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RCAF Station Paulson

General Information

Base / Station: Paulson

Province: Manitoba

Dates of Operation: 1941 – 1945  


  • No. 7 Bombing and Gunnery School
  • No.5 Personnel Holding Unit (-1942-04-05)  

Unit Duties / Information:

On June 23, 1941, No. 7 Bombing and Gunnery School was opened at Paulson. This schools was responsible for training Air Observers (navigators/ bomb aimers and wireless operators) in the art of air to air firing. The navigator/ bombaimer would also train in bomb aiming and release procedures. Although considered obsolete by the outset of the war, the Farey Battle was used for all aspects of training for the first year of operations. Finally, in 1942, these aircraft were replaced by the Anson, Bolingbroke, and Lysander. The Anson was used for bombing training, the Bolingbroke for gunnery training, and the Lysander was used to tow the drogues used in the air to air training.

Women’s Division personnel were posted to the station effective 29 Jun 1942.    

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

Station Concert Troop:

  • Paulson on Parade  
Photo highlighting the CN Spur Line Servicing No 7 B&GS. –
Source the Dauphin Rail Museum.

Aircraft Flown:

  • Farey Battle (41-42),
  • Anson (42-45),
  • Bolingbroke (42- 45), and
  • Lysander (42-45)  

Financial Impact:

$2,061,256 (total cost of BCATP construction to 15 Mar 1942)  

Commanding Officers: –  

  • Wing Commander R.A. Cameron ( – 1941-08-16 –  
  • Wing Commander W.I. Riddell (1941-08-16 -) –  
  • Wing Commander R.F. Gibb (1941-12-31 -) –  
  • Group Captain W.E. Dipple (1942-01-06 -)  

Rail Spur: The Station was serviced by a Canadian National Rail Spur (see attached photo)

Date / Reason for closure:

February 2, 1945 No. 7 Bombing and Gunnery School was closed due to the surplus of trained air observers and the nearing of the end to the war. Also influencing the decision to close Paulson was the fact that the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan agreement was to expire at the end of March 1945 and the RCAF was going through an accelerated phase-out of bases in the Plan.  

Site Evolution

  • Post war several buildings from the former SFTS were moved to Dauphin and used for various purposes. The following information was provided by Al Gray, “two other huts were moved to the east end of town from No. 7 BGS and used for businesses… the buildings still exist… and the chapel from No. 7 was moved to Dauphin and has been and continues to serve the community as the Masonic Temple.” (See photo below)
  • The Publication On Track…the Pilot’s Air Travel Guide (First Annual Edition – 1978) lists the Aerodrome as “Paulson – Lat:51 08N – Long:99 52W – Abandoned – 62NE, E-17”

Current Status:

abandoned airfield, condition unknown  

Site Plan – March 1942

Site Plan – Paulson, Manitoba – March 1942. Source https://heritage.canadiana.ca/

Location – Google Map

Station Magazine
“The Paulson Post”

Masonic Lodge, Dauphin, Manitoba. Formerly the chapel from No 7 Bombing & Gunnery School, Paulson, Manitoba. (Photo sourced from Google Maps)
Station Sign, No 7 Bombing & Gunnery School, Paulson, Manitoba (Source 2015-514-001 – Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada)

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. 7 Bombing & Gunnery School and other sources. The list may not include all fatalities of personnel who died while stationed at RCAF Station Paulson. From my reading so far there were 23 deaths of service personnel that were stationed at Paulson.

Aircraft List






Courts Marshal

The following personnel were recommended for courts marshal 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.

  • Sergeant Kenneth Frank Sidaway (RNZAF – 42721)
    • was charged with flying and negligence related charges.
    • Trail Date – 25 January 1944
    • This file is 88 pages.
    • Was found guilty of 1 or more charges and was sentenced to a severe reprimand and fine of $50.

Course List
No 7 Bombing & Gunnery School

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Margaret Eldridge

    OMG. I have just found this site and am not sure how but thank goodness.
    My father trained as an air gunner in Manitoba but not sure where as I’m just finding all of this out.
    Is this a public site or do you have to join to see it, I found it but don’t remember if I had to join it or I’m on because of Canadian Military Photos lost and found.

    1. Nathan Kachur

      A totally public site. You likely found it via a facebook link as I am quite active on a lot of Canadian Military and Aviation related groups. Thank you for comment.

  2. Gary

    Very interesting site! As a bit of a history buff wrt the BCATP in Manitoba this is a page I shall bookmark!

    1. Nathan Kachur

      Thank you for reaching out… expect more to come.

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