1956 Summer Training – AIR FORCE


We arrived at Penhold on June 22 after four glorious weeks of T.D. Most of us thought we had finished schoolwork when we left R.M.C. and now we could settle down to the serious job of flying. We were sadly disillusioned, however – the first few weeks were spent in ground school. Soon, though, we were dividing our days into half flying and half ground school, which was slightly more to our taste. After out short course in navigation, John Fryer wanted no part of it, even if aircrew do get extra flying pay.

The West suited us all fine, but Dick Hutton liked it especially. It is said that Dick liked his instructor because they had two things in common – flying and frequent trips to Red Deer on the same mission.

Roy Frayne likes to fly, but says, “These darn ‘Hazards’ just won’t go were I want ’em to!”

The “boys” from Claresholm say that Bob Walker owes a mess bill amounting to some $4.00 at R.C.A.F. Station Claresholm – it should be up to forty by next summer.

All in all, we had a wonderful time in Penhold and can hardly wait to continue our training next summer.

No. 4520 R.C. Walker



May 22nd, 1956 (just one week and two-thousand miles from the final parade at R.M.C.) found 27 C.S.C. boys back for a second summer of pilot training at “the best in the West”, Penhold, Alberta.

After putting in two solid weeks of Ground School in order to re-absorb the fundamentals we had forgotten, we finally started alternating half days of flying with our studies. It was soon apparent that it was not only theory that we had forgotten in the winter layoff, as we all took four or five hours before we went solo again, and it started practicing for the summer’s first big hurdle, the intermediate Harvard test.

After this was met and mastered, we were faced with Ground School exams, where we finally squelched the cries of “lazy” and “slack” coming from our instructors by getting an overall class average of 80%. As the summer progressed we moved on to navigate trips (where am I?) and instrument flying (what’s going on out there?). Dave Cummings, on his final navigation trip, managed to fly off the map, then wondered why he couldn’t identify any land marks. This was almost as bad as Ron McQuiggan landing in the grass on his I.H.T. and still managing to pass, or George Hosang on his basic instrument test going from a stall into a spin, converting it into a spiral dive and still managing to recover, much to his instructor’s amazement. Sympathetic mention must also be made of the seven, who, for one reason or another, felt the C.T. axe fall, and had to leave us.

The summer passed rapidly and was brought to a happy close as all those rumors proved true and flying pay was substantially increased. This extra cash, plus the fact that it will be our last on Harvards, make us look forward to next summer’s training with the hope that it will be as successful as that of 1956.

No. 4110 T.K. Morton



Before blasting off on the glories of C.S.C. pilot training, it might be wise to just list the 17 proud conquerors of the “Yellow Beast” that we are talking about. Voici, complete with nicknames: Bill “Al” Albrecht, Angus “Gus” Armstrong, Jack Cadieux, Ervin “Buns” Cross, Eddy Gagoz, Bob Huot (a mixed-up character from C.M.R.), Bob Hallworth, Bill “Fifi” Hughes, Charles “Ed” Lothian, Bill Lynn, Keith “Mac” McKinnon, Serge “_____” Morin, Bill “Pete” Petersen, Neil “Rusty” Russell, Keith “Stew” Steuart, Morley “Stud” Taylor, Jerry Valihora.

We set no flying records during the summer, but we did manage to get through without casualties. Our half days on the flight line were spent on aerobatics and general work in preparation for the final handling test and then formation flying, radio range, and night flying. The night and formation work, although tiring, was very satisfying and gradually made us feel like Harvard “Rockets”.

In ground school we started out badly. The instructors rapped us for being disinterested; our ex-cadet course director, F/O Ian Sherlock, felt we were doomed; but came the finals exams, we pulled up the old socks and fooled everyone when we set an all-time high course average. After all, we had taken a lot of the work 3 times.

Finally, graduation day arrived and before the assembled station marched the proud 17. Each in turn went forward to receive his scroll in recognition of having beaten the “Yellow Beast”. Bill Lynn and Buns Cross went forward to receive their individual, the Scroll of Honour for high aggregate marks to Bill and the Penhold Flying Trophy to Buns.

Yes, the summer was the best we had ever spent or probably ever will. We were all really sorry to say goodbye to R.C.A.F. Station Penhold, the place that had been our summer home for 3 years.

No. 3853 W.N. Russell



First phase navigating in Winnipeg this summer left many memories, happy and otherwise, with C.S.C. 56 – a class drawn from R.M.C., Royal Roads, and C.M.R., with the odd university student scattered here and there to fill out our ranks.

We’ll always remember that wonderful first morning – rising at 0735, eating breakfast at a civilized rate, then toddling off to classes to learn how to fence with straight edges and to explore the possibilities of sleeping with both eyes wide open –the only way to pit in F/L Lumley`s electronics classes.

Time passed, and we waded through a mire of Astro Tables and Precis, emerging with some knowledge sticking to us – mostly that AP 3270 was a series of huge books with pretty, differently coloured strips on the covers. Filled with youthful enthusiasm, we did not quite grasp the full significance of plotting such points as MPP (Most Probable Position), and the navigator’s standby – MIH (Maybe I’m Here). Soon, however, we had enough experience to coin our own abbreviation – TIWWTWKTWTWA. This was an abbreviation? Anyway, it was somewhat shorter than “This Is Where We Think We Know That We Think We Are”. Or something.

Life wasn’t too easy, though. Such dread tortures as control plots, which stimulated, in the classroom, actual flights, sobered us swiftly, and we settled down to the undeniably rugged task of learning how to determine, at any time in the air, just where in tarnation we were.

Despite our initial misgiving at missing a summer’s holiday, I feel I speak for the whole of C.S.C. 56 when I say, “This Navergatin’ bishnish ish really great fun – uh – pash another bottle of Benedictine, willya, Bartender, huh, . . . Pleeeeeeze?”

No. 4461 A.E. Lane



Some time back around the end of May, the remnants of C.S.C. 54 (LR) began to trickle back to Stevenson Field, Winnipeg, for our third, and what turned out to be our best summer at august institution.

We were soon informed that we would be privileged to become Observers (AI) and, by virtue of one of the youngest and most distinguished of this country’s professions, “Tigers”. Those among us not fortunate enough to be members of the R.O.T.P. plan had to repeat most of the previous two years’ work and become Long Range Navigators, a profession which is referred to by all good Tigers as “The Lows and Slows”.

Since the AI School could only handle some twenty-one bodies at any one time, our course consisted of just that number, fourteen C.S.C. types and the remainder University R.O.T.P. chaps. By the time Wings Parade rolled around we were down to seventeen, but happily the “Old Fourteen” was still intact.

When the first six weeks of ground school had been gotten out of the way, the remaining seven settled down to an unhurried routine of morning flying and afternoon synthetics. Such being the case, we found the AI course a pleasant change from the work of previous two years. Actually, the only frantic part of the day was trying to get the boys out of the pit in time for the 0630 briefing. As a result of our first flight we gained the reputation of “The Honkingest Course in Training Command”, but the boys and the aircraft soon settled down, and we were eventually demoted to “average”.

Towards the end of July we took a three-day trip up to the All Weather Operational Training Unit at Cold Lake, Alberta. This proved to be a most interesting weekend as we all got into the air through the kind cooperation of the Instrument and Conversion Flight. As part of our conversion to the “A.W.F. Team”, the trip went a long way towards giving us the Tiger Outlook.

In the afternoon, the time between sessions on the T1 (A) synthetic trainer became known as psycho development periods, as it was here that the true character of everyone began ta show through. Our homebodies, Max Freeman, Dick Harding and Murray Copeland were forever coming and/or going. Nick Romano spent his time studying for a supp. While Jack Hicks hefted his six pound sledge and Bob Froebel perused his Saturday Evening Post, the rest of us, Bob Burnie, Doug Tufts, Ray Jefferies, Glenn Giddings, Ken Gallinger, Earl Law, and Gord Gooderham tried to figure the odds on making twenty-one.

Since we lived and worked on the wrong side of the field, we were too far away from the mess for the usual swapping of war stories. However, we did have a year-end stag, which was well attended by all sundry.

August 24, 1956 finally rolled around – a red letter day on at least fourteen calendars. Air Vice Marshal Kerr presented us with our wings. Even though they may be only a little piece of felt they mean a lot to us, for we worked hard for them.

Next year most of us will be going to Cold Lake for thirteen weeks’ operational training on the CF-100. We are all looking forward to summer, 1957.

No. 3861 G.W. Gooderham



It is well known among friends of the Aylmer Flight Cadets that the course at Aylmer is the most interesting and enjoyable of all courses in all services. But enough of this toasting, herein lies proof of no idle boasting.

Interest is maintained by the practical nature of this Aeronautical Engineering course. Experience is gained in the repair and maintenance of all components necessary to keep our aircraft in the air. Greasy hands are a common sight as these operational flight cadets work with Harvards, Expeditors, Sabres, and Canucks. In addition to the practical phase, lectures are given in aerodynamics, propulsion, instruments, electricity, general administration, and management.

The second year cadets had themselves well established by the time the first year arrived. Those C.S.C. cadets making up the second year term were Spence Volk, Rolli Jutras, Dan Davis, Gord Whatman, and Lyle Brown.

Late in June, after a well-earned holiday, the first year Tech A/E cadets made their first impressions on Aylmer. A week later the number of C.S.C. cadets was bolstered by the arrival of Gord Forrington who had given up flying in favour of a career.

Dave Wright managed to complete the year at the head of the class in spite of conflicting interests in Waterford, while Ray Mongeau could usually be seen in the mess trying to sell”cinq” aces in liars dice.

Aylmer’s location lends much to activities. Many sunny hours are spent on the sandy shores of Lake Erie. The proximity of London, Detroit, Niagara Falls, Buffalo, Toronto, and Stratford make weekend trips one of the main interests.

Those slated for Aylmer this summer are certainly in for a good summer to which they can well look forward.

The story at Clinton, Ontario, seems to be quite different from that of Aylmer. Here is what a second year cadet at Clinton has to say.

G. Forrington

For Army Summer Training 1956 Part 1 please see here.

For Army Summer Training 1956 Part 2 please see here.

For Navy Summer Training 1956 please see here.