CFB Rivers

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CFB Rivers / RCAF Station Rivers
Near Rivers, Manitoba in Canada
CFB Rivers / RCAF Station Rivers is located in Manitoba
CFB Rivers / RCAF Station Rivers
CFB Rivers / RCAF Station Rivers
Coordinates50°00′38″N 100°18′49″W / 50.01056°N 100.31361°W / 50.01056; -100.31361Coordinates: 50°00′38″N 100°18′49″W / 50.01056°N 100.31361°W / 50.01056; -100.31361
Site information
OwnerDepartment of National Defence
OperatorRoyal Canadian Air Force
Controlled byNo. 2 Training Command RCAF (1940-1945)
Garrison information
GarrisonNo. 1 ANS (1940-1942)
No. 1 CNS (1942-1945)
Airfield information
Elevation1,550 ft (470 m) AMSL
Direction Length and surface
8/26 3,300 ft (1,000 m) Asphalt
12/30 3,270 ft (1,000 m) Asphalt
3/21 3,270 ft (1,000 m) Asphalt

CFB Rivers was a Royal Canadian Air Force base located 5 km (3.1 mi) southwest of Rivers, Manitoba (30 km (19 mi) northwest of Brandon), Canada at the junction of Manitoba Highway 25 (PTH 25) and Manitoba Provincial Road 259 (PR 259).


1940-1945 - World War II[edit]

RCAF Station Rivers was opened 23 November 1940, when No. 1 Air Navigation School (No. 1 ANS) was relocaed to the Station, from RCAF Station Trenton, Ontario. On 11 May 1942, No. 1 Air Navigation School was redesignated No. 1 Central Navigation School (No. 1 CNS) and remained at RCAF Station Rivers until it was disbanded on 15 September 1945. No. 1 Air Navigation School and No. 1 Central Navigation Schools were both part of No. 2 Training Command RCAF one of the 4 commands responsible for administration of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP).[1][2]

Aerodrome Information[edit]

In 1944 the aerodrome was listed at 50°01′N 100°19′W / 50.017°N 100.317°W / 50.017; -100.317 with a variation of 14 degrees east and altitude of 1,550 ft (470 m). Three runways were listed as follows:[2]

Runway Name Length Width Surface
8/26 3,300 ft (1,000 m) 150 ft (46 m) Asphalt
12/30 3,270 ft (1,000 m) 150 ft (46 m) Asphalt
3/21 3,270 ft (1,000 m) 150 ft (46 m) Asphalt

1945-1971 - Post war[edit]

The base remained open after the war, becoming a training centre for Canadian Army pilots and flying instructors from the army, Royal Canadian Navy and Royal Canadian Air Force. Additionally, the Air Dispatch School made Rivers its home.

Other post-war units stationed at Rivers included the Canadian Parachute Training Centre, the Army Aviation Tactical Training School, the Joint Air Photo Interpretation School, the Basic Helicopter Training Unit and the Army Air Tactical Training School (AATTS). The Royal Canadian Navy began sending trainees to Rivers after the closure of their own training facility at CFB Shearwater, Nova Scotia. Units established at the station included the Air Support Signal Unit, No. 1 Transport Helicopter Platoon (No. 1 THP), The Canadian Airborne Regiment and 408 Tactical Fighter Squadron. As a result of the unification of the Canadian Armed Forces, RCAF Station Rivers was renamed CFB Rivers.

1971-Present - Post closure[edit]

The station closed in 1971. That same year, the Oo-za-we-kwun Centre opened on the former base to provide vocational training for Canadian First Nations people, and closed in 1980. In 1982, the base was used for General Military Training (GMT). Future Air Reserve members trained in CFB Rivers for two months. A hog farm called Aero Farms Ltd, operated from the site until 2011. The site now sits vacant, with the remaining buildings rapidly crumbling. The airfield is marked as abandoned by the Canada Flight Supplement.[3] Some scenes for the 1993 movie For the Moment, a film about an Australian pilot who comes to Manitoba to train under the BCATP, starring Russell Crowe, were filmed at the former air base.

Notable members[edit]


  1. ^ Hatch, F. J. (1983). The Aerodrome of Democracy: Canada and the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan, 1939-1945 (PDF). Ottawa: Directorate of History, Department of National Defence. pp. 40, 164. ISBN 0-660-11443-7.
  2. ^ a b Staff writer (1 July 1944). Pilots Handbook of Radio Navigation Facilities Vol. II. Royal Canadian Air Force.
  3. ^ Canada Flight Supplement. Effective 0901Z 25 April 2019 to 0901Z 20 June 2019.
  4. ^ Dave Birrell, "My Son 'A First Class Man' - Honouring Terry Taerum" (Originally published in the Spring 2003 Edition of Airforce Magazine), reproduced at website of Bomber Command Museum, Nanton