Douglas Warren on the British Commonwealth
many aircrew trainees were shifted between provinces during
training, my twin Bruce and I completed all of ours in Alberta.
Namely, RCAF No. 5 Elementary Flying Training School (EFTS)
High River, RCAF No. 3 Service Flying Training School (SFTS)
Calgary for a brief period of twin engine service flying
and RAF No. 34 SFTS Medicine Hat for single engine service
flying and where we were awarded the coveted "Wings."
The success of the BCATP in Alberta, and Canada overall,
was largely due to the dedication of the instructors, all
ground support staff, ground crews, both service and civilian.
In addition, thanks also to the many citizens who supported
the war effort, although were not directly involved with
The hospitality of Albertans was well known before the
war and this hospitality carried on during hostilities.
The reception of those airmen taking training in Alberta
was such that the time spent in Alberta was never forgotten.
Over the years, I have met many men whose eyes light up at
the mention of Alberta, and they all have a tale to tell
of the friendly wonderful Albertans. One Cockney kept us
in stitches laughing about his adventures at a friendly
farm near Medicine Hat. The tale ended with the words,
that was the only time in my life I have ever been on a 'orse!'"
This work concerning the BCATP activity in Alberta is important
and recommended reading for every one. However, it is especially
important for the young Albertans growing up, in order that
they learn of the dramatic history of Alberta during WWII.
The training of aircrew of many nations, as well as Canadians
in our country, was without a doubt a very major contribution
to the defeat of the enemy.
My identical twin, Bruce, and I were fortunate to fly on
fighter operations together, and very lucky to have completed
and survived two tours of operations. We were the only twins in
the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) to do this. I like to
think part of the reason was our upbringing as Alberta farm
boys, and the fine training we received by the dedicated
instructors and support staff serving in Alberta.
We, along with countless other airmen, give thanks for
our training and treatment received in Alberta.
Douglas (Duke) Warren DFC
Wing Commander (Retired)
Royal Canadian Air Force 1941-1965
Canadian Forces 1965–1973