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Flight Instructor in the Commonwealth Air Training Program

Heroes Remember

Flight Instructor in the Commonwealth Air Training Program

Interviewer: After you got your wings, what did you think was going to happen next and what did happen? Well we were, as I say it was June, June 22, 1941 and we were hoping that we would go overseas. I didn't know when I got my wings whether I was going to be an NCO or an Officer. I can't remember when I was told I was going to be an instructor. I guess it was before I came home on leave to Vancouver and to report at Trenton, in Ontario, and then some of the fellows went overseas. Interviewer: When you were told that you were going to be an instructor instead of going overseas, do you remember what your reaction was? Disappointment. But you see at that time they were building up the Commonwealth Air Training Plan and that was the part that Canada was participating in with the States and, or not with the States, but with England because of the wide open spaces and it was designed to train people in the RCAF, people in the RAF, Royal New Zealand Air Force and the Royal Australian Air Force and we also trained people from Norway. There was an airfield in Ontario called "Little Norway", just Norwegians, they trained them in their own school. So they were building these schools up so fast that you, they had to have the instructors so that's why we were sent down to Trenton.

Mr. Sproule recalls his disappointment in being posted as flight instructor, rather than being posted overseas, and explains why it was necessary.

Frederick Howard Sproule

Mr. Sproule was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, on September 22, 1918. He first served as a cadet with the Seaforth Highlanders before joining the regular service. He switched to the air force as soon as he was able, first being accepted as a gunner, and then into pilot training. After serving as a flight instructor on Harvards, Mr Sproule was shipped to Great Britain where he trained on a Hurricane. Eventually, he piloted a Typhoon as a bomber in the Burma Campaign, helping to drive back the Japanese. His tour finished as the Japanese were completely driven out of Burma.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Frederick Howard Sproule
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Air Force

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