This web page is dedicated to the memory of "Cora A. Roscoe"

This is Cora A. Roscoe with her three son's. S. G. "Spud" sitting next to her. R. J. "Dick" with the beard and K. C. "Ken"

Note Back about 1975 I decided to try and learn what I could of the history of marine communications as it applied to the Halifax, Nova Scotia area, especially that connected with and around station VCS.

A few people told me that if I wrote a book on this history it would pay for my research. I wasted a lot of time, effort and money on this project. I contacted every publisher I could find and have yet to find one who would publish this history. There is very little interest in the subject.

The research and writing of this history has become a hobby of mine. When I retired in 1995 the Canadian Coast Guard took a copy of what I had at that time and used it to help create the book "Come Quick, Danger" by Stephan Dubreuil. ISBN 0-660-17490-1.

I have collected a lot of photographs of this history and some were used in this book and some will be found around this website.

I still rewrite or add to this project for my own enjoyment. When I learn something of interest I simply include it here. If you read the whole thing you will be one of very few who have done so.

S. G. Roscoe VE1BC

The text in the pages below is © S. G. Roscoe VE1BC


Please Note:- These files are rather large and I would recommend that you right click on the link
(and click on save link as in Firefox or save target in Internet Explorer)
to save the files to your hard drive so you can read off line.

Section 1

A bit on the beginning


Section 2

The Duke of Kent's Signal Stations


Section 3

The first International Code of Signals and Captain Marryat's code of signals

Heliograph, The Telegraph, The First Settlers

The Acadian Flag, Louisiana Acadians, Quebec Flag

The BNA Ships, The International Code of Signals




Section 4

SILVER LEAF, Canadian Red Ensign, The Telephone

Marconi's First Stations

The First Operators and Canadian Stations

LADY LAURIER and Sable Island

Ode to a Wireless Telegraph Operator, Frequencies

The First German Station, The First Distress Calls


E. George Eccles, Wireless Operators Monument

Section 5

The TITANIC, The 1912 Radio Convention

The DURLEY CHIME, Government Ownership

The Halifax Explosion

Camperdown Signal Station World War I

Barrington, Chebucto VAV, Submarine Signaling

Direction Finders, The First Certificates

Quenched Gap Spark, The Alexanderson Alternator

The Closing of Camperdown, Halifax Radio VAA

The Canadian Coast Stations

Section 6

Distress Communications, ABERDEEN VDG


Maritime Fish and National Fish, Rum Running

RCMP Marine Section, Shediac VFU

Shediac Bridge VDS, KENKERRY

Reopening VCS, RCN Between the Wars

Corvettes, CPR Luxury Liners, CNS Passenger Liners



Section 7

The Fairmiles, The Minesweepers

The Armed Yachts of the RCN, The Park Ships

Halifax CFH and the Naval Radio Stations

The Frigates, The Destroyers, The Cruisers and Aircraft Carriers

Convoy BX141, Termination of World War II





Section 8

The RCN after the War, The Aircraft Carriers, The Cruisers

The Destroyers, The St. Laurent Class Destroyers

The 280 Class Destroyers, The Corvettes, The Frigates

The Icebreaker, Repair Ships and Supply Ships, The Algerines

The Bangors, The Price Paid, The Animal and Bird Class Vessels

The Hydrofoil, The Hovercraft, The Sailing Vessels of the RCN

NavyRadio Operators, The RCMP Marine Division, MCDV

CPF, Submarines The Park Fleet after WWII

The China Coasters, The Canadian Coast Guard Fleet

Section 9

Radio Shack, Collective Call Signs, The RCAF Fleet

The Department of Fisheries, Halifax Radio VBQ

National Sea Products, Halifax CFH after WWII

Camperdown VCS after WWII, ITALIA HOJQ

Dick Nickerson, Gypsum Fleet, Foundation Fleet

Section 10

Kent Line and Atlantic Towing, Shipyard Call Signs

Shipboard Equipment, The D.O.T. School and Loss of the Certificate

Combining the Halifax Area Stations

The move of VCS to Ketch Harbour

Broadcast Notices by Canadian Stations, D.O.C. and Company RT

CCGRS VCS, Ecareg Canada, The Lifeboats

CG Cutters and RCMP Marine Division,

Assistance from the United States Coast Guard

Section 11

A few Operating Experiences

The Longevity Twins and the BIO Ships, The Cable Ships

A few more Distress Incidents, ANGELA B. MILLS



The Canadian Certificates and a Comparison with others

Canadian Ships

Section 12

A continuation of Section 11, Sitor, Satellite

Canadian Coast Stations, The Cruise Ships The Codes,

The Global Maritime Distress and Safety System and Digital Selective Calling

The International Call Signs, Amateur Call Signs

More on Equipment, This History Project

The Last VCS Station, My Last Distress Incident

A Final Note


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