Operations in the Eastern Areas
In the pre-Pearl Harbor period the primary focus of military co-operation between the United States and Canada was on Newfoundland and adjacent northeastern North America. Although the Japanese threat was not disregarded, the operational requirements of the European war and the Battle of the Atlantic after the fall of France were immediate and absorbed most of the modest ground and air forces available to the two countries. For Canada this meant that forces had to be deployed to coastal areas, Iceland, and Great Britain. For the United States it meant that mobile reserves had to be held in readiness to meet and repel the first signs of aggression anywhere in the Western Hemisphere.
The defense needs of the British territory of Newfoundland, the North American outpost on the sea and air approaches to eastern Canada and the adjacent United States, were a matter of great concern to Canada. On the eve of Canadian entry into the European war Prime Minister King told the House of Commons that the integrity of Newfoundland and Laborador was essential to the security of Canada and that he had already obtained British agreement to Canadian participation in the defense of Newfoundland. Not long after the Canadian declaration of war on 10 September 1939, Canada took initial steps to aid in Newfoundland's defense.1
Although U.S. joint war plans had earlier recognized the need for offshore bases in the Caribbean and other Atlantic areas, U.S. interest in the Newfoundland area developed only after the fall of France. During the summer and fall of 1940 the British American destroyer-bases negotiations resulted in the interjection of the United States into the Newfoundland defense scheme.2 The fall of France also gave considerable impetus to the scope of Canadian participation in the defense of Newfoundland.
The Lease and Construction of Newfoundland Bases
While the French and British armies on the Continent were crumbling before the German blitzkrieg and the British defensive situation was deteriorating rapidly, Prime Minister Churchill on 15 May began his efforts to
induce the United States to transfer some of its World War I destroyers to the British. During the next few months, as Britain and its Atlantic lines of communications lay exposed to the German war machine, repeated requests were to be made by Churchill to U.S. Ambassador Kennedy in London and to President Roosevelt himself. The question whether or not the destroyers should be loaned or transferred was debated at length in the United States.3
One arrangement examined at the suggestion of President Roosevelt, and of particular interest to this study, would have provided for sale of the destroyers to Canada on condition that they be used only in the Western Hemisphere. This arrangement would have aided Britain since it would have released Commonwealth ships for other purposes. In addition, it would have relieved the United States of some of its naval patrol responsibilities.4
The fall of France also resulted in more active consideration in U.S. military and political circles of the need for Atlantic bases in the defense of the Western Hemisphere. On 29 May 1940 Army Chief of Staff Marshall discussed with Under Secretary of State Welles the desirability of quickly establishing U.S. forces in the British possessions of the Western Hemisphere, "exclusive of Canada and Labrador," should the German victory threaten their surrender or cession. He proposed that the matter be discussed with Great Britain.5 On 24 June General Marshall, accompanied by Chief of Naval Operations Stark, presented a joint estimate of the situation to President Roosevelt that reiterated the need for strategic bases in the Caribbean and Latin American areas. Even at this time the War and Navy Departments did not foresee the need for U.S. bases in Newfoundland or Canada.
With the services pressing for bases on the one hand and Churchill pleading for destroyers on the other, President Roosevelt at the beginning of August decided to tie the two propositions together. A renewed plea by Churchill on 31 July for the destroyers gave the President the opportunity to propose a trade to the British Prime Minister and in addition to seek new assurances concerning the British Fleet as part of the arrangement. Churchill responded favorably and expressed a willingness to grant limited rights to
utilize portions of selected air and naval bases.6 On 13 August the President met with Mr. Welles and Secretaries Stimson, Knox, and Morgenthau and worked out a detailed plan, which was sent to Churchill, proposing the transfer of fifty destroyers and other matériel in return for the right to (a) acquire land by purchase or ninety-nine-year lease for the establishment of bases, and (b) utilize the bases at once for training purposes and, in event of attack on the Western Hemisphere, for operational purposes.7 Two days later, on 15 August, Churchill indicated his agreement to ninety-nine-year leases subject to consultation with Newfoundland and Canada about the Newfoundland base, in which he said, Canada had an interest.8
The proposals continued to be studied in London and Washington while the necessary consultations took place. In Washington, some of the President's close advisers again suggested an initial transfer of the destroyers to Canada rather than directly to the United Kingdom, but Secretary of War Stimson pushed aside this idea as a discreditable subterfuge. In London, the Prime Minister discussed the provisions of the arrangement in the Parliament and with his Cabinet. On 22 August Churchill advised the President that his government wished to offer the base facilities without strings, and not as a trade for the destroyers. Since Roosevelt felt he had no authority to give the destroyers without compensation, discussions continued for a few days on this point until a formula satisfying both governments was found. The final agreement, embodied in an exchange of notes on 2 September 1940, provided that the base rights in Newfoundland and Bermuda were given "freely and without consideration." The other base rights, in the Caribbean area, were granted in exchange for the fifty over-age American destroyers.9
Another aspect of the transaction involved the U.S. request for assurances that, should the waters surrounding the British Isles become untenable, the British Fleet would in no event be either surrendered or sunk but would be sent overseas for the defense of other parts of the British Empire. The Prime Minister had already given such a pledge in Parliament on 4 June, and he objected initially, for psychological reasons, to a public reiteration. Nevertheless, since Roosevelt felt that concurrent assurances were a necessary adjunct to the arrangement, the British gave them by answering in the
affirmative the U.S. inquiry as to whether Churchill's 4 June statement represented "the settled policy of the British Government."10 The delivery of the destroyers began at once. British crews took over the first eight at Halifax on 6 September. The fifty 1,200-ton destroyers plus ten "Lake" class Coast Guard cutters well suited for escort work were delivered by 10 April 1941. Shortly after delivery began, it was announced that six of the destroyers would be commissioned in the Royal Canadian Navy. Named after rivers along the U.S.-Canadian border (Annapolis, Columbia, St. Croix, St. Clair, St. Francis, and Niagara), they brought the strength of the Canadian destroyer fleet to thirteen. A seventh destroyer, the Hamilton, was transferred to the Royal Canadian Navy after some service with the Royal Navy.11 Concerning the bases, the 2 September agreement provided that
- The Newfoundland bases would be on the southern coast and on the Avalon Peninsula.
- The bases would be on land leased for ninety-nine years free from all rent and charges except for compensation of private property owners.12
- The exact location and bounds of the bases and the adjustment of the U.S. jurisdiction within the leased areas with that of the Newfoundland Government would be worked out by common agreement.
- The United States would have all the rights and authority, within the bases and the adjacent waters and airspace, necessary to provide access thereto, and defense and control thereof.13
Before the exchange of notes, the consultations between London, Ottawa, St. John's, and Washington had gone into the question of the locations of the Newfoundland bases. United States service planners had recommended the lease of existing naval air facilities at Botwood and Gander Lake, naval facilities at St. John's, and the Newfoundland (Gander) Airport, plus sites at St. John's, and on the southeast coast for an Army and a Navy base
respectively. As a result of British and Canadian representations, Newfoundland Airport, already garrisoned by a Canadian Army infantry battalion and an RCAF flight of reconnaissance aircraft, was specifically excluded by President Roosevelt, who instead designated the areas that appeared in the agreement.14 The Canadian and Newfoundland Governments approved the proposed locations and arrangements, although the Newfoundland Government actually granted approval on the day after the exchange of notes, 3 September. By this time a board of U.S. service officers headed by Rear Adm. John W. Greenslade had been organized to work out with British experts the exact locations at all the ninety-nine-year-lease base sites. The Greenslade Board proceeded to Newfoundland, arriving there on 16 September, made its broad survey, and submitted its recommendations to Vice Adm. Walwyn, Governor of Newfoundland, on 20 September. It recommended a joint Army-Navy base on Placentia Bay, naval facilities and an Army base at St. John's and an air base near Stephenville for staging aircraft through the Maritime Provinces to eastern Newfoundland. The Greenslade Board also recommended that the lease agreement authorize the United States to use all harbors, anchorages, and airfields in Newfoundland. Admiral Walwyn accepted the proposals in principle, with generous reservations to meet British and Canadian observations that might be forthcoming.15 On the recommendation of the Greenslade Board a team of thirty engineers of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, designated the Newfoundland Engineer District Office, arrived at St. John's on 13 October to make the detailed hydrographic and topographic surveys of the designated base sites.By the beginning of 1941 the surveys, general and detailed, had been completed in Newfoundland and at all the other base sites, and a team of U.S. officials proceeded to London to work out the technical aspects of the leases. The technical discussions began on 25 January. During the ensuing weeks it was necessary for the negotiators to bridge an initially wide gulf. The approval of the Lend-Lease Act on 11 March had a beneficial effect on the negotiations, which were concluded on 27 March by the signing of a second leased-bases agreement setting forth the details of the leases.16 The agreement granted the United States inter alia,
- All the rights, power, and authority within (1) the leased areas
necessary for the establishment, use, operation, and defense thereof, or appropriate for their control, and (2) the limits of territorial waters and adjacent airspaces necessary to provide access to and defense of the leased areas, or appropriate for control thereof.
- When at war or during other emergency, all such rights, power, and authority as might be necessary for conducting military operations throughout Newfoundland and surrounding waters or airspaces.
- Jurisdiction over all persons committing military offenses within the areas and over non-British subjects committing such offenses outside them.
- Miscellaneous corollary rights as to the use of public services, conduct of surveys, immigration customs and other duties, postal facilities, and taxation.
- The same rights and status for U.S. forces outside the leased areas under the agreements enjoyed by forces within these areas.
- The right to acquire such additional areas as necessary for the use and protection of the bases.17
Pursuant to the 2 September 1940 and 27 March 1941 agreements, the Commission of Government for Newfoundland on 14 June 1941 leased to the United States 3,392 acres at Argentia (this parcel was to become Fort McAndrew and the adjacent naval base); 198.36 acres at Quidi Vidi, adjacent to St. John's (Fort Pepperrell); 27.57 acres at White Hills (near Fort Pepperrell for a radio tower area); 2.5 acres on St. John's harbor for a U.S. Army supply dock; and 867 acres at Stephenville (Harmon Field).18
Even before the leases were signed, construction at the Newfoundland bases had been initiated under authority granted by the United Kingdom on 11 November 1940. As a matter of fact, the U.S. Army, using local labor, had begun in October the construction of temporary housing, including barracks for 1,000 troops, and of administrative facilities at Fort Pepperrell. Permanent construction was begun on 30 December 1940 under the direction of the District Engineer. On 8 February 1941 the U.S. Army concluded a contract with Newfoundland Base Contractors, a company comprising three U.S. concerns as joint contractors, which assumed the responsibility for the Fort Pepperrell work on 19 May. Temporary construction was started at Harmon Field and Fort McAndrew on 10 and 18 March 1941, respectively, and the Newfoundland Base Contractors took over the work at these bases on 7 April and 5 May 1941.19
The initial plan for the three Army bases called for accommodations for garrisons of 3,500 troops at Fort Pepperrell, 2,000 at Fort McAndrew, and 250 at Harmon Field where an emergency landing field was to be built. The cost of the planned housing, auxiliary buildings, and utilities was estimated in 1940 as approximately $28,000,000. In early 1942 the plans were changed to provide accommodations for 5,500, 7,500, and 2,800 troops respectively, and to include a permanent landing field at Harmon Field comprising three concrete runways 150 feet wide and from 5,000 to 6,000 feet long. A large part of the augmentation. was the result of the decision to retain and utilize the temporary housing that had been constructed. Work was completed at Fort Pepperrell on 15 March 1943, at Fort McAndrew on 3 March 1943, and at Harmon Field on 1 March 1943. The actual final cost of construction for the Army bases (including Harmon Field) totaled $60,300,212.
On 1 September 1943 Harmon Field entered upon a new phase. On that date the airfield passed to the jurisdiction of the Air Transport Command, which began to use it as a major base for its North Atlantic operations. A new development program was undertaken that lasted through most of 1944, the principal features of which were construction of two large hangars and extension of the existing runways. The enlarged base played a prominent role in Air Transport Command operations.
At Argentia, adjacent to Fort McAndrew, the U.S. Navy Department had begun construction of a naval air station on 29 December 1940.20 Civilian contractors completed the air station in early 1942, when the decision was made to construct a complete naval operating base. Until housing could be erected for the 1,500 Americans and 4,000 Newfoundlanders who were ultimately to be engaged on this project, the SS Richard Peck, after its arrival on 9 January 1941, had housed some of the former, while the initial local labor force had lived in fishing schooners anchored in the harbor. In October 1942 a Navy construction battalion was sent to Argentia, and, after an additional battalion had arrived, the civilian contractors were relieved in May 1943. The major facilities developed at Argentia included three airfield runways 5,000 feet long (later lengthened), storage for 15,000,000 gallons of gasoline and oil, over 2,000 feet of wharf, a 7,000-ton floating dry dock, hangars, workshops and supply storage buildings, and the housing and other administrative facilities required for the garrison.
Construction undertakings of such magnitude naturally had a major
impact on the native Newfoundlanders and their economy. Some effects were adverse. One early unhappy effect was the need in the fall of 1941 to evacuate the civilians occupying the Harmon Field base to permit runway construction to proceed. Other effects were beneficial. To the limited extent permitted by the relatively undeveloped state of Newfoundland resources and industry, materials were procured locally. The projects did provide extensive employment for Newfoundlanders, principally in the common labor category. At the peak of Army base construction, 82 percent of the workers were Newfoundlanders. They were paid at lower rates than the Americans, the pay scales having been established in co-operation with the Newfoundland Commissioner of Public Works and in conformity with the prevailing local rates. From the contractor's point of view, local labor was less satisfactory than U.S. labor for several reasons. Newfoundlanders were less skilled, and also made work scheduling difficult through their proclivity for long week ends and their unwillingness to work during the summer fishing season and the bad winter weather. Nevertheless, their employment at the lower pay scales resulted in lower costs for the construction. By August 1941 the rate of additional income for the island was estimated at $3,000,000 per month.
The establishment of the bases and the influx of almost 10,000 Americans brought other problems, too. Difficulties arose in the application of the jurisdiction and customs and taxes provisions of the bases agreement. These difficulties were worked out with the Newfoundland Government Commissioners in good spirit. Some excesses on the part of Americans took place as well as some price gouging by Newfoundlanders. But on the whole excellent relationships prevailed. The Americans participated and co-operated in the social and cultural activities of St. John's and established many friendships with local families. The activities of U.S. Public Health Service officers, together with those of medical officers of the Canadian and U.S. forces, contributed to a rise in the general health level, which had suffered from widespread dietary deficiencies, tuberculosis, and other factors.
As U.S. requirements at the bases became clearer, advantage was taken of Article XXVII of the 27 March 1941 agreement to obtain additional land areas through supplemental leases. The negotiations were carried on between Washington, London, and the Newfoundland Government in St. John's, with Canada playing only a minor and indirect role. A first supplement, filed in early 1941 and signed on 14 July 1942, added 2,142 acres to the original 4,487. The United States submitted a second supplement providing for approximately 10,000 additional acres just before the first supplement was signed. Because of introduction of changes and differences between State
and War Department officers as to the scope of the supplement, the U.S. requirement did not become firm until early 1944. Thereafter negotiations languished for numerous reasons, including criticism by the Newfoundland Government of the 1 October 1944 ninety-nine-year lease arrangement with Canada and the postwar uncertainty as to the status of Newfoundland. The second supplement was finally approved on 21 August 1948. With this approval, wartime negotiations in connection with the leased-bases agreement ended and no further changes were required.21
In the pre-Pearl Harbor period when Canada and the United States deployed forces to Newfoundland the troops of both countries became, in effect, tenants on the territory of a third state. This fact presented some complications, at least from the U.S. point of view, in the timely establishment of the garrisons and provision of operating facilities. The Canadian military position in Newfoundland had developed progressively from the outbreak of the European war until August 1940, when informal but broad arrangements were worked out by Canadian authorities with the Newfoundland Commission. Under these and the earlier arrangements, Canada had disposed forces in Newfoundland and had undertaken the construction of such facilities as were necessary. Since the Canadian forces were stationed at locations such as Newfoundland Airport and St. John's harbor, where the major essential installations like runways and docks were already in existence, they could immediately become operational, and the construction requirements were largely in augmentation of the existing basic facilities.22
Since President Roosevelt had acquiesced in the Canadian and British requests that none of the available facilities be included within the U.S. leased areas, the sites leased to the United States were completely undeveloped. In order to garrison and utilize the leased bases the United States had first to construct the operational and administrative facilities required. Because of construction difficulties, the development of the air and naval facilities would require one to two years or more, thus denying to the United States the operational use of the bases for that period. Even before the base-agreement notes had been signed in September 1940, the Permanent Joint Board on Defense had on 27 August approved its Second Recommendation, which included provisions for construction of facilities for use by U.S. forces that would be deployed to Newfoundland only when and if circumstances required. Under these provisions, which accorded with the Canadian concept as to the need for U.S. forces in Newfoundland, Canada was to undertake to prepare facilities for forty-eight U.S. patrol seaplanes and seventy-three land planes.23
At the time the Board approved its First Report on 4 October 1940, no action had been initiated pursuant to the provisions of the Second Recommendation, and it therefore incorporated similar provisions in the report.24 Although the First Report had been approved, action had not yet been taken toward preparing base facilities when, on 30 November, the Secretary of War requested that the base sites under negotiation with the United Kingdom be increased to include land adjacent to the Newfoundland Airport for the purpose of deploying a tactical air group, with a strength of seventythree aircraft, as soon as facilities could be constructed.25
This arrangement was discussed at the Permanent Joint Board meeting on 17 December 1940, together with the alternative (preferred by Canada) of having Canada (a) provide the facilities, and (b) allow their use on an informal basis for operational training. When advised by U.S. Chairman LaGuardia that this alternative was acceptable, President Roosevelt approved it and directed the War Department to submit its requirements. The facilities requirements, submitted to and discussed with RCAF officers in the latter half of January 1941, comprised twelve hangars, twenty 136-man barracks, and auxiliary construction, the estimated cost of which totaled $4,569,670 (U.S.). The Canadian authorities estimated that housing for two squadrons would be available by 1 May 1941 and the balance of the facilities by early autumn.26
The circumstances of the actual deployment of U.S. air elements to Newfoundland Airport have already been recited.27 By autumn 1941, the facilities constructed by Canada for the United States exceeded the requirements of the U.S. forces actually there. A minor hiatus occurred when Canada expressed a desire to use these surplus facilities until they were needed by the United States. The latter replied that they could not be made available since additional forces were being readied for dispatch to the airport and would require the facilities upon arrival. Nevertheless, according to the U.S. commander, the RCAF not only converted many such buildings to its own use but also gave the remaining construction for the United States a low priority. The Permanent Joint Board at its November meeting considered the situation and acted to rectify it. Having agreed that the international situation made it desirable that the United States reinforce its air garrison at Gander Airport (as Newfoundland Airport had been redesignated), and having noted that the United States was prepared to do this, the Board concluded that Canada should make available without delay the completed facilities that had been constructed for the United States and should expedite the uncompleted construction. The United States suggested the employment of Army Engineer units to assist in completing the construction, but the RCAF on the advice of labor experts strongly advised against it, and the proposal was dropped.28 After Pearl Harbor the discussions became academic, since the new situation resulted in the diversion of the squadron of B-17B aircraft originally destined for Gander and in the revision of plans for dispatching additional units to Newfoundland.
In approving the Permanent Joint Board's First Report in the fall of 1940, Canada had also undertaken to provide facilities in Newfoundland for three squadrons of U.S. patrol seaplanes. In January 1941 the Board had recommended that the provision of facilities for at least one squadron at Botwood should be given the most urgent priority. In the following months this work was initiated, and by the summer of 1941 clearing had been completed and construction was in progress. Finally, the Board had, in its First Report, indicated that a new fighter base would be required in the vicinity of St. John's to meet the joint defense needs in Newfoundland. Work had been begun in the spring of 1941 at Torbay, and by the end of that year the airport was operational. Canada extended the use of this airport to the
United States as expedient and necessary as an alternate airport and for servicing purposes.29
Shortly after Pearl Harbor the U.S. Section of the Permanent Joint Board asked if the United States could permanently station its own servicing detachment at Torbay. However, in line with the Canadian determination to retain the predominant role on the Newfoundland defense scene and to limit the U.S. role, the proposal was coolly received; it was made clear that Canada did not wish U.S. personnel stationed there. This position was later modified, and in May 1943 the Canadian Government approved U.S. construction of servicing facilities there, provided that they were placed on land acquired by Canada and that the contracts were approved by the RCAF. These provisos were apparently not to U.S. liking, for the United States withdrew its request, citing as the reason (and thereby contradicting a statement on the subject made one month earlier) the fact that the facilities were no longer a wartime necessity since the U.S. AAF antisubmarine force in Newfoundland would be reduced in the near future.30
In the period immediately after Pearl Harbor both Canada and United States continued to enlarge their garrisons in Newfoundland as the construction of facilities and the availability of forces permitted. Canada augmented the infantry defenses of each of the RCAF bases by a special airdrome defense platoon equipped with tracked carriers for high mobility. The Canadian Army likewise provided antiaircraft defense for St. John's and for Torbay and Gander Airports and harbor defenses at St. John's, Bell Island, and Botwood. These augmentations brought the Canadian Army strength to a 1943 peak of approximately 5,700.
During 1942 the U.S. Army added an infantry battalion, four harbor defense artillery batteries, and six antiaircraft gun batteries. Platoons of two 155-mm. guns each were stationed at Harmon Field and Fort McAndrew, those at the latter site augmenting the two 6-inch gun batteries installed by the U.S. Navy. The infantry garrison was principally divided between Forts Pepperrell and McAndrew, with one reinforced company stationed at Harmon. The U.S. Army garrison (including air units) reached its peak strength of 10,882 in 1943.
A draft agreement negotiated after Pearl Harbor provided that the following U.S. forces might be made available on the call of the commander of Canada's Atlantic Command upon approval of the Commanding General, Eastern Defense Command, for reinforcing Newfoundland and the Maritime
Provinces: one composite bombardment group and one pursuit squadron for Newfoundland and/or Nova Scotia; one infantry division, reinforced and motorized, and one mobile antiaircraft regiment for eastern Canada.31 Although the agreement was not formally approved, it at least furnished a planning basis for reinforcing Newfoundland and the Maritime Provinces should such action become necessary. Some minor local liaison and administrative co-operation was carried out, but there was no significant operational co-operation between Canada and the United States in regard to the ground and air defense of the Maritime Provinces, or of New England. Pursuant to the Third Recommendation and the First Report of the Permanent Joint Board, the two countries undertook to develop certain defense and related facilities in this area, including the expansion by Canada of airfields in the Maritimes, so as to provide for the operations of forty-eight patron seaplanes and a composite wing of 200 land planes. Both countries proceeded with the execution of appropriate projects, rendering progress reports thereon at the meetings of the Permanent Joint Board. Insofar as they were planned for joint use in emergency operations in the Maritimes, the projects never came into use.
Enemy activity in the immediate vicinity of Newfoundland and its territorial waters never exceeded nuisance proportions. As the German submarine offensive moved closer to North American shores in the spring of 1942, the patrol and bomber aircraft based on Newfoundland began to assume an increasingly important role in the Battle of the Atlantic, but the rest of the Newfoundland garrisons were not called upon for an active defense role. As early as the spring of 1942, it was believed that German submarines not only were using inlets for night surfacing and battery charging but also making reconnaissances of Conception, Placentia, and St. Georges Bays and adjacent installations. Several attacks on enemy submarines were made by destroyer and aircraft, but no positive successes could be reported.32
The vulnerability of the city of St. John's was always a source of concern to the U.S. commander there. The predominantly wooden dwellings and the congestion of shipping in the harbor and of materials and supplies on the docks and in adjacent warehouses presented an excellent target for an
incendiary attack. Fortunately an attack never materialized. In March 1942 the enemy fired two torpedoes which detonated on either side of the harbor entrance. In September and December of the same year a German submarine ventured into Conception Bay and on each occasion sank two ore boats. A year later, in October 1943, the enemy mined the approaches to St. John's harbor, presumably by submarine, necessitating minesweeping operations over a period of several weeks. One of the effects of enemy activity in adjacent Atlantic waters was the loss through sinkings of construction materials having a value of $550,000 and representing 3 percent of the materials imported for U.S. construction projects.
In mid-1943, with the beginning of a clear trend toward the reduction of German capabilities in the vicinity of Newfoundland, both Canada and the United States began to reduce their garrisons. By the end of 1943, the U.S. force, which had six months earlier exceeded 10,000, was reduced to 5,000. The major unit withdrawn was the 3d Infantry Regiment. Canada, too, on a smaller scale, made initial withdrawals reducing the Canadian Army force from 5,700 to 5,000.
Preparations for the defense of Newfoundland had involved the development and construction of facilities other than the main military bases. As the U.S. garrisons were established and as base construction got under way during the early months of 1941, the Canadian and U.S. commanders acting both unilaterally and jointly carried out reconnaissance of the island. The reconnaissance indicated additional defense needs that included (a) field fortifications for the ground garrison, (b) an aircraft warning system, (c) extensive improvement of the Newfoundland Railway, and (d) construction of a road from St. John's to Argentia.33
During the ensuing months the ground garrisons, both Canadian and U.S. proceeded to construct the machine gun nests, strong points, and other field fortications needed to augment the defense of the principal areas around St. John's and Conception Bay. Alternate and reserve firing positions for mobile 155-mm. guns were prepared at various possible landing beaches. In addition, the permanent works necessary for emplacement of coast defense guns and searchlights, together with the necessary housing, power, and communications facilities, were built. The United States built a bombproof command post at Fort McAndrew.
Arrangements between U.S. and Canadian commanders for the establishment of an integrated radar air warning system had to be worked out before actual construction and installation of the stations could begin. It would
155-MM. GUN EMPLACEMENT at Fort McAndrew, Newfoundland, May 1943.
have been sounder to operate a single system as an integrated unit. But each country desired to operate and control the system, particularly Canada, which wanted to integrate the system with that for the Maritime Provinces. A complicating factor was the fact that, by agreement, the air defense of the north half of the island was a Canadian responsibility, and that of the south half was a U.S. responsibility. The RCAF considered a nine-station net necessary, but it could not immediately provide the required equipment. The United States desired for its purposes a five-station net, of which two stations would be in the RCAF area.34
The Air members of the Permanent Joint Board considered the problem and on 13 May 1942 agreed that the United States should install and man its five-station net, with stations at Fogo Island, Cape Bonavista, Cape Spear, Allans Island, and St. Bride's, until such time as the RCAF could make Canadian sets available. The RCAF was to install its available sets in what would make up the balance of the Canadian net. After the installations were made, the RCAF command's No. 1 Group and the U.S. Newfoundland Base Command each operated independent filter centers and operational control organizations, with both systems receiving data from all stations on
the island.35 By the end of the summer the Canadian radar equipment had become available, but the U.S. commander, loath to yield operation of his warning net to the RCAF, requested reconsideration of the arrangement previously worked out. No action was taken and the existing arrangement continued until the spring of 1944.
The United States in May 1944 expressed a desire to transfer the stations to Canadian control in order to release U.S. personnel for service in more active theaters. Acceding to the request, Canada assumed control during the succeeding few months under an arrangement whereby the U.S. equipment was retained and the United States supplied the spare parts needed. This arrangement continued throughout the war and into the immediate postwar period, since the system continued to be useful during the demobilization period for air rescue and movement control purposes.36
Major deficiencies in transportation facilities in Newfoundland were recognized in the initial surveys of the Greenslade Board in September 1940. Adequate road and rail nets were lacking, and the existing railroad was reported as having small capacity and needing extensive replacement of rolling stock and rehabilitation of repair facilities. Although the roadbed of the 707-mile narrow-gauge railroad, which was owned and operated by the Newfoundland Government, was in good condition, its predominantly 50-pound rail and limited bridge capacities would probably be inadequate for heavy haulage.37 The scope and condition of the island's transportation facilities became a matter of early concern, since they not only would be a handicap during the time the bases were under construction but also would place definite limitations on the mobility of the defensive garrison.
Early in 1941 steps were initiated in different quarters to improve the condition of the railroad. In January the general manager of the Newfoundland Railway discussed with the U.S. consul general in St. John's the possibility of financing the materials and equipment needed under the pending lend-lease legislation as being related to the construction of the air and naval bases. The U.S. officials who considered the proposal concluded that a sufficiently broad interpretation of the proposed law would not be possible.38
In April 1941 a representative of the Newfoundland Government appeared before the Permanent Joint Board at one of its meetings to outline the railroad problem and the requirements for its solution. The Board took cognizance of the importance of the rehabilitation work to adequate supply of the U.S. bases and forces in agreeing on its Sixteenth Recommendation. This recommendation called for financial assistance by the United States to Newfoundland as needed for rehabilitating and augmenting the railroad's rolling stock by the amount necessary to meet U.S. military requirements. The rehabilitation requirements were also incorporated into the joint defense plan, ABC-22, which was being drafted concurrently.39
In approving the Sixteenth Recommendation, President Roosevelt directed the Reconstruction Finance Corporation to work out the financial arrangements and made $1,250,000 from his emergency fund available for procurement of the rolling stock for the U.S. Army. During the ensuing months several surveys were made in which the cost of railroad rehabilitation to be undertaken with U.S. financial assistance was variously estimated at from $5.5 to $7.0 million (U.S.). Reconstruction Finance Corporation officials conducted an independent survey and discussed the problem with the Newfoundland authorities during August 1941. As a result, a U.S. loan was worked out in principle for $2.1 million, which covered the "absolutely necessary improvements"--five new locomotives, 150 cars of various types, work equipment, and augmentation of repair facilities.40 The formalities for the loan were completed on 24 November 1941, and the final barrier was cleared with the enactment by the Newfoundland Government on 4 December of the Railway Loan Act.
By this time the U.S. Army had already procured and delivered for operation by railroad authorities the one hundred flat and tank cars it had agreed to provide over and above the rolling stock being obtained under the loan. Title to these cars, and to the five locomotives that were delivered shortly, was retained by the United States. An additional direct U.S. contribution to the railroad rehabilitation was the replacement of the 50-pound rail on the Argentia Branch (supplying Fort McAndrew and the naval base) with 70-pound rail, a project that had been dropped from the curtailed rehabilitation program being financed by the U.S. loan.
Except within the base areas, U.S. forces undertook only one major piece of highway construction in Newfoundland. Harmon Field in southwestern Newfoundland was connected with the Avalon Peninsula by the cross-island
railroad. The Argentia-Fort McAndrew base was connected with St. John's by both rail and highway, but the fifty-four miles of highway between the base and Holyrood was inadequate for military purposes. At a meeting of the Permanent Joint Board on Defense on 30 July 1941, Newfoundland Defense Commissioner L. E. Emerson discussed with Board members the highway requirements of Canadian and U.S. forces and possible arrangements for meeting them. Of particular concern to the Newfoundland Government was the maintenance burden being imposed by the heavy military traffic on the island's roads. At the meeting, the Board adopted its Twentieth Recommendation, embodying arrangements suggested by Emerson, which in part authorized both Canada and the United States to construct and maintain such roads as either required. Under the recommendation, the maintenance of such of the roads as the two countries did not see fit to maintain was to be a responsibility of the Newfoundland authorities. Despite the renewed efforts of Newfoundland during the succeeding few months to get Canada and the United States to accept a greater responsibility for Maintenance, the positions of the two countries remained firm.41
Under the arrangements set forth in the Twentieth Recommendation, the United States proceeded to reconstruct the fifty-four-mile Holyrood-Argentia highway. In the period 1 May-15 December 1942, fourteen miles of highway was relocated and the road was paved with gravel to a 24-foot width along its entire length. The improvements allowed the St. John's-Argentia drive, which formerly required six to eight hours, to be made in two hours.
Communications presented the last major auxiliary facility requirement outside the base areas. By mid-1941 it was apparent to the U.S. authorities that the existing wire line, which paralleled the cross-island railroad, would be inadequate. Even when supplemented by radio networks, the communications were unable to meet the administrative and operational needs of the garrisons. Of particular importance was adequate communications service for the aircraft warning network.
No action had been initiated before the end of 1941, when winter storms began to demonstrate the vulnerability of the wire-line system. Two months of bad weather during January and February 1942 caused extensive breakdown of the wire lines, but the difficulty was climaxed by the damage of a "glitter" storm, involving very heavy ice loads. On the main line some three hundred poles and five hundred cross arms were broken, and hundreds of wire breaks occurred. Two weeks was required to restore telephone service between St. John's and Argentia.
The United States decided to install a telephone cable line adequate to meet the requirements of the several users--the railroad, local officials and police, and the military garrisons of Canada and the United States. The costs were to be borne by the United States, which in turn would be reimbursed on a suitable basis by the users. The telephone cable was expected to be less vulnerable than wire lines. Using a $3.5-million appropriation made available for the purpose, the Newfoundland Base Command in June 1942 contracted with the Bell Telephone Company of Canada for installation of a telephone cable line along the Newfoundland Railway between Whitbourne and Stephenville, the materials to be supplied by the U.S. Army. This project also included the necessary repeater stations and other auxiliary features, and an open wire line from Shoal Harbor to the radar station at Bonavista. Concurrently, a contract was let to the Western Union Telegraph Company for a smaller project involving the construction of a telephone cable between Forts Pepperrell and McAndrew at a cost of $213,000.
In effect, during World War II Newfoundland had two independent sets of defense installations, each with its own defense garrison and under its own defense command. Through the media of joint planning and maneuvers, and of co-ordination of operations on the basis of co-operation between the commanders, a reasonable degree of success was achieved in integrating the garrisons of the two countries. But it was evidently Canadian policy to restrict the scope, or at least the character, of the U.S. defense role in Newfoundland.
Canada's wartime policy toward Newfoundland may have been motivated by both military and political considerations. To Canadian eyes, Newfoundland was a key element of the Canadian defense problem, in the solution of which Canada desired to maintain the predominant position. Likewise, with an eye to the future and a possible revision of the political status of Newfoundland, Canada might naturally be inclined to prevent the development of a situation in which political association with the United States might appear more desirable to Newfoundlanders than other possible courses, such as joining the Canadian Confederation. During the World War II and postwar years, a significant amount of consideration was given by Newfoundlanders in public discussion and the local press to the desirability of political association with the United States as a possible solution to the problem of Newfoundland's political status. To many, this solution promised a brighter economic future than other solutions such as association with Canada. Any encouragement by U.S. officials would probably have increased the sentiment favoring a link to Washington. No such
encouragement was offered, and, in consequence of this attitude, Newfoundland became increasingly interested in union with Canada, which saw this step as politically and strategically desirable.
North Atlantic Ferry Operations
One of the major missions of the air bases in Newfoundland was that of supporting the ferrying of aircraft across the Atlantic from North America to the European battle zones. Throughout the war years an ever-increasing number of airplanes staged through these and other bases in eastern Canada and the North Atlantic to help meet the requirements of the Allied air forces. At its full development this operation represented an important joint U.S.-Canadian contribution to the war effort, for the movement of aircraft eastward utilized an integrated network of bases constructed and manned by personnel of both countries.
The first step in building this "Atlantic bridge" was taken in July 1940 when the British Ministry of Aircraft Production arranged with the Canadian Pacific Railway Company for the operation of a ferry service between a western terminal at Dorval Airport near Montreal and an eastern terminal at Prestwick, Scotland. Aircraft were to be delivered by civilian pilots to Dorval from plants of U.S. aircraft manufacturers in California. The first delivery, seven Lockheed Hudsons, took place on 11 November 1940, and involved a 2,100-mile hop from Newfoundland Airport to the United Kingdom. By February 1941 Boeing Flying Fortresses (B-17's) and Consolidated Liberators (B-24's) were also being flown over the route.42
On 15 July 1941 the ferrying operation was taken over by the British Ministry of Aircraft Production itself through its ATFERO (Atlantic ferrying organization), and the Canadian Pacific Railway agreement was terminated. At this time 59 percent of the pilots were American, 10 percent Canadian, and 28 percent British. ATFERO was short-lived, for on 1 August the responsibility was assumed by the Royal Air Force Ferry Command, which had been established on 20 July.
United States participation in the ferrying of aircraft produced for the United Kingdom began shortly after approval of the initial lend-lease appropriations on 27 April 1941. In early May 1941 U.S. Army Air Corps and British officials discussed a plan for U.S. assumption of the transcontinental portion of the ferrying. The arrangement appealed to the Air Corps since it would provide additional training opportunities in the coast-to-coast operation of the latest types of aircraft. The British anticipated a reduction in
the cost of delivery of the aircraft and the release of large numbers of civilian ferry pilots who could then be employed on the transatlantic leg of the delivery route. On 28 May President Roosevelt assigned to the War Department the responsibility for delivery of lend-lease aircraft to the point of ultimate take-off from the United States for the United Kingdom. The next day, 29 May, the Air Corps Ferrying Command came into existence by an order that was formalized on 5 June.43 In the six months preceding Pearl Harbor, the command ferried 1,350 aircraft to the eastern seaboard for further movement by air or water, financing these operations with over $60,000,000 from lend-lease funds. The scope of the ferrying operation was enlarged during the pre-Pearl Harbor period by a Presidential directive of 3 October 1941, which authorized delivery to any territory within the Western Hemisphere, and by one of 24 November, which expanded the delivery authority "to such other places . . . as may be necessary to carry out the lend-lease program."44
Several months before the United States began actively to participate in the transatlantic ferrying operation, the U.S. Army had conducted preparatory studies and discussed the airfield requirements of an expanded operation with British and Canadian officials. It had concluded that additional bases would be needed to permit the ferrying of short-range aircraft, and that because of congestion at the Newfoundland Airport other facilities would have to be provided for long-range aircraft.
Short-range aircraft were to be ferried to the United Kingdom over a route through Greenland and Iceland. In Iceland, the British had constructed airfields at Reykjavik and Kaldaharnes after they established a garrison there in 1940. In Greenland, owing to British and Canadian interest in 1940 and early 1941 in airfields for ferrying operations, the United States proceeded to garrison the island and develop air bases.45 Construction was begun in Greenland in early July 1941 at Narsarssuak, near Julianehaab, on an airfield having the code designation BLUIE WEST ONE (simplified to BW-1), and in late September 1941 on BW-8 on the Søndre Strømfjord.
The need for airfield facilities to augment those at Newfoundland Airport was first examined by U.S. and Canadian authorities at an Ottawa meeting on 20 March 1941. Canada was asked to survey Labrador for possible sites for staging fields near the village of North West River and also
at points farther north. The United States authorities expressed a readiness to undertake surveys as well as development of bases. Canadian authorities after subsequent discussion undertook to make the survey for a site in the vicinity of North West River, Labrador. The United States received authority to make, and concurrently initiated, its own surveys, which it wished to extend northward for possible sites at Hebron, Labrador, and on Baffin Island.46
The U.S. surveys were made by a party headed by Capt. Elliott Roosevelt, son of the President and intelligence officer of the 21st Reconnaissance Squadron based at Newfoundland Airport. Its mission was to locate a site in the vicinity of North West River, as well as sites in northern Labrador and on Baffin Island. The latter sites, together with a site to be located in eastern Greenland, would complete the ferry route for short-range aircraft.
In late June, after several weeks' search, the Canadian survey party, under Eric Fry of the Dominion Geodetic Survey, located an eminently suitable airfield site near North West River. On 1 July Captain Roosevelt located the same site and reconnoitered it from the air. The two parties joined at a suitable landing site some distance away and proceeded on foot for a joint ground survey on 4 July 1941.47 Both parties then returned and rendered favorable reports.
In mid-July the United States proposed, in a letter from Mayor LaGuardia to Colonel Biggar, that an airfield be constructed at once at the North West River site (later designated Goose Bay), and obtained British service support in Washington for urgent action on the proposal. On 28 July word was received in Washington that the RCAF had concluded that development of an airfield would not be possible that summer. The United States then offered aid as a means of expediting construction, and the North West River airfield project was further discussed on 29 July at the meeting of the Permanent Joint Board. As a result, the Board approved its Seventeenth Recommendation, which called upon. Canada urgently to construct an air base and auxiliary facilities near North West River. If Canada were unable to do so, construction by the United States was to be arranged.48 The Cabinet War Committee approved the recommendation on 13 August 1941.
The Canadians worked rapidly to get construction of the Goose Bay base under way. Detailed surveys were completed by 20 August, a contract was let in early September by the Department of Transport to a Canadian contractor, and the first ship arrived at the site on 19 September. Work was pressed on a twenty-four-hour basis. By 16 November three 7,000-foot runways could receive aircraft, and the following month the airfield was in use. With the closing of the water navigation season, the U.S. Army Air Forces furnished an airplane for transport of materials to the site to permit construction to continue through the winter.49
In the meantime, the Roosevelt party had continued its surveys farther north. During the last half July 1941, potential airfield sites were found at Fort Chimo in the Province of Quebec and at upper Frobisher Bay and Cumberland. Sound on Baffin Island. Padloping Island was later substituted for Cumberland Sound.50The United States soon concluded that the season was too far advanced to undertake airfield construction, but it requested and received, on 22 August, Canadian approval for the establishment of weather stations at the three sites. On 20 September 1941 a ship carrying the weather detachments and construction materials left New York for the three sites, which received the code designations CRYSTAL I (Fort Chimo), CRYSTAL II (upper Frobisher Bay), and CRYSTAL III (Padloping Island). The detachments reached their destinations in October and by the end of the year had constructed the necessary shelter and facilities and were in operation.51
The early months of 1942 found major difficulties developing in connection with North Atlantic ferrying operations. As a result of U.S. entry into the war, plans were being laid for the movement of large numbers of tactical aircraft in formations to the United Kingdom. Then, too, the mounting tide of defense production was making increasing numbers of aircraft available for delivery to Great Britain. As if to compound the congestion that would result at Gander and Torbay Airports, spring thaws would render the Goose Bay runways unusable until they could be stabilized or paved for year-round use. Additional, suitably spaced airfields were still needed to permit ferrying of short-range aircraft.
MAYOR FIORELLO H. LAGUARDIA (second from left) in Newfoundland, September 1942. With him are Hon. L. E. Emerson (left), Brigadier G. P. Vanier, and Capt. Harry DeWolfe (far right).
The Permanent Joint Board discussed the problem of additional staging airfield requirements at its 27 April and 26-27 May 1942 meetings. At the first of these meetings, the Canadian Section suggested, tentatively and subject to further study, that Canada would be prepared to develop an airfield at Fort Chimo and perhaps at other sites. By the time of the second of the two meetings the War Department had approved a detailed plan, later designated the CRIMSON Project, which the Senior U.S. Army Member outlined to the Canadian Section on 27 May. The Board then recessed to permit its thorough examination.52
The Board on reconvening on 9 June reviewed at length a U.S. AAF presentation on the future requirements for movements over the North Atlantic Ferry Route. The increased traffic was seen as reaching, in 1943, a peak as high as one hundred combat and forty transport aircraft each day. To meet these requirements, a series of airfields 400 to 500 miles apart along three alternate routes was proposed:53
- Eastern route--Fort Chimo, Baffin Island, east coast of Greenland, and Iceland.
- Western route--Regina, The Pas, Churchill, Southampton Island, thence joining the eastern route at Baffin Island.
- Central route--Moose Factory, Richmond Gulf, thence joining the eastern route at Baffin Island.
The airfields proposed would not only be adequate to meet foreseeable immediate requirements and provide alternate routes for flexibility to overcome adverse weather conditions but would also be suitable for expansion to meet increased requirements that might arise.
The Permanent Joint Board, after concluding that the aircraft to be ferried over the proposed routes might have a decisive effect in shortening the war, approved its Twenty-sixth Recommendation, calling for the construction by Canada and the United States of nine air bases in Canada and Greenland. The recommendation specified that all existing airfield facilities for ferrying aircraft located in Canada and Newfoundland, including Labrador, were to be considered a part of the project and increased in capacity wherever necessary. Each country was to bear the costs of the airfields it undertook to construct, but all the facilities in Canada were to become the property of Canada six months after the end of the war.54
While the two governments were considering the recommendation, the Combined Chiefs of Staff also studied the proposals, the shipping requirements of which would have an impact on those for the build-up of forces in the United Kingdom for the invasion of the European continent. The impact was so great that a Combined Chiefs of Staff committee recommended in mid-June that the project be rejected unless it could be acceptably modified. On 2 July the Combined Chiefs of Staff were able to approve a modified plan requiring water movement of only half the tonnage of the earlier plan. The new plan called for three permanent airfields--at The Pas, Churchill, and Southampton Island--and for airfields with snow-compacted
runways, for winter use only, at CRYSTAL I, CRYSTAL II or III, and on the east coast of Greenland. The curtailment involved elimination of the central route and of one airfield on Baffin Island and substitution of winter airfields for permanent airfields at three of the remaining sites.55
By the time the Permanent Joint Board on Defense met on 6 July 1942, both governments had approved the Twenty-sixth Recommendation. A week later the Canadian Government reported that, in light of its construction commitments at Goose Bay and elsewhere in Newfoundland and Canada, it could undertake to construct and defend only the airfield at The Pas.56
Within the U.S. War Department a special North Atlantic Ferry Route Project Committee, established on 3 June, was at work on an urgent construction program under a directive from the Chief of Staff that the CRIMSON Project, "must be thought of in terms of weeks and not years." Although by the latter part of August substantial cargo unloadings were taking place at the airfield sites, the committee found the problem of water transportation and its limitations to be one of the major handicaps to rapid construction. Ice conditions permitted vessels to reach CRYSTAL I (Fort Chimo) only between 10 August and 1 October. Open water was available for a slightly shorter period at CRYSTAL II (upper Frobisher Bay). CRYSTAL III (Padloping Island) was open to shipping only about one month. In varying but usually lesser degrees, a similar handicap was met at all the other sites, including Goose Bay. Where the necessary supplies and equipment could not be landed during the open-water season, the limited capabilities of aerial supply presented the only alternative.
By the end of 1942 remarkable progress on the CRIMSON Project had been made. A civilian contractor under the Canadian Department of Transport had completed a usable 200-by 400-foot snow-compacted runway at The Pas, and two more runways were partially cleared. Housing was 80 percent complete. A U.S. civilian contractor on 1 December took over the work initiated at Churchill on 12 August by U.S. Engineer troops (the 330th Engineer General Service Regiment), and by the end of 1942 a 160by 6,000-foot concrete runway had been completed, while the grading of two additional runways was more than half finished. Progress at Fort Chimo, Southampton Island, and Frobisher Bay, which were not served by railroads, was slower. Work under U.S. civilian contractors began in late August on all three bases. By 1 January 1943 usable but unpaved runways were available at the three sites and housing was about 50 percent complete.
During 1942 additional facilities were added to the CRIMSON Project. To meet the need for an emergency airfield between Presque Isle, Maine, the principal U.S. "jump-off" point for the eastern route, and Goose Bay, the United States on 20 October 1942 requested permission to construct a field at Mingan, Quebec. The possibility that the RCAF base at Seven Islands, eighty miles westward, might meet the need was discussed, and a CanadianU.S. team made a joint survey of the Mingan site. A conclusion in favor of a separate airfield on the direct route was reached, and on 30 October the United States was notified of the approval granted two days earlier by the Cabinet War Committee. The U.S. Army awarded a contract for the work to the McNamara Construction Company, Limited, a Canadian contractor that had released personnel and equipment from the work completed at Goose Bay.57
At the Goose Bay base some additional facilities were constructed during the summer and fall of 1942. In April 1942 when a small U.S. detachment had been installed at Goose Bay, it shared the facilities constructed for the RCAF, and minor frictions inevitably developed. To eliminate these frictions, the U.S. garrison sought authority to construct a separate establishment on the opposite side of the airfield. The Canadian Government approved the U.S. request in July, and in November the U.S. garrison, which numbered 325 by the end of the year, moved into its new facilities. In constructing the new facilities, the main elements of which comprised three hangars and housing for 1,000 permanent and 1,200 transient personnel, the U.S. Army Engineer authorities charged with the task had employed the Canadian contractors then at work at Goose Bay.58
Canada provided the local defenses for the Goose Bay base, and by March 1943 a Canadian Army garrison of 1,300 was stationed there for that purpose. Three concrete runways, all 200 feet wide by approximately 6,000 feet long, were constructed, together with comparable appurtenant installations, making the Goose Bay base one of the major bases in the area.
The Goose Bay air base enjoyed a special status among the northeastern North American defense installations. Canada, in accordance with the Seventeeth Recommendation of the Permanent Joint Board, had undertaken the construction of the base. In March 1942, as a result of the 1940 and 1941 understandings on defense between Canada and Newfoundland, it had
officially become an RCAF station, on which the U.S. and British detachments were tenants. The Canadian Government in late 1941 had initiated steps to obtain a long-term lease for the base, and discussions with the Newfoundland Government took place over a period of almost three years. On 10 October 1944, a ninety-nine-year lease agreement between the two governments dating from 1 September 1941 was signed at St. John's.59 It provided that the facilities at Goose Bay would be available for use by U.S. and United Kingdom aircraft "for the duration of the war and for such time thereafter as the Governments agree to be necessary or advisable in the interests of common defense." The provisions of the lease were, on the whole, not as far reaching as the U.S.-United Kingdom lease agreement. One significant difference was that the Goose Bay lease provided that the laws of Newfoundland would remain applicable within the leased area.60
In the Spring of 1943 changing conditions had caused the War Department planners to reappraise the requirements for the ferrying route. Largely because of the greatly increased range of aircraft and the improved situation in connection with water transportation of aircraft, there was virtually no need for the western ferrying route, and the need for eastern-route airfields had also diminished. At the 6-7 May 1943 meeting of the Permanent Joint Board, the U.S. Section proposed that
- The airfields at Churchill, Southampton Island, and The Pas be turned over to Canada.
- The programs at Mingan, Fort Chimo, and Frobisher Bay be expanded to develop these bases more fully as emergency airfields.
- Meteorological services be curtailed.
- Canada assume defense responsibility for the base at Southampton Island.61
The U.S. proposals were discussed at the May and July meetings of the Board, after which the U.S. Section submitted a modified proposal on 29 July 1943. Under the proposal, which was approved by the Canadian Government, the United States retained the caretaker and defense responsibility for the installations until the end of hostilities.62 Construction programs at
the sites were meanwhile curtailed, and only the work already under way was completed at Churchill and Southampton Island. At Mingan, Fort Chimo, and Frobisher Bay, the expanded programs provided for the paving of runways that were originally only to be graded.
The development of the air-base system required the parallel creation of a far-flung network of weather and communications stations, of particular importance in northern Canada and over the North Atlantic because of the hazards to flying and to maintenance of communications presented by the arctic and subarctic weather phenomena. The arrival on 9 March 1941 of a weather and communications detachment at Gander Airport had preceded by two months the establishment of the first U.S. air unit in Newfoundland. Even at that early date, the implications for peacetime weather forecasting were appreciated and occasioned some discussion as to the proper role of the U.S. weather services. In April 1941 Canada suggested, through diplomatic channels, that consultations be held among the civilian and service agencies concerned with a view to co-ordinating weather services. At the continuous urging of the Canadian Controller of Meteorological Services over the next two months, an arrangement was worked out under which the Canadian station at Gander Airport provided the official forecasting services for the garrisons of both countries.63
The Canadian reluctance to permit the U.S. military to operate a fullscale weather service in Canada and Newfoundland next manifested itself in August 1941 when the United States requested authority to establish the CRYSTAL weather stations. After some discussion as to the scope and details of the U.S. request, Canada granted the authority on 22 August, reserving the right to replace the three U.S. stations with Canadian stations when it was in a position to do so.64
A greatly expanded meteorological network was needed for the CRIMSON Project, and under the Twenty-sixth Recommendation of the Permanent Joint Board on Defense the two countries agreed to collaborate in providing it. The requirements for additional service, as presented in a U.S. plan of 7 September 1942, exceeded Canadian capabilities, and on 17 October Canada authorized the United States to establish weather stations at the following points:65
Northern Indian Lake
East Hope Lake, Hudson's Bay Company
Lake Harbour, Hudson's Bay Company
Cape Dorset, Hudson's Bay Company
The curtailment of the CRIMSON Project in 1943 produced a corresponding reduction in the meteorological program, most of which had not been put into effect. By an exchange of letters in mid-1943, the authorization for a meteorological network was withdrawn except for the following stations which had actually been put into operation or were still considered necessary: observing and forecasting stations at The Pas, Churchill, Coral Harbour, Frobisher Bay, and Fort Chimo; observing stations at Brochet, Duck Lake, Eskimo Point, Gillam, Hudson Bay Junction, Island Falls, Lake Harbour, River Clyde, Wabowden, Mecatina, and Padloping Island; and additional stations at Foxe Basin, Indian House Lake, Stillwater Lake, and York Bay.66
Throughout the war the North Atlantic Ferry Route bases in Newfoundland, including Labrador, and in eastern Canada made possible a large flow of aircraft to the United Kingdom and Europe. Initially, this flow involved principally the delivery of aircraft from the factories of Canada and the United States to the fighting units of the pre-Pearl Harbor Allied Powers. Aircraft deliveries to the United Kingdom via this route increased each year-26 in 1940, 722 in 1941, 1,163 in 1942, and 1,450 in 1943. The 1943 figure was part of a total of 3,280 aircraft ferried for delivery in Europe. The total increased in 1944 to 8,641.67
With U.S. entry into the war, the ferry route had assumed a new strategic importance in the staging of U.S. tactical units to the United Kingdom in the preparatory build-up for the planned operations against the European continent. The earliest movements took place in June 1942, when fighter aircraft of the U.S. Eighth Air Force staged from Presque Isle, Maine, to the
United Kingdom via Gander or Goose Bay and Greenland and Iceland. By the end of 1942, 920 aircraft had attempted the crossing and 882 had reached their destinations.68
The air transport operations of the Air Transport Command, which had their beginnings in 1942, in 1943 reached major proportions. A fleet of some thirty-five four-engine and thirteen two-engine aircraft, mostly operated by civilian contract carriers, during 1943 carried over 7,600 tons of cargo eastward and 2,200 tons westward, in addition to 15,235 passengers. After 1 September 1943 the transatlantic operations were staged principally through Harmon Field at Stephenville, with Gander and Goose Bay Airports used as alternates. On V-E Day the Air Transport Command's North Atlantic fleet numbered approximately one hundred four-engine and sixteen two-engine transports.69
After V-E Day in May 1945, two major movements of aircraft to the United States from Europe took place over the ferry route. The AAF White Project, for the return of tactical aircraft for redeployment to other theaters, involved the movement by 15 July of 3,004 aircraft, which incidentally returned over 50,000 personnel with the loss of only one aircraft and no lives. The Green Project called for the air transport to the United States of personnel eligible for discharge from military service. Under this project, in a ninetyday period ending in Mid-September, 160,000 passengers were transported without a fatality, and by mid-September passengers transported under the White Project had exceeded 80,000.70
Throughout these movements the major burden was borne by the main bases at Stephenville, Gander Lake, and Goose Bay, since the increase in range of tactical, as well as transport, aircraft had eliminated the need for the intermediate CRIMSON bases except for emergency purposes. During 1943 and 1944 a total of eighty-five and eighty-seven aircraft landings, respectively, took place at CRYSTAL I (Fort Chimo), and about two-thirds of these landings were the result of Coast Guard PBY (Catalina) ice patrol operations. CRYSTAL II (upper Frobisher Bay) recorded 323 aircraft arrivals in 1943. At
Southampton Island, periods varying from fifty to eighty days occurred during which no aircraft landed at the air base. An insignificant number of ferry aircraft passed through these bases, and air supply, aerial photography, and other miscellaneous operations accounted for most of the aircraft arrivals.71
Sault Sainte Marie
The joint U.S.-Canadian defense plans prepared in 1940 and 1941 paid scant attention to defenses for North America except for the coastal areas. It was only in these coastal areas, proximate to the sea power of the enemy and most likely to be reached by air attack, that the U.S. and Canadian planners considered that the Axis Powers had capabilities of any consequence for offensive action. Nevertheless, because of the pressures of public opinion and legislative clamor, the military in both countries were forced to consider measures for the defense of interior locations and areas. The defense of some of these areas, along the U.S.-Canadian boundary, necessitated study and recommendation by the Permanent Joint Board on Defense.
The major interior defense problem along the boundary was protection of the locks, canals, and navigation channels of the Saint Marys River, connecting Lakes Superior and Huron. Through the Sault Sainte Marie locks in the average year passed tonnages exceeding those passing through the Suez, Panama, and Kiel Canals combined. This inland water movement, which was concentrated in the eight months of the year during which the channels were not frozen, was particularly important because it included the transportation of the bulk (90 percent in 1941 of the total iron ore utilized in the United States, as well as large shipments of grain. If through sabotage or conventional attack the enemy could have succeeded in stopping movement of lake traffic through Sault Sainte Marie for a significant portion of the navigable season, major damage might have been done to the Canadian and U.S. military production programs. The nondelivery of ores would have curtailed output of steel and iron or, alternately, the movement by rail of the tonnages of ores involved would have imposed a burden on the already overtaxed rail transportation systems that could only have disrupted other portions of the over-all military support programs.
The Permanent Joint Board on Defense took note of the defense problem as early as 20 January 1941, when it submitted its Thirteenth Recommendation. Approved by the two governments, the recommendation provided for centralization of responsibility for the safety of navigation in a single authority in each country. Each authority was to be adequately empowered
to co-operate in all the necessary precautionary measures with its counterpart.72
In addition to sabotage, conventional attack was considered a possibility, however small. Such an attack was usually envisaged as taking the form of submarine penetration of Hudson and James Bays for the purpose of rendezvous with, and resupply of, seaplanes, which could then easily reach Saint Marys River. The Canadian Chiefs of Staff appreciated the U.S. concern over the safety of the locks but felt that the risk of enemy action was slight. Not long after the Board had taken action, President Roosevelt himself expressed fears that the Germans would penetrate Hudson Bay by submarine or raider. Secretary of the Navy Knox was able to reassure him that joint plans for the defense of the Sault Sainte Marie were in preparation and that Canada was watching the Hudson Bay area. The Chief of Naval Operations also pointed out that the Canadians had indicated they would resent any U.S. proposal to patrol Hudson Bay, which they firmly considered to be Canadian territorial waters.73
United States entry into the war brought an intensification of interest in the. Sault Sainte Marie defense problem. At the 20 January 1942 Permanent Joint Board meeting, it was agreed that each country should review the security situation at the canals and the adequacy and state of the defenses. As a result of the War Department review, the U.S. Section of the Board announced at the next meeting (25-26 February) that a regiment (less one gun battalion) of antiaircraft artillery, equipped with twelve 90-mm. guns, thirtytwo 37-mm. guns, and twelve .50-caliber machine guns, and a battery of barrage balloons would be sent to augment canal defense. A general officer
was to be placed in command of the Sault Sainte Marie Military District and charged with the defense responsibility. In addition, Army Engineers were to take steps to assure prompt repair of any damage.74 The Canadian Section pointed out that an attack was not possible until mid-July, when the navigation season on Hudson Bay normally opened. At the suggestion of the U.S. Section, the Board made its Twenty-fifth Recommendation for measures to complement those already taken by the United States. The recommendation called for (a) a full RCAF study of enemy capabilities for such attack, (b) the deployment of a Canadian antiaircraft battery, and (c) the placing of the Canadian battery under the control of the U.S. military district commander.75
Much progress had been made by the time of the Board meeting on 7-8 April 1942. The Canadian Section reported that organization of the Canadian 40th Antiaircraft Battery (Heavy) for the canal defenses had been authorized. By midsummer the unit was in place on the Canadian side and under the operational command of the U.S. military district commander. Until the latter part of 1942, when its own 3.7-inch guns became available, the battery used four 90-mm. guns loaned by the United States. Also, the U.S. Section reported at the same meeting the arrival in the canal area on the U.S. side of the U.S. 100th Coast Artillery Regiment (Antiaircraft) (less one battalion) and the 702nd Military Police Battalion for security duty. United States plans called for the replacement of the military police battalion by the 131st Infantry Regiment, as well as the establishment of a restricted airspace zone over the canals, which would require clearance in that zone of all aircraft movements and would subject unidentified aircraft to interception. The Board noted these plans and agreed that an aircraft warning system should be established at the earliest practicable time with a common system of operational control.76
The aircraft warning service requirements in Canada were discussed at a meeting of Canadian and U.S. representatives at Sault Sainte Marie on 5-6 May. The resulting plan for a Central Canada Aircraft Detection Corps was approved by the Canadian Government, and the organization of the corps was put under way by the end of May. By 1 September 266 observation posts, including 215 fire towers plus railway telegraphers and telephone operators, were functioning. Filter rooms were located at Fort Brady, Ottawa, and Winnipeg, in addition to a jointly manned information center at the Sault. By the following summer the system had been expanded to 700 observation points in Canada, manned by 4,740 observers. During November 1942, an
average of 600 flight plans per week were filed, and 400 observer reports were received.77
Although unable to deploy any fighter aircraft to the Sault Sainte Marie canal area because of more urgent requirements in coastal zones, the United States during the summer of 1942 prepared three airfields to receive fighter aircraft in 1943. In furtherance of arrangements approved by Canada on 7 August 1942, the United States also proceeded to establish five radar stations in Canada, at Kapuskasing, Cochrane, Hearst, Armstrong, and Nakina. These stations, along the northernmost route of the Canadian National Railways, provided a screen across the Province of Ontario between the canals and Hudson and James Bays. In addition to providing the sites for this U.S. radar system, Canada also furnished housing facilities for use by portions of the U.S. garrison in the canal area for upward of 50 officers and 2,000 men.78
The Permanent Joint Board reassessed the Sault Sainte Marie defense requirements at its July and September 1942 meetings. To Canada, the Sault canals' defense was not of direct and prime importance. Although the Canadians had earlier agreed to watch the Hudson Bay area, they felt that no special patrols should be provided in the bays because of higher priority needs and because existing operations over these waters and Hudson Strait would probably not permit a surface vessel to pass unobserved. Attempt by submarine would offer considerably greater success of penetrating the bays. But if the Canadians had no intention of providing special patrols, they did not encourage the United States to do so. The Canadian Section of the Permanent Joint Board had, in April 1941, made evident a lack of enthusiasm for U.S. Navy patrols in Hudson Bay, which it regarded as Canadian inshore waters. It was the U.S. Section, more sensitive to the possibility, however small, of a Pearl Harbor-type, "long-shot" surprise attack on the canals, that was usually urging a larger scale of defenses in that area. The U.S. Section finally accepted the Canadian view that additional naval patrol in the Hudson Bay would not be justified.79
Similar discussion took place on the question of antiaircraft defense, with similar considerations involved. The Canadian Section reported the provisions made for antiaircraft defenses at the Sault canals and at the aluminum plant at Arvida, Province of Quebec. Many other requests for defense of
similar facilities along the boundary had been made. The Board concluded, in the light of the small prospect of attack at such points, that assignment of defenses thereto was not justified.80
As the 1943 navigation season approached, the two countries continued the development of the defenses for the Sault canals. The German submarine menace in the western Atlantic had not yet reached and passed its peak, and the possibility of attack, however small, would be greater in 1943 than in 1942. The United States had already, on 29 September 1942, established the Central Air Defense Zone, a belt some 100-150 miles deep on the U.S. side of the border from the north shore of Lake Superior to 45° north latitude in Lake Huron. Except for local flights, flight plans were required for aircraft movements. By the time of the opening of the 1943 navigation season, Canada had established a prohibited flying zone in Canada with a radius of 100 miles from the canal locks.81
By the beginning of 1943 the War Department had also developed plans for the establishment of a military area, pursuant to Executive Order 9066, as had already been done in the U.S. Eastern and Western Defense Commands. By proclamation, the commander of such a military area would become responsible for all defense and internal security activities in the area, including the control of aliens and undesirables, use of radios, codes, and cameras, lighting, and similar activities. The U.S. Section of the Permanent Joint Board suggested that Canada might wish to take similar action. Joint conferences between the officials concerned took place over several months. On the U.S. side, Public Proclamation 1 established the Sault Sainte Marie Military Area effective 22 March 1943. As to similar action by Canada, the question was pursued as far as a joint conference at Toronto on 12 April 1943, when the Canadian conferees presented their conclusions that existing powers were adequate for attaining comparable objectives in Canada and that the establishment of a similar area in Canada was not necessary.82
With the passage of the 1943 navigation season, the tide of German naval and air power in the Atlantic, which had already turned, continued to ebb rapidly. The Sault canal defenses were rapidly dismantled. In November 1943 the Permanent Joint Board approved the disbandment of the aircraft detection organizations in the area. The Canadian Observer Corps, then numbering 9,000, was disbanded on 3 January 1944, and the Canadian antiaircraft battery was transferred. In January also, the War Department initiated the inactivation of the Central Air Defense Zone, the withdrawal of
the radar stations in Canada, and the redeployment of the ground defenses elsewhere. The security of the canals was left in the hands of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police on the Canadian side and of a military police company on the U.S. side.
Apart from the coastal border areas whose defense was provided for in ABC-22 and the Sault Sainte Marie defense system, only one other border defense problem of major consequence was considered by Canada and the United States jointly. Toward the end of 1942 U.S. Eastern Defense Command planners envisaged the need for siting defense installations such as radar stations and other antiaircraft defenses north of the border in order adequately to defend the defense command sector. In February 1943 a request was forwarded to Ottawa for authority to make reconnaissances and deploy antiaircraft weapons on Canadian territory near Buffalo. The Canadian reply expressed concern that such a deployment would inspire numerous similar demands at other points and suggested that the matter first be discussed in the Board, which had a few months earlier taken a position against such deployments.83
From the exchange emerged a U.S. request that (a) the Twenty-second. Recommendation be interpreted by the Board as providing authority for joint planning as well as actual emergency action, and (b) appropriate Canadian authorities join in planning for the defense of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River valley. The Board agreed to this interpretation, subject to the understanding that such plans would not constitute commitments. On 31 March 1943 Canadian and U.S. officers met at the headquarters of the Eastern Defense Command in New York City and after discussion reached some broad but oral understandings. On the basis of these understandings, Eastern Defense Command planners formulated a plan envisaging a radar network of twenty-three stations and appropriate interception aircraft units and headquarters. The plan was to be placed in effect only when frequent air raids into the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River valley area became a definite possibility.84 The U.S. plan, based on the joint discussions, was forwarded in May to Ottawa for review and comment by the Canadian Army and RCAF staff there. It was never revised. By midsummer of 1943 with German capabilities becoming weaker the possibility of such air raids became most unlikely.
Table of Contents
Previous Chapter (6) * Next Chapter (8)
1. H. C. Debates, 8 Sep 39, p. 35. See Ch. IV, above.
2. See Ch. I, above.
3. For accounts of negotiations and debates, see Conn and Fairchild, The Framework of Hemisphere Defense, Ch. II, and Langer and Gleason, The Challenge to Isolation, Ch. XXII. See also Kittredge Monograph, Vol. I, Sec. II, and Edward R. Stettinius Jr., Lend-Lease: Weapon for Victory (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1944), pp. 33-43. Mr. Churchill account is in Their Finest Hour, pp. 24-25, 188-89, and 401-14.
4. Memo, for Secy Navy, 22 Jul 40, in F. D. R., His Personal Letters, II, 1049.
5. The quotation is from WPD Memo, 27 May 40, WPD 4175-9, on which General Marshall noted: "Proposed to Mr. Welles in person, GCM". See also Ch. I, above.
6. Morison, The Battle of the Atlantic, pp. 33-34; Churchill, Their Finest Hour, pp. 403-06; Memo, Lothian for Secy State, 8 Aug 40, D/S 811.34544/1-6/12.
7. Stimson and Bundy, On Active Service, p. 356; D/S Telg 2316, to London, 13 Aug 40, D/S 811.34544/1-6/12.
8. Churchill, Their Finest Hour, pp. 406-07.
9. Stimson and Bundy, On Active Service, p. 357; Churchill, Their Finest Hour, pp. 408-13. The exchange of notes is in EAS, 235. According to Secretary of State Hull, the successful formula was proposed by Green H. Hackworth, his legal adviser.
10. Department of State Bulletin, September 7, 1940, III, 195. The assurances were sought by the President to help make the strongest case for the destroyer transfer since he was being severely criticized by many as having exceeded his authority. Sherwood (Roosevelt and Hopkins, p. 274) believes that the President considered impeachment to be a possible consequence. Some of the pro and con views on the transaction are set forth in the following articles in the American Journal of International Law, XXXIV (1940): Edwin Borchard, "The Attorney General's Opinion in the Exchange of Destroyers for Naval Bases", 690-97; Herbert W. Briggs, "Neglected Aspects of the Destroyer Deal", 569-87; and Quincy Wright, "The Transfer of Destroyers to Great Britain", 680-89.
11. Morison, The Battle of the Atlantic, pp. 34-36; Schull, The Far Distant Ships, p. 56.
12. In August 1943 the British Government offered to assume even these costs as a reverse lend-lease charge, and the offer was accepted.
13. EAS, 235; Department of State Bulletin, August 14, 1943, IX, 97.
14. PC Rpt, 28 Aug 40, sub: Base Sites and Facilities, WPD 4351-5; Memo, SUSAM for ACofS WPD, 28 Feb 42, WPD 4351-9; Note for Record, 8 Jul 41, PDB 107-17.
15. Journal, 27 Aug 40 PJBD meeting, PDB 124; Telg, from U.S. Consul General, St. John's 4 Sep 40, D/S 811.34544/14; Rpt, Board of Experts to Secy Navy, 24 Sep 40, WPD 4351-9; Ltr, to Greenslade, 21 Sep 40, WPD 4351-9.
16. For an account of these negotiations, see Conn, Engelman, and Fairchild, Guarding the United States and Its Outposts.
17. EAS, 235; CTS, 1941, No. 2.
18. The data in this and the next few paragraphs are from Corps of Engineers, North Atlantic [sic]
19. Ltr, Neville Butler to Knox, 11 Nov 40, Roosevelt Papers Secy's File, Box 59. Division, U.S. Army Bases: Newfoundland.
20. For a full account of the development of the U.S. Navy facilities in Newfoundland, see U.S. Navy Department, Bureau of Yards and Docks, Building the Navy's Bases in World War II (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1947), II, 47-54.
21. With the addition of Newfoundland to Canada as a new province on 1 April 1949, the provisions of the leased-bases agreement and the supplemental leases were after that date to become the subject of extensive discussions between Ottawa and Washington.
22. Subsequent Canadian construction in Newfoundland included a naval base at St. John's and a subsidiary naval repair base at Bay Bulls, a short distance to the south, the latter on land leased for ninety-nine years. Title to the St. John's base, which was built at Canadian expense and administered by the Royal Canadian Navy, was vested in the British Admiralty. Under the Air Bases Agreement concluded on 17 April 1941, Canada built a fighter base at Torbay, near St. John's, seaplane bases at Botwood and Gleneagles, and additional facilities at Newfoundland Airport. Under the postwar agreement disposing of the air facilities, Canada transferred control and operation of Botwood, Gleneagles, and Newfoundland Airport to the Newfoundland Government. Canada was paid one million dollars for the facilities constructed at Newfoundland Airport, and it retained the right to recapture this base in event of hostilities. Canada retained title in fee simple to the Torbay fighter base, as had been provided in the April 1941 agreement, with a view to using it as a commercial airport between Canada and Newfoundland. (See CTS, 1946, No. 15, and Heather J. Harvey, Consultation and Co-operation in the Commonwealth (New York: Oxford University Press, 1952), pp. 373-78). The 1946 postwar disposition ceased to have significance after the union of Newfoundland with Canada on 31 March 1949. Goose Bay Airport, whose construction was undertaken by Canada in August 1941, was covered by arrangements other than the Air Bases Agreement of 1941. The Goose Bay arrangements are discussed later in this chapter.
23. Appendix A, below.
24. Appendix B, below.
25. Ltr, SW and Secy Navy to President, 30 Jan 41, WPD 4404.
26. Ibid.; Memo, Bissell to Embick, 26 Dec 40; Ltr, SW to LaGuardia, 17 Jan 41; Ltr, Lt Col H. L. Clark to ACofS WPD, n.d., reporting on conferences 26-31 Jan 41; all in WPD 4404.
27. See Ch. IV, above.
28. Memo, ACofS WPD for SUSAM, 21 Oct 41, PDB 107-9; Ltr, CG NBC to DCofS, 29 Oct 41, PDB 104-5; Journal, 20-21 Nov and 20 Dec 41 PJBD meetings, PDB 124; Memo/Conv, Moffat and Keenleyside, 12 Aug 41, Moffat Diary. A letter of 25 November 1941 (Heakes to Bissell, PDB 107-9) outlined the measures being taken to make five hangars available to the U.S. Army by the end of December.
29. Appendix B, below; ABC-22.
30. Ltr, Bissell to Brant, 30 Dec 41); Ltr, Hickerson to SUSAM, 20 May 42); Ltr, ACofS OPD to SUSAM, 14 Jun 43); all in PDB 107-3.
31. Memo, ACofS OPD for SUSAM, 8 Apr 42), PDB 135-2.
32. It was during this period that German submarines penetrated the mouth of the St. Lawrence River, and, in the five months following May 12, torpedoed 23 ships with the loss of 700 lives and 70,000 tons of shipping. For a full account of these forays, which had a substantial psychological impact on the communities along the river banks, see Jack MacNaught, "The Battle of the St. Lawrence", Maclean's Magazine, LXII (15 October 1949), 7, 68-70, and (1 November 1949), 22, 47-49.
33. Journal, 29 Jul 41) PJBD meeting, PDB 124.
34. Journal, 21 Apr 42) PJBD meeting, PDB 124; Memo, SUSAM for ACofS OPD, 30 Mar 42), PDB 123.
35. Journal, 9 Jun 42) PJBD meeting, PDB 124; Agreement, 12 Sep 42), PDB 123.
36. Memo, ACofS OPD to CofS, 10 Oct 42); Memo, SUSAM for Cdn Air Member, 15 May 44); both in PDB 123.
37. Greenslade Rpt, 24 Sep 40, WPD 4351-9. For an account of U.S. Army transportation difficulties to and within Newfoundland, see Joseph Bykofsky and Harold Larson, The Transportation Corps: Operations Overseas, UNITED STATES ARMY IN WORLD WAR II (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1957), pp. 9-11.
38. Ltr, U.S. Consul General, St. John's, to Hickerson, 23 Jan 41; Reply, 15 Feb 41; both in D/S 740.0011EW 1939/7919-3/9.
39. Appendix A; Journal, 23 Apr 41 PJBD meeting, PDB 124.
40. Ltr, President to SW, 23 Apr 41, PDB 117; Ltr, Commissioner of Defense L. E. Emerson to Hickerson, 23 Aug 41, Department of State Office of Dominion Affairs, PJBD 1941.
41. Appendix A, below; Journal, 30 Jul 41 PJBD meeting, PDB 124; Ltr, Hickerson to Emerson, 21 Nov 41, Department of State Office of Dominion Affairs, PJBD 1941.
42. More detailed accounts of the ferrying operations are to be found in Craven and Cate (eds.), Plans and Early Operations, and Great Britain, Central Office of Information, Atlantic Bridge (London: His Majesty's Stationery Office, 1945).
43. Army Air Forces, Air Transport Command, Administrative History of the Ferrying Command, 29 May 1941-30 June 1942, pp. 2-8; Ltr, President to SW, 28 May 41, Roosevelt Papers, Secy's File, Box 74.
44. Administrative History of the Ferrying Command, 29 May 1941-30 June 1942, pp. 58-59.
45. See Ch. VI, above. On Iceland, additional air-base development was carried out by the U.S. armed forces after their arrival there.
46. Minutes of Conference, WPD 4173-80; Memo for Record, Conference With General Arnold on 17 Jun 41, WPD 4173-77; Memo, ACofS WPD for SUSAM, 23 Jun 41, WPD 4506-4.
47. Ltr, Capt Elliott Roosevelt to TAG, 6 Jul 41, WPD 4506-10. For an account of how the data from a 1935 timber survey led Fry to this site, see Kenneth Wright, "How Goose Bay Was Discovered," The Beaver, Outfit 277 (June 1946), pp. 42-45.
48. Appendix A, below; Journal PJBD meetings 29 Jun and 10-11 Nov 41, PDB 124; Ltr, Maj Gen H. H. Arnold to Air Marshall A. T. Harris, 17 Jul 41, and Reply, 28 Jul 41, both in WPD 4506-4.
49. For an account of the development of the base, which was designated Goose Bay, see "Stepping Stone to Europe," Canada at War, No. 25 (Jun 43), pp. 3-6. An unofficial account by the senior Royal Canadian Navy officer stationed at the base is to be found in William G. Carr, Checkmate to the North (Toronto: The Macmillan Company, 1945).
50. On 9 August, during the Atlantic Conference at Argentia, the development of these sites as a short-range ferry route was discussed by the President with General Arnold, Captain Roosevelt, and other officers.
51. Journal, 9 Sep 41 PJBD meeting, PDB 124; Arnold, Global Mission, p. 250. An account of the difficulties encountered in transporting materials to those sites is contained in Bykofsky and Larson, The Transportation Corps: Operations Overseas, pp. 11-13.
52. The ebullient LaGuardia reported to the President on the meeting: "I consider this meeting the most important we have had . . . The plan itself challenges imagination. It is so gigantic and dramatic. It took our Canadian colleagues by surprise and frankly they have not yet recovered." (Ltr, 28 May 42, Roosevelt Papers, Official File 4090.) A Canadian appraisal of the task had been informally given the U.S. minister a few days earlier by C. D. Howe, who thought that the United States was underestimating the difficulties, such as the long nights and high winds, involved in constructing and operating a base such as the one proposed for Baffin Island. Howe indicated that he would be unwilling to accept such a responsibility for Canada for fear that heavy losses would be incurred. (Memo/Conv, 23 May 42, Moffat Diary.)
53. Journal, PDB 124; U.S. AAF, Appreciation of the North Atlantic Ferry Routes, 6 Jun 42, appended to the journal.
54. Appendix A, below; Appreciation of the North Atlantic Ferry Routes, cited n. 53.
55. CCS 81, 14 Jun 42; CCS 81/1, 28 Jun 42, approved 2 Jul 42; Minutes, 30th CCS meeting; Journal, 6 Jul 42 PJBD meeting, PDB 124.
56. Journals, PDB 124.
57. Ltr, Moffat to Secy State, 31 Oct 42, PDB 105-2. See Table 7, below, p. 324, for the amounts expended by Canada and the United States on the CRIMSON bases.
58. Journal, 6 Jul 42 PJBD meeting, PDB 124.
With the construction of separate facilities, a large degree of co-operation prevailed between Canadian and U.S. forces at Goose Bay. It extended to official functions, such as the sharing of control tower and radio direction finder and similar facilities, and to unofficial functions, such as the exchange of groups of entertainers and athletic activities.
59. Canada at War, No. 25 (Jun 43), pp. 3-6. The State Department, which was surprised when it learned of the negotiations in October 1943, after they had been in progress for about two years, was apparently unenthusiastic about receiving treatment similar to that given Canada during the negotiations leading up to the March 1941 Newfoundland base agreement signed in London. (D/S Telg 100, to Ottawa, 26 Oct 43, D/S 842.7962/111.)
60. CTS, 1944, No. 30.
61. Journals, PDB 124.
62. Ltr, SUSAM to Keenleyside, and Reply, 8 Sep 43, PDB 150-1. The air bases at Churchill and The Pas were actually transferred to Canadian control before V-J Day. (See Ch. XI, below.)
63. Army Air Forces, History of the Army Air Forces Weather Service, III (1941-1943), 212-18.
64. Ott Leg Desp 1867, 22 Aug 41, D/S 811.9243/27. An account of the early development of the U.S. communications and weather services in Newfoundland and Canada is found in Louis Shores, Highways in the Sky: The Story of the AACS (New York: Barnes & Noble, 1947), pp. 33 ff., 51 ff.
65. List, U.S. Defense Projects in Canada, 6 May 43, PDB 150-1.
66. Exchange of Ltrs, SUSAM and Keenleyside, 23 Jul-7 Aug 43, PDB 150-1. The existing AAF network in addition, included stations in Labrador at Hebron and Cape Harrison which were not covered by the exchange with Canada.
67. Great Britain, Central Office of Information, Atlantic Bridge, p. 30; Army Air Forces, Air Transport Command, History of the North Atlantic Division, II (1 Jan 43-1 Apr 44), 131. Additional deliveries were of course made by water transportation and via other air routes.
68. An authoritative account of these operations is to be found in Samuel Milner, "Establishing the Bolero Ferrying Route," Military Affairs, XI (Winter 1947), 213-22.
69. History of the North Atlantic Division, II, 308-10, and IV (1 Oct 44-1 Oct 45), 368. Reginald M. Cleveland, Air Transport at War (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1946), contains authoritative accounts of the AAF ferrying and air transport operations through the eastern Canada and North Atlantic air bases. Graphic descriptions of difficulties encountered in these operations are to be found in Hugh B. Cave, Wings Across the World: The Story of the Air Transport Command (New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1945), Ch. II.
70. History of the North Atlantic Division, IV, 205, 337. Return of U.S. personnel by water at the same time was taking place at the rate of 350,000 per month.
71. Army Air Forces, Air Transport Command, North Atlantic Division, History of CRYSTAL I, pp. 93-94 and Historical Data: CRYSTAL II, p. 20.
72. Appendix A, below.
73. Ltr, to Knox, 23 Apr 41, reproduced in F.D.R., His Personal Letters, II, 1145; Undated Memorandum of reply from Secy Navy bearing notation "came to file 28 Apr 41," Roosevelt Papers, Secy's File, Box 77; CNO Memo, for President, 25 Apr 41, same file. Apparently neither the President's suggestion that naval patrols were needed in Hudson Bay nor other deliberations on the problem developed into an occasion for further examination of the question of maritime jurisdiction over these waters, which Canada declared in a statute enacted in 1906 to be Canadian territorial waters. Although the question had not been adjudicated and other countries had not protested the licensing required by the statute, the Department of State privately indicated in the same year that the United States would not accept such a position. (See Green H. Hackworth, Digest of International Law (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1940) I, 701.) For examinations of the question reaching divergent conclusions, see V. K. Johnston (who takes the Canadian view), "Canada's Title to Hudson Bay and Hudson Strait", British Year Book of International Law, XV (1934), 1-20, and Thomas W. Balch, "Is Hudson Bay a Closed or an Open Sea," American Journal of International Law, VI (1912), 409-59, and "The Hudsonian Sea Is a Great Open Sea." American Journal of International Law, VII (1913), 54665. A recent comprehensive study, which examines Canada's Arctic claims in general, including the Hudson Bay question, is the unpublished Ph.D. dissertation (Columbia University, 1952) by Gordon W. Smith, The Historical and Legal Background of Canada's Arctic Claims.
74. Journals, PDB 124.
75. Appendix A, below.
76. Journals, PDB 214.
77. Journal, 9 Jun 42) PJBD meeting, PDB 124.
78. Ltr, Air Commodore F. V. Heakes to Douglass, 7 Aug 42), PDB 123-6; the Twenty-second and Twenty-fifth Recommendations were cited by Canada as the basis for the provision of housing facilities for these units. Canadian Rpt, U.S. Defense Projects in Canada, 6 May 43, PDB 150-1. The radar system, operated by the 671st Signal Aircraft Warning Reporting Company with headquarters at Kapuskasing, was manned by nearly 1,000 U.S. troops.
79. Journals, PDB 124.
80. Journal, 1 Sep 42) PJBD meeting, PDB 124.
81. WD Unnumbered Circular; Journal, 24-25 Aug 43) PJBD meeting, PDB 124.
82. Journal, 6-7 May 43 PJBD meeting, PDB 124.
83. Memo, Maj Gen Sanderford Jarman, EDC, for SUSAM, 7 Feb 43, and Reply, 19 Feb 43, both in PDB 126-7.
84. Memos, ACofS WPD for SUSAM, 15 Feb and 11 May 43, and Reply, 1 Mar 43, all in PDB 135-2.