Barrington Air Station

From FortWiki
(Redirected from RCAF Station Barrington)
Jump to: navigation, search

Barrington Air Station (1958-1990) - A Cold War U.S. Air Force Radar Station established at Baccaro Point, Nova Scotia, Canada. Initially assigned a Permanent ID of M-102, a Sage ID of C-102 and a JSS ID of R-01. Transferred to the Canadian RCAF in 1962 and operated by them as RCAF Station Barrington and in 1967 as CFS Barrington reflecting the integration of the Canadian Forces. The site continued operation until deactivated in 1990 and was then transitioned into operation as Canadian Coastal Radar Site Barrington.

Barrington Radar Station Evolution.


Construction of the radar site at Baccaro Point started in 1955 and was completed in 1957. The site became operational on 1 Aug 1958 as Barrington Air Station manned by the 672nd Aircraft Control & Warning (AC&W) Squadron.

Initial equipment included the FPS-3A search radar and FPS-6B height-finder radars. In 1961, the FPS-3A search radar was replaced by a FPS-27 Search and a FPS-26A height-finder was added.

SAGE System Transition

The transition of the manual GCI system to the automated SAGE system began with the installation of the FST-2 coordinate data transmitter and search radar upgrades. The FST-2 equipment digitized the radar returns and transmitted the digital returns to the SAGE direction center. Under the SAGE System, interceptor aircraft were directed to their targets by the direction center computers and controllers, greatly reducing the need for local controllers and equipment at every radar station.

The FST-2 was a very large digital system using vacuum tube technology. Over 6900 vacuum tubes were used in each FST-2 requiring 21 air-conditioned cabinets, 40 tons of air conditioning, 43.5 kva of prime power, and usually a large new addition to the operations building. The FST-2B modification added two more cabinets but with newer solid-state (transistor) technology to process coded responses from aircraft transponders.

In the midst of the SAGE System transition, the radar site was turned over to the RCAF on 1 Jun 1962, renamed RCAF Station Barrington and operated by 23 AC&W Squadron. The 23 AC&W reported to the Bangor Sector of the 26th NORAD Division and also fed data to the NNR. Initial operation was as a manual input site to the SAGE System Direction Center.

SAGE System Operation

Barrington Direction Centers & Sectors
Assigned Direction Center Sector
1958-08-01 - 1960-07-01 Topsham SAGE Direction Center DC-05 Bangor Air Defense Sector (Manual)
1960-07-01 - 1962-06-1 Stewart SAGE Direction Center DC-02 Boston Air Defense Sector (Manual)
1962-06-1 - 1967-08-29 Topsham SAGE Direction Center DC-05 Bangor Air Defense Sector (Manual -> Auto)
1967-08-29 - 1969-10-14 Hancock SAGE Direction Center DC-03 35th Air Division (Auto)
1969-10-14 - 1983-06-15 Hancock SAGE Direction Center DC-03 21st NORAD Region (Auto)

The site began operation as a SAGE site on 1 Jun 1964 initially feeding the Topsham SAGE Direction Center DC-05. On 29 Aug 1967, The 213 Radar Squadron was renamed at the same time as the integration of the Canadian Forces. The unit was now Canadian Forces Station Barrington reporting to the 35th Air Division at Hancock Field, Syracuse, New York. On 14 Oct 1969, they began reporting to the 21st NORAD Region which was also located at Hancock Field.

About 1972 the FST-2B would have been replaced by the much smaller and more reliable FYQ-47 as a part of the FST-2/FYQ-47 replacement program. The FYQ-47 and it's associated GPA-124 (Coder-decoder group) were in place at Barrington by November 1971.

As the SAGE System closed down in 1983, CFS Barrington began reporting to the Canada East ROCC at North Bay on 15 Jun 1983. The designation of the site was changed from C-102 to R-01 to reflect it's new role in the JSS System. CFS Barrington continued operation until it was deactivated in 1990.


CFS Barrington discontinued operation on 1 Aug 1990. A small detachment of personnel remained to prepare the location for the new Canadian Coastal Radar Site Barrington.

Canadian Coastal Radar Site Barrington in June 2018

Physical Plant

The physical plant of the site was divided into the main site, a cantonment area, and a radio site. The main site housed the operations buildings, the radar towers, and the backup generators. The cantonment area housed the enlisted barracks, the bachelor officer's quarters, the orderly room, the dining hall, the motor pool and other support buildings. Originally no family housing was available and accompanied personnel had to find housing on the local economy. In 1971, a mobile home site, with 35 units, was constructed on Sherose Island, located some 15 miles west of the station near Barrington Passage.

A separate radio site housed the radio equipment for directing aircraft intercepts. Like most early radar stations, Barrington originally had a radio transmitter site and a separate radio receiver site used by local controllers for voice direction of fighter interceptors to their targets. With the SAGE System, the SAGE Direction centers had the primary task of directing intercepts and the local radio sites were reconfigured, usually into a single site that was known as the Ground to Air Transmitter Receiver (GATR) site. The GATR site communicated with the interceptors from either the local site or the SAGE direction center via voice commands and/or a digital data link.

Barrington AFS Major Equipment List
Search Radar HF Radar Data Systems Comm
Unit Designations
  • 672nd Aircraft Control & Warning (AC&W) Squadron (1958-1962)

  • 23 Aircraft Control & Warning (AC&W) Squadron. (1962-19??)
  • 213 Radar Squadron
672nd Assignments

Canadian Operation

Barrington Air Station Partial Commanders List (edit list)
Assumed Relieved Rank Name Cullum Notes
1958-03~ Major Lewis, Herbert H. N/A
1962-05-22 Major Griffith, Weston F. N/A
1962-05-22 1964-08-15 Wing Commander Walker, R.F.M N/A CD
1964-08-15 1966-07 Wing Commander Cameron, B.A. N/A CD
1966-07 1968-08 Wing Commander Brown, Carl N/A
1968-08 1970-07 Lt. Colonel Brennand, Gordon N/A
1970-07 1973-06 Lt. Colonel Rushton, C.E. N/A
1973-06 Lt. Colonel Found, R.W. N/A

Current Status

Most remnants of the original radar site have been removed and only a small compound remains housing the Canadian Coastal Radar site Barrington with it's FPS-117 3D radar mounted on the old FPS-27 tower.

Barrington AFS Structures (edit list)
Number Building Area Currently
1 HQ & Accounts Cantonment No
2 Supply Cantonment No
3 Combined Mess Cantonment No
4 Officers Quarters/Mess Cantonment No
5 Airmens Quarters/Exchange Cantonment No
6 NCO Quarters/Mess/Post Office Cantonment No
7 Recreation Hall/Amn Club Cantonment No
8 Heating & Water Plants Cantonment No
9 CE & MT Sections Cantonment No
10 Operations Building Operations No
14 Auto Club Operations/Cantonment No Old Receiver Building
15 GATR Radio Building Operations No Old Transmitter Building
21-25 Fire Hose Huts Cantonment No
26 Power Plant Cantonment No
30 SAGE Annex Operations No
31 TELCO Operations  ?
35 CE Storage Cantonment No
39 MT Storage Cantonment No
40 Gate Shack Cantonment No
210 Curling Rink Cantonment No
101 FPS-3/20 Tower Operations No
103 FPS-6 Tower Operations No
104 FPS-26 Tower Operations No
105 FPS-27/FPS-117 Tower Operations Yes
FPS-6 Tower Operations No

Location: Barrington in Nova Scotia.

Maps & Images

Lat: 43.45167 Long: -65.47139

See Also:


  • Cornett, Lloyd H. & Johnson, Mildred W., A Handbook of Aerospace Defense Organization (1946-1980), Office of History ADC, Peterson AFB, Colorado, 31 Dec 1980, 179 pages, Pdf, page 98.


Visited: 3 Jun 2018

Personal tools