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Thread: BCATP - Finnish trainees

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    Default BCATP - Finnish trainees

    Hello all,

    In one article about BCATP I found information that between many nationalities who were trained in BCATP, were trainees from Finland.
    Could anybody confirm this information?

    TIA

    Milan

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    Default BCATP - Finnish trainees

    It is possible that Finnish expatriates living in Canada or the United States enlisted in the RCAF and were accordingly trained under the BCATP (there were certainly several persons of Danish origin so enlisted and trained). However, it is improbable that any Finn would, between 1939 and 1944, have been enrolled in any air force associated with the BCATP. Remember, too, that for much of the war Finland was for all practical purposes an ally (albeit a reluctant ally) of Germany, so a Finn who migrated to Canada in 1937-38 would likely be closely scrutinized by an RCAF recruiting officer.

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    To expand on Hugh's post: There was a significant population of Finnish immigrants, and their descendants, in northern and western Ontario by 1939. Most came over in the late 1800s and early 1900s. By 1939 they would have been naturalized Canadian citizens, or have been born in Canada, and would thus show up in any records as Canadians.

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    Hugh & Bill
    Thank you very much for explanation, but if they were naturalized Canadians, there is no reason to report them as a individual nationality.
    The same situation was with Czechoslovaks who were naturalized Canadians (in some cases they were born in Czechoslovakia) and they are not counted in the list of czechoslovak airmen who were trained under BCATP.
    Finnish trainees under BCATP - it still sounds very strange for me.

    wbw

    Milan

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    Hi Milan;

    Canada, as a nation of immigrants, has always been fairly tolerant of what we call "hyphenated Canadians". It is fairly common, and well accepted, that an immigrant or a first generation Canadian still identifies strongly with their country of origin. If the reference is in a magazine or newspaper article, I would not be surprised if the Finnish-Canadian or his friends identified him in a casual conversation or interview as a Finn, although his official paperwork might say "Canadian".

    This fades away with passing generations. My wife will still identify herself as "Dutch-Canadian", havng been born in Canada to Dutch parents. I rarely identify myself as an "English-Scottish-Irish-Welsh-French-German-Mohawk-Canadian", but most people around here would understand perfectly if I did. Both our passports just say "Canadian".

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    Bill,
    Magic!
    A colleague of mine was going for some security clearance and stated on the form - quite correctly - that his wife was born in Germany. The Sy boys panicked and said "But that's in East Germany!". The response was "Yes, but it was only 'Germany' when my wife was born".
    Going for my own clearance - the same. I have Welsh-English-Norwegian ancestors. The Sy boys were quite happy with that, but I also have Irish ancestors. They (the Sy boys) like above panicked. I had to point out that when my great-great-grandmother was born, Ireland was actually part of the UK. They had no answer to that!!
    HTH
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Hi Bill,

    thank you for explanation.

    Milan

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