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RCAF Station Pearce

General Information

Base / Station: Pearce

Province: Alberta

Dates of Operation or Period of Information:  1942-45


  • No 2 Flying Instructors School
    • Formed as a sub-unit of No 15 Service Flying Training School at Claresholm, Alberta on 27 April 1942
    • Formed as an Independent Unit at Vulcan, Alberta on 3 August 1942.
    • Moved to Pearce, Alberta on 3 May 1943
    • became inactive on 29 December 1944
    • disbanded on 20 January 1945
    • Aircraft Flown:
      • Various
  • No.3 Air Observer School
    • Aircraft Flown:
      • Anson,
      • Crane,
      • Stinson
  • No.36 Elementary Flying Training School
    • Aircraft Flown:
      • Tiger Moth,
      • Stearman

Commanding Officers:

Financial Impact:

Date / Reason for Closure:

  • station 20 Jan 1945, reduced need for aircrew
  • No.3 AOS det. 12 Sep 42-1 Jan 43
  • No.3 AOS 1 Jan 43- 6 May 43
  • No.36 EFTS 17 Mar 42-31 Aug 42

Current Status:  abandoned

RCAF Aerodrome Pearce, Alberta.
Image from the
RCAF Pilots Manual of Aerodromes and Seaplane Bases
circa 1942.

Story from facebook 26 Feb 2013 – Posted by Peter Whitfield in the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan in Canada Facebook Group

LAC Ray Wise was stationed at No. 10 Repair Depot at Calgary. On 5 Sept. 45, “Tiger Force” was disbanded, as the two Atomic bombs ended WW II with Japan. On that same date, RCAF orders posted four mechanics from Calgary to the closed base at Pearce, Alberta. Your photo under Lancaster “L for Lanky” shows the four members – L to R Cpl. Edge [In charge] LAC Wyers, LAC Ray Wise and LAC Cook. These four lived in a rented house in Fort Macled and drove to work at Pearce each day in a closed panel 1/2 ton RCAF truck. Pearce had been closed for over a year and had no staff on site. They carried all thier tools each day and opened the base. On 8 Sept. the first of 83 veteran Lancaster bombers began to arrive. In a few days, the attached photo from Ray Wise shows Pearce, around mid-Sept. 1945. after the first Alberta snow storm. [This may show up in your collection]?

Each day, the four mechanics would start the four merlins on the 83 Lancs and let them warm up. Ferry pilots would arrive and fly the Lancs to other RCAF Stations in Alberta for long-term storage. After six months only twelve or so Lancs. remained and they were placed into long-term storage at Pearce. I have all these recorded in order with nose art, but it is with Don Smith. Many of the nose art images in the Wise collection show one or two of the original mechanics in the cockpit, and it is possible these were all taken by Lloyd Kilby?

Site Plan – July 1941

Site Plan – Pearce, Alberta – July 1941 (Page 1/2) Source – Court Martial File of P/O Renton Cooper
Site Plan – Pearce, Alberta – July 1941 (Page 2/2) Source – Court Martial File of P/O Renton Cooper

Site Plan – 27 April 1943

Site Plan – Pearce, Alberta – April 1943 (Page 1/2)
Source – Court Martial File of P/O Arthur Ferguson Roberts
Site Plan – Pearce, Alberta – April 1943 (Page 2/2)
Source – Court Martial File of P/O Arthur Ferguson Roberts

Location – Google Map

Station Magazine –
No. 36 EFTS

Station Magazine –
No. 2 FIS
“Pearce Patter”

Daily Diary – Links – No 36 Elementary Flying Training School









Daily Diary – Links – No 3 Air Observer School

The school started moving from Regina, Saskatchewan starting 12 September 1942, eventually the headquarters for the school was moved to Pierce. That appears to have been short lived and eventually the entire school was moved back to Regina, the final day that the school had presence in Pierce was 27 April 1943. For the Daily Diary index for the school and Detachment in Regina, please refer to the page for Regina, Saskatchewan.

Daily Diary – Links – No 2 Flying Instructor School

The School was moved to Pearce from Vulcan, early May 1943. To access the Daily Diary index for the period prior to the school moving to Pearce, please refer to the Vulcan page.


This list was compiled from the entries in the Daily diaries of No 36 Elementary Flying Training School, No 3 Air Observer School, and No 2 Flying Instructor School and other sources.  The list likely does not include all fatalities of personnel who died while stationed at RCAF Station Pearce, and likely includes some errors. Currently this list contains 8 personnel.

Aircraft List

Courts Martial

The following personnel were recommended for courts martial and a file was created on the Charged Offence, not all Offences were tried. This list is not complete but I will be working my way through the reels in the upcoming months.

  • Pilot Officer Arthur Ferguson Roberts (RAF-55214)
    • Charged with Flying Offences
    • Trail Date – 21 September 1943
    • The file is 164 pages
    • Member was found guilty of 1 charge and sentenced to dismissal from his majesties Air Force. The sentence was later reduced to a severe reprimand.

Course List
No 36 Elementary Flying Training School

Course List
No 3 Air Observer School

Course List
No 2 Flying Instructors School

For More information – External Links

Other Sources:

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