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Manitoba Organization: Air Training Command No. 2

Link to:
Commanding Officers | Facilities | See Also | Sources

The Training Command (TC) No. 2 (also known as the Air Training Command No. 2) in Winnipeg was first envisioned in 1939, as the headquarters of the Commonwealth Air Training Plan (CATP) in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. From an initial staff of four people, including Air Commodore A. B. Shearer, on the second floor of the of the Commercial Building, it later occupied seven more floors as well as six of the Lindsay Building. A vast network of bases and units, built at a cost of some $18 million ($15 million in Manitoba) by 10,000 labourers and artisans, was under its jurisdiction. The facility opened on 13 March 1940 with the official opening ceremony on 15 April 1940.

At the peak of its operations, the Training Command consisted of more than 30 units and bases in northwest Ontario, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan. It oversaw Air Observers Schools, Bombing and Gunnery Schools, Navigation Schools, Elementary Flying Training Schools, Service Flying Training Schools, and a Wireless School, as well as the an Equipment Depot, Repair Depot, Construction and Maintenance Depot, Aeronautical Inspection Department, and a numerous Relief Landing Fields. The only operational site not under its control was an Initial Training School.

In September 1944, as the Second World War was winding down, the Federal Minister of Air Power announced an amalgamated “Prairie Air Command” centered at Moose Jaw (Saskatchewan), near the recently-closed Service Flying Training School No. 32. The relocation date was set for 1 December 1944 following the Royal Air Force’s operational withdrawal from the base. In October 1944, Winnipeg’s Training Command No. 2 was merged with Calgary’s Training Command No. 4 to create a Western Air Command, while eastern Canada’s Training Command No. 1 at Toronto combined Training Command No. 3 at Montreal to form an Eastern Air Command. On 23 July 1945, Minister of Air Colin Gibson announced No. 2 Training Command would remain in Winnipeg as a peace-time headquarters for the Royal Canadian Air Force.

Winnipeg has been the long-standing home to No. 17 Wing of the RCAF. The Training Command No. 2 is commemorated with the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan - Headquarters No. 2 Training Command Monument on the grounds of the Air Force Heritage Museum & Park.

Commanding Officers


Commanding Officer


Ambrose Bernice Shearer (1893-1952)


Air Vice-Marshal T. A. Lawrence


Air Vice-Marshal Kenneth M. “Ken” Guthrie

Facilities (Manitoba)



Aeronautical Inspection Department No. 15


Air Observers School No. 5


Bombing and Gunnery School No. 3

Macdonald, RM of Portage la Prairie

Bombing and Gunnery School No. 7

Paulson, RM of Dauphin

Central Navigation School

Wheatland, RM of Daly

Construction and Maintenance No. 2


Elementary Flying Training School No. 14 / Air Observers’ School No. 7

Southport, RM of Portage la Prairie

Elementary Flying Training School No. 19

RM of Wallace

Elementary Flying Training School No. 26

RM of Langford

Equipment Depot No. 7


Manning Depot No. 2


Service Flying Training School No. 10

RM of Dauphin

Service Flying Training School No. 12


Service Flying Training School No. 17

RM of Glenwood

Service Flying Training School No. 18

RM of Gimli

Service Flying Training School No. 33

RM of North Cypress

Wireless School No. 3


Facilities (Outside Manitoba)



Air Observers School No. 6

Prince Albert, Saskatchewan

Bombing and Gunnery School No. 3

Dafoe, Saskatchewan

Elementary Flying Training School No. 2

Fort William, Ontario

Elementary Flying Training School No. 6

Prince Albert, Saskatchewan

Service Flying Training School No. 4

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Service Flying Training School No. 11

Yorkton, Saskatchewan

Service Flying Training School No. 38

North Battleford, Saskatchewan

See Also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Air Force Heritage Museum and Air Park (Air Force Way, Winnipeg)


“$50,000,000 defence outlay seen in Canada,” Winnipeg Tribune, 6 January 1939, page 1.

“Winnipeg named centre for West Air Training,” Winnipeg Tribune, 13 March 1940, page 1.

“The Winnipeg Command,” Winnipeg Tribune, 15 March 1940, page 6.

“No. 2 Air Command opens here Monday,” Winnipeg Tribune, 9 April 1940, page 13.

“Air Command opens in Winnipeg,” Winnipeg Tribune, 15 April 1940, page 13.

“22-unit Air set-up of No. 2 Command nears completion,” Winnipeg Tribune, 1 November 1940, page 17.

“One year of Air Training Plan sees growth to giant reality,” Winnipeg Tribune, 17 December 1940, page 13.

“Prairies wide open spaces cradle air armada,” Winnipeg Tribune, 30 December 1940, page 42.

“Now it’s Air Vice-Marshal Shearer,” Winnipeg Tribune, 8 June 1942, page 11.

“No. 2 Command Air expenditures pass $16,000,000 mark,” Winnipeg Tribune, 27 August 1940, page 11.

“Roar of planes sound Hitler’s ultimate doom,” Winnipeg Tribune, 22 August 1941, page 22.

“Command changes hands,” Winnipeg Tribune, 5 January 1943, page 9.

“No. 2 Command Headquarters reorganized,” Winnipeg Tribune, 13 May 1944, page 7.

“Farewell ceremonies given for Lawrence, Wednesday,” Winnipeg Free Press, 31 May 1944, page 10.

“Air Vice-Marshall Lawrence’s command,” Winnipeg Tribune, 2 August 1944, page 6.

“Merger of Air Commands 2 and 4 denied by Defense Department,” Winnipeg Tribune, 5 August 1944, page 13.

“May affect hundreds,” Winnipeg Tribune, 21 September 1944, page 1.

“To head Command,” Winnipeg Tribune, 22 September 1944, page 1.

“Guthrie heads fused Air Command,” Winnipeg Tribune, 22 September 1944, page 1.

“Air Command move may pose housing problem for Moose Jaw,” Winnipeg Tribune, 22 September 1944, page 1.

“Moose Jaw sure No. 2 Command will move there,” Winnipeg Tribune, 11 October 1944, page 15.

“Eastern Air Commands united,” Winnipeg Tribune, 27 November 1944, page 2.

“No. 2 Command honors Ashton,” Winnipeg Tribune, 29 November 1944, page 10.

“City to be peace-time Air Force headquarters,” Winnipeg Tribune, 24 July 1945, page 9.

“No. 2 Command,” Winnipeg Tribune, 25 July 1945, page 6.

“438 Canadians honored in King’s List,” Winnipeg Tribune, 13 June 1946, page 1.

“Guthrie moving to Edmonton,” Winnipeg Tribune, 20 February 1947, page 1.

“Popular Officer,” Winnipeg Tribune, 12 March 1947, page 6.

This page was prepared by Nathan Kramer.

Page revised: 3 January 2016

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