-28)}923d Aircraft Control and Warning SquadronUSAF19531968
C-153CFS KamloopsBC British Columbia50°48′08″N 120°07′36″W / 50.80222°N 120.12667°W / 50.80222; -120.12667 (Kamloops C-153)825th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron
56 Aircraft Control and Warning (later Radar) Squadron
USAF
RCAF
19571988
C-2CFS Lac St. DenisQC Quebec45°56′15″N 074°18′41″W / 45.93750°N 74.31139°W / 45.93750; -74.31139 (Lac St. Denis C-2)11 Aircraft Control and Warning (later Radar) SquadronRCAF19521986
N-26BLa Scie Air StationNL Newfoundland and Labrador49°58′50″N 055°31′48″W / 49.98056°N 55.53000°W / 49.98056; -55.53000 (La Scie N-26B)921st Aircraft Control and Warning SquadronUSAF19571961
C-119CFS LowtherON Ontario49°33′21″N 082°59′31″W / 49.55583°N 82.99194°W / 49.55583; -82.99194 (Lowther C-119)639th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron
36 Aircraft Control and Warning (later Radar) Squadron
USAF
RCAF
19571987
N-24Melville Air StationNL Newfoundland and Labrador53°17′45″N 060°32′24″W / 53.29583°N 60.54000°W / 53.29583; -60.54000 (Melville N-24)107th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron
641st Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron
641 Aircraft Control and Radar Squadron
USAF
RCAF
19531988
C-33CFS MoisieQC Quebec50°11′39″N 066°05′16″W / 50.19417°N 66.08778°W / 50.19417; -66.08778 (Moisie C-33)211 Aircraft Control and Warning (later Radar) SquadronRCAF19531988
C-1CFS Mont ApicaQC Quebec47°58′41″N 071°25′51″W / 47.97806°N 71.43083°W / 47.97806; -71.43083 (Mont Apice C-1)12 Aircraft Control and Warning (later Radar) SquadronRCAF19521990
C-44CFS MoosoneeON Ontario51°17′10″N 080°37′23″W / 51.28611°N 80.62306°W / 51.28611; -80.62306 (Moosonee C-44)15 Aircraft Control and Warning (later Radar) SquadronRCAF19611975
C-14RCAF Station PagwaON Ontario50°01′04″N 085°15′06″W / 50.01778°N 85.25167°W / 50.01778; -85.25167 (Pagwa C-14)913th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron
37 Aircraft Control and Warning (later Radar) Squadron
USAF
RCAF
19521966
C-7RCAF ParentQC Quebec47°53′15″N 074°40′09″W / 47.88750°N 74.66917°W / 47.88750; -74.66917 (Parent C-7)14 Aircraft Control and Warning (later Radar) SquadronRCAF19541964
C-54CFS PenholdAB Alberta52°11′16″N 113°34′41″W / 52.18778°N 113.57806°W / 52.18778; -113.57806 (Penhold C-54)43 Aircraft Control and Warning (later Radar) SquadronRCAF19641986
C-19RCAF Station Puntzi MountainBC British Columbia52°09′41″N 124°12′22″W / 52.16139°N 124.20611°W / 52.16139; -124.20611 (Puntzi Mountain C-19)917th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron
55 Aircraft Control and Warning (later Radar) Squadron
USAF
RCAF
19521966
C-10CFS RamoreON Ontario48°25′37″N 080°14′30″W / 48.42694°N 80.24167°W / 48.42694; -80.24167 (Ramore C-10)912th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron
35 Aircraft Control and Warning (later Radar) Squadron
USAF
RCAF
19531974
N-30CFS Resolution IslandNU Nunavut61°35′47″N 064°38′18″W / 61.59639°N 64.63833°W / 61.59639; -64.63833 (Resolution Island N-30)920th Aircraft Control and Warning SquadronUSAF19511961
N-29Saglek Air StationNL Newfoundland and Labrador58°29′19″N 062°35′08″W / 58.48861°N 62.58556°W / 58.48861; -62.58556 (Saglek N-29)924th Aircraft Control and Warning SquadronUSAF19531970
C-8CFS SenneterreQC Quebec48°21′41″N 077°13′21″W / 48.36139°N 77.22250°W / 48.36139; -77.22250 (Senneterre C-8)34 Aircraft Control and Warning (later Radar) SquadronRCAF19531988
C-16CFS Sioux LookoutON Ontario50°04′59″N 092°00′08″W / 50.08306°N 92.00222°W / 50.08306; -92.00222 (Sioux Lookout C-16)915th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron
39 Aircraft Control and Warning (later Radar) Squadron
USAF
RCAF
19531987
N-27BSpotted Island Air StationNL Newfoundland and Labrador53°31′05″N 055°44′56″W / 53.51806°N 55.74889°W / 53.51806; -55.74889 (Spotted Island N-27B)922d Aircraft Control and Warning SquadronUSAF19571961
N-26Saint Anthony Air StationNL Newfoundland and Labrador51°20′57″N 055°36′39″W / 51.34917°N 55.61083°W / 51.34917; -55.61083 (Saint Anthony N-26)921st Aircraft Control and Warning SquadronUSAF19531968
N-22Red Cliff Air Station
St. Johns Air Station
NL Newfoundland and Labrador47°38′20″N 052°40′02″W / 47.63889°N 52.66722°W / 47.63889; -52.66722 (Red Cliff N-22)642d Aircraft Control and Warning SquadronUSAF19531961
C-5CFS St. MargaretsNB New Brunswick46°54′31″N 065°12′31″W / 46.90861°N 65.20861°W / 46.90861; -65.20861 (St. Margarets C-5)21 Aircraft Control and Warning (later Radar) SquadronRCAF19531988
C-6RCAF St. SylvestreQC Quebec46°22′04″N 071°13′51″W / 46.36778°N 71.23083°W / 46.36778; -71.23083 (St. Sylvestre C-6)206 Aircraft Control and Warning (later Radar) SquadronRCAF19551964
N-23Stephenville Air StationNL Newfoundland and Labrador48°35′21″N 058°39′51″W / 48.58917°N 58.66417°W / 48.58917; -58.66417 (Stephenville N-23)105th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron
640th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron
USAF19521971
C-34CFS SydneyNS Nova Scotia46°10′03″N 060°09′52″W / 46.16750°N 60.16444°W / 46.16750; -60.16444 (Sydney C-34)221 Aircraft Control and Warning (later Radar) SquadronRCAF19541991
C-36RCAF TofinoBC British Columbia49°04′55″N 125°46′51″W / 49.08194°N 125.78083°W / 49.08194; -125.78083 (Tofino C-36)52 Aircraft Control and Warning SquadronRCAF19551957
C-51CFS YorktonSK Saskatchewan51°17′41″N 102°36′21″W / 51.29472°N 102.60583°W / 51.29472; -102.60583 (Yorkton C-51)46 Aircraft Control and Warning (later Radar) SquadronRCAF19631986

See also[edit]

References[edit]

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.

External links[edit]