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The British Commonwealth Air Training Plan and the …

British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain had made an urgent appeal to Canada for the expansion of RCAF air training establishments. The British anticipated problems in meeting air personnel requirements, and stated that Canada could best assist by concentrating on training aircrew, to set a goal of training 2000 pilots annually, to enlist skilled mechanics, and to train as many observers and air gunners as possible. Mackenzie King replied on 12 September 1939 with the assurance that air training capabilities would be expanded rapidly, and he offered to dispatch a number of partially-trained individuals to Britain immediately. Ever mindful of Canadian nationalism, he also added a desire for ‘Canadian Air Force units’ to be formed overseas whenever enough sufficiently trained Canadians became available, and that Canadian personnel must be made available for transfer if the government should later decide to form distinctive Canadian air units for overseas service.

and played host to Allied training camps such as the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan

Reg demonstrated great passion for the agriculturecommunity and the City of Brandon, tirelessly working as: General Managerof the Provincial Exhibition of Manitoba, Chair of the National AdvisoryCommittee to CBC on agriculture broadcasting, Industrial Commissioner ofthe City of Brandon, Consultant for Westarc Group Inc., Director and Presidentof the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair and Provincial Exhibition of Manitoba,Chair of the Board of Directors of the Keystone Center, and was instrumentalin the building of the Keystone Center, Chair of the Brandon Economic DevelopmentBoard, President of the Agricultural Institute of Canada, and the CanadianSociety of Rural Extension and the Manitoba Institute of Agrologists, Presidentof the Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum.

such as the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan

Royal Canadian Air Force, British Commonwealth Air Training Plan, de Havilland Canada DHC-1 Chipmunk

Perhaps the most striking example of Commonwealth cooperation was in the air war over Europe, and especially in the bomber offensive. The Empire Air Training Scheme (later the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan) took trainees from Britain and all of the dominions and at training stations located across Canada turned out aircrew for the Commonwealth's air forces. This created a truly "Commonwealth" air force, distinguished by uniform but united by language, culture, training, slang, and - not least - shared risk.

The roots of the BCATP can arguably be traced back to the First World War. In 1916, Britain’s Royal Flying Corps (RFC) was hard-pressed to reinforce its front line units when increased casualties began to add strain to its pilot training system as it existed on British soil. The solution, supported whole-heartedly by Canada, was to create the airfields and necessary infrastructure to conduct pilot training in North America. These were established in Ontario, primarily at Camp Borden, with smaller airfields being built near Deseronto, Ontario, and several other locations in the Toronto area. The organization’s name, RFC Canada, was later changed to RAF (Royal Air Force) Canada after the RAF was created through the amalgamation of the RFC and the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) on 1 April 1918. In 1917 and 1918, the total number of aircrew members trained by RAF Canada was 3135 pilots and 137 observers (excluding Americans), of whom 2359 pilots and 85 observers had deployed overseas before the armistice. It was manned by a group of RFC officers and commanded by a Briton, Lieutenant Colonel C.G. Hoare. This organization was entirely under British control. Canada did not have its own air force, and, in its role as a submissive member of the Commonwealth, it allowed this British organization to be created and managed solely by RAF personnel on Canadian territory.

The British Commonwealth Air Training Plan ..

British Commonwealth Air Training Plan, Curtiss P-40 Warhawk, RAF Fighter Command, Air Defence of Great Britain

9 ServiceFlying Training School (SFTS) opened on January 6 1941 and closed onJuly 8 1942 after operating for 548 days in service to the British CommonwealthAir Training Plan.

"Whether it was at the Provincial Ex or the KeystoneCentre or the Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum, he was always thinkingahead to what was going to benefit the community in the long run.

Royal Canadian Air Force, British Commonwealth Air Training Plan, de Havilland Canada DHC-1 Chipmunk
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The British Commonwealth Air Training Plan The Second

On 17 December 1939, Canadians gathered around their radios to listen to a broadcast delivered by Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King. This was a special day for Mackenzie King. Not only was it his 65th birthday, but it also marked the culmination of a series of negotiations that would have a marked effect on the Allied war effort. Mackenzie King announced the details of an agreement that had been reached by the governments of Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. This agreement related to a cooperative air training program, and was referred to as the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP). Its magnitude would be unparalleled. By the time the program ended, more than 130,000 aircrew had been trained, along with 80,000 groundcrew.

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After the First World War, the RAF maintained an opportunity for Canadians to pursue a career in that service. Two permanent positions were reserved for university or RMC graduates each year, and Canadians with high school diplomas could compete with British applicants for five-or six-year short service commissions. Commencing in 1934, a significant RAF expansion scheme sought to invite and accept more Canadians into British service. This initiative received some Canadian support, and it served to accomplish three British objectives: the maintenance of a very high standard of aircrew selection, the easing of strain upon its own manpower resources, and the involvement of other Commonwealth countries in RAF expansion. This policy was supported by the Canadian government, in part because there often were not enough positions within the still-miniscule Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) for those who wished to join this service.

british commonwealth air training plan

In 1936, a serving Canadian in the RAF made a proposal that would eventually lead to the creation of the BCATP. Group Captain Robert Leckie, then Superintendent of the RAF Reserve, submitted a memorandum detailing the strategic advantages of creating an aviation training facility in Canada. In this document, he pointed out the favourable meteorological conditions that would permit year-round flying, as well as the fact that Canada would be far from the anticipated enemy action in Europe, while also being located close to the industrial potential of America. Leckie believed that such a program would attract many Canadians to the RAF.

British commonwealth air training plan essay. Research paper

This statement would form the basis for further discussions between Mackenzie King and the British government. On 7 July, the new British Secretary of State for Air, Sir Kingsley Wood, told the British House of Commons that arrangements had been made “...for an officer to be sent immediately to Canada to explore... the possibility of working out such a scheme for training facilities in Canada.” However, it soon became readily apparent that British expectations were too high. Group Captain J.M. Robb, Commandant of the RAF Central Flying School, arrived in Canada only to find that the British government had a false impression that Mackenzie King’s offer to train British pilots for the RAF also extended to training Canadian pilots for RAF service. While being more than willing to discuss the training scheme, Mackenzie King was only prepared to accept British trainees coming to Canada to train in Canadian facilities. The underlying British request for Canadian pilots to be trained in Canada for British service was considered by him to be out of the question.

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