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Jim Osborne

The following account of Royal New Zealand Air Force man Jim Osborne, while brief, is perhaps one that outlines in a simple manner the way in which so many Royal New Zealand Air Force men came to know Canada during World War II.

Jim OsborneAt the age of 17, Jim Osborne applied to join the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF). As his passport had been lost in a fire and his mother was not at all keen on him joining the RNZAF, he had some difficulties to overcome. He wouldn't be accepted for another year.

On his 18th birthday, Jim Osborne moved to Whenaupai, New Zealand where he began elementary flying training on Tiger Moths. As facilities to train large numbers of men to fly were not available in New Zealand, men were chosen at random to train in Canada under the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP). While Osborne was not included in the initial 120 men chosen, he was able to take the place of another man who was not able to make the trip.

Arriving first in Vancouver, Osborne was posted to Service Flying Training School (SFTS) in Dunville, Ontario, completing the course and earning his Wings in March of 1942. Upon completing his flying training in Canada, Osborne was posted to Bournemouth in Great Britain, going on to fly over 300 sorties throughout the war.

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