Tuesday, 29 January 2013
Goderich - Sky Harbour Airport
Location: Huron County N 43° 45.743 W 081° 42.634
In front of the terminal building at Sky Harbour Airport
The Goderich Municipal Airport(also know as Sky Harbour) was one of many airfields used during the Second World War, as part of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. Here can be found two plaques, which tell the story and history of this airfield and the BCATP.
Apparently at one time a Lancaster Bomber was also on display here, but I did not see the aircraft at the time of my visit. A small museum can be found inside the terminal building.
Ontario Historical Plaque:
THE BRITISH COMMONWEALTH
AIR TRAINING PLAN
With the outbreak of hostilities in 1939, one of Canada's major responsibilities was to provide air training facilities removed from the theatre of war. On December 17, 1939, the Plan was inaugurated. The first schools were opened the following year, among them No. 12 Elementary Flying Training School here at Sky Harbour. At the height of operations there were 38 training units in Ontario alone, including 32 air training schools. Before termination of the Plan on March 31, 1945, these and 70 similar establishments elsewhere in Canada trained over 300,000 aircrew, ground crew and airwomen, mostly from Canada, Britain, Australia and New Zealand but including American volunteers and escapees from Nazi-occupied Europe.
Sky Harbour plaque:
BRITISH COMMONWEALTH AIR TRAINING PLAN
12 ELEMENTARY FLYING TRAINING SCHOOL RCAF
North of this marker was the above base of the
BCATP of World War II, inaugurated December
17th, 1939. From 360 schools, on 281 Canadian
sites such as this, graduated 131,553 aircrew, over
200,000 ground crew and Air Women, of the Air
Forces of Canada, British Commonwealth and Allies,
including many American volunteers in the RCAF.
Canadian BCATP graduates staffed most of these
360 schools, manned 78 RCAF active combat
squadrons and served in most RAF and Commonwealth
Combat squadrons in action in all theatres of war.
THE LANCASTER X MEMORIAL
This Canadian built Lancaster X, wingspan 102 feet,
power 4, 1400 h.p. Rolls Royce Packard Merlin 224
engines, was manned by a crew of 7. Combat weight
32 tons, cruising speed 220 m.p.h. for ten hours
with 6 tons of bombs. Donated by Branch 109 Royal
Canadian Legion, the Township of Colborne, the Town
of Goderich and the County of Huron. Lancaster FM
213 is dedicated to the memory of those who were
killed or went missing.
Dedication Day, Battle of Britain Sunday, September 5, 1968.