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RCAF Station Pagwa
Cochrane District, Ontario, Canada
Type Radar Station
Coordinates Latitude:
Location code C-14
Built 1952 (1952)
Built by  United States Air Force
In use 1952-1966
Controlled by

 United States Air Force

 Royal Canadian Air Force

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File:RCAF Pagwa NORAD emblem.png

NORAD emblem

Royal Canadian Air Force Station Pagwa (ADC ID: C-14) is a General Surveillance Radar station that was closed in 1966. It was located at the unincorporated place and railway point of Pagwa in geographic Bicknell Township,[1][2] Unorganized North Cochrane District in northeastern Ontario, Canada.[3]

It was operated as part of the Pinetree Line network controlled by NORAD.


As a result of the Cold War and with the expansion of a North American continental air defence system, Pagwa was selected as a site for a United States Air Force (USAF) radar station in 1950, one of the many that would make up the Pinetree Line of Ground-Control Intercept (GCI) radar sites. The United States undertook construction which lasted from 1951 to 1953.

When it was finished the USAF moved into Pagwa Air Station, and it was home to the USAF's Air Defense Command (ADC) 913th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron. It was equipped with AN/FPS-3C, AN/FPS-502, AN/FPS-20A, AN/TPS-502, and AN/FPS-6B radars.

The squadron provided radar services until the USAF handed the station over to the RCAF on 29 May 1963. This was part of an arrangement with the United States that came as a result of the cancellation of the Avro Arrow. Canada would lease 66 F-101 Voodoo fighters and take over operation of 12 Pinetree radar bases.

37 AC&W Squadron was renamed as 37 Radar Squadron Pagwa on 1 May 1964. It was also upgraded with the following radars:

RCAF Pagwa joined the Semi Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE) system in 1963, and the station became a long-range radar site. It would no longer guide interceptors but only look for enemy aircraft, feeding data to the Sault Sainte Marie Air Defense Sector SAGE DC-14 Direction Center of the 30th NORAD Region at K.I. Sawyer AFB, Michigan. Later, the station commenced feeding data to the Duluth Air Defense Sector DC-10 Direction Center of the 29th NORAD Region. Support services were provided by RCAF Station North Bay and 38 Radar Squadron at RCAF Station Armstrong. Armstrong provided "flying doctor" services with a deHavilland Canada Otter.

The radar squadron was disbanded on 1 October 1966. The last RCAF personnel left the station on 15 December 1966 bringing to a close one of the shortest, in time, RCAF manned sites in the NORAD system.

See also


 This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website

  1. "Bicknell" (PDF). Geology Ontario - Historic Claim Maps. Ontario Ministry of Northern Development, Mines and Forestry. Retrieved 2011-08-24. 
  2. Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (2006). Restructured municipalities - Ontario map #2 (Map). Restructuring Maps of Ontario. Retrieved 2011-08-24. 
  3. "Pagwa". Geographical Names Data Base. Natural Resources Canada. Retrieved 2011-08-24. 

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