by Dr. John M. Clearwater
Dundurn Press (Toronto) 1998

From 1963 to 1984 US nuclear warheads armed Canadian weapons systems in both Canada and Germany. It is likely that during the early part of the period, the Canadian military was putting more effort, money and manpower into the nuclear commitment than any other single activity. This important book is an operational-technical (W5) expose of the period. Its purpose is to bring together until-recently secret information about the nature of the nuclear arsenal in Canada, and combine it with known information about the systems in the US nuclear arsenal.

The work begins with an account of the efforts of the Pearson government to sign the Agreement with the US necessary to bring nuclear weapons to Canada in 1963. Subsequent chapters provide a detailed discussion of the four nuclear weapons systems deployed by Canada: the BOMARC surface-to-air guided interceptor missile; the HONEST JOHN short range battlefield rocket; the STARFIGHTER tactical thermonuclear bomber; and the VOODOO-GENIE air defence system. Each chapter also includes a section on accidents and incidents which occurred while the weapons were at Canadian sites. The final chapter covers the ultimately futile efforts of the Maritime Air Command and the Royal Canadian Navy to acquire nuclear anti-submarine weapons.

An appendix includes the texts of the secret agreement between Canada and the USA for provision of nuclear warheads; the four service-to-service arrangements for each weapons system; and the draft text of the consultation and authorization agreement of 1965 which laid out the means by which the Prime Minister would give permission to use nuclear weapons. The book also shows that there were cases in which the Prime Minister was not expected to be consulted, and it is shown that Pearson gave a letter of prior authorization to the US Ambassador for Presidential use.


CFB La Macaza (1963-1972, BOMARC)
CFB Bagotville (1965-1984, VooDoo-Genie) CFS Val d'Or (1965-1974, VooDoo-Genie) ONTARIO

CFB North Bay (1963-1972, BOMARC)

CFB Chatham (1965-1974, VooDoo-Genie) BRITISH COLUMBIA

    CFB Comox      (1965-1984, VooDoo-Genie)
    CFB Comox      (planned, 1962, nuclear anti-
                    submarine depth charges)

CFB Shearwater (planned, 1962, nuclear antisubmarine

depth charges)

    Hemer            (1964-1970 Honest John)
    Lahr             (1964-1971 Starfighter)
    Baden-Soellingen (1964-1971 Starfighter)
    Zweibrucken      (1964-1971 Starfighter)
     W-40 nuclear air defence warhead
     yield: 7-10kt (fixed)
     W-25 nuclear air defence warhead
     yield: 1.5kt  (fixed)
     W-31 tactical rocket nuclear warhead
     changeable pits for variable yield.
     yields: 2, 20, 40kt
1 B28RE tactical/strategic thermonuclear
     warhead, variable yield.
     yields: 70kt, 350kt, 1.1Mt, 1.4Mt
 2   B28EX tactical/strategic thermonuclear
     warhead, variable yield. 
     yields: 70kt, 350kt, 1.1Mt, 1.4Mt
 3   Mk43 tactical/strategic thermonuclear
     warhead, fixed yield
     yield: 1Mt 
 4   Mk57 tactical thermonuclear warhead,  
     yield: 20kt (5-10-20kt)
DULL SWORD: 12/03/71, Val d'Or, W25 Genie

Static electricty incident
HELPING HAND: 15/07/74, Val d'Or, W25 Genie

incident still classified DULL SWORD: 27/09/67, Comox, W25 Genie

            Dropped weapon, pulled ignition
            cord, ignition failure.
DULL SWORD: 18/01/64, La Macaza, BOMARC
            crash of van into shelter
            containing armed BOMARC
DULL SWORD: ?/?/?, La Macaza/North Bay
            BOMARC launch control circuits
            switching on by themselves.
BROKEN ARROW: 10/07/67, La Macaza, BOMARC
              fire found in W40 warhead
              compartment onboard fueled
              BOMARC missile in shelter.
DULL SWORD: 31/10/6?, Zweibrucken, CF-104
            Load Crew rotated Mk28RE bomb
            and broke a component.
Illustrated throughout with some 20 photographs and diagrams, and supported by extensive transcription of original
documents, CANADIAN NUCLEAR WEAPONS will be of great value to journalists,
scholars, current and former military,
government, and the interested layperson in its presentation of what has been a
deeply hidden secret of Canadian
political and military life.

400 pages, Paper
25 photographs, 16 diagrams
$23.99 ($20.50 US)

Copies of the book can be ordered
directly from the publisher:

     Suite 200
     8 Market Street
     Toronto, Ontario, M5E 1M6
     (416) 214-5544
     (416) 214-5556 facs
You may also order from:
     University of Toronto Press
     5201 Dufferin Street
     North York, Ontario
     M3H 5T8
     (416) 667-7791
     (416) 667-7832 facs
     1-800-221-9985 facs
BIOGRAPHY: Clearwater, John

John Murray Clearwater, BA(Hons), MA, PhD, was born in Winnipeg in 1966. He studied political science at the University of Winnipeg before moving to Halifax to pursue his Master's in Soviet and Canadian military policy and nuclear weapons doctrine at Dalhousie University. Following the awarding of his Master's degree in 1990, John worked as an analyst and historian for Air Command HQ at CFB Winnipeg. He left that job to move to London and work on his doctoral thesis at the War Studies Department of King's college London. Under the guidance of Prof. Dr. Lawrence Freedman, John wrote and defended: "The Birth of Strategic Arms Control in the Johnson Administration, 1963-1969".

Upon returning from England in the spring of 1994, his interest in nuclear weapons in Canada was rekindled, and he began an intensive effort to have the files which remained from the 1960s and 1970s declassified by various departments and agencies. Research for this book took Dr. Clearwater to Washington, DC; Montgomery, Alabama; Winnipeg and Shilo Manitoba; and through the maze of bureaucracy in Ottawa. Much use was made by him of the Access to Information Act in Canada and the Freedom of Information Act in the United States.

John has lived across Canada; in Washington; and in London. He has travelled extensively in both eastern and western Europe, and in 1994 observed the elections in Hungary. He has just completed a one month trip in the former Soviet Union visiting military museums and photographing any available nuclear weapons.

Dr. Clearwater now lives in Ottawa were he works as a military analyst and specialist in nuclear weapons. He is employed by National Defence Headquarters as an Access to Information Staff Officer.

John Clearwater is available for
interview on radio or television or
in the print media. Interviews can
be arranged for any time and can be
conducted by telephone or in an
Ottawa studio.

John Clearwater can be reached
at any time during the day at
(613) 995-8028 (work)
(613) 234-2290 (home)
(613) 995-5777 (facs)
You may also reach him via EMail at: