History preserved at Air Museum


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The British Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum in Brandon.

By Stephen Hayter


The British Commonwealth Air Training Plan of World War II was the largest infrastructure program Canada had ever seen, surpassing the construction of the transcontinental railway.

The training establishments changed the social and economic conditions in many communities forever. The influx of 1,500 or more trainees and staff suddenly added to communities like Neepawa, and after the war ended many of the B.C.A.T.P. buildings became community halls, hockey rinks, housing, and business structures. Not surprising, with young men & women from all parts of Canada coming together during training, it was probably one of the greatest unifying forces in our history.

#1 Central Navigation School at Rivers and #23 Elementary Flying Training School at Neepawa was a huge part of both town’s history. That history is preserved at the Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum and on Aug. 9 we can see, touch and watch that history fly again!

The CATPM Air Display Event on Aug. 9 will feature the air museum’s own WWII flying aircraft, including the Canadian and British Tiger Moths, our Harvard, our Cornell and Stinson. We are also very excited to have a number of private aircraft, two Stearman, a Harvard and a T-28 Trojan!

Gates open 4:00 p.m., $10 per person, 12 and under free. The RCA Museum will have a display on site.  Food vendors on site. Come see the historic aircraft up close, bring a lawn chair a Flying Demonstration will take place at 6:00 p.m., weather permitting.

The Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum is Canada’s only air museum solely dedicated to the preservation of those who trained and fought for the British Commonwealth during WWII.

The Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum is proud to be one of the seven Manitoba Signature Museums, a Manitoba Star Attraction and a National Historic Site. There were also a number of other schools at Portage La Prairie, Carberry, Dauphin, Souris, MacDonald and relief landing strips at Chater, Douglas and Eden.