Windsor Mills… How this blog got to be created

Post 117

First post on this blog on October 31st, 2012

Cam Harrod posted this on the Facebook group page British Commonwealth Air Training Plan in Canada

Hi Everyone
Just joined the group and am happy I found it
Dad served at #9EFTS St Catherines from 1939-44.
Here is a picture of my actual Fleet Finch taken at #4 EFTS Windsor Mills Que
She is #4494 and I fly her in aviation events thru out Ontario

A black and white photograph of E. Weldon McKay in winter flight gear in front of a Fleet Finch II Model 16B with a sliding canopy for winter flying.   The photo was taken while Weldon McKay was stationed at Elementary Flying Training School (EFTS) No. 4 Windsor Mills, Quebec.   Weldon McKay received his training at No.4 EFTS from November 22, 1941 to January 31, 1942. 

From the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum Archive (source)

This is his plane…

More to come…

Meantime… click here.


Fleet Finch 4462

Windsor Mills 1945?

Nope… Gatineau 2012!

I took these pictures at Gatineau airport last September.

It rained a little…. but the day was memorable.

I knew this was a Fleet Finch.

I wonder how many visitors at Gatineau could identify it…

In 2010 I could not. I did not know anything about BCATP either. It took me some time to write the abbreviation properly… BCTAP… BATCP…

I still do.

This man has been guiding me since 2010…


He was not my only guide.

Marcel Bergeron became a close friend…

Marcel wanted to let the world know about his youth hero, an unknown French-Canadian Mosquito pilot with RAF 23 Squadron.

What became of our first meeting is a fascinating story…

Click here… 

So what happened at Windsor Mills after the war in 1945?


Next post on November 11.

St. Catharines July 1941

What more can I say…

November is a good time to remember… what happened in July 1941.

Eugène Gagnon did not die in a plane crash while training in a Fleet Finch like LACs Fetherston and Davie.

I will tell you how he died later.

Eugène Gagnon is on a picture his nephew Jacques Gagnon shared with me in 2011.

At first I thought it was taken at No. 4 Manning Depot in Quebec City. I quickly had identified Eugène.

I had this other picture Jacques Gagnon shared.

There was something written on the back…

Pretty easy to identify who were on it and where it was taken thanks to Eugène.

Front : Nadeau – McGuire

Back : Reardon – Sweet – Cloutier

St. Catharines Ont July 41

In 2011 I had figured the group picture was taken later when Eugène was posted to No. 4 Manning Depot.

I wished I had known Cam Harrod back then. Cam’s father was an instructor with No. 9 EFTS St. Catharines.

Who Remembers LAC Thomas B. Fetherston?

As I said yesterday November is a good time to remember…

Before I pay homage to Eugène Gagnon I have this question for you.

Who remembers LAC Thomas B. Fetherston?

Thomas B. Fetherston never went overseas.

He broke his neck.

He is buried in Prospect Cemetery in Toronto.

I did a little research on the Internet…

Guess what?

You can get access to his file for only 8 pounds a month. Of course you can get access to 4 million other files.

What more can I say…? This…!

Sometimes people have strange ways to pay homage to the fallen.

What more can I say…? Click here!

Windsor Mills September 1942

November is a good time to remember… what happened on September 5, 1942.

Students Pilots Lost Lives As Planes Crashed in Mid-Air

First accident at No. 4 EFTS Windsor Mills…

Two LACs: Thomas B. Fetherston and James Robertson Davie. They never went overseas.

They are buried in Prospect Cemetery in Toronto.

Most instructors and staff pilots with BCATP were desperately wanting to go overseas and fight the nazis like Eugène Gagnon did when he enlisted in 1941.

Who is Eugène Gagnon?

I will tell you next time.

Windsor Mills 2011

Sometimes you meet someone and it leads you to unchartered waters…

I have been waiting for the right moment to start this blog about the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan.

In 2011 I went on a field trip with a friend, Marcel Bergeron… He acted as a guide.

I had known about the old St-François-Xavier airport since 2010 when I met Marcel for the first time. Marcel flew there in 1945!

I had to go!

Little did I know then that I would make contact with Cam Harrod in 2012 and start sharing what I have found about Windsor Mills.

Not that I have found that much.

But you have to start somewhere don’t you.

All clear!


Click here…

Ground Crew at Windsor Mills

This man was a ground crew at No. 4 EFTS Windsor Mills.

No. 4 EFTS Windsor Mills was in fact located at St-François-Xavier, a small town north-west of Sherbrooke, Quebec. 

He is posing in front of a Tiger Moth. This picture was sent last week by a contributor. He identified the man as Yvon Goudreau.

Mario Hains also contributed this picture.

These I found on the Internet.