Red Cliff Air Station
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|Red Cliff Air Station|
|Part of Pinetree Line|
Emblem of the 642d Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron
Northeast Air Command|
Aerospace Defense Command
|Built by||United States Air Force|
Red Cliff Air Station (Also known as St. Johns) (ID: N-22, C-22) is a closed General Surveillance Radar station. It is located 5.8 miles (9.3 km) north-northeast of St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. It was closed in 1961.
The site was established in 1953 as a General Surveillance Radar station, funded by the United States Air Force, one of the many that would make up the Pinetree Line of Ground-Control Intercept (GCI) radar sites.
Northeast Air Command stationed the 642d Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron at the station on 1 January 1953. The site was the most eastern ground radar site in North America of the USAF. It operated the following radars:
- Search Radars: AN/FPS-502, AN/CPS-6B
- Height Radars: AN/TPS-502, AN/CPS-6B
As a GCI base, the 642d's role was to guide interceptor aircraft toward unidentified intruders picked up on the unit's radar scopes. These interceptors were assigned to the 64th Air Division at Goose AFB, Labrador.
The station was reassigned to Aerospace Defense Command on 1 April 1957, and was given designation "N-22" (later "C-22."
In addition to the main facility, Red Cliff operated an AN/FPS-14 manned Gap Filler site:
- Elliston Ridge AS (N-22B): (Det 1, 642d AC&WS)
The Elliston Ridge site operated between 1957 and 1961 in a relatively isolated location on the Bonavista Peninsula, about 70 miles northwest of the main station. Today it is visible in aerial photography and it remains intact, although abandoned to the elements since its closure. Broadcasting station CJOZ-FM maintains and transmits from a building and tower on the same property of the Eliston Ridge site.
Red Cliff Air Station was closed on 1 October 1961. Today the site is abandoned, unused since its closure Most of the structures remain, abandoned and deteriorating since its inactivation. It is occasionally used by local militia units as a Fighting in Built-up Areas (FIBA) training area. The area is also used by local graffiti artists, as well as paintball and airsoft players.
USAF units and assignments
- Activated as 642d Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron, 1 August 1953
- Inactivated 1 October 1961
- 64th Air Division, 1 January 1953
- 4731st Air Defense Group, 1 April 1957
- Goose Air Defense Sector, 6 June 1960 – 1 October 1961
- Cornett, Lloyd H. and Johnson, Mildred W., A Handbook of Aerospace Defense Organization 1946 - 1980, Office of History, Aerospace Defense Center, Peterson AFB, CO (1980)
- Winkler, David F. & Webster, Julie L., Searching the Skies, The Legacy of the United States Cold War Defense Radar Program,  US Army Construction Engineering Research Laboratories, Champaign, IL (1997)
- Information for Red Cliff AS, NL