do you remember

June 29, 2012


I just bought an envelope addressed to an organization familiar to a select few, including yourself !!

It was sent unpostmarked to the "No 72 Ground Observer Corps Detachment", Gander, Newfoundland. Almost everything about this group on the Web refers to Americans.  The only thing Canadian I could find was that it apparently started with NORAD on12 September 1957.  A National Defence site says that the war-time Aircraft Detection Corps was revived under the new title of Ground Observer Corps (GObC) to supplement the radar screen. Manned by civilian volunteers trained by the RCAF, the GObC, as well as identifying over-flying Aircraft and reporting on their movements, gave valuable assistance in search and rescue operations.

But the important thing here is not the history of the organization.  I have it from generally well informed sources that while the Gander GObC did its job, it was also a "social club"  in which many high school students participated. Apparently, watching for airplanes was not the only activity!

I think this subject would go best as an item on Faye's Page rather than a separate article. Having been a member yourself, I'm sure you could have fun with this. Would probably bring back a lot of memories!

         Bob Pelley, GA Class of 1962  



I recently received this information from Bob Pelley and we thought it might be a good time to do an update on the GObC in Gander. (No, I was not a member of this group, however). Does anyone know how long that the group  ran and who all was involved? I understand that you eventually were presented "wings" for being active in the organization. I only remember attending one meeting...Where was it held? There are a couple of pictures on our website from Michal Millar Crowe, and I know that she was involved. Might be fun to discuss what it meant to those active in the group.. Do you remember who was active in the group and how long it actually ran? 


         Faye Lewis Raynard, GA Class of 1959



I believe the group of GObC I belonged to was the WizzKids.  We probably met on Friday nights, we were taught to write backwards on the glass boards, so the folks on the other side could read the message.  We had a small gadget where we plotted out our assignment of that enemy plane entering our territory.  The gadget had several turning points that would lead us to just where this bad guy was.  Character building.  The Air Force folks also provided entertainment for us, like dances, and parties.  I wish I had a group picture from that time of our lives.  The best time….


Audrey Mingo Grantham, Class of '58.

PS:  I have attached several copies of documents I have, a page from a newsletter, and my ID card, etc..





The name GObC rings bells in my head and I know I was involved moving  toy aeroplanes on a big table which I think was painted with a map showing coordinates . We moved the planes around according to instructions given. Who gave these instructions, I can't remember. Campbell (Pritchett) was involved as well. I really don't remember anything else about it.

         Margaret Hawkins Moore, GA Class of 1959




No it was the older kids who were involved. I can't think of any names right now but some of the older guys might. Clyde Burt, Leo Lannon, Bob Warren, Cam Pritchett, and the like might remember. I remember we dove off the boathouse in the cold waters of Gander Lake to get those brass badges with GOBC engraved on them. Someone must have dumped them there.

         Bob McKinnon, SJ Class of 1961



Michal Millar receiving her GObC wings

From Michal Millar's photo collection - GObC group

 Michael (Millar) Crowe - Class of 1960   




Above is a newspaper clipping of 1959 vintage…Can anyone help with IDs of people in this pic? I think that I see a few people that I recognize in there too…send along answers me at

         Faye Lewis Raynard, GA Class of 1959


I was a member of the Ground Observer Corps in high school and recall going to the Base for training re plotting location of planes, etc.  Others may have more accurate recall but I associate "Teen Town" - socials for teens - again at the Base as the social aspect of the ground observer corps. 

It will be interesting to read what people recall.

         Marion Pardy, GA Class of 1958


Somewhere in box buried deeply I may still have my certificate of service in the GObC. A lot of good memories.

         Angus Taylor, GA Class of 1963



I remember GObC well.  We met above Milley's Stlye shop, or one of those buildings around there.  It was run by the RCAF.  Jim Sharpegge was the NCOIC.  It was quite an operation as I remember.

Somewhere in the basement is my " certificate ", I must go look for it.


         Dave Robertson, GA Class of 1961



And lastly: “A NEW SET OF WINGS” an article of great interest submitted by …


         Jane Dempsey Donnelly, GA Class of 1959




Thanks everyone for your interest in this topic. It was fun gathering the info…and especially to Bob Pelley for providing the incentive for this discussion…(can you tell that Bob is always on the lookout for pieces of Gander Memorabilia?) And to those who went thru attics and basements for this material..a big thanks as well…‘Til next time,

         Faye Raynard, GA Class of 1959


P.S. Please email me with ‘stuff’…

We all appreciate and enjoy seeing, hearing, and discussing anything that has to do with the Gander in the timeframe when we grew up there… 



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