No. 35 Service Flying Training School & No. 13 Service Flying Training School (North Battleford):
by Bruce Forsyth (www.militarybruce.com), with permission
Opened by the Royal Air Force on 4 September 1941 near North Battleford as No. 35 Service Flying Training School, a part of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. Relief landing fields were constructed near Hamlin and Brada. No. 35 SFTS closed 25 February 1944 and the aerodrome was taken over by No. 13 SFTS, originally from St-Hubert, Quebec.
No. 13 SFTS had a brief stay at North Battleford as it closed on 30 March 1945.
From 1962-1963, the abandoned runways were used as a racetrack for sports car and motorcycle racing.
The aerodrome is now the Cameron McIntosh Airport. All that remains of the wartime schools is the old hangar pads, the gunnery backstop and the vehicle maintenance shop. Several of the aerodrome’s former buildings were moved to nearby schools.
Two of the original runways remain, one expanded to 5000 feet. North Battleford Ultra-lights also use the airfield for flying training.
The former RCAF Detachment Hamlin is now used as an industrial site. Up to 2007, one of the three runways continued to be maintained for use in agricultural flight training by Battlefords Airspray private airport. The airfield in now closed to all aircraft and none of the RCAF buildings remain.
Nothing remains of RCAF Detachment Brada. [Elinor got in touch to advise that “I grew up on this farm in a former barracks building, which is still standing and used as a summer residence, along with two service buildings and the original hangar. The farm is now owned and operated by my brother Rob Florence. Several years ago the local municipality put up a commemorative sign on the property.”]
Source Material: information provided by Randy Strelioff, Cameron McIntosh Airport (2004), information provided by Battleford Airspray (2010), Canadian Racer Web site – www.motorsportcentral.com, information provided by Vintage Wings – www.vintagewings.ca & information provided by Sharon Schools (2004).
The following perished while serving at No. 34 SFTS: GL Alexander, TD Bower, FC Cannings, MH Cassidy, N Cheetham, F Cunningham, BT Evans, LG Firmage, O Firmin, BJ Ford-Smith, AA Green, PJ Haley, JT Hayes, LS Hodgkins, D Hodgkison, JG Hutchinson, WJ Keenan, AJR Knights, TEE Leahy, GE Lyons, NI Mellor, FA Mitchell, FJB Rawlings, JG Riley, T Robinson, EJ Thomas, J Tomalin, R Waugh and BD Wickham.
3 Thoughts on “No. 35 SFTS & No. 13 SFTS, North Battleford”
My Dad was an instructor here from October’41 until Feb ’44 when he then returned to the UK to on operations with Mitchells in 2 Group.
I was born in North Battleford and have returned there twice.
On the last occasion, having got my PPl some years earlier, I was able to fly myself and do two ‘touch n goes’ on the airfield with a local check instructor.
Great but very emotional experience,
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