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Red Cliff Air Station

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Red Cliff Air Station
Part of Pinetree Line
Newfoundland, Canada
642d Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron - Emblem.png
Emblem of the 642d Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron
Coordinates47°38′20″N 052°40′02″W / 47.63889°N 52.66722°W / 47.63889; -52.66722 (Red Cliff AS N-22)
TypeRadar Station
Site information
Controlled byNortheast Air Command
Aerospace Defense Command
Site history
Built byUnited States Air Force
In use1953-1961
Red Cliff AS is located in Newfoundland and Labrador
Red Cliff AS
Red Cliff AS
Location of Red Cliff Air Station, Newfoundland
Map all coordinates using: OpenStreetMap 
Download coordinates as: KML · GPX

Red Cliff Air Station (Also known as St. Johns) (ID: N-22, C-22) was a General Surveillance Radar station. The remains of which are located 5.8 miles (9.3 km) north-northeast of St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. It was closed in 1961.


During World War II a US-manned battery of two 8-inch railway guns was at Red Cliff, part of Fort Pepperrell at St. John's.[1]

The site was established in 1953 as a General Surveillance Radar station, funded by the United States Air Force, one of the many that would make up the Pinetree Line of Ground-Control Intercept (GCI) radar sites.

Northeast Air Command stationed the 642d Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron at the station on 1 January 1953. The site was the most eastern ground radar site in North America of the USAF. It operated the following radars:

  • Search Radars: AN/FPS-502, AN/CPS-6B
  • Height Radars: AN/TPS-502, AN/CPS-6B

As a GCI base, the 642d's role was to guide interceptor aircraft toward unidentified intruders picked up on the unit's radar scopes. These interceptors were assigned to the 64th Air Division at Goose AFB, Labrador.

The station was reassigned to Aerospace Defense Command on 1 April 1957, and was given designation "N-22" (later "C-22."

In addition to the main facility, Red Cliff operated an AN/FPS-14 manned Gap Filler site:

The Elliston Ridge site operated between 1957 and 1961 in a relatively isolated location on the Bonavista Peninsula, about 70 miles northwest of the main station. Parts of the station remain intact, although abandoned to the elements since its closure. Broadcasting station CJOZ-FM maintains and transmits from a building and tower on the same property of the Eliston Ridge site.

Red Cliff Air Station was closed on 1 October 1961. Today the site is abandoned, unused since its closure Most of the structures remain, abandoned and deteriorating since its inactivation. It is occasionally used by local militia units as a Fighting in Built-up Areas (FIBA) training area. The area is also used by local graffiti artists, as well as paintball and airsoft players.

USAF units and assignments


  • Activated as 642d Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron, 1 August 1953
Inactivated 1 October 1961


See also


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

  • Cornett, Lloyd H. and Johnson, Mildred W., A Handbook of Aerospace Defense Organization 1946 - 1980,[1] Office of History, Aerospace Defense Center, Peterson AFB, CO (1980)
  • Winkler, David F. & Webster, Julie L., Searching the Skies, The Legacy of the United States Cold War Defense Radar Program, [2] US Army Construction Engineering Research Laboratories, Champaign, IL (1997)
  • Information for Red Cliff AS, NL

This page was last edited on 3 July 2019, at 03:53
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