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Pilot Training in Summerside

Heroes Remember

Pilot Training in Summerside

It was during a snowstorm and we had, in those days we had no radios. We had what was called a Gosport System where you spoke through a tube into the earphones of the student in the front seat. And the recall for bad weather or for any other reason was a flare which was sent up, it went up to about 1200 feet and burst into a, well it was a pyrotechnic...burst into a big orange ball and that meant if you saw that, and they fired several off over the course of ten or fifteen minutes, if you saw that you were to immediately return to base. And I saw the recall signal so my student and I hightailed it back and we landed safely, but several other aircraft got cut out and didn't see the recall until the weather hit them. They got back over what he thought, what the instructor thought was over base, but couldn't see the ground so they, they did...he asked the pilot, the student to bail out but the student wouldn't. So he remained with the aircraft and circled and slowly let down because he thought he was over water and he thought he would hit the water. But suddenly he hit a snowbank. Neither student nor instructor were injured so the instructor said to the student, "Remain with the aircraft, I'll go get some help." And he walked about a hundred yards into the hanger. He was on the airfield. He didn't know it. The instructor's name was Charlie Trainor from Eastern Canada, and to my, to the best of my knowledge he's still alive today.

As a pilot instructor at Summerside, Prince Edward Island, Mr. Lindsey remembers several fatalities and near misses by those in training. He relates one incident involving Charlottetown native Charlie Trainor who would go on to be one of Canada's most outstanding aces of the Second World War.

James Douglas Lindsey

Mr. Lindsey was born in Arnprior, Ontario, and spent his early years on a reservation in Quebec, returning to Arnprior for his schooling. He was active in school sports. He had one younger sister who died of cancer when she was about 38 years old. His father was in the lumber and logging business as was his grandfather. Mr. Lindsey's father was a Regimental Sergeant Major during the First World War and was active in the 42nd Renfrew Regiment Reserves after his First World War service. Mr. Lindsey tried to enlist when the Second World War was declared but was turned down because of his age. He was finally accepted by the RCAF at the age of 17 years with the condition that he complete his schooling first. Eventually, he received training in Toronto and Trenton, Ontario, and Victoriaville, Quebec. It was then on to Chatham, New Brunswick, for pilot training at the Elementary Flying School and additional training at CFB Summerside, PEI. He was then posted back to Trenton to train as a pilot instructor.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
James Douglas Lindsey
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Air Force
Flight Lieutenant
Pilot Instructor

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce

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