MARINE RADIO COMMUNICATIONS AND TRAFFIC SERVICES HISTORY IN CANADA

Atlantic Region

Operational Stations
Marine Communications Officers
In 1946, the Department of Transport took charge of military radio stations at Coral Harbour, Montreal, Frobisher Bay and Goose Bay. The Royal Canadian Corps of Signals had operated all of these. The Goose Bay installation worked as a Direction Finding station for transpacific flights. The Goose Bay and Sept-Iles marine/aeradio stations exchanged communications with ships. Both stations could operate on medium and high frequencies either using the radiotelegraph or the radiotelephone.

In its time, VFZ Goose Bay Marine/Aeradio performed every function associated with radio ship-to-shore VHF/MF/HF R/T and C/W, point to point MF/HF on CW, Radio range, International Air-Ground, flight planning, flight following and so on. Because of this and the fact that no employees at that time were from the local area, resulted in a very high turnover of operators. Goose Bay became the official on-the-job training site for the Atlantic Region. The vas majority of radio operators in the Atlantic Region in the 60's and 70's spent at least a year 'On the Goose'.

As mentioned above, Goose Bay handled point-to-point communications for the Labrador coast. Remote sites like Hopedale (120 miles to the north), Cartwright (120 miles to the east of Battle Harbour near the entrance to the Strait of Belle Isle) would send and receive all their traffic through Goose Bay. In the late fall, hundreds of messages a day would be received containing everything from radio medical advice, Christmas orders and employee transfer orders.

In November 1975, the last radio operator relinquished control of Hopedale's transmitters and receivers to Goose Bay to remotely operate. The station at Battle Harbour became a Loran-A monitoring station and in the early 80's closed down altogether when a new Loran-C station opened at Fox Harbour.

In June 1986, the operations staff closed the doors of VOK Cartwright Coast Guard radio Station for the last time and moved to Goose Bay. Today, the airwaves are silently mourning the loss of Morse code replaced by written transmissions of Navtex and other GMDSS associated technologies.

Since1996, following the integration of the CGRS and VTS services, Labrador is now a fully integrated MCTS Centres responsible for the Ecareg operations on the Labrador Coast.
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