Salute to the BCATP Instructors
Special guests at this highly successful event included Senator Anne Cools and Ted Barris, the author of “Behind the Glory,” the highly regarded book that focuses on the contributions of the flight instructors to the success of the BCATP.
In association with John Sands, the current owner of the former BCATP base 28 kilometres east of Nanton, we held a Friday afternoon event at the old aerodrome. In 1941 this base had opened as #2 Flight Instructors School (FIS), one of only three BCATP Flight Instructor Schools. Later it became #19 Service Flying Training Schools (SFTS). Six of the seven hangars still remain and John has rehabilitated the runways and taxiways. The old base is “in the middle of no-where.” For the event, skydivers carried the Canadian and RCAF flags, vintage training aircraft did fly-bys and landed for the ceremonies. A huge RCAF flag served as a podium backdrop, and a display panel telling the history of the Vulcan Aerodrome was unveiled which remains at the airbase. A second copy is displayed in the BCMC museum. Several hundred people attended this event, including seven former BCATP flight instructors.
The following day was the main event at the museum. It featured a series of presentations including one by former #5 Elementary Flying Training Schools (EFTS) instructor, Owen Fauvel. A display honouring the flight instructors was unveiled. Prominent on this panel is W/C Marty Mitchell who served at the Flying Instructor School at Borden, Ontario, from 1935 until 1941 flying Fleet trainers including our Fleet Fawn #264. A flypast included a No. 419 Squadron CT-155 Hawk from Cold Lake.