Aerodrome: An airfield or airport.
Aldis lamp: A device used to transmit Morse code
between airplanes or between the airplane and the ground,
as radio transmission technology did not yet exist.
Allies: Led by Britain (and the Commonwealth countries),
U.S.S.R., U.S.A., Allies were the countries that fought
against Germany, Italy and Japan during World War II.
Air Observer School:
An Air Observer School was where
navigators received the bulk of their training. Air bombers
also attended AOS, but for a shorter period.
An Air Observer School.
Axis: Composed principally of Germany, Italy and Japan, the
Axis fought against the Allies during World War II.
B&GS: Bombing and Gunnery School.
Bombing and Gunnery School: A school that existed
in the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan to train men
to become air bombers or air gunners, it included air firing
BCATP: British Commonwealth Air Training Plan.
Brylcreme: Hair care product used to slick back
hair, making it look shiny.
Canadian liquor laws: one of the primary obstacles
facing new recruits were these funny laws, which included:
sexually segregated drinking areas; a drinking age of 21;
a ban on drinking while standing up; strict liquor rations;
those purchasing liquor had to go straight from their point
of purchase to wherever they were drinking, without detour.
Catalina: called ‘flying boats’ these were used
in anti-submarine operations.
Civilian: A person who is not employed by the military.
Coastal Command: British command whose job it was
to protect Eastern Atlantic waters; composed of groups from
the Royal Navy in conjunction with groups from the Royal
Air Force (some of which contained Royal Canadian Air Force
Dakota: American designed and built, the Dakota,
strong and stable, was perfectly suited for transport operations;
it was, however, slow and had poor defences.
Dieppe Raid: An experimental amphibious assault
on the coast of France undertaken by the Allies after pressure
from Stalin to open a second front in 1942. Six thousand troops
landed at Dieppe, including 5,000 Canadians. There were
EFTS: Elementary Flying Training School.
Elementary Flying Training School: A school designed
for the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan to give future
pilots rudimentary flying training.
Flak/Flack: Anti-aircraft fire.
FIS: Flying Instructors School.
Flying Instructors School: A British Commonwealth
Air Training Plan (BCATP) school that trained
pilots on how to instruct other pilots. This was to ensure enough instructors
were available to perpetuate the BCATP. Also known as the "Western
University for the Air".
Going Solo: An air crew trainee had to go solo by
the 12th hour of elementary flying or he would be ‘washed
out’, would have to stop pilot training and remuster within
a different trade.
Ground School: As opposed to air crew training schools;
after Manning Depot, recruits went either here or to air
training school; here they learned trades, such as mechanics,
in order to keep aircraft and air fields operational.
Incendiary Balloons: Sent by the Japanese in late
1944 to early 1945, they were meant to create forest fires;
it being winter, and thus a terrible time to start forest
fires, the campaign failed and was abandoned.
Instrument Flying: A flying technique in which the
pilot depends solely on
instruments within the aircraft in order to navigate.
Initial Training School: A British Commonwealth
Air Training Plan school that existed to determine which
aircrew designation would be best suited to each recruit,
while providing an introduction to Royal Canadian Air Force
ITS: Initial Training School.
Kapok: Silky material used to make items like life
Lieutenant General William Slim: Commander of the
Fourteenth Army, which drove the Japanese back through Burma.
He revolutionized the campaign in Burma by the way in which
he supplied the army by air.
Lobbying: An attempt to influence legislators'
Luftwaffe: The Luftwaffe is Germany’s Air
Force and was formed in 1935.
Mae West: an inflatable life jacket in the form
of a collar extending down the chest; named after an actress
known for her full figure.
Manning Depot: A British Commonwealth Air Training
Plan institution designed to introduce men to Royal Canadian
Air Force training procedures while they wait for room in
Initial Training School.
MD: Manning Depot.
Me 109, Me 110: types of Messerschmitt aircraft, German
Night Flying: Learning to fly in low visibility
conditions amongst the enemy.
Operational Training Unit: The step in British Commonwealth
Air Training Plan that allowed airmen to train in an operational
environment to prepare them for war. There were seven
Operational Training Units in Canada during the BCATP.
Located in the Eastern and Western Air Commands, airmen
would be posted to an OTU to gain experience on operation
before being posted to a battle squadron. Occasionally
required to fly operational patrols, Canadian OTU's were
held as less important than those located in Great Britain,
where most BCATP graduates received their operational
OTU: Operational Training Unit.
Political Patronage: The practice of granting favours
in exchange for political support.
Remuster: When a trainee or a serviceperson
changed category or trade. Trainees could be forced to remuster
if, for instance, they failed to fly solo after 12 hours
of flying time. Or, they could request to remuster—many
groundcrew, for example, asked to remuster to aircrew positions.
Service Flying Training School: A British Commonwealth
Air Training Plan school designed to further a pilot's training,
including advanced flying techniques such as night and instrument
Serviceability: The capability to serve. This was
a critical factor in the air war,
as lower serviceability rates indicated fewer available
aircraft; keeping serviceability high was a key role of
air force ground crew.
Squadron: The basic military aviation
unit; several squadrons could be put together to form a ‘wing’;
and many more squadrons put together could form a ‘group’.
SFTS: Service Flying Training School.
Topographical Maps: A map that details the surface
features of its area covered.
U-boats: German submarines which terrorized convoys
in the Atlantic going between Britain and North America.
Wag: Wireless Air Gunner.
Wireless School: A British Commonwealth Air Training
Plan school designed to train men to become adept at all
things concerning radio communications, both in the air and
on the ground.
Wolfpack: Refers to a tactic in which teams of U-boats
attacked convoys, rather than single U-boats. Introduced
in order to overcome the limited speeds and maneuverability
the U-boats could achieve while underwater.
WS: Wireless School.