List of British Commonwealth Air Training Plan facilities in Australia

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Empire Air Training Scheme
P03901.003No.4SFTSAnson.jpg
Student pilot of No. 4 Service Flying Training School boarding his Avro Anson, March 1942
Active 1939–45
Country Australia
Branch Royal Australian Air Force
Role Aircrew training
Part of British Commonwealth Air Training Plan
Aircraft [1] Airspeed Oxford
Avro Anson
Avro Cadet
CAC Wirraway
De Havilland Dragon Rapide
De Havilland Gypsy Moth
De Havilland Tiger Moth
Douglas C-47 Dakota
Hawker Demon
Westland Wapiti
Engagements World War II

This is a List of facilities of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan in Australia (BCATP), a major program for training Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) air crews during World War II for service with the Royal Air Force. Agreed in December 1939, the program was known in Australia as the Empire Air Training Scheme (EATS).[2] The first Australian training schools were established the following year.[3] Course duration and content evolved over time but the basic structure of the scheme remained the same for the duration of the war.[4] Over 52,000 personnel enlisted in the RAAF as aircrew and some 37,000 graduated from EATS schools.[5]

Facilities[edit]

Central Flying School[edit]

Formed in 1940, Central Flying School was responsible for training flying instructors and was located initially at Point Cook, Victoria. It soon relocated to Camden, New South Wales, then to Tamworth, New South Wales, in 1942 and Parkes, New South Wales, in 1944.[6]

Initial Training Schools[edit]

Recruits started their training at an Initial Training School (ITS) to learn the basics of Air Force life.[3] The course ran 14 weeks for prospective pilots, 12 weeks for air observers, and 8 weeks for air gunners.[4]

Elementary Flying Training Schools[edit]

The Elementary Flying Training School (EFTS) course lasted 12 weeks and gave recruits up to 75 hours of basic aviation instruction on a simple trainer like the Tiger Moth. Pilots who showed promise went on to advanced training at a Service Flying Training School. Others went on to different specialty schools, such as Wireless Schools, Air Observer Schools or Bombing and Gunnery Schools.[3][4]

Service Flying Training Schools[edit]

The Service Flying Training School (SFTS) course ran for 24 weeks and provided advanced training for pilots on single- and multi-engined aircraft, closer in performance to the types they would eventually fly as operational or "service" pilots. Prospective fighter pilots underwent air gunnery instruction at the SFTS, while bomber pilots undertook two weeks instruction at a Bombing and Gunnery School.[3][4]

Air Observer Schools[edit]

Bombing and Gunnery Schools[edit]

Air Navigation Schools[edit]

Wireless Air Gunners Schools[edit]

General Reconnaissance School[edit]

The General Reconnaissance School was formed at Point Cook, Victoria, in 1940.[26] It subsequently relocated to Laverton, Victoria,[17] then Cressy, Victoria,[27] and finally Bairnsdale, Victoria.[28]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ RAAF Historical Section, Units of the Royal Australian Air Force, pp. 100–101
  2. ^ Stephens, The Royal Australian Air Force, p. 60
  3. ^ a b c d Stephens, The Royal Australian Air Force, pp. 68–70
  4. ^ a b c d Gillison, Royal Australian Air Force, p. 108
  5. ^ Stephens, The Royal Australian Air Force, p. 72
  6. ^ RAAF Historical Section, Units of the Royal Australian Air Force, pp. 137–139
  7. ^ a b c d e Gillison, Royal Australian Air Force, p. 111
  8. ^ "P01807.001". Australian War Memorial. Retrieved 27 June 2013. 
  9. ^ a b Gillison, Royal Australian Air Force, p. 72
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Elementary Flying Training Schools". RAAF Units. RAAF Museum. Retrieved 27 June 2013. 
  11. ^ Gillison, Royal Australian Air Force, p. 97
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h "Service Flying Training Schools". RAAF Units. RAAF Museum. Retrieved 27 June 2013. 
  13. ^ "Cootamundra". RAAF Bases. RAAF Museum. Retrieved 27 June 2013. 
  14. ^ "Evans Head". RAAF Bases. RAAF Museum. Retrieved 27 June 2013. 
  15. ^ "Mt Gambier". RAAF Bases. RAAF Museum. Retrieved 27 June 2013. 
  16. ^ "Port Pirie". RAAF Bases. RAAF Museum. Retrieved 27 June 2013. 
  17. ^ a b c Gillison, Royal Australian Air Force, p. 238
  18. ^ "West Sale". RAAF Bases. RAAF Museum. Retrieved 27 June 2013. 
  19. ^ Page, Wings of Destiny, p. 130
  20. ^ "Cressy". RAAF Bases. RAAF Museum. Retrieved 27 June 2013. 
  21. ^ a b "Parkes". RAAF Bases. RAAF Museum. Retrieved 27 June 2013. 
  22. ^ "RAAF ball at air school". The Border Watch. Mount Gambier, South Australia: National Library of Australia. 17 July 1941. p. 4. Retrieved 27 June 2013. 
  23. ^ "Nhill". RAAF Bases. RAAF Museum. Retrieved 27 June 2013. 
  24. ^ "Ballarat". RAAF Bases. RAAF Museum. Retrieved 27 June 2013. 
  25. ^ "Maryborough". RAAF Bases. RAAF Museum. Retrieved 27 June 2013. 
  26. ^ "No. 1 Service Flying School". The Argus. Melbourne: National Library of Australia. 31 May 1940. p. 3. Retrieved 27 June 2013. 
  27. ^ Scotland, Voice from the Stars, p. 52
  28. ^ "Bairnsdale". RAAF Bases. RAAF Museum. Retrieved 27 June 2013. 

References[edit]