Remembrance Day 2015

About No. 1 Technical Training School, St. Thomas

As Canadian as can be

In honour of Remembrance Day, I’ve decided to post some more about my Dad, Thomas Hogue, and his time in the R.C.A.F. (Royal Canadian Air Force). Dad, a welder with Canadian National Railways, spent time at the No. 1 Technical Training School in St. Thomas, Ontario, where the R.C.A.F. trained ground crews as part of an initiative known as the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. St. Thomas is in southwestern Ontario.

Google map showing St. Thomas, Ontario Google map showing St. Thomas, Ontario

The Technical Training School was established in 1939. It was housed in what had originally been the brand new Ontario Psychiatric Hospital. When war broke out, the patients were transferred to other hospitals, and the complex acquired to train R.C.A.F. ground crews. There’s a great aerial photo of the buildings here from the Elgin County Archives.

Here’s a historical plaque commemorating the School.

Photograph by Alan L. Brown, Courtesy of Photograph by Alan L. Brown, Courtesy of

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Uncle Bob Update

This photo is the proof I needed to be sure Uncle Bob was posted to No. 4 EFTS Windsor Mills in 1941.

There is no other reason I can think of why LAC Robert King would have had his picture taken there for posterity in 1941.

Uncle Bob

Ongoing research done by Stephen King whose great-uncle trained in Canada most probably at No.4 EFTS Windsor Mills.

Fleet Finch colour


Uncle Bob

I’ve been doing some research into my great-uncle Robert King. From what the family story is, he left Toledo, Ohio in February 1941 to go to Canada to join the RCAF (Royal Canadian Air Force) and flew for the RAF in Europe early in the war. From what I have been able to determine, he was moved to the Army Air Corp and formed up with the 65th squadron (Fighting Cocks) of the 57th Fighter Group. It looks like they deployed to North Africa in July, 1942.

I’ve been unable to find any RCAF history as of yet. This is not too unusual as I have discovered through my research. It was illegal for US citizens to join foreign services in this manner. They faced a fine of $20,000 and loss of US citizenship if caught. All were forgiven in 1944. While the most famous of these men were the Flying Tigers and the Eagle Squadrons, there were many more that didn’t receive the same recognition. This is the start of my great-uncle’s story. I’ll add to this album as I find more pictures and interesting facts.

The album

Intermission – No.13 SFTS St. Hubert

George Boudreau trained at No.13 SFTS St. Hubert.

George Boudreau, Spitfire Pilot

Two years ago Philippe Payer’s son shared this photo which I posted on this blog. His father was Corporal Philippe Payer (R54605) who enlisted on October 10,1939.

photo mod

This is what Corporal Payer had written on the back.

photo verso

Corporal Payer is the man on the right. According to the caption we are in the summer of 1941.

St-Hubert P. Que

Été 1941

Moi et mes hommes ce que l’on appelle un Crew

L’avion est un Tiger Shark

spit Fire

At first I was certain we were at St-Hubert airbase in 1941. I was sure it was not a Spitfire on the photo but an American P-40 Kittyhawk bearing the squadron code sign VW.

There were few P-40 Kittyhawks in Canada. There are very rare on the Internet. What golden opportunity then to be able to share this incredible photo taken in June 1941 at St-Hubert.

At least that’s what I…

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Course 50 – No.1 EFTS Malton, Ontario

A Spitfire pilot who did his training at Malton.

George Boudreau, Spitfire Pilot

Course 50 – No.1 EFTS Malton, Ontario…

EFTS first page

4 March to 26 March, 1942

EFTS second page

31 March to 8 April, 1942

EFTS third page

8 April to 18 April, 1942

EFTS fourth page

19 April to 24 April, 1942

EFTS fifth page

26 April, 1942

Training to become a pilot was not that easy. Many young recruits would died while learning to fly so did their instructors. Who were those unsung heroes who taught George Boudreau to fly?

Mr. May for most of his early training day.

Mr. Hall flew with George Boudreau once on March 13, 1942.

EFTS first page

The sequence of instructions were in George’s log book for everyone to understand.

sequence of instructions

George flew on different Tiger Moths the last one being 5883.

Information from RWR Walker database

5883 de Havilland De Havilland Canada Tiger Moth I
D.H.82C C1186
first date: 1 November 1941 – Taken on strength by No. 1 Training Command
To Leavens Brothers Aircraft in Toronto for overhaul…

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