RCAF Gypsumville came about as part of the CADIN (Continental Air Defence Integration, North) program. On 12 June 1961 Canada and the U.S. reached and signed an agreement to improve the SAGE program whereby Canada would assume financial responsibility and operation of the Sites on the PINETREE Radar Line. Gypsumville was to be a new link in the chain. It was to be the latest Heavy Radar Equipment available.
The location was chosen to provide overlapping radar coverage with adjacent sites; sufficiently North to provide reaction and interception time to deal with perceived threat and finally as high an elevation as possible to prevent blocking of the radar beam by the surrounding terrain.
The location decided on was 50 degrees 40 minutes North, 98 degres 44 minutes West on a ridge 867 feet above sea level. Approximately 155 road miles North-Northwest of Winnipeg on highway number six (which bisected the unit) RCAF Station Gypsumville was born.
RCAF Gypsumville was situated in the Northern Interlake District of Manitoba. The area is relatively flat, heavily treed for the most part with dense scrub growth. The underlying rock formation is shattered limestone, which varies in depth from 18 inches to 8 feet below the surface. the top soil is extremely thin, usually a hard clay formaiton below the top soil. The area has marshy, almost musket conditions in many areas, due to insufficient drainage.
It doesn't sound like much of a place for human beings but for the outdoorsman, it was a veritable haven for wild life.
The idea for a monument was conceived by Major V.V. Kippel. He had noticed the FPS-26A antenna at the gate at Yorkton. With the announcement of the closure of Gypsumville, he though it would be an excellent idea to leave a landmark, dedicated to the personnel and the role the Station played in our nations's defence.
The RadWO, CWO John DeGroot was given the task of tracking down a surplus antenna. An FPS-507A Height Finder was located at CFS Falconbridge.
After numerous messages to different Headquarters, persmission was granted to obtain the antenna. Sgt Ron Day and Cpl Vanasse proceeded to Falconbridge with a 3 ton truck. WO Phil Lavalee arranged for a truck and flatbed trailer from CFB Shilo to assist.
The complete antenna arrived at Gypsumville in March of 1985. It would take almost a year to cut through the red tape to obtain permission to erect the monument. The project was completed June 1986 by Sgt Bob Goch, MCpl Dick Dumais, the Height Finder Crew, the talented and ever resourceful Power Plant and a solid foundation provided by the CE Section.
The Radar monument was officially dedicated on the 19 September 1986 by Captain Caty, at a special parade.