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Point Grey  ' Y ' and monitoring station

Richard 'DICK'  Lobb  

 Adapted from a May 2006 exchange, when he was 90 years old -  Dick retired in 1971 and is now SK

 

I came off the Empress ships and joined DOT April15th 1939 as an operator at Point Grey.

 

Shortly after, the war broke out and a one interception position  was set up. I worked on that Kana Code etc until Spring 1943. I then transferred to the Wireless Workshop as Technician so my detailed knowledge of Monitoring and Interception is limited.

 

The Point Grey wireless station was moved from the Point to make way for the Army to set up its guns. A new stn was built on Westbrook Crescent in 1940. Not sure of when interception started but probably late 40 or early 41 with the one operating position manned by Herb Holt, Tom Smith, Bill Gregory and myself.

 

As time went on, more positions were set up, upstairs at Pt Grey .

 

An engineer from Ottawa named Wilson  came out a little later and installed different antennas and more positions were set in the upstairs of the wireless station.

 

Andy Gray was the OIC and I do not think he had more than general instructions. We were told to find German Subs skeds and later Japanese messages in Kana.

 

As I remember there are 62 letters in Japanese Kana and we were given the sheet and helped each other memorize the code. It was surprising how we could copy in short time. Some of us had deep sea experience and was used to hearing the Kana code. I remember the German U boats had a watery note and they would come on and send their message in code every once in awhile. The Japanese have a different way of sending and it is easy to pick the fist out. All that we copied was sent east.

 

Ina Waller was one of the first girls to be hired.

 

Eventually, the old Williams Road transmitter site on Lulu Island was turned into a larger interception station with more operators. Brian Harrison was one of the supervisors and is deceased now with all those I knew.

 

As far as Monitoring after interception closed down, the Monitoring station was set up in new quarters in Surrey. Verne Read was in charge for many years. A. L. Gray was in charge at Point Grey. He was one of the early operators to join about 1911 or so.


I never heard at the end of the war about results. There is no one alive today as far as I know that participated.

 

Related Links

 

Point Grey  ' Y ' Monitoring Station
 

Some early photos at Point Grey and Lulu Island