Base / Station: Gimli

Period of Information:

  • 1943 – 1945
  • 1946 – 1971

Integral Units:

  • No. 18 SFTS
  • No. 1 Winter Experimental and Training Flight
  • No. 1 Pilot Conversion School
  • No. 10 Repair Depot
  • No. 2 Flying Training School
  • No. 2 Advanced Flying School
  • Central Flying School
  • No. 3 Advanced Flying School /
  • No. 1 FTS /
  • No. 1 CFFTS

Remote Units:

Dependant School:

  • Goulding School No. 2337 (1951-1971)

Unit Duties / Information:

No. 18 Service Flying Training School was opened September 6, 1943 and was responsible for  advanced pilot training before they were sent on to their     respective operational training unit (OTU) for further training.

In March, 1944 No. 1 Winter Experimental and Training Flight was moved to Gimli from Kapuskasing, ON. The purpose    of this unit was to find the cold weather limits of aircraft operability, mainly cold starting and the effects   of cold weather on controls. In an effort to increase speed and control expenditures, when a problem was found, the     unit was to make modifications to the systems but only to    the extent necessary for acceptable results.

No. 1 Pilot Conversion School was opened in June, 1945 to train pilots to fly heavy bombers in the Pacific      Theatre. Unlike the majority of flying schools – this      school was not opened as part of the British Commonwealth   Air Training Plan, the agreement having expired two months prior.

In March, 1946 No. 10 Repair Depot was created to act as third line maintenance for RCAF equipment. This is to say that equipment which could not be repaired using individual base facilities were sent to No. 10 to be repaired.

Gimli was used as a summer flying base for auxiliary squadrons following the war and was occupied by a small maintenance staff throughout the remainder of the year.

December 1, 1950 No. 2 Flying Training School was formed. This school provided new pilots with their elementary flying training much the same as had done the Elementary Flying Training Schools during the second world war. The school trained some personnel through an agreement reached by countries involved in NATO.

No. 3 Advanced Flying School was formed at Gimli in August 15, 1953 to provide jet training.

 1959 – the Smokers, an aerobatic team, was formed with its home base being Gimli.

 August 31, 1964 No. 3 AFS was redesignated No. 1 Flying Training School.

September, 1964 No. 2 Advanced Flying School was moved to Gimli from Portage la Prairie.

No. 1 FTS was redesignated No. 1 Canadian Forces Flying Training School July 23, 1970.

Aircraft Flown:

  • No. 18 SFTS – Anson
  • No. 1 WETF – Lancaster, Hudson, Ventura, Spitfire VIII, Mosquito 25, Fairey Battle I
  • No. 1 PCS –
  • No. 2 FTS –
  • No. 2 AFS –
  • CFS –
  • No. 3 FTS /
  • No. 1 FTS /
  • No. 1 CFFTS –

Financial Impact: 4.5 MILLION LATE 60’S, $8,000,000 loss to      community upon closing, offset by $1,400,000 federal and provincial government grant

Commanding Officers

Period

Commanding Officer

1943-1944

Group Captain Acheson Gosford Goulding (1893-1951)

1945

Wing Commander E. A. Weaver

1945-1947

?

1947

Squadron Leader R. D. Walker

1947-?

?

?-1950

Wing Commander P. S. Delaney

1950-1951

Wing Commander Harry Bishop

1951

Wing Commander Maurice Lipton

1951

Group Captain D. B. Richer

1954-1956

?

1956

Wing Commander N. Burden (Acting)

1956-1962

?

1962-1964

Group Captain G. Sutherland

1964-1968

?

1968

Colonel M. J. Doher

1968-1971

Colonel James F. Dunlop

  • W/C H.E. Bishop,
  • G/C C.G. Ruttan DSO CD (56-58),
  • G/C H.R. Studer AFC CD (58-62),
  • G/C G. Sutherland CD (62-65),
  • G/C J.A. Arnott CD (65-66),
  • Col M.J. Dooher CD (66-69),
  • Col J.F. Dunlop DFC CD (69-71),
  • Capt B. Jackson (71)

Date / Reason for closure:

  • No. 18 SFTS was closed March 30, 1945 at the end of the BCATP agreement. With the forecasted approach to the end of the war with Germany, it was generally felt that there was no need for an extension to   the agreement.

          No. 1 Pilot Conversion School closed in August 1945 when the war with Japan ended.

          No. 1 WEFT was moved to Edmonton in September 1945 due to some frustrations experienced with mild weather at the Gimli location.

June 14 – 16, 1953 No. 2 Flying      Training School was moved to Moose Jaw, SK.

          FATE OF NO. 10 REPAIR DEPOT??

          Approval was given to move the Central Flying School    to Winnipeg June 30, 1964. WHEN WAS IT OPENED IN THE FIRST PLACE??

          August 31, 1971 the base at Gimli was closed. No. 1    CFFTS was moved to Cold Lake to continue its operations.

Current Status: inner runway/taxiways used for civil airfield,

     outer runway used for drag racing, some base buildings still

     exist

Relevant links:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RCAF_Station_Gimli

https://militarybruce.com/abandoned-canadian-military-bases/abandoned-bases/manitoba/

  • Located under “Canadian Forces Base Gimli:

 

http://www.mhs.mb.ca/docs/sites/gimliairport.shtml

RCAF Aerodrome Gimli, Manitoba. Image frome the RCAF Pilots Manual of Aerodromes and Seaplane Bases c.1942