Skip to main content
Cold War Radar

Canada

Specialist Signals Officers Course #4

Specialist Signals Officers Course #4

Canada played an important role in radar during the Second World War, both overseas and at home.  In fact,  Canadians made up roughly 35-50% of the Allies working on radar.

Canadians were first asked to begin training radar mechanics and technicians by the British who needed more people to serve this area.  Britain, while on the front lines of the War, was running low on resources. 

Canada agreed and began by sending people with some radio experience to Britain to train in 1940.  However, some worried about this training happening in Europe where the War was taking place. 

Clinton Sign, 1945

RCAF Clinton, 1945

Therefore, thirteen universities in Canada soon began providing radio technician and electronics programs, including Alberta, British Columbia, Dalhousie, Manitoba, McGill, McMaster, Mount Allison, New Brunswick, Ontario Agricultural College (later part of Guelph), Queens, Saskatchewan, Toronto, and the University of Western Ontario.

The highest graduating members of each of these classes would then go on to No. 1 Radar and Communications School at Clinton, Ontario to be furthere trained.

Within Canada itself, there were also early warning radar stations on the west and east coasts, unbeknownst to most Canadians.  These sites were in isolated areas and watched for the enemy, especially German U-Boats.