In 1941, the Town of Weyburn Saskatchewan had a population of 6,119 people. The Royal Air Force came to town on January 5 1942 when No. 41 Service Flying Training School was opened under the management of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. It continued as a RAF school for 747 days, closing on January 22 1944. The RCAF took over the school, renaming it No. 8 Service Flying Training School on January 24 1944. It continued operations for 158 days until it was closed on June 30 1944 and moved to Moncton New Brunswick.
No. 41 SFTS graduated 1,055 pilots who flew a grand total of 180,000 hours in Avro Anson and Harvard aircraft. Of the 1,055, 1011 were Royal Air Force airmen, 35 were Royal Canadian Air Force airmen, 2 were Royal New Zealand Air Force airmen and seven were Royal Australian Air Force airmen. The station had 146 aircraft of which 136 were Ansons and 10 were Harvards. Seventeen airmen were killed while in training at Weyburn. The No. 41 SFTS Station Magazine was ``The Flying Gopher.’’
Post war, the station was home to a children’s psychiatric hospital and then, the Western Christian College from 1957 to 1989. Three of the original five hangars still exist today and two of the three runway legs service Weyburn airport. The site is home to a number of commercial enterprises and residential housing. In the attached photos, it is interesting to note railroad tank cars in the distance of one of the photos – those of us who only see railroad transport today as long-distance point-to-point service, don’t realize that during World War II, railroad was the primary mode of transportation for just about all travel, long and short distances. The Google image shows the Weyburn airport today. We also see images of the station dance band, a proud airman beside his Harvard and an air photo of the station during WWII.
Some photos from http://www.ipernity.com/tag/stiffleaf/keyword/1563027
Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum
Canada 150 Vignette - 005 of 150
British Commonwealth Air Training Plan Stations
No. 41 Service Flying Training School - Weyburn, Saskatchewan