British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP) 1940-1945

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British commonwealth air training plan

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Canada has wide-open spaces, well protected by their remoteness from possible hostile intrusions, british commonwealth air training plan. Its population, among the largest in the British Commonwealth, can provide many british commonwealth air training plan. Towards the end of the s, Canada met all the requirements to become the training ground for the air force british commonwealth air training plan the defence of the British Empire demanded.

The Canadian government was not too receptive, however, to the first British proposals for setting up air training schools on its territory. In addition, he was concerned that the interference of imperial armed forces would not allow Canada to develop its own national air force. Lord Riverdale on the left and W. National Archives of Canada, C But the proclamation of the state of war on September 10th,changed the situation entirely. Large-scale airmen training on Canadian soil seemed to be a significant contribution, and also one that would keep to a minimum the number of soldiers serving overseas.

Developed by Vincent Massey and Stanley Bruce, respectively Canadian and Australian High Commissioners in London, the project called for the establishment of 90 schools, that would train some 50, men for the air force, among which 20, pilots.

For the MPs this was an astronomical amount: In the following weeks, negotiations were conducted at a frantic pace and in a climate of extreme tension. Among contentious issues, besides the sharing of the costs medicare advantage plans in colorado Great Britain and the Dominions Canada, Australia and New Zealand , was the difficult matter of Article The agreement was signed in the early hours of December 17th, The official announcement was made later that day, on the 65th birthday of the Canadian PM.

King, an outstanding negotiator with years of experience in labour disputes, had decided he would celebrate the agreement on that date. The agreement stated that the training was to be similar to that of the RAF: Canada was to supply To reach those ambitious goals, Canada had to recruit 1, men per four-week period, i.

To provide adequate flight training, 3, aircraft were needed: Great Britain made a commitment to supply a significant proportion of those planes. Some 33, british commonwealth air training plan, military personnel and 6, civilians were required as teachers, administrative, or maintenance staff in the different BCATP facilities.

The agreement signed in December was to expire in March Canada was to pay for the initial training schools, i. Was Canada up to a challenge of such magnitude, with the help of Great Britain and allied dominions? Indeed, not only those objectives were met, they were exceeded!

The Department of Transport was british commonwealth air training plan for selecting the sites and after approval by the RCAF preparing the airfields. The RCAF was responsible for designing and building the facilities. The sites had to provide a secure approach, be large enough, well drained and with easy access to utilities, as well as with a good supply of drinkable water.

BCATP airfields usually included a main airstrip and two secondary ones. Among the sites selected, 24 were already developed, needing only some additional buildings. On the other sites, extensive construction work was required: Four regional commands were created to implement the plan: Each command had its own recruiting offices and supply services.

Photo by Nicholas Morant. The first cohort of pilots, british commonwealth air training plan, 39 men, received their wings at Camp Borden, Ontario, british commonwealth air training plan, on September 30th, The first air observers graduated on October 24th.

They are between 18 and 24 years of age. A majority is not 20 yet. They chose the Air Force over the Navy and the Army. Most of them share british commonwealth air training plan dream: In the summer ofBritish commonwealth air training plan Britain remained alone to fight off a possible German invasion and had to stop the delivery of Avro Anson trainer planes.

Howe had a british commonwealth air training plan ready: Canada was to build its own version of the Avro Anson, modified to be fitted with a U. This renewed programme gave Canada increased control over the training and included revised trainee quotas for participating countries.

It also allowed for some changes to the training as such, changes made necessary by the evolution of aerial combat in Great Britain and in Europe. With fewer air force men killed or wounded during missions, air force personnel needs decreased and so did the number of BCATP trainees.

At the end ofthe Plan was working on putting an end to its operations. It had receivedtrainees, among whichincluding 49, pilots successfully completed the course of study. Through the BCATP, tens of thousands of young men from different countries Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders, British settled throughout Canada for shorter or longer stays, depending on the requirements of their training programmes.

Some trainees boarded with families. Both military and civilian trainees took part in local activities, frequenting restaurants, dancing halls, churches and other attractions in communities near their bases. Friendships and romance followed: Expenses incurred for building facilities and airfields, manufacturing aircraft, tools and vehicles, supplying food and power, maintenance contracts meant new jobs for the civilian population and were a significant factor of economic revitalization in communities near training schools and throughout Canada.


British commonwealth air training plan