CFS Ramore

Category Exploration Date Status Province / State Country
Military October 11, 2008, April 23, 2011, October 9, 2016 Repurposed Ontario Canada

Posted on: Sat, 10/11/2008 - 15:15 By: Mike


Construction was completed on the USAF's Ramore Air Station in 1953. The station was first manned by the USAF's 912th Aircraft Control & Warning Squadron. The early warning 917th AC&W Squadron resided there until January 1962. During this time, the Americans became a big part of the surrounding area's community life.

The RCAF took over the station on 2 January 1962 and renamed the site, 35 Aircraft Control & Warning Squadron, RCAF Station Ramore. 35 AC&W Squadron had actually been formed on 1 November 1961 for administrative purposes but did not handle any of the operational requirements of Ramore until the official hand-over. The unit became operational with the SAGE system on 1 October 1963 and the unit's manual operations ceased on the Pinetree Line. They reported to the Ottawa NORAD Sector which had been previously known as the Ottawa Air Defence Sector. On 1 May 1964, 35 AC&W Squadron was renamed 35 Radar Squadron, Ramore and were designated as a long range radar site. Support services were provided by RCAF Station North Bay, 185 miles south on Highway 11.

When the mid-Canada line was opened in the late Fifties, RCAF Station Ramore was utilized as a relay station for signals coming from one of the Sector Control Sites (SCS) at RCAF Station Winisk. The signals would be sent to Ramore via a Tropospheric scatter system and then they would forward the signals via a land-line to the RCC at North Bay. This service provided by Ramore, ceased in April 1965 when the Mid-Canada Line was stood down and RCAF Station Winisk was closed.

As a result of unification, 35 Radar Squadron became Canadian Forces Station Ramore on 10 August 1967. In the fall of 1973, the station Ground Search and Rescue team was called out to look for the occupants of a Cessna light aircraft that had crashed at Kenogami near Kirkland Lake. The rescuers, themselves, were in some degree of danger as it was hunting season; but they were successful in their mission. The personnel of CFS Ramore, like their American counterparts, became an integral part of life in the area. Many lived in surrounding communities; about one third lived in Kirkland Lake, while others lived in one of the 36 mobile homes in Matheson. The station assumed parent responsibility for 288 Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron in Kirkland Lake.

Unfortunately, the station was one of many radar sites on the chopping block due to technological advances and shifting defense priorities. CFS Ramore was gone by 1 October 1974.

--The NBC Group - Don Nicks, John Bradley, Chris Charland.

Personal Commentary: 

I wasn't entirely sure as the "exact" location of this site, so as I was driving along the road, I suddenly realized that I had just whizzed past the old guard house. I parked the truck just around the corner from the guard house and began snapping off a few pictures.

A car came up the road with a lone driver, and it was coming pretty fast. I became a little concerned that perhaps I was already about to get tossed out. But the car continued past the old guard house and went deeper into the base.

I continued around the domestic site and figured that I'd proceed up to the operations site. It was a strangely long drive. Most of the Pinetree sites I'd been to before, it was simply a matter of going up the hill. At Ramore, it felt like I was driving through the woods to some far away place.

Just as it appeared I was finally there, I encountered a gate blocking the way. I wasn't going to get the truck around it, so it was time to walk. It was a steep climb, and my out-of-shape legs were feeling the burn, but the view was impressive to say the least.

Update - July 1, 2018:

I had heard that someone had purchased the property, and this was the first opportunity I had to look.  Some buildings are being used for new purposes, others are being demolished.  No Trespassing notices are going up.  I believe that's the end of this site.


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