Manitoba Historical Society
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Historic Sites of Manitoba: No. 12 Service Flying Training School / Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum (300 Commonwealth Way, Brandon)

Link to:
Commanding Officers | Photos & Coordinates | See Also | Sources

The massive Commonwealth Air Training Plan Hangar is situated amid a prairie landscape of flat open fields along Highway 10, one kilometre north of Highway 1 (Trans Canada Highway). Located on the east side of Brandon’s municipal airport, the double land-plane structure was built in 1941, at a cost of about $1 million. The facility opened officially on 19 July 1941. Two relief fields, one north of Chater and the other a few miles east of Brandon, provided alternate places for aircraft to land if they could not do so at the main runways here.

The Commonwealth Air Training Plan (CATP) Hangar, an intact utilitarian wood-frame complex, is a tangible and rare structural reminder of one of Canada’s major contributions to the allied military effort during the Second World War. The CATP Hangar is one of the few that remain out of 700 hangar-type structures erected for the plan from standardized designs. Built by Bird Construction Company of Winnipeg as one of five hangars serving No. 12 Service Flying Training School at Brandon, the facility housed Cessna Crane and Anson aircraft for pilot training.

The hangar is now occupied by the Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum, Canada’s only museum dedicated solely to preserving the Plan’s history and artifacts, including vintage aircraft and equipment. It is designated by the Manitoba government as one of its Signature Museums. In the 2000s, the museum participated in the Manitoba Prairie Icons Program. Commemorative plaques on the museum grounds were placed there by the Manitoba Heritage Council and the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada. A Memorial Wall, unveiled on 10 September 2014, pays tribute to those who were killed during military service, in Canada and elsewhere.

Commanding Officers

Period

Principal

1940-1942

Wing Commander R. C. Gordon

1942

Wing Commander Ernest Hutchison Glen Moncrieff (1909-2000)

1942-1943

?

1943-1944

Wing Commander T. R. Michelson

1944

Wing Commander Henry Geoffrey Malcolmson

1944-1945

Wing Commander J. M. Godfrey

Photos & Coordinates

Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum

Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum (July 2015)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough

De Havilland DH 82A Tiger Moth inside the Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum

De Havilland DH 82A Tiger Moth inside the Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum (March 2021)
Source: George Penner

Former canteen building at the No. 12 Service Flying Training School

Former canteen building at the No. 12 Service Flying Training School (July 2015)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough

Memorial Wall

Memorial Wall (July 2015)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough

Commemorative statue at a Memorial Wall

Commemorative statue at a Memorial Wall (July 2015)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough

Site Coordinates (lat/long): N49.90364, W99.94280
denoted by symbol on the map above

See Also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: No. 1 Air Navigation School (Wheatland, Municipality of Riverdale)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: No. 1 Air Navigation School Monument (Municipality of Riverdale)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: No. 5 Air Observers School (Winnipeg)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: No. 3 Bombing and Gunnery School (Macdonald, RM of Portage la Prairie)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: No. 7 Bombing and Gunnery School (Paulson, RM of Dauphin)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: No. 14 Elementary Flying Training School / No. 7 Air Observers School (Southport, RM of Portage la Prairie)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: No. 19 Elementary Flying Training School (RM of Wallace-Woodworth)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: No. 26 Elementary Flying Training School (Municipality of North Cypress-Langford)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: No. 26 Elementary Flying Training School, Eden Relief Field / Eden Airport (RM of Rosedale)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: No. 10 Service Flying Training School (RM of Dauphin)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: No. 10 Service Flying Training School, North Junction Relief Field (RM of Dauphin)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: No. 10 Service Flying Training School, Valley River Relief Field (RM of Dauphin)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: No. 12 Service Flying Training School / Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum (Brandon)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: No. 12 Service Flying Training School, Chater Relief Field / Chater Aerodrome (RM of Elton)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: No. 12 Service Flying Training School, Douglas Relief Field (Municipality of North Cypress-Langford)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: No. 17 Service Flying Training School (Municipality of Souris-Glenwood)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: No. 17 Service Flying Training School, Hartney Relief Field / Hartney Aerodrome (Municipality of Grassland)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: No. 18 Service Flying Training School (Municipality of Gimli)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: No. 18 Service Flying Training School, Netley Relief Field / Netley Field (RM of St. Andrews)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: No. 33 Service Flying Training School (Municipality of North Cypress-Langford)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: No. 33 Service Flying Training School, Oberon Relief Field / Oberon Aerodrome (Municipality of North Cypress-Langford)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: No. 33 Service Flying Training School, Petrel Relief Field / Petrel Aerodrome (Municipality of North Cypress-Langford)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: No. 3 Wireless School (500 Shaftesbury Boulevard, Winnipeg)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Brandon Winter Fair Building / Brandon Arena / No. 2 Manning Depot (Eleventh Street, Brandon)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: No. 5 Release Centre / Jameswood Place South (Winnipeg)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: No. 8 Repair Depot / Jameswood Place (Winnipeg)

Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum

British Commonwealth Air Training Plan Hangar, Manitoba Historic Resources Branch

Commonwealth Air Training Plan Hangar, Manitoba Heritage Council Commemorative Plaques

BCATP Hangar No. 1 National Historic Site of Canada, Brandon, Manitoba, Veterans Affairs Canada

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Provincially Designated Historic Sites

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Municipally Designated Historic Sites

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Manitoba Prairie Churches Project / Manitoba Prairie Icons Project

Sources:

“Gordon to Command Brandon Air School,” Winnipeg Free Press, 9 July 1940, page 15.

“Brandon builds big centres for airmen and militiamen,” Winnipeg Free Press, 26 September 1940, page 3.

“Brandon Air School will open July 19,” Winnipeg Free Press, 2 July 1941, page 10.

“Brandon Air School to open July 19,” Winnipeg Free Press, 11 July 1941, page 4.

“The official opening ceremony of the Brandon Service Flying Training School [...],” Winnipeg Free Press, 16 July 1941, page 3.

“Brandon Air School opening postponed,” Winnipeg Free Press, 16 June 1941, page 18.

“Plans for opening Brandon Air School Saturday, near ready,” Winnipeg Free Press, 17 July 1941, page 11.

“Moncrieff gets command post at Brandon,” Winnipeg Free Press, 23 January 1942, page 2.

“King approves eleven awards to Air Force,” Winnipeg Free Press, 27 October 1942, page 7.

“Michelson to head Brandon Air School,” Winnipeg Free Press, 2 September 1943, page 15.

“Malcolmson given Brandon Command,” Winnipeg Free Press, 31 July 1944, page 3.

“Godfrey to assume No. 12 S.F.T.S. duties,” Winnipeg Free Press, 29 November 1944, page 7.

“Seven Air Stations in Manitoba to hold final wings parades,” Winnipeg Free Press, 27 March 1945, page 3.

Manitoba Heritage Council Minute, 9 March 2002.

We thank Christian Cassidy, Tim Worth, and George Penner for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough and Nathan Kramer.

Page revised: 11 October 2021

Historic Sites of Manitoba

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