No. 11 Service Flying Training School & No. 23 Elementary Flying Training School (Yorkton):

by Bruce Forsyth (www.militarybruce.com), with permission

No. 11 SFTS opened on 10 April 1941 north of Yorkton as part of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan, along with Relief Landing Fields near Sturdee (asphalt runways) and the Rhein District (grass runways). A total of 40 buildings were constructed for the flying school, including a full surgical hospital, one of four for all of No. 2 Training Command, a mess hall and 5 hangars.

Unlike most Relief Landing Fields, no buildings were constructed at either the Sturdee or Rhein aerodromes.

No. 11 SFTS closed on 1 December 1944. (The following died in training there: LE Armstrong, ADA Campbell, ME Davidson, TR Hiebert, JE MacDonald, J McCormick, JG McCowan, RG Mitchell, J Skinner, WJP Tibbits, JV Turnbull and JE Zora.)

No. 23 EFTS re-located from Davidson to Yorkton on 29 January 1945, but it would have a brief existence in Yorkton as it too closed on 15 September 1945.

RCAF Station Yorkton seemed destined to become a part of the post-war RCAF. The aerodrome became a storage depot as well as the home of No. 2 Flying Training School and The 53rd Heavy Anti-aircraft Regiment. This would be short-lived as the station closed in early 1946.

The airport is now the Yorkton Airport. Of all the former school’s buildings, only two of the original five hangars remain.  All three original runways remain, but only two are still active, with runway 03-21 extended to 4800 feet.

Among the present users is a Gliding Centre, operated for the Royal Canadian Air Cadets.

The abandoned airfield at the former RCAF Detachment Sturdee also remains, along with the hangar pad, but nothing remains at RCAF Detachment Rhein.

Source Material: information provided by Canadian Aviation Historical Society (CAHS), information provided by Therese LeBevre-Prince, Heritage Researcher, City of Yorkton (2003), Ozzy’s Place: Abandoned Aerodromes of Saskatchewan – http://ozzzy.dyndns.org, “Yorkton This Week” newspaper 30 November 1988 & “The Canada Flight Supplement” 1999.

One Thought on “No. 11 SFTS & No. 23 EFTS, Yorkton”

  • I have a beautiful felt appliqué patch – presumably off a flying jacket – from 23 EFTS, in the form of an RAF roundal with a yellow trainer aeroplane superimposed on it, and with “Yorkton Sask” embroidered on a yellow scroll underneath. It also has the number ‘135’ in red – perhaps the class number? I don’t recall exactly where I got it, although it was in the south-west of England. Happy to send a picture if it’s of interest.

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