Operation and has done a tremendous amount of work. His application to duty has been of an extremenly high order... particulariy during the change-over of this unit from Service to Civilian operation and from Royal Air Force personnel to Royal Canadian Aiir Force personnel has this non-commissioned officer performed a prodigious amount of work.''
This award is a good illustration of the valuable contributions made by a mulititude of non-flying, non-combatant Commonwealth airmen and airwomen to the war effort. That group inclucled dozens of trades including orderlies, typissts, drivers, mechanics, cooks and supervisors with whom, winning World War II would have been impossible for the Alies.
No. 35 Elementary Flying Training School opened in Neepawa Manitoba on March 30 1942 under management of the Royal Air Force. In operation for 670 days, the RAF abandoned the station on Jauary 20 1944 and operations were taken over by the royal Canadian Air Force as No. 26 RCAF EFTS. It closed on August 25 1944. Training aircraft included the de Havilland Tiger Moth and Fairchild Cornell. This station also served as the No. 5 Satellite Equipment Holding Unit which disposed of many Tiger Moth and Avro Anson aircraft when they were not longer required for training.
An interesting footnoe for Neepawa is an award given to a RAF Sergeant named Victor Francis Batemen. In January 1946 he received the British Empire Medal for his service at No. 35 SFTS. His citation includes: ``This non-commisioned officer has been in charge of the Royal Air Force Orderly Room since the transfer to Civilian
001 of 150 - Commonwealth Air Training Plan Canada 150 Vignette British Commonwealth Air Training Plan Stations
No. 35 Elementary Flying Training School - Neepawa Manitoba