William (Bill) J. Baxter


Radio Operator at Hartlen Point, NS Monitoring Station during World War II. Transferred to the Vancouver District Office in the early 1960s.

Opérateur radio au centre de surveillance de Hartlen Point, NE pendant la Seconde Guerre mondiale. Transféré au bureau de district de Vancouver au début des années 1960.



From Laval Desbiens

February 18, 2018


It is a rare occasion when one spectrum warrior finds a real radio amateur in our land!  Well I found one the other morning while searching ( as all old monitoring operators did and still do ) here and about the web.


His name is Steven McDonald. I found him on Mayne Island BC and to top it, he permitted me to trace a man named Baxter who was an operator we knew of at the Hartlen Point monitoring station and of whom we had lost trace.


Usually, when I find one such real ham, I write him to mark the point.


Steve McDonald states:


" GM Laval, from the west coast!

Yes, there are a few of us still striving to keep the hobby from becoming too dumbed-down by the lack of awareness exhibited by many new hams. I guess we can't really blame them since many of them grew-up when radio was no longer magic. It must be in your blood at a very young age to truly love it!

 I wrote my ticket at age 15 (Grade 10...took the day off school) and travelled to downtown Vancouver by bus...had the you-know-what scared out of me by big 'old man Baxter' at the DOT...but passed with flying colors... VE7ANP. "


William (Bill) J. Baxter worked with George Day, seen here on the left, manning a Marconi CSR4 at the Hartlen Point N.S. monitoring station in 1942.


I did not see him in the Montague monitoring station roll call after the station was moved to P.E.I. some time after the war. So Bill must have gone to the Vancouver field office..



Steve McDonald continues :


 " Bill Baxter was a formidable man...60-ish (of course every adult looks 60 to a 15 year old),  6'2", balding white hair, big hairy white eyebrows with a white dress shirt rolled to the elbows and dark tie...gold wire-framed glasses and spoke with a gruff demanding voice. I suspect he must have been in the Army at some point in time! Very intimidating to a shaky 15 year old hoping to realize the dream of his, so far, short life.


He became much friendlier after he saw my CW skills. I could send easily at 25WPM on the hand key and copy around 45WPM as I had been studying CW for about 3 years at that point. » 



Our man William J Baxter was the Examining Officer

on Steven McDonald's

Amateur Certificate of Proficiency in Radio

in 1963


Steve McDonald continues :


" I became a high school teacher at age 20 and taught for 35 years...in the same school! Mostly drafting and electronics. I had briefly considered getting a commercial ticket and do some RO work or coastal station work for the CG but soon shed that idea when I realized there was little $$ and likely a harder life, away from home too much. "


Steve maintains a Radio Logbook page and  an informative interesting blog


Laval D.

February 18, 2018


Links   -   Liens

 Hartlen Point , NS  - '' Y  '' and Standard Monitoring Station 

1962  -  Montague Monitoring Station  -  Policing The Air Waves