British Commonwealth Air Training Plan

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Nov 24, 2004
Calgary CYYC
Anyone want to get into this topic. In our area there are several sites remaining from this huge training venture. Which basically allowed the commonwealth to train air crew in a safe environment in Canada, something I consider to have been one of our greatest contributions to winning WWII.
Indeed it was. But only after the looming war clouds had arrived.
For many months before the formal beginning of hostilities MacKenzie King, Prime Minister of Canada, was adamant that no British aircrews be allowed to train in Canada.

Not exactly our finest hour, when one considers the peril that was to befall Britain in 1940,
due largely to a lack of properly trained pilots!

But I agree that once the ball got rolling, so to speak, the vastness of Canadian airspace contributed greatly to the war effort, in terms of training Commonwealth aircrews. As did Canadian war production.
I'll see what I can do about gettting some photos... There are a number of sites around here (Alberta) and some have several surviving buildings. Here's a couple I found of Vulcan No. 2 Flight Instructors School


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And what still survives today, although on my last visit the site had deteriorated significantly. No support buildings survive any longer although when I first visited the site the fire hall and a few others were recognizable. It was kind of strange that first visit the large base ghostly as it appeared out of a winter fog. As I walked through the buildings, it was as if everything had been left as is, there was even a fight board on one wall with the student and instructors names, lessons and A/C info. chaulked in and left as it was on the last active date in 1945. I kept expecting to see or hear Ansons taxiing past the windows or flying overhead. The runways were in fair condition, even one which I could still land and take off on as it was in good condition (You can see a bit of it in the third photo and it ran along the hangar row. Now they're all unusable. I think in a few more years it will be gone entirely.


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Unfortunately that is how some people treat history. However, one of these sites, if ever it was restored would make a great flying museum and provide for General aviation depending on how far it was away from other buildings etc. It could make money as a test centre for restored and new planes.

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