This website was developed by the MacNaught History Centre and Archives (MHCA), an integral part of the Wyatt Heritage Properties located in Summerside, Prince Edward Island, Canada. More information about MHCA and its holdings along with particulars about Miss Wanda Wyatt and her legacy to the community is available at www.wyattheritage.com.
We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Department of Canadian Heritage through the Canadian Culture Online Program, Library and Archives Canada, and the Canadian Council of Archives. If you wish to read more about these institutions and programs please go to their respective websites.
The goal was to create an on-line exhibit addressing the theme of a small town's reaction to the large influx of military personnel brought on by the establishment of an air training school during World War II. The response by individuals, service groups and the general community in Summerside was typical of the hospitality shown by other Canadian municipalities where training schools were established under the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. At the same time, there were many aspects of military-civilian interaction that were unique to this locality.
This website can be used as a resource for teachers at the high school level to stimulate interest and study about the aircrews who experienced their training in Canada and the people in the communities that hosted them. One of the best resources for research is community newspapers during the war period. Students can also interview senior citizens with memories of wartime living or read any of the books written about the British Commonwealth Air Training Program (BCATP) and its impact on Canada.
For resources on the World Wide Web, the following list of websites may be helpful.
Websites / English-French
www.aircadetleague.com - Official site of the Air Cadet League of Canada. See General/History for an overview of the formation of the League in 1940 and its subsequent history. See Squadron Listing for the names of the 445 squadrons across Canada. Click on the map of Canada for area.
www.forces.gc.ca or www.dnd.ca - The official website of the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces (DND/CF). By selecting History and Heritage on the side bar you will reach the Directorate, which was created to develop Canadian Forces history and traditions. Under the sub-section titled Publications there are several online books of interest that are available in PDF form, including the official history of the BCATP titled Aerodrome of Democracy: Canada and the British Commonwealth Training Plan 1939-1945 by F.J. Hatch. The Minister of Supply and Services Canada published it as Monograph Series No. 1 in 1983. The 242-page book is searchable by keyword.
www.airforce.forces.ca - The Department of National Defence site for the Canadian Air Force. Under History, view the Timeline-World War II for an outline of the RCAF from 1939-1945. Also under History, view the Historical Aircraft with descriptions and photos, listed alphabetically. The Links section has a comprehensive list of the websites of aviation museums located across Canada. The identical pages are also located under www.airforce.dnd.ca
www.aviation.technomuses.ca - The website of the Canadian Aviation Museum in Ottawa. Its mission is "to create a greater appreciation for Canada's aviation heritage, demonstrate the vital role of aviation in the lives of Canadians and illustrate the significance of aviation in the growth and prosperity of the country." The Collections section of the site has an image bank of a wide variety of aircraft. To access the World War II planes, search Artifacts/Aircraft by Period/ Second World War. Each description has a link to additional photos. For example, the Avro Anson V has 128 images.
www.cbc.ca/documentaries/canadaswar - The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation website offers information about a January 2005 CBC-TV program: Canada's War - The Lost Colour Archives. It is a "three-part series telling the compelling story of Canada during the Second World War through the exclusive use of newly discovered colour footage of Canadians at war and at home."
http://archives.cbc.ca - The on-line archives of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Under Timeline, select Conflict and War. The World War II era is covered in two sections. One is titled 1939-1945: A Soldier's War and the other On Every Front: Canadian Women in the Second World War. Each offers audio clips and educational activities. Teachers can use the lesson plans and activity sheets that are provided. Check out the Clip Index for a complete list of radio clips for 1940-1949.
http://history.cbc.ca - The website for Canada: A People's History - "Based on the award-winning CBC TV series that tells Canada's story through the eyes of the people who lived it." The site is divided into two sections: About the TV Series, and About Canadian History. Episode 14, titled The Crucible, covers the period of the Second World War. It is available in VHS or DVD format ($179) for classroom use. For text and photos relating to the episode (e.g. Fighting from the Home Front), visit the section "About Canadian History."
www.virtualmuseum.ca - The Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN) is a federal agency that links the Department of Canadian Heritage with Canada's museum community. Its mission is "engaging audiences of all ages in Canada's diverse heritage through a dynamic internet service freely available to the public in French and English." Enter the Teacher's Centre and use the internal search engine to find the website titled "Remembrances: Canada and the Second World War." It offers an overview of Canada's role during the war as well as trivia and games.
www.warmuseum.ca - The website of the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa. Under Site Index, select Military History to view two sections relevant to World War II: 1) Democracy at War, which displays a collection of over 144,000 newspaper articles about the Second World War from leading Ontario newspapers, 2) The Salvation Army, which has information about the organization's contribution to the war effort. See also the Chronology of Canadian Military History from 1931-1946 where various topics, inc. the BCATP and the Home Front are covered. On the Military History main page also find a link under Resources titled Educators, which provides three menu choices leading to interactive programs and a teacher's activity kit. Students can search for themselves on the link for Kids.
www.civilization.ca/orch/www00_e.html#menu - The Canadian Museum of Civilization has compiled a list of Online Resources for Canadian Heritage which "focuses on educational Internet resources pertinent to Canadian heritage in the disciplines … archaeology, ethnology, history … and folk culture." Next to the general heading of History, select Military and naval history. Page 2 provides World War II links and page 3 has Air Force links.
www.vac-acc.gc.ca - The website of Veterans Affairs Canada. Under the section for Youth and Educators, select History and then Second World War for three sub-sections that relate to the RCAF in World War II: 1) Canada and the Second World War / War in the Air, which briefly describes the BCATP and Home Defence, 2) The British Commonwealth Air Training Plan, which gives details about the plan along with a suggested reading list and 3) The Battle of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, which describes the role of air defence on Canada's east coast. The section titled Teacher's Resources contains useful suggestions for the classroom, some online activities, information regarding free educational resource kits, and a reference list for further study. The section called Feature Items has an interesting archived article under 2002 "Veterans' Week" listing 25 ways to understand the contribution of all who helped "wherever they were needed in wartime."
www.waramps.ca - The official site of the War Amps of Canada. There are several video documentaries about ground troops during the Second World War listed under Canada's Military Heritage. They are available for sale or for loan. Under the Remembrance Day section of the site look for available songs and vignettes and also for Military Heritage Quizzes.
www.junobeach.org - This site is comprised of two sections. One presents the Juno Beach Centre located in France, which is a museum devoted to presenting the "war effort made by all Canadians, civilian and military alike, both at home and on the various fronts during the Second World War" and the other section is titled Canada in WWII. The section on the Centre is still being constructed in April 2004, but will have a photo gallery and an area for Education that will include Audio-Visual Class Plans. The section on Canada in WWII is described as "an online museum of the Canadian war effort." It is divided into four subject areas: Events, People, Arms and Weapons, and Interactive Centre. The Arms and Weapons section is sub-divided into land, sea, and air. Under "In the Air", there is an overview of the RCAF participation in the war. The information on the BCATP is presented in two parts. The first part describes how the plan came into being and the second part deals with the training. Photographs accompany the text and books are suggested for further reading. In the Interactive Centre, there are some interesting illustrations of land and sea warfare.
www.rcaf.com - "Wings for Freedom Website: The History and Heritage of Canada's Air Force." This is a private website "dedicated to all past and serving members of Canada's Armed Forces who have dedicated themselves to the cause of our Country." The section titled The War Years gives an overview of the Canadian Air Force in World War II. The information was taken from two sources: RCAF Squadron Histories and Aircraft 1924-1968 by Samuel Kostenuk and John Griffon and Sixty Years by Larry Milberry. Wallpaper and clipart are available under Resources.
www.airmuseum.ca - The website of the Canadian Air Training Plan Museum in Brandon, Manitoba. The museum is a non-profit, charitable organization founded and operated by volunteers with the following mission: "To commemorate the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan by telling its story, preserving its artifacts, and paying tribute to the thousands of Air Force personnel, who gave their lives during World War II. The site offers a very good virtual tour of the museum. Other sections of interest are a listing of over 600 World War II movies, information about the 1992 movie "For the Moment" filmed in Brandon, a Tribute to Women, and a selection of propaganda posters.
www.flight-history.com - A site in Calgary "dedicated to developing an extensive on-line archive of aviation history." Under the extensive Photo Archives, see BCATP and Life during WWII among other topics. Under Story Archives, see info re North American Harvard, BCATP, and Women's Division, etc.
http://collections.ic.gc.ca/flyboys - Canada's Digital Collections is "home to hundreds of Web sites about Canada produced by thousands of young Canadians." The "flyboys" designation takes you to a site titled "Wings Over Alberta". It is divided into three main sections: 1) Canada's Air War gives details about the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan, the RCAF, and Home Defence, 2) Homefront describes the method of training, the various divisions trained, and uniforms, medals, etc. 3) Stories is a compilation of 26 personal remembrances from members of the RCAF, RCAF-WD, RAAF, RAF, and RNZAF. The resources page lists books about the RCAF and wartime training.
http://collections.ic.gc.ca/history_units - This website offers units of study designed by the Queen's University Faculty of Education. The curriculum uses Canada's Digital Collection as its principal resource. Canada's Contribution to World War II is a 2-3 week unit with nine lesson plans for the Grade 10 level.
www2.memlane.com/djcarter - The personal website of David J. Carter who has written a 200 page book about the # 34 SFTS in Medicine Hat, Alberta from 1941-1944. There is an overview of the school and some highlights from the book along with ordering instructions.
www.mala.bc.ca/history/letters - The Canadian Letters and Images Project is a website produced by the history Department of the Malaspina University College in Nanaimo, B.C. The objective is "to let Canadians tell their own story in their own words and images by creating a permanent online archive which preserves Canada's wartime correspondence, photographs, and other personal materials, from the battlefront and from the Homefront." Under Browse the Collection, select World War Two for collections of letters. The correspondence relating to RCAF members has some interesting information about pilot training.
http://home.westman.wave.ca/~mspack/rcaf.html - This website is the story of the RCAF career of Mike Spack of Winnipeg who joined the air force in September 1941. He kept a diary from January 1943 until June 1944 while serving overseas. The account of his war service, made up of 100 pages of text and 150 photographs, was prepared in March 1997 - "a labour of love." Of particular interest are his interesting memories of enlistment and manning depot, followed by the experience of the Initial Training School (ITS), Elementary Flying Training School (EFTS) and Service Flying Training School (SFTS). His final step before proceeding to England was waiting at "Y" Depot in Halifax. He recounts with humour the steps in learning to handle an airplane and the camaraderie with fellow trainees.
www.geocities.com/CapeCanaveral/Runway/9601 - This website is a compilation of personal memories of World War II from people around the world. Select Canada for interesting web pages about Bill "Mac" McRae who describes his training in the RCAF and illustrates his story with plenty of good images.
www.peicaps.org/betweengen/ffway - "Near Forgotten Airfield" is a website designed by members of the Ellerslie Allied Youth in Prince Edward Island. The site is based on Barb Broome's book On Duty and Pride about the Mount Pleasant Airport and the No. 10 Bombing and Gunnery School located there during the Second World War.
http://canadaatwar.tripod.com - A private website listing books about Canada's military history divided into time periods. There are many titles under World War II. For books relating to the RCAF click on Air as well as BCATP. The alphabetical listing by title also links you to on-line sites where the books may be purchased.
www.spitcrazy.com - This is a site operated by Ray Whittemore of Kitchener, Ontario. It is divided into two main sections. The Archives section presents history about World War II aviation from a Canadian perspective. The sub-section on Training has "content to come." The Spitfire Emporium section sells books, videos, clothing, and collectibles relating to World War II and Canadian aviation. Under Aviation Videos, select World War II Aircraft and History for a listing of videotapes about the era. Of particular interest is the video "Knights with Wings", a 32 minute film produced in 1941 about a typical BCATP elementary school with EFTS Windsor Mills, Quebec as the example.
www.downunderclub.mb.ca - The Down Under Club of Winnipeg was formed in 1946 by Australians and New Zealanders who married Canadian women that they met while attending air training schools under the BCATP. In the History section there are two video productions of interest - "Garden of Memories" and "In a Common Cause." The latter is a one-hour documentary that presents the history and impact of the BCATP