Royal Canadian Airforce Training Units

About This Unit

Royal Canadian Airforce Training Units (extract from Wikipedia)

When the Empire Air Training Scheme was established, Canada was the largest centre of training outside the UK, because of its proximity to the NW European theatre of war, and its infrastructure around which to establish the network of schools and airfields, and a large well developed industrial base.

As the EATS (or as it was known in Canada, the British Commonealth Air Training Plan) got underway, early on (1940-41), RAAF Aircrew pilot trainees were sent to Canada as capacity in Australia was still being ramped up. Most RAAF pilot trainees had undertaken their Elementary Flying Training in Australia.

RCAF Service Flying Training Schools
 
Service Flying Training Schools (SFTS) conducted a 16 week program of intermediate and advanced training. For the first 8 weeks the trainee was part of an intermediate training squadron; for the next 6 weeks an advanced training squadron and for the final 2 weeks training was conducted at a Bombing & Gunnery School.  The Service schools were military establishments run by the RCAF or the RAF.

There were two different types of Service Flying Training Schools. Trainees in the fighter pilot stream went to an SFTS like No. 14 Aylmer, where they trained in the North American Harvard or North American Yale. Trainees in the bomber, coastal or transport pilot stream went to an SFTS like No. 5 Brantford where they learned multi-engine technique in an Airspeed Oxford, Avro Anson or Cessna Crane.

No. 1 Camp Borden, Ontario (Harvard and Yale)
No. 2 Uplands, Ontario (Harvard and Yale)
No. 3 Calgary, Alberta (Anson and Crane)
No. 4 Saskatoon, Saskatchewan (Anson and Crane)
No. 5 Brantford, Ontario (Anson)
No. 6 Dunnville, Ontario (Harvard and Yale)
No. 7 Fort MacLeod, Alberta (Anson)  49°42′10″N 113°25′10″W
No. 8 Moncton, New Brunswick[11] (Anson and Harvard)
No. 9 Summerside, Prince Edward Island, moved to Centralia, Ontario (Anson and Harvard)
No. 10 Dauphin, Manitoba (Harvard and Crane)
No. 11 Yorkton, Saskatchewan (Harvard, Crane and Anson)
No. 12 Brandon, Manitoba (Crane and Anson)
No. 13 St. Hubert, Quebec, moved to North Battleford, Saskatchewan (Harvard and Anson)
No. 14 Aylmer, Ontario (Anson, Harvard, Yale, and Supermarine Walrus)
No. 15 Claresholm, Alberta (Anson)
No. 16 Hagersville, Ontario (Anson and Harvard)  42°55′35″N 080°07′12″W
No. 17 Souris, Manitoba (Anson and Harvard)
No. 18 Gimli, Manitoba (Anson and Harvard)
No. 19 Vulcan, Alberta (Anson)
No. 31 Kingston, Ontario (Battle and Harvard)
No. 32 Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan (Havard and Oxford)
No. 33 Carberry, Manitoba (Anson)
No. 34 Medicine Hat, Alberta (Harvard and Oxford)
No. 35 North Battleford, Saskatchewan (Oxford)
No. 36 Penhold, Alberta (Oxford)
No. 37 Calgary, Alberta (Oxford, Harvard and Anson)
No. 38 Estevan, Saskatchewan (Anson)
No. 39 Swift Current, Saskatchewan (Oxford)
No. 41 Weyburn, Saskatchewan (Anson and Harvard)[12]

Air Observer Schools (Navigation)
 
Air Observers were later called "navigators". For recruits in this stream, the training path after ITS was 8 weeks at an Air Observer School (AOS), 1 month at a Bombing & Gunnery School, and finally 1 month at a Navigation School. The Air Observer schools were operated by civilians under contract to the RCAF. For example, Nos. 7, 8, and 9 were run by CP Airlines. However, the instructors were RCAF.The basic navigation techniques throughout the war years were dead reckoning and visual pilotage, and the tools were the aeronautical chart, magnetic compass, watch, trip log, pencil, Douglas protractor, and Dalton Navigational Computer. They trained in the Avro Anson.

No. 1 Malton, Ontario
No. 2 Edmonton, Alberta
No. 3 Regina, Saskatchewan, moved to Pearce, Alberta
No. 4 London, Ontario
No. 5 Winnipeg, Manitoba
No. 6 Prince Albert, Saskatchewan
No. 7 Portage la Prairie, Manitoba
No. 8 L'Ancienne-Lorette, Quebec (No. 8 AOS BCATP)
No. 9 Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec
No. 10 Chatham, New Brunswick

Bombing and Gunnery Schools
 
The Bombing and Gunnery School (B&GS) offered instruction in the techniques of bomb aiming and aerial machine gunnery to Air Observers, Bomb Aimers, and Wireless Air Gunners. These schools required large areas to accommodate their bombing and gunnery ranges, and were often located near water.[note 5] The Avro Anson, Fairey Battle, Bristol Bolingbroke, and Westland Lysander were the standard aircraft used at B&GS schools.

No. 1 Jarvis, Ontario
No. 2 Mossbank, Saskatchewan  49°55′17″N 105°52′23″W
No. 3 Macdonald, Manitoba  50°04′49″N 098°27′21″W
No. 4 Fingal, Ontario  42°40′46″N 081°19′38″W
No. 5 Dafoe, Saskatchewan  51°55′58″N 104°34′01″W
No. 6 Mountain View, Ontario
No. 7 Paulson, Manitoba  51°08′00″N 099°51′45″W
No. 8 Lethbridge, Alberta
No. 9 Mont-Joli, Quebec
No. 10 Mount Pleasant, Prince Edward Island
No. 31 Picton, Ontario

Air Navigation Schools

Nos. 1 & 2 Air Navigation Schools offered four-week courses in astronavigation and were the last step for Air Observers. The RAF schools, Nos. 31, 32, and 33, provided the same training as Air Observer Schools.

No. 1 Trenton, Ontario moved to Rivers, Manitoba and redesignated Central Navigation School
No. 2 Pennfield Ridge, New Brunswick (Anson)  45°07′38″N 066°41′40″W
No. 31 Port Albert, Ontario (Anson)  43°53′05″N 081°41′48″W
No. 32 Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
No. 33 Hamilton, Ontario (Anson)
No. 2 Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

wireless and Air Gunnery training was conducted on a large scale in Australia so it is not clear whether many RRAAAF personnel went to Canada for this training .

Flight Engineers' School

The flight engineer was the member of a heavy bomber aircrew responsible for monitoring the fuel, electrical systems and the engines. He also controlled the throttle settings and was the pilot's "assistant". Flight engineers were not co-pilots but they had some flying training and were expected to be able to take over the controls in the event the pilot was killed or disabled.

Very few RAAF personnel were trained as Flight Engineers;  they were almost invariably RAF.


The Operational Training Unit (OTU) was the last stop for aircrew trainees. They spent 8 to 14 weeks learning to fly operational aircraft  The instructors had experience in actual operations, and often were posted to OTUs after an operational tour.  RAAF Aircrew particularly Heavy Bomber crews generally did their OTU (where they 'crewed up'), in the UK

No. 1 Bagotville, Quebec (Hurricane)
No. 3 Patricia Bay, British Columbia (Canso, Catalina)[1]
No. 5 Boundary Bay, British Columbia and Abbotsford, British Columbia (Consolidated B-24 Liberator, North American Mitchell)
No. 31 Debert, Nova Scotia redesignated No. 7 OTU (Lockheed Hudson, de Havilland Mosquito, Anson))
No. 32 Patricia Bay, British Columbia moved to Comox, British Columbia and redesignated No. 6 OTU and moved to Greenwood, Nova Scotia (Bristol Beaufort, Handley Page Hampden, Swordfish, Anson)
No. 34 Pennfield Ridge, New Brunswick (Ventura)  45°07′38″N 066°41′40″W
No. 36 Greenwood, Nova Scotia redesignated No. 8 OTU (Hudson, Mosquito)

Read more...