Post War Legacy
British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP) was Canada’s
greatest contribution to the
Allied forces in
World War II. Aerodromes
were constructed all over the province and although many
cannot be seen today, there are other structures in their
place that commemorate the Plan.
number of the Alberta airports were once part of the BCATP.
Located in Calgary, Edmonton, Claresholm, Fort Macleod and
Lethbridge, these airports still function. Once the war
was over, many of BCATP bases were appropriated by the community
in order to remain connected to the world of aviation.
While some airports existed previous to the war, with the
emergence of the BCATP, they were modernized and brought
up to Royal Canadian Air Force standards.
There are other less obvious traces of the BCATP in Alberta.
Some of the bases were closed and have naturally become
overgrown. In recent years, monuments have been erected
at many of the sites so that even though the bases themselves
can no longer serve as visual reminders, a monument can.
the most somber reminder of the BCATP in Alberta are the hundreds
of casualties of air training, buried in cemeteries across
the province. Trainees from Canada were usually returned
to their hometown, but men from outside of the country were
buried in the cemetery of the community where they were. Their
grave markers remind us that World War II claimed the
lives of decent, vibrant people on the homefront, not only
overseas in combat.