Using a list originally compiled by Bill Robinson and found on BLOG: Lux Ex Umbra, this is a summary of Canadian SIGINT stations past and present. Additions and refinements to the base data are provided by Doug Stewart, Jerry Proc and references from "History of Canadian Signal Intelligence" by Lynn Wortman and George Fraser. The intent of this document is to list those stations under complete Canadian control. The table does not show Canadian SIGINT detachments who are currently deployed with U.S. Naval Security Group sites. Naval Security Group Headquarters is now the Naval Network Warfare Command Information Operations Directorate, Fort Meade, Maryland. Bill also states some dates for the World War II sites tend to be uncertain, so further refinement is undoubtedly needed.
LOCATION and COMMAND YEARS OF OPERATION Aklavik, Northwest Territories (RCN) 1949 - 1961 Alert, Nunavut (RCAF/RCCS/SRS/CFIOG) 1958 - present Alliford Bay, B.C (RCAF and RCN) 1941 - 1943 Amherst, Nova Scotia (RCCS) 1941 - 1942 Augsburg, Germany (SRS detachment) 1989 - 1993 Bermuda (RCN/SRS) 1963 - 1993 Botwood, Newfoundland (DOT) 1939 - 1946 Cap D’Espoir, Quebec (RCAF and RCN) 1939 - Jan 1946 Chelsea, Quebec (RCN Research) 1940 - 1947 Churchill, Manitoba (RCN/SRS) 1948 - 1968 Coal Harbour, B.C. (RCN and RCAF) 1940 - 1942 Coverdale, New Brunswick (RCN/SRS) 1942 - 1971 Darwin, Australia: McMillan’s Road Camp (RCCS) 1945 - 1945 Esquimalt, B.C. (RCN intercept for RN) 1925 - 1940? Esquimalt, BC. (MARPAC support element) 1988 - Present. (Note 1) Forrest, Manitoba (DOT) 1940 - 1942 Fort Chimo (now Kuujjuaq), Quebec (RCN) 1949 - 1952 Frobisher Bay (now Iqaluit), Nunavut (RCN) 1953 - 1967 Gander, Newfoundland (RCN/SRS/CFIOG) 1942 - present Gloucester, Ontario (RCN HF-DF/training/admin site) 1943 - 1972 Gordon Head, British Columbia (RCN) 1940 - 1945 Grande Prairie, Alberta (RCCS)
#2 Special Wireless Station
1942 - 1947 Halifax, Nova Scotia (MARLANT support element) 1988 - Present. (Note 1) Harbour Grace, Newfoundland (RCN) 1941 - 1946 (Note 4) Hartlen Point, Nova Scotia (DOT) 1941? - 1945? Inuvik, NWT (RCN/SRS) 1961 - 1986 Kingston, Ontario CFSE (SRS/CFIOG). Training 1972 - present Kingston, Ontario (2 EW Sqn of 1 CSR/1CDHSR/CFJSR) ? - present Kingston, Ontario (Res EW Sqn/772 EW Sqn) 1986 - present Lambeth Ont, (RCN) 1943 to 1945. Ladner, British Columbia (RCCS/SRS)
Vancouver Wireless Station
1949 - 1971 Leitrim, Ontario (RCCS/SRS/CFIOG)
#1 Special Wireless Station
1942 - present Louisbourg, Nova Scotia (DOT) 1939 - 1946 Lulu Island, British Columbia (DOT) 1945 - 1945 Masset, British Columbia (RCN/SRS/CFIOG) 1944 - 1945 and 1949 to present Ottawa, Ontario (DOT) 1939 - 1945 Ottawa, Ont, Radio CFF 1940 - 1947 Ottawa, Ontario (771 CRS) 1987 - 2002 Pennfield, New Brunswick (RCAF and RCN ) 1941 - 1945 or 1946 Point Grey, British Columbia (DOT) 1940 - 1945 Portage la Prairie, Manitoba (RCAF and RCN) 1941 - 1945 or 1946 Prince Rupert, British Columbia (RCN) 1946 - 1948/49 Riske Creek, B.C. (RCCS; never operational)
#4 Special Wireless Station
April to July 1944 (Note 2) Rivers, Manitoba (RCAF and RCN) 1941 - 1945/46 Rockcliffe, Ontario (RCCS)
#1 Special Wireless for this period only
1939 – 1942 Shediac, New Brunswick (DOT) 1939 - 1946 St. Hubert, Quebec (DOT) 1939 - 1946 Ste. Hyacinthe, Quebec (Training) 1944 - 1945? Steveston , (Lulu Island) BC (DOT) 194(?) - 1945 Strathburn, Ontario (DOT) 1939 - 1946 Sydney, Nova Scotia (RCAF and RCN) 1941 - 1945/6 Ucluelet, British Columbia (RCAF and RCN) 1941 - 1942 Victoria, British Columbia (RCCS)
#3 Special Wireless Station
10 January 1942 - 1949 Whitehorse, Yukon Territory (RCAF/SRS) 1948 - 1968 Winnipeg, Manitoba (DOT) 1942 - 1945 (Note 3) Winnipeg, Manitoba (AIRCOM support element) ? - present
AFTC - Air Force Training Command
CFSE - Canadian Forces School of Communications and Electronics
CFIOG - Canadian Forces Information Group
DOT - Department of Transport
RCAF - Royal Canadian Air Force
RCCS - Royal Canadian Corps of Signals
RCN - Royal Canadian Navy
SRS - Supplementary Radio System
Additional information on some of the ablove stations can be found at this link.
Note 1: Direct SIGINT support to MARLANT and MARPAC began during 1982 on an adhoc basis. It was in 1988 that a memorandum of understanding between concerned authorities thereby sanctioned direct support to Fleet units. This program continues and is ever expanding in its field of operations and support facilities.
Note 2: The war diary for #4 SWS indicates the station continued to have 2 or 3 on staff until 1946. The book "Scarlet to Green" also has #4 SWS listed the station as open until April 1946 [p. 466]. The book "History of Canadian Signals Intelligence and Direction Finding " by Fraser/Wortman indicates that the station was only open from April to July 1944.
Note 3: Winnipeg took over from Forrest in 1942.
Note 4: From "A Nation’s Navy" by Michael L. Hadley: "The first RCN built and operated station, at Harbour Grace, Newfoundland became operational in July 1941"
Credits and References:
1) Bill Robinson . Table source Source http://Lux Ex Umbra.blogspot.com/2005_05_01_luxexumbra_archive.html
2) Douglas Stewart <dougjoy(at)"Douglas Stewart" <firstname.lastname@example.org>ns.sympatico.ca>
4) History of Canadian Signals Intelligence by Lynn Wortman lynn.wortman(a)rogers.com and George Fraser caperfca(at)sympatico.ca
5) History of Canadian Communication Electronic Support Measures (CESM) by S.A. Gray
Back To Table of Contents