Saturday, 8 September 2012

Oshawa Airport

 

Location:  Durham Region, City of Oshawa  N 43° 55.022 W 078° 53.641                                          Found on Stevenson Road, north of Rossland Road, at the airport.

This is a busy post for memorial seekers and for those who enjoy military history.  The memorial is located in a small park, with a Sabre Jet mounted on a pedestal (see my entry of April 27, 2012), a memorial to celebrate the 100 years of flight in Canada, and the two plaques which I am featuring today.  Across the road from the Air Force related memorials, is the home of the Ontario Regiment Museum, home to a large collection of military vehicles and artifacts, and well worth the time to visit.

These two plaques are dedicated to The British Commonwealth Air Training Plan of World War 2.  Oshawa airport was home of the #20 Elementary Flight Training School, and contributed greatly to the war effort in the skies over Europe.

The first memorial is presented along with a prop from an Argus aircraft, mounted in the ground beside the plaque.
The second plaque is mounted on a large boulder.  Text is bilingual, but I have chosen to only show the English version, thank you.

Marker text
1st Plaque:
 THE BRITISH COMMONWEALTH AIR TRAINING PLAN
29 APRIL 1940 - 31 MARCH 1945

ON 17 DECEMBER, 1939, CANADA, THE UNITED KINGDOM, AUSTRALIA AND
NEW ZEALAND, SIGNED AN AGREEMENT RELATING TO "TRAINING OF PILOTS,
AND AIRCRAFT CREWS IN CANADA AND THEIR SUBSEQUENT SERVICE".

THIS AGREEMENT INAUGURATED THE BRITISH COMMONWEALTH AIR TRAINING
PLAN UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE ROYAL CANADIAN AIR FORCE.

CANADA BECAME THE MAIN CENTRE OF AIRCREW TRAINING FOR THE
COMMONWEALTH, AND THOSE OCCUPIED COUNTRIES OF EUROPE, FIGHTING IN
EXILE. OVER A PERIOD OF FIVE YEARS, 131,553 AIRMEN WERE TRAINED,
AND GRADUATED, TO WINGS STANDARD.

IN 1941, MR. A.G. STORIE, PRESIDENT AND GENERAL MANAGER OF FITTINGS
LTD., OSHAWA, AND EIGHT PROMINENT BUSINESS MEN, FORMED A SPECIAL
COMPANY, UNDER THE DOMINION COMPANIES ACT, KNOWN AS ONTARIO COUNTY
FLYING TRAINING SCHOOL LIMITED. IN THIS MANNER, NO. 20 ELEMENTARY
FLYING TRAINING SCHOOL WAS ESTABLISHED UNDER THE "PLAN".

THE ADJACENT PARCEL OF FARMLAND, CONSISTING OF 492.12 ACRES,
SITUATED TO THE WEST OF THIS SITE WAS CONVERTED INTO AN AIRFIELD IN EARLY 1941. FROM JUNE 1941, UNTIL OCTOBER 1944, APPROXIMATELY 2400
TO 2500 AB INITIO PILOTS GRADUATED FROM NO. 20 EFTS, TO PROCEED TO
ADVANCED SERVICE FLYING TRAINING SCHOOLS, AND OPERATIONAL TRAINING
UNITS, OVERSEAS.

THIS ARGUS AIRCRAFT PROPELLER BLADE IS ERECTED TO COMMEMORATE THOSE
R.C.A.F. PERSONNEL, AND MEMBERS OF THE ALLIED COUNTRIES WHO TRAINED
AT THIS AIRPORT.

THEY FLEW IN HARMS WAY, IN THE SERVICE OF THEIR COUNTRY, AND THE
CAUSE OF GLOBAL FREEDOM.

ERECTED BY
THE CITY OF OSHAWA
COMMUNITY SERVICES DEPARTMENT
AND
DEDICATED
BY THE MEMBERS
OF
420 (CITY OF OSHAWA) WING
ROYAL CANADIAN AIR FORCE ASSOCIATION
1992

2nd Plaque:
 NATIONAL HISTORIC
CIVIL ENGINEERING

BRITISH COMMONWEALTH AIR TRAINING PLAN
No. 20 ELEMENTARY FLYING TRAINING SCHOOL - OSHAWA

A TRIBUTE TO CANADA'S CIVIL
ENGINEERS WHO, BETWEEN 1940 AND
1943, WERE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE
DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION OF 88
AIRFIELDS AND 88 RELIEF FIELDS,
TOGETHER WITH ALL THE REQUISITE
INFRASTRUCTURE.
THE AIRFIELDS WERE REQUIRED BY
THE BRITISH COMMONWEALTH AIR
TRAINING PLAN WHICH TRAINED MORE
THAN 250,000 PERSONNEL, OF WHOM
131,000 WERE AIRCREW, FOR THE
ALLIED WAR EFFORT. THIS FIELD,
OSHAWA MUNICIPAL AIRPORT, WAS THE
SITE OF NO. 20 ELEMENTARY FLYING
SCHOOL.
CANADIAN SOCIETY FOR
CIVIL ENGINEERING
1999






2 comments:

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