RCAF Station Brandon
No 12 Service Flying Training School
Base / Station: Brandon
Period(s) of Use: 1940 – 1945
- No. 12 Service Flying Training School
- Primary Relief Landing Field – Chater
- Secondary Relief Landing Field – Douglas
- Wing Commander Montcrieff – unk – 1 Sep 1942 – Source ORB
- Wing Commander W.G. Welstead – 1 Sep 1942 – 9 Jun 1943 – Source ORB
- Wing Commander G.H. Sellers – 9 Jun 1943 – 20 Aug 1943 – Source ORB
- Wing Commander A.G. Goulding – 20 Aug 1943 – 10 Sep 1943 – Source ORB
- Wing Commander T.R. Michelson – 10 Sep 1943 – 14 Jul 1944 – Source ORB
- (as of Jan-June 1944) – Source the Aer-Log Jun 1944
- Wing Commander H.G. Malcomson – 14 Jul 1944 – 29 Nov 1944 – Source ORB
- Wing Commander J.M. Godfrey – 29 Nov 1944 – 30 Mar 1945 – Source ORB
- S/L D.S. Dick – 30 Mar 1945 – – Source ORB
Unit Duties / Information:
May 16, 1941 No. 12 Service Flying Training School was opened as one of the sites under the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan to expand on the training pilots received at one of the Elementary Flying Training School. The Formation order was issued on 16 April 1941.
- Anson and
Financial Impact: $1,905,374 (total cost of BCATP construction to 15 Mar 1942)
Date / Reason for closure:
March 30, 1945, No. 12 Service Flying Training School was closed in preparation of the expiration of the BCATP agreement April 1, 1945. By this point the forecast of the war was such that there was no need to have the agreement renewed. The plan detailed in the Disbandment order that was issued on 14 March 1945 was that No. 12 SFTS was to imediately reform as a reserve unit. By 4 May 1945 a revised order was issued ammending the plan, they were now closing No. 12 SFTS and then moving No. 5 EFTS from High River to the facility in Brandon. The plan was further ammended on by RCAF order on 4 June 1945, by this time there was determined to be no requirement to host a flying training school in Brandon and No 2 ACU was formed at the Brandon.
Honours and Awards Presented to Graduates of No. 12 S.F.T.S.
- F/O Donald Wallace Goodwin
- A/F/L David Brady
- F/L John Maxwell Portz
- A/F/L William Verne Tobias
- P/O Alan Shepherd
- A/F/L Ralph Gordon Herbert Bar
- F/L Albert Brawley Freeman
- F/O James Wilson O’Driscoll
- A/F/O Edward Martin Reesor
- O. E.A. Holdaway (RNZAF)(ORB 14 Dec 1942)
Timeline (Source 17 Wing Museum – Winnipeg Manitoba) – File Attached
Appear to be pulled from ORB
9 Jul 1941 – Prime Minister Mackenzie King visited the Station for a short time
16 Jul 1941 – Normal flying training. One of our most promising students on course 31 ground looped a Cessna Crane and turned it over. He was uninjured, but aircraft was Category “B” crash.
19 Jul 1941 – Official Opening. G/C Grant represented Air Commodore A.B. Shearer, Commander No. 2 District, and the Hon. J.E. Mathews, K.C. M.P. and the Hon. J.A. Glen, K.C., M.P. made brief addresses. Flying display by 10 Cessnas in formation and aerobatics by three Harvards was carried off very well. The official guests included: Priemier John Bracken, General James Kirkcaldey and Mayor F.H. Young.
6 Aug 1941 – First Wings’ Parade. After the presentation of Wings, Mayor Young of Brandon presented engraved plaque to the honour student, LAC Holdaway.
15 Aug 1941 – Visit of the Duke of Kent.
26 Aug 1941 – Visit of the Earl of Athlone, Governor General of Canada.
13 Sept 1941 – First fatal crash:
- LAC J.P. Seymour
- LAC W.S. Shand
17 Dec 1941 – Sgt Pilot Oliphant, Honour Student, received the City of Brandon plaque from Mayor Young at sixth wings’ parade
18 Jan 1942 – Six Brandon High School teachers (prospective cadet officers) were taken up for a flight.
25 Mar 1942 – First operation performed in station hospital by F/O Williams, a hernia on one of the airmen. Both survived ordeal.
26 Mar 1942 – In evening, concert in recreation hall by Madame Johnson and her Victory Troupe. Why are all service personnel made to suffer by the (kind) acts of these good people?
10 Apr 1942 – Course 45 Wings’ Parade. Mayor Young presented City of Brandon plaque to Honour Student, LAC Poulain of St. Boniface.
12 Apr 1942 – A/S/O Richie and 72 airwoman reported for duty.
3 Jul 1942 – LAC Badley’s aircraft lost its elevator control. F/L Mileski, O.C. No. 1 Squadron, took off immediately and flew alongside Badley for approximately two hours and succeeded in talking to the pupil over the radio and directed him down to a perfect landing without use of elevators. When Badley got out of his aircraft he was roundly cheered by 400 or 500 of the station personnel who had watched the whole incident.
1 Sep 1942 – Mess dinner in the Sergeants’ Mess for W/C Moncrieff, at which regrets departure of our C.O. (posted overseas) were expressed by the President, WO I Anderson.
4 Sep 1942 – Official handover to Station from W/C Montcrieff to S/L Welstead
13 Sep 1942 – A very fine variety show was given by the “Commandos”, a troupe of girls from Souris.
23 Sep 1942 – Course 57 staged a very successful graduation dinner in the Prince Edward Hotel. S/L Welstead, guest speaker, commented on the exceptionally high standard of the class. It is noted that ducks have appeared on the menus in all messes.
15 Oct 1942 – Visit of HRH Princess Alice. First wedding on the Station: AW I Young, C.J., cook and Cpl Parker, cook.
17 Oct 1942 – Four airwomen Meteorologists arrived, the first meteorologists (WD) on this station.
14 Nov 1942 – Sale of victory bonds total $37,200 (anticipated goal $15,000).
20 Nov 1942 – The Lifebuoy Follies from Lever Bros., Toronto put on a very excellent programme.
27 Nov 1942 – The WD ward in the hospital has been equipped with a bathtub. An airwoman is being taught to drive the gas tender.
16 Dec 1942 – Course 63 held a most successful banquet in the Prince Edward Hotel. The speaker were W/C Welstead, S/L Laing, F/L Sherrett and J. Boyd Fisher
17 Dec 1942 – Course 63 Wings’ Parade. LAC Pepper, P.B.C., Received the City of Brandon plaque.
21 Dec 1942 – The Corporals’ Club held a dinner and dance in the Prince Edward Hotel, which was enjoyed by all.
12 Jan 1943 – S/L Mileski was posted to New Zealand on liaison appointment.
18 Feb 1943 – Course 68 Wings’ Parade. LAC Lee, O.R., received the Brandon Plaque.
15 Apr 1943 – Course 71 Wings’ Parade introduced a novel feature. The parents of each graduating student presented the wings to their son. LAC Currie, N.F., of Winnipeg won the Brandon Plaque. This Parade marked the 1000th pupil to graduate.
4 Jun 1943 – First christening in the Station Chapel when F/L Bainbridge, Protestant padre, christened son of a senior NCO.
9 Jun 1943 – W/C W.G. Welstead handed over to new C.O., W/C G.H. Sellers
26 Jun 1943 – First wedding in Station Chapel was that of an airman, unnamed, conducted by F/L Cramer, Roman Catholic padre.
22 Jul 1943 – The Victory Garden is producing large quantities of vegetables for all messes and personnel are taking a keen interest in it.
23 Jul 1943 – A new member of the staff arrived today by air and, judging by his appearance, should be a source of inspiration to all personnel. He is LAM Viking, late of Winnipeg, our new mascot. He is a magnificent St. Bernard.
20 Aug 1943 – W/C A.G. Goulding replaced W/C Sellers, posted to the RCAF Staff College, Toronto.
2 Sep 1943 – Course 81 Wings’ Parade LAC Alexander, T.A., honour student, received Brandon Plaque.
10 Sep 1943 – W/C A.G. Goulding, posted to No. 18 S.F.T.S., handed over to W/C T.R. Michelson, the new C.O.
30 Sep 1943 – Course 81 Wings’ Parade. LAC Maitland, P.H., received the Brandon Plaque.
27 Jan 1944 – Course 89 Wings’ Parade. LAC James, R.L., received the Brandon Plaque.
24 Feb 1944 – Course 91 Wings’ Parade. LAC Easton, E.L., receives the Brandon Plaque.
6 May 1944 – A Winnipeg road show, “The Gloomchasers”, received enthusiastic applause.
21 Jun 1944 – The Victory Garden is progressing very satisfactorily. Personnel volunteer readily to work on it.
14 Jul 1944 – W/C T.R. Michelson handed over command to W/C H.C. Malcolmson, the former returning to the RCMP, from which he had been on leave of absence since 1939.
9 Aug 1944 – Course 99 held their Wings’ banquet in the Airmen’s Mess.
10 Aug 1944 – Course 99 Wings’ Parade. LAC Lingwood, J.E., received the Brandon Plaque.
28 Aug 1944 – A Large number of technical personnel in Maintenance Wing received notice of posting overseas.
7 Sept 1944 – Course 101 Wings’ Parade. LAC Sharpe, E.N., receives the Brandon Plaque.
6 Oct 1944 – Course 103 Wings’ Parade.
2 Nov 1944 – Course 105 Wings’ Parade.
29 Nov 1944 – W/C Malcolmson handed over command to W/C J.M. Godfrey.
25 Jan 1945 – Course 113 Wings’ Parade. WO 2 Norman, S.F.W., honour student, received the Brandon Plaque.
1 Mar 1945 – Course 118 Wings’ Parade. Sgt Pye, E.H., honour student, receives the Brandon Plaque.
29 Mar 1945 – Final B.C.A.T.P. Wings’ Parade for Courses 121 and 122.
30 Mar 1945 – S/L D.S. Dick assumed temporary command following transfer to Reserve of W/C J.M. Godfrey.
- The Publication On Track…the Pilot’s Air Travel Guide (First Annual Edition – 1978) lists the Aerodrome as “Brandon” – See photos on this page.
Current Status: civilian airfield, three runways still in use, two hangars, some buildings still exist
Home of the “Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum”. – See section below.
Location – Google Map
Daily Diary – Links – No. 12 Service Flying Training School
The Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum, Brandon, Manitoba has created a transcription of this Daily Diary.
Their web site is AirMuseum.ca
This list was compiled from the entries in the Daily diaries of No. 12 Service Flying Training School. The list may not include all fatalities of personnel who died while stationed at RCAF Station Brandon. From my reading there were 27 deaths of service personnel that were stationed at Brandon.
26 fatalities sourced from ORB
- 25 August 1941
- AC2 William John Keenan – RAF
- 13 September 1941
- LAC Jean Paul Seymour – RCAF
- LAC William Simon Shand – RCAF
- 24 December 1941
- LAC Henry George Deery – RNZAF
- 16 January 1942
- LAC Harry Frank Gibson – RCAF
- 19 January 1942
- LAC Geoffrey Herbert Weston Hamilton – RNZAF
- LAC Ross Francis Kitto – RNZAF
- 30 April 1942
- F/S Donald Heric Patenall – RCAF
- Sgt Gordon Wesley Burkholder – RCAF
- Cpl Henry Francis McGuire – RCAF
- 11 June 1942
- P/O Arthur Beverley Polley – RCAF
- LAC Gordon Oswald Wilson – RAAF
- 8 July 1942
- LAC Grant William Gibson – RCAF
- 25 July 1942
- LAC Lionel Ralph Priday – RNZAF
- LAC Robert Edgar Willis– RCAF –
- Cpl George McIntosh – RCAF
- 15 September 1942
- P/O Clifford Harris Thompson – RNZAF
- LAC Gordon Melville Steventon – RCAF
- 28 May 1943
- Sgt William George Kendall – RAAF
- LAC Raymond Thomas Ingley – RNZAF
- LAC Thomas Frampton Osborne – RNZAF
- 10 May 1944
- LAC John Harold Ormerod – RCAF
- 16 May 1944
- F/O Elwin Stanbury Quantrill – RCAF
- LAC David George Barnes – RCAF
- 26 September
- F/O Harvey Edwin Storey – RCAF
- F/O Russell McIntyre Monck – RCAF
- 9 March 1945
- F/O Albert Thomas Phillips – RCAF
- Anson II
- Cessna Crane
- Unk –
- 13 Oct 1941
- 13 Oct 1941
- 9 Sep 1942
- 28 Jun 1943
Course List – No 12 Service Flying Training School
Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum
The former station now hosts the Commonweath Air Training Plan Museum. The Main Gallery is housed in the former #1 hangar. The Museum showcases many BCATP artefacts, Aircraft and Buildings.
The Muesem owns several adjacent station buildings including:
- Station Canteen
- Original to RCAF Station Brandon and No. 12 SFTS
- Not an original Air Force Structure, though of very sumular design.
- Moved from the Army Base at Shilo, Manitoba
- Motor Transport Garage
- Constructed replica of the building that stood at the Secondary Relief Landing Field to Brandon, located near Douglas, Manitoba .
- this discription of the building was sent to me by John McNarry on the RCAF.info facebook group. “
The Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum has recreated the “BAT” Beam Approach Training building from Douglas.It is a modified version of a Motor Transport building that had a radio and observation room with abay window and a conning tower built onto the north end of the building as it was situated at Douglas.The aircraft flying approaches using the dipole could be observed by the staff.The MT garage bays contained a crash truck ambulance and staff car.The BAT room had a standard set of bunk beds. Meals were served in the adjacent farm house.Currently there is a row of grain bins on the garage foundation. No other visible evidence of the site remains.”
- Dental/ Medical Building
- Requires restoration
- Sentry Box
- From RCAF Station Assiniboia
- Westinghouse Wind Direction Finding Tee
- Though not a building per se a permanent structure from the second world war that was installed on many of the bases.
For More information – External Links
- MilitaryBruce.com – Canadian Military History by Bruce Forsyth
- Manitoba Historical Society
- Aerodrome Disposal File: