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Thread: No. 4 SFTS Query

  1. #1
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    Default No. 4 SFTS Query

    I have the training record of an RCAF Air Gunner, who began his training on November 23rd 1941 at No. 4 Service Flying Training School at Saskatoon. After only eight weeks he moved to No. 2 Bombing and Gunnery School on January 18th 1942, which is where his log book starts, to train as an air gunner.

    I believe No. 4 SFTS was solely for pilots and my guess is that he began there and after the initial 8 weeks (which was spent in an intermediate training squadron) he was 'washed out' and sent to No 2 B & GS to remuster as a gunner. I'd guess any flying training he did at the former would have been contained in a pilots log, which would have been cancelled upon his remustering.

    However, his service record states he was mustered as a Wireless operator/air gunner from September 5th 1941, which changed to straight air gunner on January 17th 1942 (coinciding with his posting to No. 2 B & GS).

    My question is, I am puzzled as to the note of him being mustered as a WAG, and the fact there is no mention of pilot, so did No. 4 SFTS train other trades, even just initial training, or was it just pilots?

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    I think I have answered my own question.

    I have another similar record, and for this second airman, he definitely began training as a pilot (at 7 EFTS) in July 1941 as I have a copy of his pilots log, and was washed out, although his service record only shows his trade as 'WAG' (which he flew operationally as), from January that year.

    Would still welcome any comments.

    Many thanks

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    It was quite common up to the end of 1941 for RCAF enlistees to be sent to "holding" postings waiting for a spot to open at their next scheduled school. If your man washed out at SFTS as a pilot he would have graduated from an EFTS first. Without time at an EFTS, he was waiting to start training. I have just helped a reader track down a relative who went through this sequence:

    enlisted
    Manning Depot for 3 weeks
    SFTS for 9 weeks
    ITS and then AOS to start training

    His time at the SFTS was probably spent in the time honoured traditional ways a modern military deals with spare bodies: drilling, painting, and cleaning.
    Last edited by Bill Walker; 19th February 2014 at 19:10.

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    Many thanks Bill. That sounds the same as the RAF where many trainees were first posted to a station for general duties whilst waiting for a position on a training course.

    After Manning Dept my man went to SFTS and then Bombing and Gunnery School.

    Much appreciated.

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