HMCS Coverdale

There has been only 1 establishment named Coverdale in the Royal Canadian Navy.

HMCS Coverdale (NRS)

Coverdale was established as a Special Wireless Station (High Frequency/Direction Finder (HF/DF) station) on November 23, 1942. It was situated across the Petitcodiac River, slightly south of Moncton, New Brunswick. Because this site was located over a tremendous bog, it was selected for HF/DF operations because it provided a very good ground plane for radio frequency signals and the abundance of water provided a good source of domestic water. Construction was completed in the January-February 1944 period and the station was quickly staffed by personnel from the Women's Royal Canadian Naval Service (WRCNS). During the Second World War, the major activity at the station was taking D/F bearings on German submarines and assisting with search and rescue operations for aircraft in distress. On April 30, 1945, a Coverdale operator intercepted a message sent by German Admiral Karl Doenitz telling all his forces that Hitler was dead. She was the first allied person to hear the news of his death.

Between December 1949 and July 1956, the station was renamed Her Majesty’s Canadian Naval Radio Station (HMC NRS) Coverdale. By 1950, Coverdale was part of the Canada-United States Atlantic High Frequency Direction Finding Network. The Royal Canadian Navy and the United States Navy formally agreed to coordinate and standardize HF/DF activities ashore. This initiative resulted in the integration of all Canadian and United States stations into 2 networks, which would provide mutual support for the common objective of maritime warfare. The other major activity at Coverdale was general spectrum monitoring and SIGINT (SIGnals INTelligence), which is intelligence gathering by interception of radio and/or electronic signals. It also continued to provide support for search and rescue.

From July 1, 1956, to July 19, 1966, the station was known as Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Coverdale. After the unification of the Canadian Armed Forces, the station became Canadian Forces Station (CFS) Coverdale. The combination of high costs and advancements in technology lead to the closure of Coverdale on June 15, 1971.

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