Canadian Forts


Camp Alexander | Allan's Island Radar Station | Fort Amherst | The Battery | Bay Bulls Fort
Bell Island Battery | Bonavista Fort | Cape Ray Radar Station | Fort Cape Spear
Cape Spear Radar Station | Carbonear Battery | Fort Carbonear | Carronade Battery
Fort Chain Rock | Fort Charles | Commissariat House | Conception Bay Battery
Cuckhold's Cove Battery | Cuper's Cove Fort | Detached Redoubt | Duke of York's Battery
Easton's Fort | Elliston Radar Station | Ferryland Fort | Fogo Battery
Fogo Island Radar Station | Fox Island Fort | Frederick's Battery | Fort Frederick
Gaillardin Redoubt | Grevecour Battery | Harmon Field | Heart's Content Fort
Horseshoe Battery | Isle of Bois Batteries | La Fontaine Battery | Lewisporte Battery
Manuels Battery | Fort McAndrew | Marquise Res. | Middle Cove Battery | Camp Morris
North Castle Battery | New Fort | Fort Pepperrell | Phillip's Head Battery | Fort Plaisance
Point Verde Battery | Queen's Battery | Quidi Vidi Battery | Red Cliff Battery
Renews Battery | Fort Royal | St. Bride's Radar Station | Fort St. John's | Battery San Juan
St. John's Agency | Signal Hill | South Castle Battery | Fort Townshend | Trepassey Battery
Trinity Fort | Le Vieux Fort | Battery Waldegrave | Fort Waldegrave | Wallace's Battery
Fort William | Wiseman's Cove Battery

L'Anse aux Meadows

Canadian WWII Radar Sites


Last Update: 28/SEPTEMBER/2021
Compiled by Pete Payette - ©2021 American Forts Network

Allan's Island Radar Station
(1942 - 1945), Allan's Island
An American WWII anti-aircraft spotting station and an SCR-271 early warning radar was located here, near Lamaline on the Burin Peninsula, completed by the early winter of 1943. The complex was also provided with six .50-calibre machine guns for self-defence. Canadian troops took over the post in the spring of 1944.

Argentia in WWII from Newfoundland Heritage

¤¤ Fort McAndrew
(1941 - 1946/1994), Argentia FORT WIKI
Originally called the Marquise Military Reservation until March 1942. Gun batteries located here were Battery 281 (guns, carriages, and shields removed in 1994, sent to Fort Columbia in Washington State); Battery 282 (guns still here) on "Hill 195" south of town; Isaac's Head Battery (aka AMTB Battery 955) (composed of a 3-inch gun and a 90mm gun) located across the sound from the airfield; two unnamed two-gun 6-inch naval gun batteries (temporary) at Shalloway Point and Latine Point; two 155mm guns on 180-degree Panama mounts (location ?); a 90mm AMTB battery at Roche Point (covered); and another 90mm AMTB (Battery 954) at Ship Harbour Point, site of the Atlantic Charter Memorial NHS. An SCR-582 radar was located at the Harbor Entrance Control Post (HECP) located between Batteries 281 and 282. Several 40mm AA batteries surrounded the airfield. Another 90mm AMTB battery was located south of Placentia at Black Point.
Construction of the Argentia Naval Base and Air Station began in January 1941. Fort McAndrew served as the Army headquarters to protect the naval base. The base was a joint U.S. - Canada Air Force airbase after World War II. It became McAndrew Air Force Base in 1948. The U.S. Air Force left in 1955, replaced by the U.S. Navy. The Naval Air Station closed in 1975, and the Naval Operating Base closed in 1994. All the remaining land was turned over to Canada in 1995. Several of the military housing barracks were destroyed in 1999, and the Officers' Quarters was destroyed in 2000. The former base is now an industrial park. The Battery 282 site is now designated a Municipal Heritage Site, located on the west side of Charter Ave., west of the "Pinnacles" and south of Shag Ponds. The AMA Backland Trail in Southside leads to the old U.S. Naval Ammunition Magazines and a naval lookout post. See also Argentia Management Authority || Eastern Newfoundland Geotourism MapGuide

¤ Colonial Forts of Placentia
Forts of Placentia (Placentia Tourism)
Placentia Area Historical Society

NOTE: The French settlement of Plaisance was renamed Placentia by the British upon taking control by treaty in 1713. The colony was attacked and looted by the British in February 1690, and bombarded by ship attack in September 1692.

¤ Fort Plaisance
(1660, 1662 - 1685), Placentia
A stockaded fort with four guns was originally here in 1660, but the settlement failed. The second French fort here, supposedly on the same site, was a polygonal log and earth 18-gun fort with five bastions. Also known as Le Vieux Fort. In 1667 there were 32 guns reported. Eventually fell into disrepair. Ruins remain. Site located on Mount Pleasant, east of the town proper. Boat access only. See also Archaeological Digs at Placentia from Placentia Tourism

¤ Fort Louis
(1691 - 1713, 1744 - 1790's), Jerseyside
Originally a wooden stockade with seven guns. Rebuilt later by the British and known as New Fort. Located on the north side of the Gut from Placentia.

¤ Gaillardin Redoubt
(Castle Hill National Historic Site)

(1692), Jerseyside
Built on the main summit of Castle Hill near Fort Royal. A log or timber work, it guarded Castle Hill against land attacks from the rear.

¤ Fort Royal
(Castle Hill National Historic Site)

(1693 - 1811), Jerseyside
Built on Castle Hill overlooking Fort Louis, it was a square work with four half-bastions, with stone-revetted walls, and a blockhouse. The original blockhouse was removed by 1701. The ruins contain the remains of barracks, a powder magazine, a guardhouse, and a later British blockhouse (1762). Outer works located on the west side of Castle Hill include Horseshoe Battery, La Fontaine Battery, and the Detached Redoubt, all within the national park boundary. See also Canadian Register of Historic Places

¤ Fort Frederick
(1717 - 1811, 1813), Placentia
Stones from the French Grevecour Battery (1695) below this work were used in the construction of this British fort commanding the sea lane into the main harbour. In 1721 it was rebuilt as a semi-circular redoubt with 12 guns, then reduced to eight guns in bastions in a 1744 rebuild. It was repaired again in 1762. By 1805 the fort consisted of a government house, barracks, stock house, and ordnance store. It was abandoned in 1811. A temporary two-gun earthwork battery was built in 1813 to defend against American privateers. Located in town, site marked by a stone monument flanked by the two 1813 guns. See also Fort Frederick from Placentia Tourism || Eastern Newfoundland Geotourism MapGuide

¤ Point Verde Battery
(1675 ?), Point Verde
French battery shown on a 1675 map.

St. Bride's Radar Station
(1942 - 1945), St. Bride's
An American WWII anti-aircraft spotting station and an SCR-271 early warning radar was located here, completed by the early winter of 1943. Canadian troops took over the post in the spring of 1944.

Trepassey Battery
(1779 - 1784, 1813 - 1815), Trepassey
A six-gun battery built on the north end of Powell's (Powles) Point at Trepassey Bay during the American Revolution. Rebuilt during the War of 1812. Site is marked with two display cannons.

A 90 x 120-foot earthen redoubt-like structure with two apparent demi-bastions was discovered by amateur aerial photography in May 2016 on Picker's Point on Mutton Bay, dubbed "Fort Mutton". Historians at the time could not determine if this was a previously unknown fortification, or simply the site of a former house on an elevated and leveled terrace with a single-faced stone-walled raised garden feature.

Renews Battery
(1778 - 1784, 1812 - 1815), Renews
The "Mount" headland was defended with a four-gun battery by the townspeople for defence against American privateers during the American Revolution. Four period cannon are displayed at the site.

Ferryland Fort
(1621 - 1629, 1638 - 1673), Ferryland
A bastioned sod-covered earthwork (incorporating field stone rubble) originally built by Governor Edward Wynne to defend the four-acre settlement against the French. This was part of George Calvert, Lord Baltimore's first American venture, the Colony of Avalon, before he later established another colony in Maryland. Calvert had resided here in 1627, but found it too cold for his liking and requested from King James I of England a new land grant further south in America (Virginia). The second fort here, built under Governor David Kirke, was destroyed by the Dutch in 1673. The settlement was again attacked and burned by the French in November 1696. Some old cannons still remain on site.

Historic markers are also at the site for two British gun batteries from the 1740's located offshore at the Isle of Bois.

Bay Bulls Fort
(1638 - unknown), Bay Bulls
Located south of St. John's. It was originally built for defence against the French. It was attacked by the French in November 1696 and January 1705.

Bay Bulls Harbour was the alternate port to St. John's Harbour during World War II. The Royal Canadian Navy had a small section base here, as well as a naval repair base (completed in 1944). Coastal defence and/or anti-aircraft batteries may have been located here.

Cape Spear Radar Station
(1942 - 1945), Cape Spear
An American WWII anti-aircraft spotting station and an SCR-271 early warning radar was located here, completed by the early winter of 1943. Canadian troops took over the post in the spring of 1944.

St. John's Agency
(1918 - 1932), St. John's
A Hudson's Bay Co. post.

and Older Colonial Forts

¤ Fort Cape Spear
(Cape Spear Lighthouse National Historic Site)
(1941 - 1949), Cape Spear
Located southeast of St. John's. There was a two-gun coastal defence battery (1941 - 1945) located here during World War II, armed with two American-made 10-inch M1888 guns on M1894M1 disappearing carriages, which were transferred from Fort Mott, New Jersey per the Lend-Lease agreement. The guns were manned by Canadian troops. American troops manned searchlight emplacements and a nearby SCR-271 radar station (see above). In 1946 all removable military structures were ordered removed from the park. The two gun tubes still remain as abandoned, however, but the carriages/mounts were removed. The old lighthouse was built here in 1835, and is the oldest remaining lighthouse in Newfoundland. The new light was built in 1954. Admission fee to the lighthouse. See also Hiking with Barry - Wilderness Adventure

¤ Blackhead Dummy Battery
(1941 - 1944), Blackhead
A two-gun dummy (decoy) battery was located here, a few miles west of Cape Spear. Rock ruins remain, site accessible from the Blackhead Path on the East Coast Trail. PHOTOS

¤ Fort Amherst (National Historic Site)
(1775 - 1870, 1941 - 1945), St. John's
Located opposite Signal Hill across The Narrows, at South Head. A casemated stone tower with an eight-gun barbette battery was the first construction. A lighthouse was built on one emplacement in 1813. Some trace remnants of the original work still exist. Site marked by Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada stone monument and plaque.

In 1941 two casemated 4.7-inch guns were installed here from Signal Hill, replacing two 75mm guns which were sent to Fort Chain Rock. The two guns are still extant. This battery helped to protect the minefield outside of the Narrows. An American SCR-296A radar installation was nearby. The second lighthouse was built here in 1954.

Nearby was the site of British Fort Charles (1796 - 1815) (nine guns, rebuilt 1811 with seven guns), previously the site of the (South) Castle Battery (1665 - 1697, 1705 - 1762) (six guns in 1744), and Frederick's Battery (1777 - 1780's) (nine guns and magazine, with barracks) at Frederick's Cove. It defended the town from the Dutch in July 1673, the French in November 1696 and September 1762 before it was captured. The site was abandoned in 1852. Stone ruins still remain along the trail to Fort Amherst. See also Hiking with Barry - Wilderness Adventure

¤ Signal Hill (National Historic Site)
(Archaeology at Signal Hill)
(1696 - 1945, intermittent), St. John's
Several batteries were located here on North Head including: Battery Waldegrave (built on the site of the old North Castle Battery) a two-gun battery complementing Chain Rock Battery; Queen's Battery (1796 - 1870); Wallace's Battery; Duke of York's Battery (site); and Carronade Battery. All of these were built during the Napoleonic Wars (1800 - 1815). French forces from Placentia captured St. John's in November 1696, January 1705, and January 1709. The French briefly held the town again in June-September 1762. The British (who may have called the mount Fort St. John's) captured and used the hill to bomb the French-held Fort William. This was the last battle of the French and Indian / Seven Years' War in North America (September 1763). The British viewed the Hill as a final retreat for Forts William and Townshend. A blockhouse was built here in 1795. It was demolished in 1810 for a Martello Tower, which was never built. New barracks were built on the hill and at Queen's Battery in the 1830's. The Hill was refortified during the American Civil War. British forces left in 1870. The Cabot Tower was built in 1897 for Queen Victoria's birthday celebration. It is not a defensive structure, but was used as a lookout and maritime signal station until 1958. See also Hiking with Barry - Wilderness Adventure

Fort Waldegrave (the old battery was dismantled in 1868) was rearmed in World War I (1916 - 1920), and was the city's only active defence at that time. The barracks later became a dance hall, but were eventually torn down. The two 4.7-inch guns that were here were transferred to Fort Amherst in 1941. The gun area is now a parking lot. The old battery has been restored with one 1790's era display gun.

The U.S. Army built a two-gun coastal defence battery on Signal Hill in 1941, consisting of two 8-inch M1888 guns on M1918 barbette carriages, located at the present-day parking lot for Cabot Tower. The two guns were removed and relocated to Red Cliff in 1942. A battery of four 155mm guns on Panama mounts was also located here in 1942, until moved to Middle Cove and Manuels. This site was considered a subpost of Fort Pepperrell (see listing below). A grass-covered mound near the parking lot is one of the gun sites. Parking lot improvements in the fall of 2016 exposed at least one of the 155mm gun's Panama mounts.

¤ Fort Chain Rock
(1673 - unknown, 1941 - 1945), The Battery, St. John's
Located near the waterline below Queen's Battery on Signal Hill. This was the location of the city's first defence work, known as the Chain Rock Battery. The "chain rock" was so-named as the anchor point for a chain defence across the Narrows. Access via the North Head Trail.

In 1941 a two-gun 75mm AMTB battery was located here, transferred from Fort Amherst. One of the guns may still be here in casemate. This battery helped to protect the minefield outside of the Narrows.

¤ Fort William (National Historic Site)
(1697 - 1713, 1745 - 1867), St. John's
Built on the site of an earlier British fort (1680 - 1696). The French captured the fort in January 1709, and again in June 1762, but lost it that same year (September) after the British bombarded it from Signal Hill. It was rebuilt again in 1790. British forces withdrew in 1867. A railroad station was located here from 1881 to 1903. A hotel was built on the site in 1926. See also Anderson House (built 1804) at 42 Powers Court, which may have been used as a military billet.

¤ Fort St. George
(1697 - 1713 ?), St. John's
Built adjacent to Fort William for support of that work, and connected by an underground passage. Captured by the French in January 1709. It was torn down after 1713 to build houses.

¤ Fort Townshend (National Historic Site)
(1775 - 1867), St. John's
An earthwork fort built out of range of the guns on Signal Hill, should it be captured. Also spelled Townsend. Completed in 1781, it defended the harbour better than Fort William did. It was enlarged and strengthened in 1796. The ramparts were leveled in 1867, and the remaining barracks were used by the local police force. They were finally destroyed in 1947, and the old magazines were destroyed in 1958. Some storage cellars with a small building, which was used as a guardroom, still remain. In 2000 The Rooms, a modern complex housing the Provincial Archives, Art Gallery and Museum, was built on the site. Preserved ruins of the wall foundations and/or magazines are located in the basement, and a permanent ongoing exhibit of the fort is also presented in the museum.

¤ Commissariat House (Provincial Historic Site)
(1820 - 1870), St. John's
Built as a residence for the Assistant Commissary General of the British garrison in Newfoundland and as offices for the management of the garrison’s accounts and records. After the withdrawal of the British garrison in 1870, it became the rectory for St. Thomas Church, with few changes made to the building. From 1918 to 1921 it was used as a convalescence home following the First World War. Located at 5 Kingsbridge Road. Admission fee.

¤ Quidi Vidi Battery (Provincial Historic Site)
(1762 - 1870), Quidi Vidi Village, St. John's
Located to the north of Signal Hill, at the entrance to Quidi Vidi Gut. Originally built by the French, then captured by the British. It was abandoned, then rebuilt in 1779 by the British. Occupied by the French in 1780. Abandoned again in 1783. Some repairs made in 1791, and rebuilt in 1793. Abandoned a third time in 1805. Rebuilt again in 1811 with a guardhouse, powder magazine, and new guns. A skeleton crew remained here from 1814 to 1870. It was reconstructed in 1967 to its 1812 appearance. Admission fee.

Another shore battery was located at nearby Cuckhold's Cove in 1779.

¤ Fort Pepperrell
(1941 - 1947/1961), Pleasantville, St. John's
The headquarters post of the U.S. Army's Newfoundland Base Command during WWII. Located along the north shore of Quidi Vidi Lake. Camp Alexander was the cantonment area before the fort was finished in 1941. Became a U.S. Air Force base in 1947. The Canadian Military Headquarters for Newfoundland was transferred here from Buckmasters Field in 1961 after the Americans left. The former post is now mostly used by the RCMP and the Fisheries Canada Centre. The Canadian Forces Station St. John's still uses a portion of the former base. Several original buildings still exist, now known as the Pleasantville community, although many have recently been torn down. Several magazines are still extant in the White Hills area. See also White Hills Area from Newfoundland Urban Exploration Society
Fort Pepperrell History by Wayne Setzer

¤ Red Cliff Battery
(1942 - 1946), Red Cliff Head
Located near Flagstaff Hill, the two American 8-inch guns at Signal Hill were relocated here, and was probably known as Battery San Juan (?), which was under direct command of Fort Pepperrell. A fire-control observation post was also located here. The battery's magazine is still extant. In the 1950's this site became a radar installation (part of the PINETREE system), the ruins of which still remain. A U.S. Navy satellite communications centre operated here from 1975 to 1982. See also 642 AC&W Radar Squadron from Wayne Setzer

¤ Middle Cove Battery
(1942 - 1945), Middle Cove
An emplacement for two 155mm guns on Panama mounts, transferred from Signal Hill.

Bell Island Battery
(1940 - 1945), near Wabana, Bell Island
Two 4.7-inch quick-firing guns are located at Beach Hill, at the top of the cliff above the ferry terminal. The extant battery is now a memorial to WWII. Bell Island was the location of strategic iron ore deposits (the mines were closed in 1966). On September 5, 1942 two ore boats, the S.S. Lord Strathcona and the S.S. Saganaga, were in anchorage and sunk by the German U-boat U-513, which had slipped into the bay during the night. The shore battery, manned by the Newfoundland militia, didn't see or hit the submarine but did manage in the confusion to kill a cow in St. Phillips (so the story goes). Two months later, on November 2, the German U-boat U-518 torpedoed the S.S. Rose Castle and the Free-French freighter PLM 27. Again the shore battery fired at an unseen target. Bell Island has the distinction of being the site of the only coast artillery guns fired in defence of North America during the Second World War. The four wrecks are divable. See also Welcome to Bell Island from Wabana Council

Manuels Battery
(1942 - 1945), Manuels
An emplacement for two 155mm guns on Panama mounts, transferred from Signal Hill. Built to protect the "backdoor" land approach to St. John's against enemy landings.

Conception Bay Battery
(1942 - 1945), Conception Bay
A pre-prepared battery site for two 155mm guns on Panama mounts, as an alternate site to Manuels.

Cuper's Cove Fort
(Cupids Cove Plantation Provincial Historic Site)
(1610 - 1624 ?), Cupids
This was the first permanent English settlement in Canada. In August 1610 the newly appointed governor, John Guy, arrived in Cuper's Cove with 38 colonists. By 1611 there were two houses constructed in an enclosure measuring 90 feet by 120 feet, a fort with mounted cannons, saw pits, a brew-house, a ship construction shed, farm animals, and cleared land. In 1612 an additional group of colonists, including women, arrived. A journal kept by colonist Henry Crout records the birth (March 27, 1613) of the child of Nicholas Guie and his wife. This is the first recorded birth of an English child in Canada. Captain John Mason was the second governor of the Cupids colony and held the position between 1615 and 1621. After he left Newfoundland, Mason was founder of the New Hampshire colony. The site of the original 1610 Plantation has been uncovered showing remains of defensive walls, several buildings, a stone fireplace, cellars, cobblestones and 110,000 artifacts. A portion of the plantation burned in the early 1660's but the site was still occupied after that time. Artifacts and exhibits are at the Cupids Legacy Centre at 368 Seaforest Drive (admission fee).

Peter Easton's Fort
(1612 - 1614), Harbour Grace
A 500-man 10-ship pirate base and stronghold. Site is located at the Conception Bay Museum (former Customs House) on Water Street, which has exhibits on Easton and his fort. See also History of Harbour Grace from Town of Harbour Grace || See also Pirates from Baccalieu Trail Heritage Corporation

Carbonear Battery
(1812 - 1815), Carbonear
Three guns were emplaced on Harbour Rock Hill to protect the town against American privateers. Two guns still remain on display, with an historical plaque. See also Town of Carbonear - Attractions

Fort Carbonear
(Historic Carbonear Island)
(1679 - 1762), Carbonear Island
An early British fortified post and safe haven for the settlers of several nearby fishing villages in Conception Bay. Attacked by the French in November 1696 and January 1705. Still listed as a garrisoned post in 1745. Briefly captured by the French in 1762, but quickly retaken. Remnants of fortifications are still visible. Private or charter boat access only. A history board in town displays the history of the island which in 1981 was designated a National Heritage Site.

Heart's Content Fort
(1697), Heart's Content
Area settlers fled to a fortified house here in February 1697 after the French attack on New Perlican. The French followed and attacked here as well.

Trinity Fort
(Fort Point Historic Site)
(1744 - 1762, 1780 - 1784, 1812 - 1815), near Trinity
Two batteries (14 guns and four guns) were built in 1744 on Fort Point (aka Admiral's Point) covering Salvage Cove and White Point. Storehouses and magazines were built in 1748, and another three-gun battery was then built at the point. Attacked and destroyed by the French in July 1762. Rebuilt in 1780 with six guns to defend against American privateers. Ruins remain. The present lighthouse was built in 1871.

Fox Island Fort
(1705 - unknown), Fox Island, near English Harbour
A fortified refuge and safe haven for British settlers in the Trinity Bay region after the French attack of 1705. The settlers on both sides of Trinity Bay, including Old Perlican, were encouraged to spend the winters on Fox Island so they could better protect themselves. Located off of the western shore of Trinity Bay on the Bonavista Peninsula. The island, now connected to the mainland by a sand spit, is accessible from a trail from Champney's West, off of NF 230. See also Fox Island Trail from Trail

Elliston Radar Station
(1942 - 1945), Elliston
An American WWII anti-aircraft spotting station and an SCR-271 early warning radar was located on Elliston Ridge, completed by the early winter of 1943. Canadian troops took over the post in the spring of 1944. Remnants of a later Cold War era radar station exist here.

Bonavista Fort
(1690's ? - 1710's ?), Bonavista
An early fortified British settlement. Attacked by the French in November 1696, August 1702, and August 1704.

Fogo Battery
(1779 - 1784, 1812 - 1815), Fogo Island
A four-gun battery built on Garrison Point to defend the town against American privateers during the American Revolution. Rebuilt and rearmed for the War of 1812. Site marked by two display cannons.

A two-gun battery was also located on Wigwam Point in 1779.

Fogo Island Radar Station
(1942 - 1945), Sandy Cove, Fogo Island
An American WWII anti-aircraft spotting station and an SCR-271 early warning radar was located here. The 685th Air Warning Squadron crew arrived here in the early summer of 1942. Work began immediately on the acquisition of land and the construction of several temporary buildings required for the station. All supplies had to be shipped by sea transport using U.S. Army supply boats operating out of St. John's. By the end of the summer of 1942 the station was ready for the installation of the equipment and manning. Fifty-two personnel from the 685th Air Warning Squadron at Fort Pepperell were sent as a permanent operating unit. The detachment consisted of three officers, one doctor, two medical attendants and forty-six technicians.
The complex was completed by the early winter of 1943. The radar shack was located one mile from the main barracks area. It was secured by a barbed wire fence and continuously patrolled by soldiers and K-9 dogs. There were seven .30-caliber machine guns within sand-bag-enclosed emplacements, mounted in strategic positions around the radar site. Altogether there were ten buildings on the site, including the restricted radar and radio equipment on "Radar Hill". It was self-contained with its own power plant of three 30kw Cummings diesel generators, a station telephone system, well water and treatment system, waste disposal plant and fuel storage plants. Besides this, a headquarters building, barracks, mess hall, recreation building and warehouse structures made up the complement of the station. Beginning in the spring of 1944 the American personnel were replaced with Canadian personnel.
The radar had a 150 mile range and provided an early warning and fast notification to alert Gander and the Newfoundland Base Command Headquarters at Fort Pepperrell. Gander had the 432nd Bomber Squadron with fighters assigned to the base, and they were constantly on alert for warnings concerning an enemy or unidentified aircraft. The radar station at Sandy Cove was the most active of the five that were installed on the Island of Newfoundland. It tracked all of the air traffic from Gander to Goose Bay and out into the Atlantic. Communications to Gander and St. John's was by radio with two transmitters, a 600 watt main radio and a 150 watt auxilliary.
All radar stations were in constant contact with one another by a separate radio network. All transmissions to St. John's were directed to the receiver/transmitter at Snelgrove, near Windsor Lake. All radar information was sent to a plotting centre at headquarters, Fort Pepperrell, to track the aircraft coming and going. The plotting centre also sent messages to the radar units concerning lost aircraft or those needing navigational assistance. Both American and Canadian personnel manned the plotting centre. See also Other American WWII Stations from Newfoundland Heritage

Botwood in WWII from Newfoundland Heritage

¤ Phillip's Head Battery
(1940 - 1945), Phillip's Head
Built to protect the "runway" of the Botwood Seaplane Base (1936) during World War II (now Botwood Heritage Park). It was armed with two casemated 4.7-inch quick-firing guns. Some restoration has been done to the battery and a 60-feet tall concrete observation tower on the hilltop nearby.

¤ Wiseman's Cove Battery
(1940 - 1943), Laurenceton
Located north of town at Wiseman's Head, it was armed with two American-made 10-inch M1888 guns on M1893 barbette carriages. Site access by unmaintained trails, or by boat.

Lewisporte Battery
(1940 - 1945), Lewisporte
A two-gun 75mm AMTB battery was located here at the ferry terminal.

L'Anse aux Meadows (National Historic Site)
(circa 1001 - 1015 ?), L'Anse aux Meadows
No fort was here but this site is very significant. This is the earliest known European settlement site on the North American continent, possibly known either as Straumfjord (Stream Fjord) in "Erik's Saga", or Leifsbudir (Leif's Booths) in the "Greenland Saga". It was a seasonal camp for the Norse Vikings from Greenland, and was finally abandoned sometime before 1020. The site was discovered and excavated from 1961 - 68. Another Norse settlement was established somewhere further south at a land-locked bay or estuary, known as Hóp, but that site has never been found by archaeologists (possibly in Nova Scotia). Newfoundland Island was known to the Norse Vikings as possibly the northern part of Vinland (Wine Land or Grass Land, depending on the pronunciation and the source). Modern-day New Brunswick and Nova Scotia were more probably Vinland proper. References of voyages to Vinland occur sporadically thereafter in the sagas, but the last recorded Norse voyage from Greenland to Markland (Labrador) occurred in 1347.

Harmon Field
(1941 - 1966), Stephenville
A U.S. Army Air Corps airfield from WWII, later used by the U.S. Air Force. One four-gun 3-inch AMTB / AA battery was installed, as well as two 155mm guns on 180-degree Panama mounts, and positions for two 81mm gun batteries. Several 40mm AA batteries were located around the airfield. Camp Morris was also here during WWII. The airfield is now used as an alternate to both Gander and St. John's international airports. See also Harmon Field from Newfoundland Heritage

A PINETREE radar installation was built in the 1950's nearby at Port au Port, the ruins of which still remain.

Cape Ray Radar Station
(1944 - 1945), Cape Ray
The RCAF operated an experimental microwave early warning surface radar for anti-submarine defence. German U-boat tactics in 1944 had rendered the system useless.

Canadian WWII Air Defence Radar Stations
(1942 - 1945), various locations
The Royal Canadian Air Force - North Atlantic Region (RCAF Group 1) operated several air defence radar stations in the defence of Newfoundland, in tandem with the United States military. The Chain Home Low early warning radar was employed at each location. Initially the stations were called "Radio Detachments" and in 1943 the title "Radio Unit" was adopted. The term "RADAR" was not adopted by Canadians until late 1943. The RCAF radar sites on the Island of Newfoundland were located at St. John's, Cape Bauld, and Port aux Basques. The RCAF also took over the five American radar stations (listed separately) beginning in the spring of 1944 to allow the Americans to transfer to Europe.

Newfoundland was a British crown colony/dominion until 1949. However, Canada assumed responsibility for all local defences after 1941. The U.S. Government gave Great Britain 50 warships to gain use of bases in Newfoundland and other areas during World War II (the Lend-Lease Act).

Towns: Petit Forte, located on the upper Burin Peninsula on Placentia Bay.

Special thanks to Robert D. Zink of the Coast Defense Study Group for providing info on the Coast Artillery Defences of Argentia, St. John's Harbour, Bell Island, Bay of Exploits, Lewisporte, Stephenville, and Rigolet.
Special thanks to Thomas Page of the Online Air Defense Radar Museum ( for info on the American and Canadian WWII AWS radar sites.

QUESTIONS ? Please send any corrections and/or additions to this list to:
"Updates" at