This post appeared as a 2 part post on our social media platforms. Information and photos were supplied by Greg Sigurdson, our archivist.
The photos below are of a small artifact donated to the CATP Museum by our “Darkroom Guy’’ Lyle. Lyle, of course likes this nickname, but hasn’t developed any films or prints for many years having joined the digital world like the rest of us.
During the Second World War, even children were asked to support the war effort. A child could buy War Savings Stamps for 25 cents each; after saving $4 worth of stamps and sending this form to the federal government, the child would receive a War Savings Certificate worth $5. The Savings Stamps are part of the overall War Savings Certificate (War Bond) program which generated over $318 million ($4,939 million today) to the war effort. Canada’s WWII War and Victory bonds were redeemable after seven years after purchase.
Part 1, above, was about the War Savings Certificates that kids were encouraged to buy in Canada during World War II. In part 2, we present the CATP Museum’s largest ‘small’ artifact – a blackboard which was dedicated to recording the progress one class in Room 12 at the Greenway School in Winnipeg made in their savings via the War Savings Certificate program (first photo below). The fact that this artifact was discovered and moved to the CATP Museum is a remarkable story in itself. We also include a portion of the Volume 16 Issue 2 of CONTACT magazine in which Frank Scardina, one of those students, recounts his visit to Brandon to see the blackboard about 50 years after he last saw it. We also include an article from the Brandon Sun about this artifact (last photo below – we apologize for the quality of this image).
November 11th is an important day when we take time to reflect and honour our vets. A perfect place to do this is at the Commonwealth Air Training Plan museum. Last year we were closed due to Covid restrictions, however, this year we will once again have an open house on Remembrance Day (see the news release below).
The RCAF WWII Memorial Wall (photo on right) is also open and is a perfect spot for quiet reflection on Remembrance Day – and any day.
Archie Londry was born on a farm near Minnedosa Manitoba. Living on the farm he attended Grades 1 through 8 at a small one-room schoolhouse near his home. He finished Grades nine and ten by correspondence at home. He enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1941 at the RCAF Recruiting Centre in Winnipeg. As the minimum education standard for those wishing to join the RCAF, Archie completed his Grade 11 under the War Emergency Training Plan (WETP). Under the WETP, recruits who had a deficiency in their education but were otherwise suitable for a trade were sent to upgrade their education at one of more than 20 participating universities and technical schools. Archie received his basic air force training over a period of six weeks at No. 3 Manning Depot in Edmonton Alberta. This was followed by six weeks of training at No. 2 Initial Training School in Regina Saskatchewan. At this school, recruits received the ground school training which allowed them to take to the sky in more advanced training. Included were basic courses in navigation, theory of flight, meteorology, duties of an officer, air force administration, algebra, and trigonometry. Students at the ITS got a taste of flying with experience in the Link Trainer – a World War II version of a flight simulator. The Link Trainer provided a good indication of a student’s ability to fly an actual aircraft. It was responsible for changing the career path of many students who dreamed of being a pilot. Other Tests included an interview with a psychiatrist, the four hour long M2 physical examination, a session in a decompression chamber.
Leading Aircraftman Londry demonstrated he had the ability to pilot an aircraft and was sent to No. 19 Elementary Flying School in Virden Manitoba where student pilots spent half of the training day flying and the other half taking more ground school. Archie soloed his Tiger Moth aircraft after eight hours of flying time. Having won his wings at Virden, Archie was sent to No. 10 Service Flying Training School in Dauphin Manitoba where he trained on twin-engined Cessna Crane aircraft once again with the training split half and half between ground and flying training. After three months of training, Archie graduated as a pilot. His parents attended the graduation ceremony.
A common practice in the RCAF was to take the best students from the SFTS school and make them instructors in other schools. Archie became an instructor and was posted to No. 12 SFTS in Brandon Manitoba. He was told it was to be an assignment which would last between one to three years. Here he taught student pilots in Cessna Crane and Avro Anson aircraft. He was given four students to teach with six hours flying a day to a limit of 100 hours per month. Most of the graduates went on to flying multi-engine bombers.
Archie Londry was a life member of the Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum, was President of the Board for many years and before his passing in 2019 was successful is creating the RCAF WWII Memorial on the museum site.
Archie’s Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, October 23rd, 11am in the Minnedosa Conference Centre.
“ Per ardua ad astra”
(Post contributed by CATPM Director, Stephen Hayter)
These medals and Operational Wings were awarded to Pilot Officer J.L. who was from Fairfax Manitoba. He was killed in action on December 6 1944 at the age of 26 years while serving with 423 Tiger Squadron as the Pilot of Halifax aircraft NP 945 (QB-D). The aircraft failed to return from a night attack against Osnabruck, Germany. Also killed were crew members F/O. D.L. McCullough and P/O. J.R. Lee. F/O.s A.M. Garner (RCAF), A.A.J. Low (RCAF), P/O. H. Pankratz (RCAF) and Sgt. R. Atkinson (RAF) were taken Prisoners Of War. These medals and Operational Wing were donated to the museum on October 26, 1995. (Information provided by the CATP Museum memorial book “They Shall Grow Not Old.’’)
The medals shown in the photos are the Memorial Cross – Sterling Silver cross, the Germany Star, the France Star, the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal with Maple Leaf Bar and The 1939 – 1945 War Medal. The badge on the top left of this display is often incorrectly thought to be an Air Observer badge. In reality, it is the World War II RCAF Operational badge given to airmen who completed one combat tour, or in this case posthumously whether the tour was completed or not. More information can be found regarding the medals at an excellent web site (Veterans Affairs Canada) at: https://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/remembrance/medals-decorations/wearing-medals/ww11medals
(Post kindly submitted by our archivist, Greg Sigurdson)
On Sunday, September 19th, in association with 17 Wing Winnipeg’s celebration of the Battle of Britain, the Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum will be involved providing a flypast with our Harvard, Stinson, Tiger Moth and Cornell.