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Old 15-10-14, 02:08
Jon McGrath Jon McGrath is offline
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Default Canadian radar tracking - Fort Bliss 1947 set 1/2

Going through some of my father's photographs, I came upon these photos from about July 1947 when the RCA sent a contingent from Camp Picton, ON to Fort Bliss, TX apparently to experiment or practice radar tracking of missiles. I will be posting other photos that might be of interest. The first three of six. En route by train and at Fort Bliss or White Sands Proving Grounds, NM - not sure as the photos aren't labelled. Comments and information welcome.
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Army 001.jpg   Army 003.jpg  
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  #2  
Old 15-10-14, 02:11
Jon McGrath Jon McGrath is offline
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Default Canadian radar tracking - Fort Bliss 1947 set 2/2

Th photo of the V2 launch is one of a few that I have from my father's photos. I have no information on the tracked vehicle, I assume it is US.
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Army 005.jpg   Army 006.jpg   Army 008.jpg  

Last edited by Jon McGrath; 15-10-14 at 02:40.
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  #3  
Old 17-10-14, 00:46
alamotex alamotex is offline
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Photo on the left shows the Canadian developed MZPI sweep search radar ( aka AA radar No 4 Mk 6) It was the microwave version that succeeded the GL III (c) ZPI unit. The rotating "gate "antenna was referred to as a tuned slotted waveguide.
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Old 17-10-14, 01:03
alamotex alamotex is offline
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Interesting that you have your father's photos dated 1947. I have a photocopy of a Library and Archives ( Ottawa) memorandum "Visit, Ft Bliss 17,18,July 1951 written by Lt Col J.A. Stairs which describes the trials on the Radar AA No 4 Mk 6/1. His para 2 states quote... The MZPI is performing extremely well and US officers are impressed... unquote. It was being directly compared to the US surveillance radar of the T-33 FCS, which was the forerunner of the M-33 FCS, which Canada later purchased for use with 90 mm AA guns.
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  #5  
Old 20-10-14, 06:03
Jon McGrath Jon McGrath is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alamotex View Post
Interesting that you have your father's photos dated 1947. I have a photocopy of a Library and Archives ( Ottawa) memorandum "Visit, Ft Bliss 17,18,July 1951 written by Lt Col J.A. Stairs which describes the trials on the Radar AA No 4 Mk 6/1. His para 2 states quote... The MZPI is performing extremely well and US officers are impressed... unquote. It was being directly compared to the US surveillance radar of the T-33 FCS, which was the forerunner of the M-33 FCS, which Canada later purchased for use with 90 mm AA guns.
I don't know about the 1951 contingent to Fort Bliss, but I know this contingent was definitely prior to 1948. There might well have been multiple testings and contingents. I'm out of town right now but, when I get home later this week, I will check a Ft. Bliss NCO club card that was issued to my dad. Jon
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  #6  
Old 20-10-14, 20:20
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does the CCKW shop truck have CDN above the hood number?
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Old 21-10-14, 22:45
Alex van de Wetering Alex van de Wetering is offline
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Interesting pictures Jon. Itīs always fascinating to see the post/war action of V2 rockets.

Quote:
I have no information on the tracked vehicle, I assume it is US.
Interesting vehicle indeed. I seems to be based on Stuart bogies, tracks and sprockets, but uses 3 in stead of two bogies. The transmission cover/doors looks like M24 Chaffee.....and the overall look of the front and layout of the hatches also looks similar in design to the M24.
It almost looks like a mock-up or prototype which eventually led to the M19A1???

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  #8  
Old 22-10-14, 08:04
Jon McGrath Jon McGrath is offline
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"Alamotex": I've checked my father's notes and the Fort Bliss NCO card fro his time there. It was 1946 not 1947. The contingent trained in Kingston prior to departure for Fort Bliss in March 1946, returning in September1946.

"Frank": The original photo is quite small and even with a magnifying glass, I can't make out the numbers on the hood. Interesting, the insignia / markings on the door appear to be painted over with a plain square.

"Alex": I have more photos of the V2's - on the launch pad and in flight. I can post, if you're interested, albeit those photos are not about CMP's or "post war" vehicles. As an aside, I note that you're interested in Abarths. Very cool! There are a few here in Vancouver that get displayed occasionally. I love Italian cars from the 40's to the 70's - Abarth, Lancia, Alfa, et al. As of me, no CMP's or 40's-70's Italian cars, but I do have a Ferrari 328GTS and had a Maserati 4200 Spyder GT (PM me about Italian cars, if you wish).

Jon
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  #9  
Old 22-10-14, 18:31
alamotex alamotex is offline
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Jon Your father most likely had a role to play in those first V-2 rocket launching trials carried out at the White Sands Proving Grounds in April 1946. The fact that the Canadian MZPI (Radar AA No 4 Mk 6) was on the site at the time of these trials raises some very interesting questions for researchers.

Check out the item National Historic Landmarks on this link.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Sands_Missile_Range
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  #10  
Old 22-10-14, 19:55
Jon McGrath Jon McGrath is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alamotex View Post
Jon Your father most likely had a role to play in those first V-2 rocket launching trials carried out at the White Sands Proving Grounds in April 1946. The fact that the Canadian MZPI (Radar AA No 4 Mk 6) was on the site at the time of these trials raises some very interesting questions for researchers.

Check out the item National Historic Landmarks on this link.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Sands_Missile_Range
Any role would have been minor, possibly transport. Although my dad had been a gun sergeant on 3.7" guns earlier, I believe that he was a bombardier at the time of this Fort Bliss / WSPG venture and, as far as I know, had no special training in radar. As mentioned there are other small format photos of the the V2, static and in launch. What sort of "interesting questions" might researchers have? Jon
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  #11  
Old 22-10-14, 20:28
alamotex alamotex is offline
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Jon Suggest you contact me via PM if you are interested in this topic.
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  #12  
Old 23-10-14, 17:12
alamotex alamotex is offline
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Default Radars go for a swim

These undated images were made available to me by Clive Law of Service Publications
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Trailer Radar AA No 4 Mk VI 2.jpg   Trailer Radar AA No 4 Mk VI 3.jpg   Trailer Radar AA No 4 Mk VI 4.jpg   Trailer Radar AA No 4 Mk VI 5.jpg  
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  #13  
Old 23-10-14, 18:33
Grant Bowker Grant Bowker is offline
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Default Rockliffe seaplane ramp

The seaplane ramp at Rockliffe still exists although it has been more or less surrounded by the Rockliffe Yacht Club. It looks as if a floatplane with a footprint less than the ramp width could still be taken from the water.
Rockliffe airport is ICAO identifier CYRO. Google maps
https://maps.google.ca/maps?q=cyro&h...27874&t=h&z=16 should show it but a search on CYRO should also get the result. Rockliffe airport is also the home of the Canadian Aviation And Space Museum http://casmuseum.techno-science.ca/en/index.php and is across the river and slightly upstream from the Gatineau airport CYND that is home to the Vintage Wings Collection http://www.vintagewings.ca/en-ca/home.aspx that has been referred to on MLU http://www.mapleleafup.net/forums/sh...=vintage+wings (among others).
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  #14  
Old 26-10-14, 07:02
maple_leaf_eh maple_leaf_eh is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex van de Wetering View Post
...

Interesting vehicle indeed. I seems to be based on Stuart bogies, tracks and sprockets, but uses 3 in stead of two bogies. The transmission cover/doors looks like M24 Chaffee.....and the overall look of the front and layout of the hatches also looks similar in design to the M24.

It almost looks like a mock-up or prototype which eventually led to the M19A1???

Alex
I saw the same things, but without the model numbers. It is old and new technology at the same time. How about a T-65 self-propelled AA chassis, without the gun. http://ww2photo.se/tanks/usa/ligh/m5/m5.htm
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  #15  
Old 26-10-14, 10:39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maple_leaf_eh View Post
I saw the same things, but without the model numbers. It is old and new technology at the same time. How about a T-65 self-propelled AA chassis, without the gun. http://ww2photo.se/tanks/usa/ligh/m5/m5.htm
Alex, Terry,

I'd vote for it being a T65 40mm Gun Motor Carriage. This was not taken in production but further developed into the M19 MGMC. I can imagine a prototype being kept at this range for testing other concepts or even as a means of transportation.

H.

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  #16  
Old 28-10-14, 00:17
David Dunlop David Dunlop is offline
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Interesting topic here.

The attached photo is of a British Radar vehicle from the book "Half -Tracks". edited by Bart Vanderveen.

The interesting thing about this photo is that the same radar equipment sat for many years in the Princess Auto yard in Winnipeg, except rather than being installed in an International Half-Track, the Princess vehicle was an Autocar. There was no trailer that I was ever aware of, but a nearby grass fire eventually scorched the exterior of the vehicle. It was apparently purchased by somebody in the north end of Winnipeg, somewhere on or near McPhillips, who's plan was to restore it, but that was the last I heard about it.

Curious now as to what type of radar it was. The electronics racks were set up down the side behind the driver. The right hand side was partially set up with equipment racks and a desk or work bench. There was a large gear assembly on the roof, but no sign of a drive motor having survived.

David
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  #17  
Old 29-10-14, 11:26
alamotex alamotex is offline
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David The British radar you describe is very likely Radar FA No1 Mk1 or Mk 2 which was based on the coast artillery Radar CA No 1 Mk 4 and was developed at the end of the war for ground observation and mortar location. They were mounted on heavily overloaded US Army half-track vehicles which led to suspension failures. Refer to article "Radar in the Service of the Royal Artillery" by Lt Col David Wilcox. Counter mortar radar trials were carried out at RCA Camp Shilo, Man, in the late 1950's and the Winnipeg half track may have been part of those trials before being sold as surplus.

Brian
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  #18  
Old 30-10-14, 03:39
David Dunlop David Dunlop is offline
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Brian.

That is an interesting bit of local military history. Thanks.

For what it is worth, at the same time that radar half-track was languishing at Princess, there were four other Autocar and Diamond T half-tracks sitting a few yards away, all with the rear body armour removed. Origional rear floors all still there and all with Brandon Construction Company stencilled on the doors. Probably all came out of Shilo around the same time.

David
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  #19  
Old 30-10-14, 04:43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alamotex View Post
These undated images were made available to me by Clive Law of Service Publications
Hmm. Pretty sure I asked you to use them for your personal needs and to not share them until after they were published in "Drive to Victory".
I have about 25,000 images which I share with historians, hobbyists and restorers but these are the basis of my book business and I prefer that I be the first to release them publicly. Just saying.
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  #20  
Old 30-10-14, 17:18
alamotex alamotex is offline
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Apologies Clive...I do not recall your request that I restrict these images for my personal use. Below is copy of our MLU exchange of PM's that led to your sending me those Library and Archives photos.
01-07-12
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Default Re: Photos from Library and Archives
Hi Brian,

Did I ever reply to this?

Clive

Quote:
Originally Posted by alamotex
Hi Clive..I was browsing my MLU file and noted a post of 29/11/2008 that you were researching for a book on vehicles and weapons aquired for the Canadian Army Overseas. Has this gone to print ?

My particular interest would be to learn whether you uncovered in your search of the Archives any images of AA Radar sets deployed with the Canadian Army.? The Library and Archives lists photo collections for the Dept of Nat Def... 9500 b&w photos and for the NRC 3829 b& w photos. I have never personally examined those collections, but suspect some previously unpublished photos must be in those collections.Unfortunately, several photos in the collection have been mis identified and have been overlooked in past searches.

Regards Brian Mendes ( Kitchener )

Last edited by alamotex; 30-10-14 at 17:24.
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  #21  
Old 20-05-17, 22:37
Jon McGrath Jon McGrath is offline
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Further to my initial post, I found this additional photo and notes that the testing and demonstrations to the US military appear to have lasted from April to September 1946, rather than 1947, as I noted in my original post. The equipment was transported by train from Kingston, ON to El Paso, TX. I have no idea who the gunner is.
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Old 21-05-17, 05:31
alamotex alamotex is offline
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Default Radar at Fort Bliss

Jon.... As stated in earlier posts on this thread, your father's photo shows the Canadian designed MZPI. Microwave Zone Position Indicator sweep search mobile radar designated AA Radar No 4 Mk 6 by the British. I have not been able to locate any documentation covering the 1946 Fort Bliss, Tx trials, but have seen a document pertaining to trials on similar equipment carrried out in 1951. Later versions of this radar carried the NATO designation AN-MPS 501B.
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Old 21-05-17, 07:36
Jon McGrath Jon McGrath is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alamotex View Post
Jon.... As stated in earlier posts on this thread, your father's photo shows the Canadian designed MZPI. Microwave Zone Position Indicator sweep search mobile radar designated AA Radar No 4 Mk 6 by the British. I have not been able to locate any documentation covering the 1946 Fort Bliss, Tx trials, but have seen a document pertaining to trials on similar equipment carrried out in 1951. Later versions of this radar carried the NATO designation AN-MPS 501B.
Brian, apparently, the 1946 testing and demonstration were quite secret, at the time, e.g., those involved were required to remain on the train with the equipment through the travel from Kingston to El Paso. They underwent radar training in Kingston prior to the testing / demonstration in Fort Bliss. The photos are definitely from before 1951 by which time my father had been stationed in Picton, ON and been transferred to Victoria, BC.

Out of curiosity, which units were you in during the 50's, as noted in your profile?
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Old 21-05-17, 16:10
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Jon

I served my National Service commitment in the British Army 75th HAA Regt RA( 1950-52) based in Gravesend, Kent. It was one of several regiments in AA Command responsible for ADGB (Air Defence Great Britaim ) in the post WW 2 years. The three batteries were equipped with British made AA radars No 3 Mk 2 as fire control sets and Canadian made MZPI's ( aka AA radar No 4 Mk 6) as tactical control sets. I attended a short course at the School of AA artillery in Manorbier and qualified as an instructor of operators AA Radar No 4 Mk 6.
Many years later,after emigrating to Canada, I did some research into the role played by Canada in the development of AA radar and learned of the involvement of the Radio Branch of the NRC and Research Industries Ltd (REL) which led to the development of the MZPI. B

rian
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Old 21-05-17, 16:52
Jon McGrath Jon McGrath is offline
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Thanks Brian. My dad served in various RCA LAA and HAA units into the mid-50's before moving to RCHA. I was a young child when he was in the RCA and have only vague recollection of that time. I have a much better recollection of his time in the RCHA. As for me, the closest I ever got to the artillery was as a musician in a reserve RCA field battery.
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Old 22-05-17, 19:31
alamotex alamotex is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon McGrath View Post
Further to my initial post, I found this additional photo and notes that the testing and demonstrations to the US military appear to have lasted from April to September 1946, rather than 1947, as I noted in my original post. The equipment was transported by train from Kingston, ON to El Paso, TX. I have no idea who the gunner is.
Jon You may be interested in the following quote from the introduction to the handbook issued by the UK School of Anti Aircraft Artillery . Larkhill
quote..When the Canadian No 4 Mk 6 was designed (in 1944) the circuitry and techniques employed were in advance of normal developments, and at the present time (1949) it is not only by far the best TC radar, but is still far ahead of all other Army Radars in both techniques and performance..unquote.
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