CCGS Stonetown Photos

1961: Loading hydrogen gas tanks for the radiosonde balloons. Cheaper and more abundant (but flammable) hydrogen gas was used to fill the balloons instead of precious helium. 

When CCGS Vancouver and Quadra came into service, it is believed that a switch was made from hydrogen to helium because the tanks were stored in rows and rows  lockers below decks. This would not have been done if the lifting gas was hydrogen.

On Earth, helium is relatively rare. Its volume is 0.00052 % of the atmosphere. Most terrestrial helium present today is created by the natural radioactive decay of heavy radioactive elements (thorium and uranium). This "radiogenic" helium is trapped within natural gas in concentrations up to 7% by volume, from which it is extracted commercially by a low-temperature separation process called fractional distillation. The world's supply of helium is dwindling. 

Besides lifting a radiosonde, sometimes smaller balloons would be launched  just to measure a low ceiling.

1961: Stonetown makes smoke as she leaves harbour. 
1961: Jack Scarlett and Paul Carlson launching a radiosonde from the deck of Stonetown.
1961: Paul Carlson has just released the radiosonde. Note the radar target at the bottom of the tether. Radiosondes  were normally released every 12 hours  at 11:15Z and 23:15Z.
1962: Peter Willms working the radiosonde recorder aboard Stonetown. 
1961: Stonetown comes alongside her wharf in Esquimalt. 
1961: Stonetown alongside St. Stephen in Esquimalt harbour. 
1963: Officer's Mess at Christmas time. 
April 1963: Seamen's mess.
All photos in this table from the Peter Willms collection 

June 1966. Aeradio console position. 
Bob Manning at the Marine position. (From the collection of Bob Manning)
Pete Beryar in the radio room with Bob Manning in the background in 1967. In evidence are two rack mounted, Canadian Marconi CSR5 receivers.  Pete is using a semi-automatic key .(From the collection of Bob Manning)
Marine position in June 1966. The Canadian Marconi PV500HM transmitter can easily be seen in the background. 
An unidentified radio position aboard Stonetown . (From the collection of Harold Hammerer)
(L-R) Bob Manning, Tom Kelly and Pete Beryar in Stonetown's radio room.
Unless otherwise noted, all photos in this table by Bob Manning.

In this undated photo, Stonetown is on-station.It was very rare to have the sea this calm. It looks like the boys swung a lifeboat over the side just to have a change of scenery.  (From the collection of Harold Hammerer)
Stonetown on station at Ocean Station Papa and being relieved by St. Catharines. (From the collection of Norm Prescott) 

Credits and References:

1) Bob Manning (now deceased)
2) Frank Statham <fstatham(at)>
3) Dennis Engemoen <dhengemoen(at)>
4) Norm Prescott <norm2008(at)>

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Dec 16/14