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Roy McIntyre

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.

R.N. McIntyre on the way to New York on leave.

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 barOn weekend leave. Left to right: R.N. McIntyre, Jim Lawrie, Bill Cotile.racks....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 killed....

On April 10, we started our course in earnest. Link trainer 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, "1430hrs 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, generalR.N. McIntyre's Flying Assesment, 1944ly 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 uniforms.

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