Category Archives: Training for Victory

14. The Plan’s Aviation Legacy

by Peter C. Conrad As the war drew to an end, fewer aircrew were required. The result was the closing of air training schools as the BCATP curtailed operations. With the closing of the school at Estevan and the transfer … Continue reading

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13. Mackenzie King, Diefenbaker, and the Struggle for a School

by Peter C. Conrad With the political patronage that was seen across western Canada, it was not surprising when Prime Minister Mackenzie King’s riding of Prince Albert received both an elementary flying training school and an air observer school. What … Continue reading

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12. A Crisis of Its Own

by Peter C. Conrad The enthusiasm for the BCATP that swept the West was tempered with the stresses of the fast development of the air schools and the arrival of thousands of aircrew. This enthusiasm and the ominous realization of … Continue reading

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11. Zoot-Suiters and the Yellow-Bellied

by Peter C. Conrad “Yellow-bellied English bastards,” was the reply that local youths had to the heckles of British airmen stationed at the Moose Jaw Royal Air Force school. “Zoot-Suiters” was the name the Royal Canadian Air Force investigators called … Continue reading

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10. Sharing Field and Ice

by Peter C. Conrad In communities across the Prairies, airmen and airwomen took the place of absent locals who had participated in sports before the war. The most important sports were those that allowed the most participation—hockey and baseball. Canadian … Continue reading

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9. “The Tie that Binds”

by Peter C. Conrad The servicemen and women of the Air Training Plan were quickly integrated into the activities of the towns and cities near the schools. Despite the strains that resulted because of a housing shortage and wartime restrictions, … Continue reading

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8. Operating the Plan

by Peter C. Conrad When the air training schools were established across the Prairies, the residents of the host communities became very close to the personnel. To a great extent, it was not the trainees who were known to the … Continue reading

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7. Hazards of War

by Peter C. Conrad With such large numbers of aircrew of all the different categories, and the frequent stunts pulled by exuberant students and instructors, one would expect that there would have been a high number of accidents, but this … Continue reading

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6. Going Through the Mill

by Peter C. Conrad Training high numbers of quality aircrew was the central goal of the BCATP. The result was a training program that was unforgiving to those candidates who did not quickly grasp the lessons they were taught. The … Continue reading

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5. “Cheered in the Streets”

by Peter C. Conrad After the air training schools had been built, the next step was the coming of the air force personnel and the air trainees. Both the arrival of these men and the opening ceremonies at the schools … Continue reading

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