PRAIRIE WINGS is the unknown diary of a Royal Air Force pilot training base in Canada during the Second World War.
This rare and detailed account of operations is unique - it is the only British Commonwealth (BCATP) air station to be covered in detail. Sales world-wide have made PRAIRIE WINGS a 'collector's item!
Britain's declaration of war against Germany in 1939 demanded swift action to train air and ground crew.
The British Commonwealth Air Training Plan evolved. Ultimately 107 flight schools at 231 sites in Canada were constructed within an incredible six month period.
The air Battle of Britain in 1940 created a shortage of trained pilots and ground crew. Service Flying Training School #34 Medicine Hat opened April 23, 1941 and included personnel who had served during that life and death conflict. Emergency landing fields were built at Holsom and Whitla. When the base closed in November 1944, 2,000 pilots and ground crew had graduated from what is now the Medicine Hat airport.
Fifty air crew from this field died in training accidents and lie buried in the Field of Honour, Hillside cemetery.
Training school Medicine Hat's personnel came from Canada, England, Scotland, New Zealand, Belgium, France, Holland, Czechoslovakia, Norway, Poland and the Caribbean. They were a multifaceted 'invasion'. Across town 12,500 German prisoners of war and their guards were quartered on the present Medicine Hat Exhibition and Stampede grounds. To the West at Suffield the secret Defence Research Facility was established. From 1941-1946 Medicine Hat was inundated by this 'deluge' for at the time the Gas City's population was less than 10,000.
PRAIRIE WINGS Includes the following...
- The historical background leading to the formation of RAF bases in Canada
- The "secret" diary of the Medicine Hat station forms the basis for the book
- Attractive coffee table format. Full color covers featuring Harvards over the Hat and Ansons flying past grain elevators
- Over 80 photos, most previously unpublished
- Listing of all who died in the flying accidents at #34 SFTS Medicine Hat
- Listing of all who died in flying accidents at #39 SFTS Swift Current
- Listing of all courses which passed through #34 SFTS Medicine Hat
- List of many marriages involving RAF personnel from #34 SFTS Medicine Hat