staff-car, to the heaviest truck. Each of these W.D.'s has released a man for overseas duty. In their everyday life, changing, tires, washing and repairing their own car and general maintenance is just usual routine.
5. The Supply Depot although we will not find any airwomen working in this section, the ladies will no doubt find it a most interesting spot. These four walls enclose not only all the station rations, but also the butcher shop and Central Warehouse. This section is manned by the Royal Canadian Army Corps. The station rations are drawn 24 hours in advance and then distributed to the Officers, Sergeants and Airmens' Messes. By the simple method of having all supplies come to this one section issued from there to the messes, a complete check can be kept on all station rations. The butcher shop handles all the meat for the station. It is the-duty of the station butcher to prepare all cuts for the cooks.
6. W.D. Personnel in the Messes; W.D. personnel are carrying on a very satisfactory piece of work in the three mess'es at this Unit, Officers, Sergeants and Airmans’ Messes. Altogether there are 22 chefs and 32 General Duties, the larger number of whom are employed in the Airmens’ Mess. When W.D. Personnel were posted to this Unit from Training Centres one year ago, they replaced men chefs at the ratio of three to two girls were taken from every walk of life but are making a wonderful contribution in the cooking and serving of meals. Service Chefs are our Senior N.C.O.’s to whom credit is due for the excellent practical training of the girls. Cafeteria service is used at this Unit, the girls serving plates at the steam tables. From their artistic service and attractive appearance they are very popular. Meals are served over a twenty-four hour day to serve night crews in bombing and maintenance, so girls take shifts to meet the constant need for service. The Messing Officer is a qualified dietician who keeps the airmen and airwomen happy.
7. This is barrack block 38, assigned to the W.D. personnel in the station. One side, A block, is set aside for shift workers, and the other, B block, for non shift-workers: sixty-nine girls sleeping on each side. The two groups are separated because of the difference in their hours for rising and retiring. In this way, girls who work at night and sleep during the day, are not disturbed but the others who got up at 6.30 for work. Girls who are on 48,s are allowed to sleep in as long as they wish, as long as their bed space is tidy. There is a sergeant’s room in B block, and a corporal's room in each side. Every morning two girls from each block are "barrack fatigues" and do general clean-up jobs. The barracks are a "home away from home" for the girls, and each one tries to make herself as much at home as possible by putting up pictures and various ornaments. She is also responsible for the continual and complete tidiness of her own bed space, locker and shelf. Usually one can got a good mental picture of an airwoman by looking at her bed space. In barrack life, girls have to learn to live with a group of other girls, and be contented and happy under conditions which are new and different to them. In the barrack block and the canteen the spirit of friendly co-operation and understanding is foremost in each airwoman's mind.
8. W.D. Canteen. This along with the barrack block is truly the centre of the airwoman's off-duty life. Here she finds relaxation, entertainment. music, the opportunity to foregather in groups and chat over the day's doings, and a chance to spend her money on the little necessities of life, and such things as chocolate bars, fruit, popcorn, tea, coffee and sandwiches. Within the canteen there is a large common room open to the girls at all times and to the airmen at certain specified hours. In the evening this is the most popular spot on the whole station, and it is always filled with laughing chatting groups. There is a Wurlitzer with a constant supply of records that is kept busy most of the evening.. The canteen proper opens into this room, and the counter is always crowded with people making purchases. Behind the canteen there is a lounge room for the airwomen, a place where they can go if they wish to be quiet and read or listen to the radio,. Three nights a week the airwomen may bring in airmen. Opening directly off the common room is a writing room with four desks well stocked with paper and envelopes supplied by the Canadian Legion. There is also a small room for the use of N.C.O.'s and their guests. The airwomen's own dances are held in the common room, on the weeks, when there is no large dance in the Recreation Hall. These dances are very popular especially with the airmen. Music is usually supplied by a P/A System, but occasionally the station orchestra is present. At a later date there will be a beauty parlour where the girls may get their hair, etc, done; and there is now a hairdresser posted to the station.
9. Now we have come to Maintenance, one of the most interesting sections on the station. Here we find girls working in Maintenance Wing Orderly Room, log room and the spark-plug room. The work in tho Orderly Room deals with technical and mechanical reports, and general office routine. The airwomen in the log room record the inspection dates in log books and on blackboards for all aircraft on the station. It is most important that these records are accurately kept. The Aircraft Helpers (W.D.) are presently employed on spark-plug maintenance, handling all phases of this process. They also assist Aero Engine and Airframe Mechanics or minor aircraft repair in the hangar. In this section as in every other section, you will find that practically all W.D.'s have released airmen for positions that W.D.'s could not possibly fill.
10. The Equipment Section is another section in which the W.D.'s have really taken over. There are again the W.D.'s that carry on the general clerical work in connection with the recording of any type of equipment, regardless of whether it is clothing, technical or canteen supplies. One of the main duty of the Equipment Assistants is to issue clothing to all station personnel from boots and uniforms to flying clothing. As in so many other instances, here again we find airwomen who have released many men for overseas service.
11. Plotting Office in this section the W.D.'s have the interesting job of plotting bombs dropped by the students. This "plotting of bombs" is effected by the airmen stationed at the ranges, who's job it is to synchronize the dropped bombs and telephone back to the station to the airwomen in the plotting office. The W.D.'s then plot the bombs on graphs and charts and the scores are prepared from this information. The students on returning to the station can go to the plotting office and find out the scores for their "just-completed" exercises. Great care must be exercised in this work as the pupils class, standing depends oh his scores in bombing and gunnery exercises. As in all other sections, this work was formerly done by the airmen, but is now very capably and efficiently being handled by the W.D.'s.
12. Bombing Flight
13. The Parachute Section - The W.D.'s in this section have an extremely important job to do that of checking, repairing, and packing the parachutes worn by the pilots, instructors, and trainees. As, a man's life may depend on his parachute, great care must be taken to see that, everything is correct and in perfect condition. Besides the repairing and packing, there, is a very thorough system of keeping track of each parachute, entering each detail and repair on cards and books, seeing that no chute is lost or mislaid. The girls have released five men from this section, and are doing an exceptionally good job. They are especially good at packing, as their fingers are more deft than those of the mens; but the men do most of the heavy work on the aircraft.
14. 1500 hours - Wings' Parade - Station Parade Square.
15. The Station Drill Hall - is always a centre of great activity. In colder weather all parades and inspections are held in this hall. It is also used for sports and entertainment.
16. The Recreation Hall is the real home of station entertainment. This is where the movies and concerts are staged. On Sundays it is converted for Church Services. As the floor of this building is at present being repaired, it will be impossible to show our visitors through this building.
17. The Library in which tea will be served following the Wing's Presentation is the quiet building for the airmen, reserved for reading, and writing letters hone. This building also houses the educational officer and the Auxiliary Services Officer.
18. Headquarters - This building is really the centre of the whole station. Here are the offices of the Commanding Officer, the Adjutant, the Senior Administrative Officer and the W.D. Officer, There are also a number of important departments; the Orderly Room and Central Registry where all records are kept and through which all mail incoming or outgoing, must pass; the Accounts Section which is in charge of all financial matters: the Station Sergeant-Major's Office, through which the discipline of the station is handled and the Sports and P.T. Office. The telephone operators are also located here. In all of these offices, W.D.’s are employed, and are doing a very efficient job. The airwomen have taken over the duties in the various offices, such as clerks. General, Stenographer, Accountants, etc. They have all released airmen from ground duties to remuster to aircrew. The airwomen have their own W.D. Officers, who are directly responsible to the Commanding Officer, for all welfare and discipline of the airwomen. Although the W.D.'s work for R.C.A.F. Officers during working hours, their own Women's Division Officers are directly responsible for their efficiency.
N.B. All visitors will be escorted through the exit gate not later than 1730 hours.
``The Héritage'' project is a 10-year initiative to digitize and make accessible online some of Canada’s most popular archival collections encompassing roughly 40 million pages of primary-source documents. Chronicling the country and its people from the 1600s to the mid-1900s, this collection represents a vast and unique resource for Canadian historians, students, and genealogists.’’ -- http://heritage.canadiana.ca/
Among the archival collections available is the Royal Canadian Air Force operations record books which can be seen by clicking on the following link:
This collection is comprised of the daily activity reports for a number of British Commonwealth Air Training Plan stations which are held by Library and Archives Canada. What is offered are digitized versions of the microfilm copies of the actual station records. CATP Museum volunteer Harry D. Hayward has taken it upon himself to make these records into user-friendly documents by converting them into text files and searchable PDF files.
So far, he has converted the activity reports for three BCATP stations – No. 12 SFTS in Brandon Manitoba, No. 6 EFTS in Prince Albert Saskatchewan and No. 8 Bombing and Gunnery School in Lethbridge Alberta. Work continues to convert more of the station reports. These reports can be seen at http://www.airmuseum.ca/
3. Our first stop is the Station Hospital. Here we find airwomen Hospital Assistants, who ably abet the Nursing Sisters and the Medical Officers. The W.D.’s have been given a special six weeks course in bedside nursing, and are preforming their duties in a most capable manner. In this one section alone, six airmen nursing orderlies were posted overseas when six W.D.'s were posted to this station hospital.
4. In the Motor Transport Section, again we will find airwomen, capable of driving anything from the
The following is the daily report for June 11 1943 for No. 7 Bombing and Gunnery School in Paulson Manitoba. It was obtained from the ``The Héritage project .'' It is the itinerary for a planned visitor’s day at the school. It seems to have two objectives – to provide an explanation of what a number of station sections do and how they operate, and secondly, to applaud the contributions the RCAF Women’s Division has made to the RCAF war effort by freeing-up airmen for combat related duties. Enjoy this step back into the RCAF of World War II.
1. Visitors will be met at the guard house by the officers, who will make sure that each guest is properly signed in and checked. All airmen and airwomen must report and be checked on entering and leaving the guard house.
2. The station Post Office is in the same building. In this section there are six W.D.'s who's job it is to receive and sort the mail, and distribute it to all personnel, on the station. During mail distribution hours there is no busier section on the station. This work was formerly done by service personnel but since the advent of the airwomen on the station, the men have been released for more arduous tasks. This trade is known as Postal Clerk.
Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum
Canada 150 Vignette – 019 of 150
British Commonwealth Air Training Plan
No. 7 Bombing and Gunnery School Paulson Manitoba
ITINERARY OF VISITORS DAY AT
NO. 7 BOMBING & GUNNERY SCHOOL,
JUNE 11TH, 1943