Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) Flight Officer
(F/O) Roy McIntyre trained in
New Zealand and in Alberta at No. 3 Manning Depot (MD) in Edmonton and
No. 3 Service Flying Training School (SFTS) in Calgary. The
following excerpt recounts just a few of McIntyre's memories
of his time in Alberta in 1944.
We arrived in Vancouver in the early hours and
transferred to the Canadian Pacific Railway train. We had
sleeping and dining cars for the trip through the Rockies,
and the service on the train was really marvellous. On
February 28, 1944 we arrived in Calgary, where the land was
covered in snow and a heavy fog. We continued on the train
to Edmonton, where we were taken by streetcars out to No. 3
Manning Depot to await posting to a Service Flying Training
School. There was about 18 inches of snow on the ground and
what seemed like sub-zero temperatures. It was here that I
got my first experiences of centrally-heated buildings....
On March 20, we left No. 3 Manning Depot
for No. 3 Service Flying Training School in Calgary. We
were loaded on to what seemed like cattle trucks, driven
out to the camp, issued with blankets, sheets etc. and shown
to our barracks....The next morning, after signing on at the various departments
around the station, we had a look over a Cessna Crane and
an Avro Anson and were lectured by the Chief
Flying Instructor, and Flight Officer Hollis, a New
Zealand instructor. That afternoon, two Cessnas
collided and crashed, both pilots (Australians) were
On April 10, we started our course in earnest. Link
and lectures in the morning were followed by flying
in the afternoon for one week, and then the reverse the next.
On the morning of April 14, I went solo after 4 hours and 45
minutes and made a real three-point landing....
The course was to end in July, however, we were told it
was extended another month, owing to the build up of aircrew
in Britain. In August we were told it had been extended
again until October 20. However, ground school had finished
earlier and on August 21, I went on my Wings instrument
test. The next day I got quite a shock when I went
into the crew room and saw on the flight board,
Leading Aircraftman (LAC) McIntyre Wings Test with Flight
Lieutenant Barclay"....I was the first of the course to
go on the Wings test and was, consequently, surrounded by the rest of the pupils with questions
when I got back.
We started night flying at the end of May and this continued
at various intervals throughout the course, generally for
a week at a time. Looking back now at the rather primitive
facilities we had, it was a rather dicey exercise. On my
last night flight with an instructor, the undercarriage did
not go down. It was necessary to wind it down by hand.
First, however, the switch had to be turned off. The instructor pulled
out the winding handle from under the seat, handed it to
me and said, "Start winding." I had to remind him
to turn off the switch and he grabbed the Verry pistol to
indicate we were in trouble and fired it through the hole
in the floor. The next thing we saw, were two red exhaust
streams climbing past us on the port side—there had been another
plane below us and the cartridge had just missed them. The
undercarriage then wound down by hand, however, and we landed normally.
I think that was the worst incident I had at Calgary.
We did photographic work, exercises as a navigator, Standard Beam Approach flights in Avro Ansons
and some bombing training....We finished our flying October
17, 1944, which was my
20th birthday. The next day, we finalized our log books, went to stores and drew
Sergeant's stripes and Wings, and had our Graduation Banquet. The following day,
we practiced for
the Wings parade, officially became Sergeants and sewed our wings on our