RCAF Station Calgary

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RCAF Station Calgary covers a collection of Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) training establishments and other facilities that operated in Calgary, Alberta, Canada from the mid-1930s to the mid-1960s.

In 1935 the RCAF constructed a landing field on a section of the Canadian Army's Currie Barracks located in southwest Calgary. The airfield was known as Currie Field or the Calgary Military Airport.[1] In 1938, the aerodrome was home to two RCAF squadrons: No. 3 (Bomber) Squadron with the Westland Wapiti and No. 1 (Fighter) Squadron with the Armstrong Whitworth Siskin and later, the Hawker Hurricane. No. 1 (F) Squadron was renumbered to 401 Squadron when it was posted overseas for combat duty. During the Second World War, the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP) established No. 3 Service Flying Training School (SFTS) at the airfield. Aircraft flown at this school were Avro Ansons and Cessna Cranes. No. 3 SFTS closed on September 28, 1945.

After the war, No. 10 Repair Depot was located at the station until 1947 when No. 25 Air Materiel Base Calgary was formed. The base was renamed RCAF Station Lincoln Park. Among the station's functions, Lincoln Park was a training centre for NATO pilots. This training facility closed in 1958 and the station became an emergency landing field. RCAF Station Lincoln Park was closed in 1964, but portions of the base were retained to house military families. The former hangar line at Lincoln Park was taken over by the various Army field units garrisoned at CFB Calgary. The remaining property was sold to the ATCO Company, the City of Calgary and Mount Royal College. The main campus of Mount Royal College now occupies a section of the old aerodrome while the old hangars are occupied by various businesses, including the Calgary Farmer's Market.[2]

As well as the primary operational field at Lincoln Park, a satellite or "relief" field existed at Shepherd, just to the southeast of the city. The auxiliary training facilities at Shepard were used for air training using North American Harvard and Fleet Fort aircraft. No. 2 Wireless school ceased operation on April 14, 1945. The last vestiges of runways disappeared in 2001 when an industrial park was built and the last runway (north-south) was removed. The north-south runway was used as a dragstrip from the 1960s to 1983 under the name Calgary International Raceway. No. 37 Service Flying Training School (SFTS) was a Royal Air Force flying school located at McCall Field,[3] which is now Calgary International Airport in northeast Calgary. The school opened October 22, 1941. Like all RAF schools in Canada during this time, No. 37 SFTS was subject to RCAF administrative and operational control and formally became part of the BCATP in 1942. Pilots in training flew Airspeed Oxfords, Avro Ansons and Cessna Cranes. The school closed March 10, 1944. An original BCATP building is used by the Calgary Aerospace Museum.

No. 2 Wireless School was a BCATP radio operator school. It opened on September 16, 1940 and was located at the old Alberta Provincial Institute of Technology and Art,[4] which is now the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT). As one of the largest wireless training schools, it trained thousands of radio operators. Calgary was the location of No. 4 Training Command Headquarters from October 1941 to November 1944 after having moved from Regina, Saskatchewan. No. 4 Training Command Headquarters was responsible for BCATP operations in Alberta, British Columbia, and much of Saskatchewan. No. 11 Storage Depot, RCAF, was also located in Calgary until being closed in the early 1950s.


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