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Cold War Radar


Search and rescue.jpg

1957 image showing the location of search and rescue operations.  The Pinetree Line aided in these operations

Many of the stations on the line were in isolated areas as they were selected based on their radar abilities, not what was around them.

Each site had one or two height finders, one medium range search radar and one back-up search radar.  The radar were all covered with domes against the wind.

At the beginning, there were between 300-400 personnel, 1/3 of them civilians.  After SAGE, these numbers decreased to 120-200.

There were libraries, schools, and fire stations at the stations and some had recreation facilities.

Station profile: Holberg:

RCAF (Royal Canadian Air Force) Station Holberg was the furthest west on the Pinetree Line, and was located on Vancouver Island. 

They possessed three radar domes and ran 24 hours a day, with the responsibility to give data to SAGE.   They also helped with search and rescue operations.

Holberg had eight hundred people, and was secluded in the forest.  It was a tough journey to get there, having to be flown by civilian plane, followed by a bus ride of 16 miles, two hour ship-ride, and then 4 miles by bus again. 

The station received supplies from Vancouver via sea-barge once a week when the weather was good.  They often fished and hunted to help supplement supplies as well.

Some families were located at the station, and there was an attempt to make things more comfortable.  There was a recreation centre which allowed for socializing, games, bowling, pool, and a gym.  Also included on the station was a library, school, hospital, theatre, post office, bank, hair salons, and two chapels.

They did not get television and very little radio though.