The following table is a blend of three radio call sign lists. Call signs with assigned frequencies and emission types were extracted from a list of RCN shore stations around 1948. Items marked with an asterisk (*) were assigned frequencies or call signs but not yet in use in 1948. Some were reassigned later.
Document BR619(2) provides information from WWII which was overlaid on the 1948 list. It illustrates two things. Some of the shore station call signs were used during WWII only and retired at the end of the war while other call signs remained with the shore stations that were still around in 1948. Using CCNO 1-575 date January 1, 1945 further verifiactions of the call signs were made.
Reference is also made to CCNO 575-1 (Edition 1945). The long title of this publication is known as "Canadian Confidential Naval Orders". It contains orders numbered 1 to 575. The short title printed on the cover is "CCNO 1-575" but individual orders are referred to by their specific number. Example, the CCNO referring to the W/T station at St. Pierre would be referred to as CCNO 107. The CCNO entitled "Call Signs of Royal Canadian Naval W/T Stations" would be referred to as CCNO 411.
Another set of call signs was found in an ITU call sign publication - 4th edition, January 1970. These have also been applied to the table and indicated with a note "ITU Listing". As a precaution, there may be errors in the call signs denoted by "ITU Listing".
The goal here is to illustrate the history of call sign assignments for shore stations..
Thanks are extended to LCdr David J. Freeman, CF (Ret’d) who provided a copy of BR619(2) and to Spud Roscoe who did the analysis of it in order to make more sense of it. Updates for stations which saw service after 1948 were provided by Douglas Stewart.
A0.1 is CW
A3 is AM radiotelephone
RATT is radioteletype
|CFD||Comox||B.C.||Assigned to this site in WWII only|
|CFD||HMCS Shearwater||Dartmouth N.S||3558, 4400||A0.1, A3 |
|CFE||Goose Bay||Goose Bay. Labrador|||
|CFE||Naval Air Station||Patricia Bay, B.C.||3468, 4400||A0.1, A3|
|CFF *||Ottawa Radio||Ottawa, Ont.||4850, 8824, 13230, 17995||A0.1, RATT|
|CFH||Halifax Radio||Newport Corner, N.S.||44.8*, 78*, 92.3*, 107,
115, 2844, 5502.5, 8440,
9040, 12500, 24070
|CFH4||Halifax Radio||Newport Corner, N.S.||4740, 6395, 8370, 12520, 16845||A0.1|
|CFH6||Halifax Radio||Newport Corner, N.S.||4740, 6395, 8370, 12520, 16845||A0.1|
|CFH8||Halifax Radio||Newport Corner, N.S.||4740, 6395, 8370, 12520, 16845||A0.1|
|CFH12||Halifax Radio||Newport Corner, N.S.||4740, 6395, 8370, 12520, 16845||A0.1|
|CFH16||Halifax Radio||Newport Corner, N.S.||4740, 6395, 8370, 12520, 16845||A0.1|
|CFI||W/T Station||Quebec City, PQ.||Assigned to this site in WWII only.|
|CFI||NRS Chimo||Fort Chimo, Quebec||Closed 1952||Note 6|
|CFI||Frobisher||Frobisher Bay, NWT||Now called Iqaluit, Nunavut||Note 6|
|CFJ||Admiralty||Unknown||Use unknown at this time. WWII only|
|CFL||Gaspe W/T Station||Gaspe, P.Q.||Assigned to this site in WWII only.||Note 7|
|CFL||Churchill||Churchill, Manitoba||Notes, 1, 2, and 7|
|CFS||St. John's||St. John's NF||Until November 1943, then assigned
|CFS||Masset||Masset, B.C.||Note 9|
|CFV||York Island W/T||York Island, BC||Used during WWII. Call later
assigned to NRS Aklavik
|CFV||NRS Aklavik||Aklavik, NWT||1949 to 1961||Note 3|
|CFV||HMCS/CFS Inuvik||Inuvik, NWT||1961 to 1986|
|CGE||HMCS Queen Charlotte||Charlottetown, PEI||ITU Listing|
|CGE||Halifax Radio||Newport Corner, N.S||2768*, 7515, 13230*,
|CGH||Rigolet War Watching Station||Rigolet, Labrador||Assigned to this site in WWII only.||Note 12.|
|CGI||HMCS Gloucester||Gloucester, Ont.|
|CGN||Esquimalt Radio||Esquimalt, B.C||2716||A3|
|CGT||NRS Coverdale||Coverdale , NB||Note 4|
|CGV||Cornwallis||Cornwallis, NS.||Assigned to this site in WWII only.|||
|CGV||Gander Radio||Gander , NF|
|CGW||Halifax Radio||Newport Corner, N.S||5735, 7995, 9055, 10945,12157.5
14660, 16005, 20215
|CGX||Halifax Radio||Newport Corner, N.S||2716, 3468, 3480||A0.1, A3|
|CGX||Halifax Radio||Newport Corner, N.S||6800, 9890||A0.1, RATT|
|CJU||HMCS Quadra, Sea Cadet Training Establishment||Comox, B.C.|
|CKB||HMCS Stadacona||Halifax, N.S.||For communications training
on 2012 Khz
|A1. Note 8.|
|CKD||W/T Station||Church Hill, BC|||
|CKD||W/T Station||Churchill, Man.||Assigned to this site during WWII only.|
|CKD||HMCS Chippawa||Winnipeg,. Man||6550, 7895, 13510||A0.1, RATT|
|CKE||W/T Station||Discovery Island, BC||Assigned to this site in WWII only.|
|CKE||HMCS Queen||Regina, Sask.||6550, 7895, 13510||A0.1, RATT|
|CKF||W/T Station||Vancouver, BC||Assigned to this site in WWII only.|
|CKF||HMCS Unicorn||Saskatoon, Sask||6550, 7895, 13510||A0.1, RATT|
|CKG||W/T Station||Prince Rupert, BC||Assigned to this site in WWII only.|
|CKG||HMCS Nonsuch||Edmonton, Alberta||6550, 7895, 13510||A0.1, RATT|
|CKH||Toronto W/T||Toronto, Ont||Assigned to this site in WWII only.|
|CKH||HMCS Tecumseh||Calgary, Alberta||7985, 9480, 13510||A0.1, RATT|
|CKI||HMCS Hochelaga||Montreal, P.Q.||ITU Listing|
|CKJ||St. Hyacinthe Signal School||St. Hyacinthe, P.Q.||Assigned to this site in WWII only.|
|CKK||W/T Station||Shelburne, N.S.||Assigned to this site in WWII only|
|CKK||HMCS Discovery||Vancouver, B.C.||7985, 9480, 13510||A0.1, RATT|
|CKL||Esquimalt||Esquimalt. BC||Assigned to this site in WWII only|
|CKL||HMCS Chatham||Prince Rupert, BC||ITU Listing|
|CKL||Esquimalt Radio||Matsqui, B.C.||9055, 11500, 17560,
|CKN||Esquimalt Radio||Matsqui, B.C.||44.8*, 78*, 92.3*, 55,
2844, 6600, 16760, 24380
|CKN4||Vancouver Radio||Matsqui, B.C.||4740, 6395, 8290, 12520, 16845||A0.1|
|CKN6||Vancouver Radio||Matsqui, B.C.||4740, 6395, 8290, 12520, 16845||A0.1|
|CKN8||Vancouver Radio||Matsqui, B.C.||4740, 6395, 8290, 12520, 16845||A0.1|
|CKN12||Vancouver Radio||Matsqui, B.C.||4740, 6395, 8290, 12520, 16845||A0.1|
|CKN16||Vancouver Radio||Matsqui, B.C.||4740, 6395, 8290, 12520, 16845||A0.1|
|CKP *||Prince Rupert Radio||Prince Rupert, B.C.||A0.1|
|CKP4 *||Prince Rupert Radio||Prince Rupert, B.C.||4740, 6395, 8290, 12520, 16845||A0.1, RATT|
|CKP6 *||Prince Rupert Radio||Prince Rupert, B.C.||4740, 6395, 8290, 12520, 16845||A0.1, RATT|
|CKP8 *||Prince Rupert Radio||Prince Rupert, B.C.||4740, 6395, 8290, 12520, 16845||A0.1, RATT|
|CKP12 *||Prince Rupert Radio||Prince Rupert, B.C.||4740, 6395, 8290, 12520, 16845||A0.1, RATT|
|CKP16 *||Prince Rupert Radio||Prince Rupert, B.C.||4740, 6395, 8290, 12520, 16845||A0.1, RATT|
|CKR||W/T Station||Mulgrave, N.S.||Assigned to this site in WWII only.|
|CKR||Communications Training Center,
HMCS NADEN, Esquimalt, B.C
|Esquimalt, BC||For communications training.||A1. Note 8|
|CKS||HMCS Avalon||St. John's NFLD||ITU Listing|
|CKS *||Esquimalt Radio||Matsqui, B.C||4850, 9780, 13510, 15655||A0.1, RATT|
|CKT||N.P.M. Radio Station||Halifax, N.S.||Assigned to this site in WWII only.|
|CKT||Coverdale||Coverdale, N.B.||After1953. Note 4|
|CKZ||Esquimalt Radio||Matsqui, B.C||2716, 3468, 3480||A0.1, A3|
|CKZ||Esquimalt Radio||Matsqui, B.C||6800, 9890, 13?7?||A0.1, A3, RATT|
|CKZ24||HMCS Malahat||Malahat, BC||2410 KHz|||
|CKZ79||HMCS Malahat||Malahat, BC||7985 KHz|||
|CKZ94||HMCS Malahat||Malahat, BC||9480 KHz|||
|CKZ35||HMCS Malahat||Malahat, BC||13510 KHz|||
|CZB *||Ottawa Radio||Ottawa , Ont.||3468, 8190||A0.1, RATT|
|CZB||CFS Bermuda||Bermuda||1963 to 1993|
|CZC||Saint John W/T||Saint John, N.B..||Assigned to this site in WWII only.|
|CZC||HMCS Cabot||Saint John's , NFLD||ITU Listing|
|CZD||HMCS Queen Charlotte W/T||Charlottetown, P.E.I.||Assigned to this site in WWII only.|
|CZD||W/T Station||Rose Harbour, BC||Assigned to this site as of Jan 1945.|||
|CZE||Sydney W/T Station||Sydney, N.S.||Assigned to this site in WWII only.|
|CZE||HMCS Brunswicker||Saint John, N.B.||7985, 9480, 13510||A0.1, RATT|
|CZF||Ottawa W/T Station||Ottawa, Ont||Assigned to this site in WWII only.|
|CZF||Frobisher Bay||NWT||CW, RATT|||
|CZG||Ottawa W/T Station||Ottawa, Ont||Assigned to this site in WWII only.|
|CZH||Ottawa W/T||Ottawa, Ont||Assigned to this site in WWII only.|
|CZH||HMCS Montcalm||Quebec, P.Q.||4850, 7985, 13510||A0.1, RATT|
|CZI||Sheet Harbour||N..S.||Assigned to this site in WWII only.|
|CZI||HMCS Donnacona||Montreal, P.Q.||4850, 7985, 13510||A0.1, RATT|
|CZJ||W/T Station||Quoddy, N.S.||Assigned to this site in WWII only.|
|CZJ||HMCS Carleton||Ottawa, Ont.||7985, 9480, 13510||A0.1, RATT|
|CZL||HMCS Patriot||Hamilton, Ont||ITU Listing|
|CZM||Alliford Bay,||B.C.||Assigned to this site in WWII only.|
|CZM||HMCS Cataraqui||Kingston, Ont.||5735, 7985, 13510||A0.1, RATT|
|CZN||Bella Bella||B.C.||Assigned to this site in WWII only. This was an RCAF base.|
|CZN||HMCS York||Toronto, Ont.||5735, 7985, 13510||A0.1, RATT|
|CZP||W/T Station||St. Johns, NF.||Assigned to this site Nov 1943 and for the duration of WWII.|
|CZP||HMCS Star||Hamilton, Ont.||5735, 7985, 13510||A0.1, RATT|
|CZR||Rimouski||Quebec||Assigned to this site in WWII only.|
|CZR||HMCS Prevost||London, Ont.||4306, 7985, 13510||A0.1, RATT|
|CZS||W/T Station||Bridgewater, N.S.
|Assigned to this site in WWII only.|
|CZS||HMCS Shelburne||Shelburne, N.S.||ITU Listing|||
|CZT||W/T Station||Masset, B.C.|||
|CZT||HMCS Hunter||Windsor, Ont.||4306, 7985, 13510||A0.1, RATT.|
|CZW||HMCS CORNWALLIS Communications School||Deep Brook, N.S|
|CZY||Ucluelet||B.C||Assigned to this site in WWII only.|
|CZY||HMCS Griffon||Thunder Bay, Ont||4306, 7985, 13510||A0.1, RATT|
|CZZ||W/T Station||Coal Harbour, B.C.||Assigned to this site in WWII only.|
|CZZ||HMCS Scotian||Halifax, N.S.||ITU Listing|
|FQN2||St.Pierre Wireless Station||Saint-Pierre & Miquelon Islands|||
OTHER CALL SIGN ASSIGNMENTS
|CGH||Any or all Canadian Naval Shore Stations|
PORT WAVE STATIONS
During WWII, there were a number of "port wave" stations set up on both Canadian coasts for naval communications. They operated on the "port wave" frequency of 425 KHz and were likely fitted with the Canadian Marconi PV500L, Naval ships would communicate with the port wave stations in order to obtain clearance to enter and leave port or if communication was needed when the ships were not too far from port.
Spud Roscoe compiled a listing of Port Wave stations. The call signs indicated are wartime.For some stations, the call signs changed post war.
CFH Halifax, Nova Scotia
CFI Quebec City, Quebec
CFL Gaspe, Quebec
CFS St. John’s, Newfoundland – this call sign was changed to CZP in November 1942
CGH Rigolet, Labrador (Lake Melville - Goose Bay area)
CKH Toronto, Ontario
CKK Shelburne, Nova Scotia (The transmitter was probably a PV500L and it probably had a leaky condenser in the power supply. They could tell it was Shelburne simply by the hum on his transmission.)
CKR Mulgrave, Nova Scotia (Canso Strait)
CZC Saint John, New Brunswick
CZD Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
CZE Sydney, Nova Scotia
CZI Sheet Harbour, Nova Scotia
CZJ Quoddy, Nova Scotia (Eastern Halifax County)
CZP St. John's, Newfoundland
CZR Rimouski, Quebec
CZS Bridgewater, Nova Scotia
CFV York Island, British Columbia (on the north east coast of Vancouver Island)
CKE Discovery Island, British Columbia (Discovery and Chatham Islands lie just a mile or so west of Victoria in
Haro Strait, off Oak Bay).
CKF Vancouver, British Columbia
CKG Prince Rupert, British Columbia
CKL Esquimalt, British Columbia
CZM Alliford Bay, British Columbia
CZN Bella Bella, British Columbia – The RCAF had a main station in this area
CZY Ucluelet, British Columbia
CZZ Coal Harbour, British Columbia
PORT WAR vs PORT WAVE STATIONS
Port War Stations were visual signal stations (flags and lights). Port Wave stations handled radio traffic. Sometimes people get the terms Port War and Port Wave mixed up or use the terms interchangeably, which of course, is incorrect. Practically spealing, in todfay's world, the distinction is a bluurred one. .
So what is the difference between a naval establishment and a shore base? Technically, an Establishment was one placed in commission as one of HMC Ships, e.g. STADACONA, NADEN, DISCOVERY, Etc., while a shore base included all of the above plus non commissioned entities like some radio stations, e.g Masset.
1) Douglas Stewart <email@example.com> adds the following: "When HMCS Labrador was a naval vessel, (later changing to the Coast Guard) she was an escort for the Dew Line convoys during the mid-1950s. Because of the very poor communications condition in the Northern Latitudes, Churchill was assigned ship/shore/ship responsibilities during hersummer deployments as a supplementary function.
2) Established Aug 1, 1943. Became HMC NRS Dec 1, 1950 to July 1 1956. As HMCS July 1 /56 to July 11 1966. Became CFS Churchill
3) Established 1949. Became HMC NRS 1953-61. Tender to Gloucester. Moved to new site and became Inuvik.
4) Established as HF/DF station in WWII; HMC NRS 1949-1956; HMCS 1956 - 1966. Became CFS Coverdale. Closed 1971. CGT was Coverdale's call sign from 1949. It was changed to CKT in 1953 or 1954 because operators were running the characters together and CGT came out as CQ.
5) Note 5 deleted.
6) CFI was NRS Chimo's call until that station was closed in 1953. Frobisher assumed the call when it opened in 1954.
7) CFL was Gaspe's call sign during WWII and became Churchill's call sign in 1949 until it closed in 1968.
8) This station was used for Morse Code receiving practice while ships were alongside. CKB replayed the tapes that CFH had used and CKR replayed the tapes that CKN had used. A Marconi CM11 was used for these transmissions within STADACONA/NADEN.
9) The new spelling of Masset has one 't' only. The old spelling had two tt's. In 1949 NRS Masset (which had been abandoned in 1945) was opened as a HF/DF station. The station was hit and damaged by an earthquake in August 1949.
10) Per CCNO (Canadian Confidential Naval Order ) 1-575 dated January 1, 1945. After WWII, this call sign was reassigned.
11) Per CCNO 107 (R.O.) (26-12-42) (N.S. 1008-12-6) . There was a CNOIC (Canadian Naval Officer in Charge) at St. Pierre, so this may explain why a French callsign is being listed in a Canadian Naval Publication.
12) Canadian Confidential Naval Order (CCNO) 358 authorizes the following signal publications to be held by the Senior Naval Officer, Goose Bay and the Officer in Charge, Rigolet, War Watching Station
Naval Code and Decode with Recoding Tables (SP 02358 Series)
Mersigs. Vols. I, II and III with Recoding Tables (SP 2272 and 2404 series)
Indicating Groups (SP 2169 and 02509 series)
Signal Letter Index
In addition Rigolet holds:--
Mercantile Secret Call Signs
U.S. Mercantile Secret Call signs
Key Memorandum No. 6
C.B.'s 3057 and 3060 series
B.R.'s 69, 70, 98, 266, 619 and 777.
(R.O.) (1-7-44) (N.S. 11867-1)
13) This station provided communications for the Northern Sea Lift in the summers of 1961 and 1962 (confirmed).
14) Page 32 of the February 1950 issue of Crowsnest Magazine carried this item. "CKZ Calling. The Victoria naval division, HMCS Malahat is anxious to work other naval divisions by W/T on Monday evenings from 2000 to 2200, PST, using the transmitters and receivers in its headquarters and training ship, the minesweeper Sault Ste. Marie. Malahat has been allocated radio call sign CKZ, operating on the following four frequencies: CKZ24 on 2410 kilocycles, CKZ79 on 7985 kcs, CKZ94 on 9480, and CKZ 35 on 13510".
 Spud Roscoe comments. "In the 1950's when I was in the navy we used to keep one ship off Shelburne and an Argus A/S aircraft (based in Greenwood NS) off Shelburne as well. The navy had water microphones situated there which could detect any any vessel passing over these microphones. The Argus was to have CW contact with either the ship or Shelburne at least every 15 minutes."
The now defunct South West Shore Development Authority acquired CFS Shelburne in 1999 and sold it in 2008 to Seacoast Entertainment Arts Inc. for development as a film production studio. Seacoast eventually went bankrupt and the property was sold to a Yarmouth developer, namely Roger Sullivan on Nov 24/11.
 Church Hill, BC was never a community, but a geographical feature that is named as such on Marine Chart No. 3641, showing the coast between Albert Head to Otter Point. and updated in 1973. The Church Hill location (DND, in the Rocky Point area) was used during World War II as a bunker for a machine gun, guarding the coast from enemy vessels. The map shows an altitude of 390 ft for the hill.
Contributors and Credits:
1) Spud Roscoe <spudroscoe(at)eastlink.ca>
2) David Freeman <djfreeman(at)shaw.ca>
3) Ray White <legerwhite(at)rogers.com>
4) RCN document - List of Shore Stations
5) Extracts from BR619(2)
6) CCNO 1-575
7) ITU call sign publication - 4th edition, January 1970