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Alberta Online Encyclopedia
Wings Over Alberta


Charles Travers, Observer, with wife Dale and son Dennis.On December 17, 1939, two months after joining World War II, Canada signed on to the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP). Far from Europe and destructive German attacks, yet closer to Britain than Australia or New Zealand, Canada was the ideal training ground for Commonwealth air force recruits.

Dozens of training schools opened across Canada, including 18 in Alberta. In small prairie cities and towns such as Vulcan, Claresholm and Medicine Hat, budding young airmen from around the world arrived to train for the battle that raged in the skies over Europe.

The Glory of the British Commonwealth Air Training PlanWings Over Alberta explores a unique period in the formation of the province and the role that it played in Canada’s contribution to World War II. Canada’s Air War provides a background to the Royal Canadian Armed Forces efforts overseas and at home, as well as the development of the BCATP itself. The Homefront examines the ins and outs of the Plan in Alberta and the relationship between the training centres and the communities that they functioned within. The Stories section contains just that: stories, first hand recollections of those who trained in Alberta.

This digital collection was produced with financial
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Canada's Digital Collections Initiative, Industry Canada.

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