#7 Service Flying Training School
#7 SFTS began operation in December, 1940 under the command of Group Captain Arthur L. James. Lieutentant-Governor J.C. Bowen declared the school officially open. Annora Brown, who would go on to become a distinguished author and artist, played a role in the opening. Group Captain G.R. Howsam was Master of Ceremonies and his address concluded with the words, “In your sure hands, the Empire Training Plan will surge on in Macleod to an ever increasing success until victory is won and our way of life is forever secure from the foul threat of Nazi slavery.”
Avro Ansons were operated at the station. The first class was presented with wings on March 1, 1941, less than three months from the opening of the school and classes of fifty pilots received wings each month afterwards.
The school continued to operate until November 17, 1944. After the war, the base became #1 Repair Equipment and Maintenance Unit and was used to store and repair Royal Canadian Air Force aircraft. One of the aircraft stored at RCAF Station Fort Macleod was Lancaster FM159. It would go on to fly with the RCAF during the 1950’s and then become the centrepiece of the Nanton Lancaster Air Museum.
Many of the school’s buildings are still standing and the field remains active as the Fort Macleod Industrial Airport. It is located on the outskirts of Fort Macleod, south of the railway tracks.