Military Ops




1941 Control Tower

This is an article from the "The War Illustrated", published in Britain every 10 days or so to support the war effort  during World War two.

On page 295 of volume 5, no 113, of 29 November 1941 there was a nice one-page item on the Ferry Command in Gander.

mag article

Gander was an important subject in 1941 as this was the second time it was covered in an article in The War Illustrated. There was an earlier one. in January but being a 2-page spread, it is presently hard to scan.

Some people have wondered if the control tower shown in the above photo was located next to hangers 21-22  or was it on the top of the Administration Bldg?  It is indeed the tower of the "Admin" building, as shown inside and outside in the photos below, the first courtesy of Jack Pinsent/Gerry Mercer and the second courtesy of Clyde Burt.



The tower by the old terminal  (former Ferry Command hanger 21-22 complex) is shown below in two photos courtesy of Carol Walsh:




These old control towers of wood, glass and a few radios don't look like much but they were manned by excellent people.  These folks could help a few Hudsons start the trans-Atlantic adventure in 1940 or later in the war to herd off a hundred or so B-17 Flying Fortress or B-24 Liberator bombers in a single batch without batting an eye.

tower 1950

Gander Tower (circa 1950)

Luckily this tradition of excellence has been maintained over time.  Just asked the crews and passengers of the gaggle of airplanes who were very happy to drop in for a few days on a certain September 11.

Ed. Note: Darrell Hillier, who researched the control towers at Gander during the war, passed along this information; In June 1943, the RCAF requested permission from the Nfld govt to erect the tower adjacent hangar 21. Staff was relocated from the Admin building tower in Feb 1944.

Researched by R G Pelley

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