Less We Forget Poppy


The Life and Times of Hubert Brooks M.C. C.D.
A Canadian Hero

Less We Forget Poppy


Chapter 15: August 1965 to July 1967 : R.C.A.F. Radar Station Moisie, Quebec

15.3 R.C.A.F. RADAR BASE MOISIE

Graphic Aerial Map of RCAF Moisie and associated GATOR computer site
Postcard Showing Call Sign for Amateur Radio Club at RCAF Moisie.
Postcard was mailed to Contacted Party
Postcard Call Sign for Amateur Radio Club at RCAF Moisie Sent to Contacted Party

 
 
 
 

Operationally we had three radars, with the major units being the FPS–26 (Canadian General Electric Height Finding Radar) and FPS–27 that served us well.

The radars were supported by a remote facility located about half a mile down the road called the Ground Air Transmit Receive (GATR) facility (constructed by Northern Electric Company) with the Burroughs Corporation AN/FPS–2 SAGE computer.

We were part of the NORAD Surveillance system feeding into Bangor, Maine.

The base was responsible for maintenance of both the radar and GATR computer facility. There were many problems on the mechanical side including: frozen heat exchanges, and antenna rotation and calibration difficulties on all three radars.

Like most remotely located R.C.A.F. Stations the base was essentially a self contained entity.

On base there were:

Teen Club Membership Card at RCAF Moisie
Drawing: Site PLan of RCAF Moisie

The Station has an active Fish & Game Club equipped with four motor boats. The Moisie River is known to be one of the best Atlantic Salmon fishing grounds on the North American continent. Brook and sea trout may also be caught in these waters. The St. Lawrence River abounds in cod, halibut and mackerel. Clams can be dug up on the sand flats at the mouth of the Moisie River. During the month of May, a small smelt like fish, the caplan, literally rolls with the waves onto the beaches. The eager trout fisherman can take his tent and sleeping bag on the Quebec North Shore and Labrador Railway to find almost virgin spots.

The children loved the self contained environment which focused friendships and with the range of facilities they certainly had enough to do.

Many families also very much enjoyed the environment and several officers and air men campaigned to be re–posted to the base. The summers at Moisie were pleasant, with the temperature often rising above 70 degrees F almost always accompanied by a light breeze. Winters brought heavy snow falls enjoyed by all since the temperatures seldom fell below 0 degrees.

In Moisie on the north shore of the St Lawrence River, the winters were long with lots of snow and the summers could be reasonably warm (mid to high 60s) with lots of black flies. We needed to constantly spray around the station to keep base personnel from being eaten alive – the problem was severe if you went off base – as a lot of blueberry pickers quickly found out.

As CO I and my officer team had both the expected day–to–day issues to deal with and also the unexpected issues from time to time:

In addition, the base looked after fire protection in the town of Moisie and provided them with emergency water supply from time to time when conditions warranted.

LEFT: Guard Hut at Entrance to Radar Site at RCAF Moisie                                   CENTER: Entrance to Radar Site at RCAF Moisie                                                      RIGHT: Aerial View of RCAF Moisie
Photo: Entrance to RCAF Station Moisie  Recreation Center can be seen off to right Photo: Entrance to Radar Site  at RCAF Moisie Photo: aerial view of  RCAF Moisie

LEFT: Main Station Road to Radar Domes                                                             CENTER: View from Moisie River Beach of Radar Domes and Enlisted Men Quarters                    RIGHT: Close Up View of Radar Domes
Photo: RCAF Station Moisie  Main Station Road to Radar Domes Photo: Aerial View of RCAF Moisie Radar Domes From Beach Photo: Close Up of RCAF Moisie Radar Domes

 

LEFT: Aerial View of R.C.A.F. Moisie Radar Domes From End of Peninsula. Moisie River to the right                 CENTER: Base Level View of Radar Domes                            RIGHT: View of Radar Domes From Moisie River Beach in Winter
(only snow covered beach can be seen in photo) St Lawrence River can be seen at top of Picture.
Photo: Aerial View of RCAF Moisie Radar Domes 1 Photo: Aerial View of RCAF Moisie Radar Domes 2 Photo: Aerial View of RCAF Moisie Radar Domes In Winter

Aerial Views of R.C.A.F. Moisie Station.
LEFT PHOTO: Radar Domes and Supporting Operational Buildings with Moisie River in Top of PHOTO         
RIGHT PHOTO: Married Quarters are seen in the Middle Left of Photo,
Base Operations Middle Center of PHOTO
and Radar Domes Middle Right of PHOTO.
Photo: Aerial View of RCAF Moisie Station May 1982 Photo: Aerial View of RCAF Moisie Station Aug 1962
Entrance to RCAF Moisie Church - served both Catholics and Protestants
Photo: Entrance to RCAF Moisie Church

 

LEFT: Guard Hut at Entrance to Radar Site at RCAF Moisie In Winter                                   CENTER: Support Buildings at RCAF Moisie In Winter                                          RIGHT: Married Quarters Street at RCAF Moisie In Winter
Photo: Guard Hut at Entrance to Radar Site  at RCAF Moisie In Winter Photo: Support Buildings at RCAF Moisie In Winter Photo: Married Quarters Street at RCAF Moisie  In Winter

Aerial View of R.C.A.F. Moisie Station.
LEFT PHOTO: Top - left to right- Highway to Sept Iles
Middle Right: Officer and NCO Married Quarters
Middle Center: Baseball Diamond Bookended by Catholic and Protestant Grade Schools ... Hockey Rink on Right by Forest
Middle Left: Enlisted Men Married Quarters
Bottom Left: Enlisted Men Barracks
RIGHT PHOTO Moisie River can be seen TOP LEFT in photo where Radar Domes are also visible; (Wind Break) Forest Woods can be seen in darkened bottom
and left of photo Base Married Quarters are seen "above" bottom woods
Photo: RCAF Moisie Aerial View C Photo: Aerial View of RCAF Moisie Station
TOP ROW:RCAF Station Moisie Recreation Center Buiding Entrance
BOTTOM ROW: Some Facilities Within RCAF Moisie Recreation Centre
LEFT PHOTO: Movie Theatre                                                      CENTER PHOTO: Snack Bar                                                      RIGHT PHOTO: Indoor Swimming Pool
  Photo: RCAF Station Moisie Recreation Center
Photo: RCAF Moisie Movie Theatre in Recreation Centre Photo: RCAF Moisie Snack Bar in Recreation Centre Photo: RCAF Moisie Swimming Pool in Recreation Centre

 

LEFT: RCAF Moisie Fire Hall                                                                                                      CENTER: Recreation Equipment outside School at RCAF Moisie                       RIGHT: Airmen Play Softball at RCAF Moisie Baseball Diamond on Sadie Hakins Day
Photo: RCAF Moisie Fire Station Photo: Recreation Equipment outside School at RCAF Moisie Photo: Airmen Play Softball at RCAF Moisie Baseball Diamond on Sadie Hakins Day

LEFT: Photo of Outside of Airmen's Mess in winter                   CENTER:Photo of Beach on Moisie River next to RCAF Moisie .... Often very windy!                 RIGHT:Photo of RCAF Moisie Radar Domes
                                                                                                                 Beach Photo Courtesy: Don Campbell                                                                                           RIGHT Photo Courtesy:John Sobey
Photo: RCAF Moisie Airmen's Mess in winter Photo: Beach on Moisie River next to RCAF Moisie Photo: RCAF Moisie Radar Domes

 

1966 PINETREE LINE Commanding Officers ‘TEAM’ PHOTO – W/C Hubert Brooks 2nd row from front 3rd from right
Photo Courtesy: Hubert Brooks Private Collection
Photo: 1966 PINETREE LINE Commanding Officers TEAM PHOTO

 

Photo: W/C Hubert Brooks and fellow PINETREE Officers Socialize after Meeting Photo: RCAF Moisie Station Review by Eastern Region Commanding Officer

 

Photo: W/C Hubert Brooks presents joke extra terrstial object to his perplexed boss at station site review Photo: W/C Hubert Brooks Says Good bye to Superior after Station Review
Photo: Colonel Bowes Inspection of RCAF Moisie, W/C Hubert Brooksalso in photo Photo: L'Avenir News Article on Officer Decorations at RCAF Moisie

 

Photo: Major Sugar vists W/C Hubert Brooksalso and wife Birthe in Moisie

PROMOTION TO WING COMMANDER:

On 14–January–1966 the R.C.A.F. promoted me to Wing Commander (the acting prefix was no longer in my HR file) with seniority back dated to 5–Aug–1965 (when I had been first assigned to Moisie).

1967 brought with it two changes to the Station’s name; first from R.C.A.F. Station Moisie to 211 Radar Squadron Moisie and then, just after I’d left, on the 10 August 1967 it assumed the name it held till base closure, Canadian Forces Station Moisie.

Flying Hours

While at Moisie I tried best I could to maintain my flying hours. I would make it down to R.C.A.F. St. Hubert and for a 5 day or so stretch fly around the country. Again I was navigator in C–45 and C–47 aircraft.

For the 10 year period leading up to the end of 1966, for each of the major aircraft types I’d flown sub–totals were as follows:

Total flying hours as navigator for all aircraft since I joined up now stood at 2,450 hours.




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