Hangar #1: Some History & An Update

submitted by John McNarry, CATP Museum President

The hangar that is the home building of the Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum is a “double wide land plane hangar” built for the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP) at the site of Service Flying Training School # 12. The construction took place over the winter of 1940/41. That site is now the Brandon Municipal Airport.

Hangar 1 is one of 701 such structures built for the BCATP.

The founders of the Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum (CATPM) were given the use of the west half of Hangar 1 by the City of Brandon and it became the home of the CATPM.

A local aviation business, Maple Leaf Aviation, occupied the east half of the hangar from 1946 until the hangar was declared unsafe in the late 1990s.

In 1985 it was evident that the truss above the main doors on the north side of the hangar was failing as well as three of the truss rafters on the south side of the building.

Large structural supports were built to support the failing trusses. An “exoskeleton” truss, supported on piers, immediately adjacent to the originals was constructed on the north exterior to carry the failed truss that carried the hangar door rails.

When the hangar was declared unsafe in the late 1990s the CATPM board decided to do what they could to save the building. After negotiating with the City of Brandon and enlisting the help of the Province of Manitoba, a method to repair the failing sections was worked out with  Collmeyer Architecture, Waldrop Engineering, and with help from work done on hangars owned by DND and the RCAF.  The repair was accomplished and the three southern failed rafters were reinforced with steel.

Over the last decade, the 1985 Exoskeleton has been observed to be twisting due to the asymmetrical load it carries.

A recent engineering study of the problem has discovered two additional failed rafters. Until the integrity of the structure is determined the museum is closed to the public. The Memorial Wall is still available to the public, as well as the Canteen.  Some volunteer work continues.

The CATPM enjoys a good relationship with  the City of Brandon. The City of Brandon leases the land the Hangar and our other buildings are on to the CATPM and owns the Hangar. It is the hope of the CATPM Board of Directors that a suitable method of repair can be established. Funding for repairs is not yet determined. Support for the museum in any form is greatly appreciated.

A Day of Remembrance: A Special Lecture at the CATPM!

When & When: Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum, November 12th 1:30 pm, Museum Canteen

Background

On August 19, 1942, the ill-fated Allied military attack titled Operation Jubilee, to be later known as the Dieppe Raid, was launched. The events surrounding the combined air-sea-land operation still stir controversy to this day.

November 12, 2022, A Day of Remembrance: The Story of Dieppe Raid, lecture by historian David O’Keefe and Ted Barris in Brandon, Manitoba at the Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum, 1:30 pm Museum Canteen, donations at the door are welcome and will go to support the museum. Sponsored by The Manitoba Chapter of the Canadian Aviation Historical Society (CAHS)

The History Storytellers Program

The 80th Anniversary of the Dieppe Raid Commemorative Project will involve two of Canada’s foremost historians, Ted Barris and David O’Keefe, who will help tell the story of the Operation Jubilee/Dieppe Raid. Both Canadian authors/historians have teamed up before on the road to present a program they called “History Storytellers.” They have completed two such trips to Alberta (to speak in Edmonton and Calgary) – in 2018, on the topic of JUNO, and last November (2021), it was an evening on the Liberation of the Netherlands.

David will talk about his book One Day in August (about the Dieppe raid); and Ted will be speaking about the Battle of the Atlantic, the longest battle of the Second World War and connecting with stories of the soldiers, airmen and sailors who were at Dieppe.

One Day in August by David O’Keefe

David O’Keefe is an award-winning historian, documentarian and professor at Marianopolis College in Westmount, Quebec. He served with the Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada in the Canadian Forces in Montreal and worked as a Signals Intelligence research historian for the Directorate of History and Heritage. He created and collaborated on more than 15 documentaries for the History channel and National Geographic and has appeared on CBC, CTV, Global Television and the UKTV Network in Great Britain.

David wrote and co-produced the ground-breaking film documentary: Dieppe Uncovered, which made headlines around the world, as well as the documentary film, Black Watch Snipers. He is also the writer, co-creator and host of the History channel’s program War Junk.

In addition, O’Keefe is the bestselling author of One Day in August: The Untold Story behind Canada’s Tragedy at Dieppe, a finalist for the John W. Dafoe Book Prize, the CAA Lela Common Award for Canadian History and the RBC Taylor Prize. David O’Keefe lives in Rigaud, Quebec, with his wife and children.

Launching: Battle of the Atlantic: Gauntlet to Victory by Ted Barris

Ted Barris is a Canadian writer, journalist, professor and broadcaster. He writes a weekly column, “The Barris Beat”, and is a regular contributor to The Globe and Mail and The National Post. Barris has worked as a freelance journalist, broadcaster and author since the 1960s. He regularly contributes to CBC Radio programs and CTV News Channel. His non-fiction works focus on Canada’s military heritage.

Barris has published 19 non-fiction books, half of them wartime histories. His book The Great Escape: A Canadian Story won the 2014 Libris Award as Best Non-Fiction Book in Canada. His book Dam Busters: Canadian Airmen and the Secret Raid Against Nazi Germany received the 2019 NORAD Trophy from the RCAF Association.

His book Rush to Danger: Medics in the Line of Fire was listed for the 2020 Charles Taylor Price for Non-Fiction in Canada. Battle of the Atlantic: Gauntlet to Victory is Ted’s 20th published non-fiction book. Barris is a retired professor of Journalism at Toronto’s Centennial College. He and his wife, Jayne MacAulay live in Uxbridge, Ontario. 

For more information www.airmuseum.ca

Museum Closed September 19

September 13, 2022                    

For Immediate Release

Since the Federal government has declared Monday, September 19th a federal holiday, day of mourning for the Queen’s funeral in the UK, the Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum will also be closed in respect and tribute of the late monarch.

The Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum is Canada’s only air museum solely dedicated to the preservation of those who trained and fought for the British Commonwealth during WWII. 

The Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum is proud to be one of the seven Manitoba Signature Museums, a Manitoba Star Attraction and a National Historic Site.

For more information about the CATPM, please contact:

Stephen Hayter, Executive Director

Ph: 727-2444  Fax:725-2334  Email: airmuseum@inetlink.ca

Props and Hops a Success

Our first Props and Hops event was a success. Although 150 tickets were released, 90 were sold. In a busy period for brewers and for other events, that is not a bad number! So thanks to all who came out, especially the brewers and Los Brothers food truck. who mad it out. Unfortunately we only had 4 brewers on hand, 3 had to pull out due to scheduling conflicts. A good time was had by those who attended, including some who came from as far away as Saskatoon! Museum volunteers were on hand to tour those in attendance or tell them about some of the displays. Our social media has some photos, but a few are below. Also check out the article about the event in the Brandon Sun (pdf is here). Here is an article about beer runs made in WWII as well!

Special Events on August 20, 2022: Flights and Props & Hops!

Coming up on Saturday August 20 are 2 events not to be missed! First up is a Flight Day! You can purchase a ride in one of our vintage WWII training aircraft from 10 am to 4 pm. Just call or email the museum to book a flight or obtain more information – believe me, a flight in one of these is an amazing experience and a chance to experience an important part of Canadian history!

Then at 6 pm – 8 pm is our first ever Props and Hops event! We have partnered with Black Wheat Brewing to bring this event to our museum! Five Manitoba based Brewers will be on hand with their beverages. Sample Manitoba’s finest in a WWII hangar and amongst vehicles and aircraft form that era! Museum volunteers will be on hand to show you around and answer questions! (note that Props and Hops you must be 18+). Get your tickets soon before they are gone!