Melville Air Station
Melville Air Station (1953-1988) - A Cold War Pinetree Line Air Force Radar Station first established in 1953 near Goose Air Base, Newfoundland. Initially assigned a Lashup ID of L-24, a Permanent ID of N-24, a SAGE ID of C-24, and a JSS ID of R-05. Turned over to the Canadian Forces in 1971 and closed by them in 1988.
107th AC&W Squadron
The 107th AC&W Squadron of the New York Air National Guard activated on 1 Aug 1951 and that is the date the unit was federalized for 24 months of federal service. The unit was moved to Grenier Air Force Base in September 1951. At Grenier AFB the unit packed their equipment for shipment to Newfoundland and in January 1952 they flew to Goose Air Base in Newfoundland.
The permanent site at Goose Bay was not completed when the 107th AC&W Squadron arrived so a temporary "Lashup site" L-23 was established on Goose Air Force Base itself. The temporary site, L-24, housed a CPS-5 search radar, an MPS-4 height-finder, and was operational around May 1952 (except for the MPS-4 Height Finder which reportedly never worked).
On 1 Aug 1953, the 107th AC&W Squadron was released from federal duty and the unit designation returned to the New York Air National Guard. The unit designation at the radar site changed to the 641st AC&W Squadron on that date.
641st AC&W Squadron
The permanent radar site on Dome Mountain became operational on 1 Aug 1953 manned by the 641st AC&W Squadron. The station initially had both a Ground-Control Intercept (GCI) and early warning mission as well as operating an Air Defense Direction Center (ADDC). The early warning mission involved tracking and identifying all aircraft entering their airspace while the GCI mission involved guiding Air Force interceptors to any identified enemy aircraft. Controllers at the station vectored fighter aircraft at the correct course and speed to intercept enemy aircraft using voice commands via ground-to-air radio.
Initial equipment included the CPS-6B search radar. A TPS-502 height-finder radar became operational on 19 Aug 1954. An FPS-502 radar served as a backup search radar. The CPS-6B search radar was later replaced with an FPS-20A which went operational on 8 Dec 1960. The FPS-20A was later modified to become an FPS-87A and soon after, an FPS-93A. An FPS-6B height-finder radar arrived in November 1960 and was converted to an FPS-90 in June 1964.
The 641st AC&W Squadron was inactivated on 30 Jun 1971 and the radar site was prepared for turn over to the Canadian forces
Melville Long Range Radar (Canadian)
The USAF Commander of the 641st AC&W Squadron handed the radar site over to the commanding officer of CFS Goose Bay in July 1971. It then became site C-24 and was integrated into the Canadian Forces Air Defence Command as a unit tenant of CFS Goose Bay.
During the USAF years, the radar site had remained a manual site without automated passing of radar tracks to direction centers. Under Canadian operation, the site became SAGE-capable in 1976 and the number of personnel assigned to the site was greatly reduced. In August 1984, Melville Radar was brought into the Canada East ROCC.
In July 1988, the Melville Radar site ceased operations, and coverage was assumed by Cartwright Long-Range Radar Site.
The physical plant of the site was divided into the main site, a cantonment area, a housing area, and a radio site. The main site housed the operations buildings, the radar towers, and the backup generators. The cantonment area was adjacent to the main site and housed the enlisted barracks, the bachelor officer's quarters, the orderly room, the dining hall, the motor pool, and other support buildings.
Abandoned near Goose Bay Airport, Newfoundland, and Labrador.