COVERDALE PHOTO ALBUM - AFTER CLOSURE
WHAT'S LEFT OF THE BASE?
Clues that HMCS Coverdale existed are still provided by a few buildings and the old PMQ's. The following photos were taken by Spud Roscoe on July 3, 2004
Click on photo to enlarge
The old PMQ's. By the mid 1950's, the PMQ was expanded from 16 to 40 units as a single expansion. (Photo by Spud Roscoe) Barracks Building looking southeast. It was opened sometime around late 1958 or early 1959. The Chief and P.O.'s mess was in the brick portion behind the tree. At this time the current function of the building is not known. (Photo by Spud Roscoe) Gymnasium - The door to the gym was just outside the main gate. The fence to the gate ran across just south of the door and in that way that one could enter the gym without going "on board" or through the gate. It was a good arrangement for visiting sports teams Currently, the building is the Coverdale Recreational Centre and judging from the windows and cladding, it appears to be modernized. (Photo by Spud Roscoe)
Wren "Danny" Ward (Doris Daniel) in front of the new Barracks Building in August 1992 while on her way to a Wren reunion in Halifax. (Photo courtesy Joan Pelly)
Eric Earl, a former CS Rate, is standing in front of the CPO Mess Hall entrance in 2002. (Photo by Eric Earl)
60 Years Later: Spud Roscoe took this photo at the same point as the inset photo taken in 1944. This is the same road that can be seen in the "Coverdale 1944" photo of the Wrens walking down the road. (Photo courtesy Spud Roscoe)
This is the transmitter building at Scouduc, N.B. as seen in 2002. Click to enlarge. The RCAF owned the building and Coverdale's transmitter was colocated there. That building and the adjacent runway date back to WWII. (Photo by Eric Earl)
2006 Coverdale satellite image (Courtesy Google Maps)
UNVEILING OF HMCS COVERDALE MONUMENT
From Our Riverview Publication
It was a true Navy day--wet and windy--but dozens gathered on Saturday, Oct. 25/14 to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the opening of HMCS Coverdale by the Women’s Royal Canadian Naval Service. Its members, the Wrens as they were commonly called, provided valuable wartime aid to Canada during the Second World War. The creation of the WRCNS in 1942 was the first time the Royal Canadian Navy had been given permission to recruit women into the service. Two years later, Wrens opened the HMCS Coverdale as a Special Wireless Station to conduct HF/DF (High-Frequency Direction Finding) operations.
Rear Admiral Jennifer Bennett noted, “the fact that women now serve in all aspects of naval operations is mainly due to the hard work and adventurous spirit of the Wrens.” The initial personnel consisted of four WRCNS officers, three male officers, 140 WRCNS ratings and four male ratings.
During WWII, the major activity at the station was locating and tracking German U-boats in the Atlantic and assisting with search and rescue operations for aircraft in distress.In the spring of 1945, a Wren with HMCS Coverdale intercepted a message to the German Army announcing Adolf Hitler’s death.
Operations at the HMCS Coverdale continued under several different names until it closed in 1971. PMQs on Runneymeade Road and along Beacon Hill Terrace are still standing and now serve as single family homes. The base recreation centre along with much of the land it’s situated on was purchased by the Town of Riverview after the base closed. Today the Coverdale Centre serves as a community gathering space and headquarters for the Riverview Veterans and Armed Forces Association and the Boys and Girls Club of Riverview. The nearby Mill Creek dam, which was put in place by the federal government to provide water and fire fighting capability for the naval station personnel, is now an important part of a long-term nature park project by the Town of Riverview.
Following an outdoor ceremony at the site of the new monument on HMCS Commons (Hillsborough Road), guests warmed up at a reception hosted by the Riverview Veterans and Armed Forces Association at the Coverdale Centre.
|Anne Othen (L) and Ann Connolly (R) unveiled the new monument, which was built using stones from the former Gunningsville Bridge. Ms. Othen began her Wren career in Shelburne in 1981. Ms. Connolly served as a Wren at HMCS Coverdale between 1949-52. — at Riverview, NB.|
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