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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 flying.

In 1939, there were two Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) Permanent Force Squadrons stationed at Currie Barracks, Calgary. They were RCAF No. 3 (B) Squadron and RCAF No. 1 (F) squadron. During World War II, No. 1 (F) squadron was renumbered as No. 401 and posted overseas, eventually flying with distinction during the Battle of Britain.

On the homefront, No. 3 Service Flying Training School (SFTS) was opened on Currie Field, Calgary on October 28, 1940. While the site was a pre-war flying field, it was not until the RCAF had chosen it and brought it up to their standard that the landing strip was paved. The school was open until September 28, 1945 and trained many pilots. After the BCATP, this base was used to train NATO pilots until 1958. Following that, until 1964, portions of the site were kept open as an emergency landing strip for pilots who might have been using old wartime maps. In 1972, Mount Royal College opened its Lincoln Park Campus and was using portions of runways as student parking lots. Today, north of the campus, on the former Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Currie, No. 3 SFTS hangars still remain and are used for all sorts of purposes, including housing businesses and film sets. A monument commemorating the BCATP hangs in the new plaza at Mount Royal College.

No. 7 SFTS was open in Fort Macleod from December 9, 1940 to November 17, 1944. The land it was built on was farmland appropriated from local residents. After the war, the base turned into No. 1 Repair Equipment and Maintenance Unit (REMU) and was used to repair Royal Canadian Air Force aircraft.

Today, many of the same buildings are standing and the airport remains active and able to handle light aircraft. In Memorial Park, in Fort MacLeod, two monuments have been erected to pay tribute to those who participated in the BCATP.

No. 15 SFTS was opened in Claresholm June 9, 1941 and remained open as a BCATP base until March 1945. In 1951, it was renamed No. 3 Flight Training School and used to train pilots for the Korean War. RCAF Station Claresholm was closed in 1958. Although closing the flight school was quite a loss to the Claresholm community, the air force hangars were subsequently converted to industrial uses and a small industrial airport still remains active. A restored Harvard aeroplane stands as a monument to the Plan in Claresholm Centennial Park.

In 1941, the Royal Air Force moved one of their training schools out of Europe and to the safety of Penhold, Alberta. After the war, this site was owned and used by the Royal Canadian Air Force until 1965 when the City of Red Deer took it over and turned it into the Red Deer Municipal Airport. In September of 1999 the Red Deer Regional Airport Authority appropriated the ownership. Now the Red Deer Regional Airport, this site is yet another example of the BCATP legacy in Alberta.

Station Claresholm

Station Claresholm

Calgary Aero Space Museum

Calgary Aero Space Museum