Otterson, G.

Gerry Otterson and friend

Enlisted in RC Sigs June 1950

Postings on NWT&Y Radio System:
Aklavik, Ft. Reliance and Ft. Smith. Then
relief duty at Hay River and Yellowknife.
Next postings to Beaverlodge, Port Radium, Inuvik and back to Aklavik.
Next posted to Mayo Landing as NCO/IC until that station was turned over to DOT.
After leaving the System was posted to 3rd Signals Squadron at Gagetown. From there to Ladner, then to Carp.
Retired to pension in 1968.

My first posting after graduating from my teletype operator course was to the NWT&Y Radio System. Upon arriving at the Headquarters in Edmonton I was asked if I wanted to serve in the north. I truthfully answered "No". I, along with five other personnel from the course, was duly interviewed by the CO, Col. (Don) Grant. The first thing he said was, "Which one of you is Otterson?" I answered, "Me, sir". He said, "I understand you don't want to go up north". I said, "No, sir". He then advised me that I was posted to Ft. Simpson. This was the start of an eight-year party in which I occasionally worked in my spare time

We were advised by Col. Grant that they were going to bring in radio teletype to the main stations and we were expected to go up and learn to become wireless operators in advance of the conversions.

Ray Gaudry was posted to Norman Wells, Steve Buckle to Fort Reliance, Biff Ruth to Ft. Providence and I went to Ft. Simpson. Biff and I departed Edmonton on the same flight in a vintage DC3. This was a "milk run" and made stops at every station to Norman Wells.

At every stop everyone got off to stretch their legs while the crew unloaded supplies and some passengers, and picked up even more. The first stop was Ft. McMurray, then Ft. Smith. Since Ft. Smith was the liqouor store for the Territories we loaded up quite a bit of freight. Next stop was Hay River, then Ft. Providence where I said good-by to Biff. The next stop was Ft. Simpson where I disembarked.

There was no one at the airport to greet me except for the CPA agent, who offered to take me to the station. So I rode in the back of his pickup, in the dead of winter, to the compound. The agent pointed to a building and said that is where I should go. I walked into the building and there were a bunch of men standing around in the kitchen talking. They looked at me in surprise as I walked in, but they greeted me friendly like and offered me a coffee. The wanted to know where I was from and I said I was from Edmonton. They next wanted to know why I was in this neck of the woods and I replied that I was posted here. There was a stunned silence as they weren't expecting me. Headquarters had forgotten to advise them of my posting.--- Gerald Otterson


Gerry Otterson, Bill MacxAdam and Red Knowles `956Gerry Otterson, Red Knowles, Ken Bellefontaine, Bill MacAdam 1956

Ken Bellefontaine, Red Knowles and Gerry Otterson 1956Ft Reliance staff 1956

Gerry Otterson 1954Gerry Otterson, 1959


Velox Versutus Vigilans