RCAF Station Kingston
|RCAF Station Kingston|
The airfield during World War II
|Active||7 October 1940 – 7 September 1945|
|Branch||Royal Air Force |
Royal Canadian Air Force
|Role||British Commonwealth Air Training Plan|
|Part of||No. 1 Training Command|
|Schools||No. 31 Service Flying Training School|
No. 14 Service Flying Training School
|Station Magazine||The Pioneer|
North American Yale
North American Harvard
RCAF Station Kingston was a World War II air training station built in 1940 at Collins Bay near Kingston, Ontario, Canada. The station was originally built by the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) for use by the Royal Air Force (RAF). Like other RAF schools in Canada, it was subject to RCAF administrative and operational control.
No. 31 Service Flying Training School (SFTS) was the first British Service Flying Training school to be established in Canada and the first flying training school at Kingston.:61 The school was originally No. 7 Service Flying School based in Peterborough, England. Its main purpose was to train pilots for the Fleet Air Arm, but in the beginning the school's first students were British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP) trainees selected for service with the RCAF and RAF.:62 Naval trainees, however, made up the majority of the trainees by the end of December 1940. Pilots were trained on Fairey Battles, which were shipped from England, and later, Harvards. Relief landing fields were located at Gananoque and Sandhurst, Ontario.
The airfield was constructed in a typical BCATP wartime pattern, with six runways formed in an overlaid triangle. In approximately 1942 the aerodrome was listed at with a Var. 14 degrees W and elevation of 300 feet (91 m). Six runways were listed as follows:
|1/19||2,500 feet (762 m)||100 feet (30 m)||Hard surfaced|
|1/19||3,000 feet (914 m)||100 feet (30 m)||Hard surfaced|
|7/25||2,800 feet (853 m)||100 feet (30 m)||Hard surfaced|
|7/25||2,600 feet (792 m)||100 feet (30 m)||Hard surfaced|
|13/31||2,550 feet (777 m)||100 feet (30 m)||Hard surfaced|
|13/31||2,500 feet (762 m)||100 feet (30 m)||Hard surfaced|
Relief Landing Field - Sandhurst
In approximately 1942 the aerodrome was listed at with a Var. 11.5 degrees W and elevation of 300 feet (91 m). The runway was listed as a "Turf - All-way field with dimensional data as follows:
|N/S||2,780 feet (847 m)||1,000 feet (305 m)||Turf|
|NE/SW||3,150 feet (960 m)||1,000 feet (305 m)||Turf|
|NW/SE||2,820 feet (860 m)||1,000 feet (305 m)||Turf|
In 1942, the school formally became part of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan.:69 In 1944 No. 31 SFTS was merged with the RCAF's No. 14 SFTS when this school was transferred to Kingston from RCAF Station Aylmer. Aircraft used by No. 14 SFTS included Harvards, Yales and Ansons. No. 14 SFTS closed down in September 1945.
Some of the more noteworthy pilots who trained at this station include:
- David Clarabut, RNVR(A) who earned a Distinguished Service Cross (DSC) for his role on the attack on the German battleship Tirpitz
- Robert Hampton Gray, VC, DSC, RCNVR, Canada's last Victoria Cross recipient of the Second World War 
- Gordon Cheeseman Edwards, RCNVR Mentioned in Despatches for the attacks on the Tirpitz 
- Philip Steele Foulds, RCNVR who earned a DSC for his role in an attack on an enemy convoy 
The old air station has been improved over the years and is now the Kingston/Norman Rogers Airport.
Forty-nine airmen lost their lives while serving at Kingston, most in flying accidents. Three of these men, A/LA Moore, J.C., Lieut. Edwards, R.C., and A/LA Scorrow, E., perished when their aircraft crashed in Lake Ontario, and as of 2014 they have not been recovered.
- Air Navigation Edition Toronto-Ottawa (Map) (1943 ed.). Cartography by Hydrographic and Map Service. Canada Department of Mines and Resources, Surveys and Engineering Branch.
- Hatch, F. J. (1983). Aerodrome of Democracy: Canada and the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan 1939–1945. Ottawa: Canadian Department of National Defence. p. 68. ISBN 0-660-11443-7.
- Staff writer (c. 1942). Pilots Handbook of Aerodromes and Seaplane Bases Vol. 1. Royal Canadian Air Force. p. 130.
- Staff writer (c. 1942). Pilots Handbook of Aerodromes and Seaplane Bases Vol. 1. Royal Canadian Air Force. p. 156.
- David Clarabut obituary Retrieved: 2010-08-12
- Robert Hampton Gray Archived 2011-06-11 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved: 2010-08-12
- Awards of the Canadian Navy Retrieved: 2010-08-12
- Military Bruce - Canadian Military History - The British Commonwealth Air Training Plan Retrieved: 2010-08-12
- BCATP Information from Bombercrew.com Retrieved: 2009-12-13
- "Harvards Above" by Gananoque Historical Society Retrieved: 2016-11-21