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Old 24-11-13, 19:32
David Dunlop David Dunlop is offline
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Default RCAF Station Carberry, Manitoba

This airfield started life as an RAF Base in December 0f 1940, acting as home to No. 33 Service Flying Training School. It is unusual in design in that it consists of dual parallel runways on each side of the triangular layout. The more conventional pattern of the day was a single runway in each direction.

In 1942 the base was integrated into the BCATP and was in full operation until November of 1944 when it closed for active service and became an RCAF Aircraft Storage Depot.

In the latter part of the 1960's the property was sold and a potato processing plant was built on the site of the former hanger line.

The attached image is from a 1958 air photo. The resolution is not the best, but if you look closely, you can see four P-51 Mustangs lined up on the far side of the ramp, facing the three hangers. Several dozen passed through this facility, with the last being sold off in the early 1960's. All of the 402 Sqn City of Winnipeg Mustangs ended up here, along with some 403 and 443 Sqn aircraft as well.

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Old 25-11-13, 23:08
David Dunlop David Dunlop is offline
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I was browsing the web today and found this site and story, The header photo and several others are of the P-51's stored at RCAF Station Carberry.


http://www.vintagewings.ca/VintageNe...s-Mustang.aspx


The building in the background of the header photo is the original wartime control tower at Carberry. Long since demolished. I cannot think of any offhand that have survived at any former BCATP sites in Manitoba. Pity. One would look really good at the Steinbach Airport...or even better…poking up through the canopy of the Fast Forest.

David
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  #3  
Old 26-11-13, 02:28
Rob Fast Rob Fast is offline
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Default Great story David...

thanks for posting. Amazing to see how many Manitoba Mustangs are still around today. Still one of my best entries in my flight log book is 2 flights/1.2 hours/duel instruction P-51D "Miracle Maker".
Last time I was in the Chater hangar outside of Brandon, I crawled up into the Control Tower room built into the corner of the hangar. Does anyone remember seeing pics of a V-1 and Me 109 being stored in this hangar on a cross Canada tour back in the day?

As soon as I win that lotto, I am paving my driveway, putting up the control tower into my shop, and buying a limber/ Ford Lynx scout car/ and some other goodies.

Cheers for now...keep those 17 pounder parts coming.
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Old 29-11-13, 19:30
David Dunlop David Dunlop is offline
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I ran across another reference to Carberry's days of active service in the war and found the aircraft in use at the base while a training facility was the trusty Avro Anson. Something nags at the back of my head (no, not my wife) that MacDonald Brothers in Winnipeg might have been involved with production of the Anson. If correct, they certainly didn't have far to go for those in use at Carberry.


David
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Old 07-12-13, 23:22
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Default Carberry, Manitoba

There may be more information for this at the Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum at the Brandon airport, Brandon, Manitoba. They have collected information from all the air training plan locations. South of Justice (possibly the Chater hanger previously mentioned by Rob) you can see the remnants of an airstrip and east of the correctional center on the low road to Shilo, there is remnants of a concrete wall that appears to have been used by aircraft?? Gunnery range possibly. Great find. I'll have to look for the old strip when near Carberry next. Ewen
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  #6  
Old 07-12-13, 23:40
rob love rob love is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ewen B View Post
on the low road to Shilo, there is remnants of a concrete wall that appears to have been used by aircraft??
I trust you are talking the cement wall on the hill just to the east of the RCMP highway detachment/municipal offices. I have always wondered what that was and have yet to get a definitive answer.
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Old 08-12-13, 00:48
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Default Batcp

Gents,

I have visited at least 20 of those former training bases in Québec , New Brunswick, PEI and Nova Scotia.

They all have the cement wall.As a matter of fact that cement wall is still in use in Saint-Jean Québec : A pistol range .

On advanced fighter training bases the wall probably would of been used to zero the machine guns or collimate them as per official vocab. At the time the most avanced fighter the Hurricane had .303 MG on both sides.

In Bagotville Québec ,home of 425 Hornet Squadron, the wall existed until very recently. I remember using it as a pistol and .22 rifle range.

I am almost sure it was used during the war to collimate the Mosquito Mg's there.

My two cents.

Cheerio !

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  #8  
Old 08-12-13, 01:27
rob love rob love is offline
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This one is not the standard pistol range. It's location is just before the crest of a very large hill. There is no base there either. Also, the pistol range is still there at the Brandon airport, which was the main training center in this area.
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Old 08-12-13, 05:07
maple_leaf_eh maple_leaf_eh is offline
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There is a wall type range just off the apron in St Hubert. The now-pistol in Trenton had a soft roofed shelter over it so the Air Force guys don't have to walk through the snow when they shoot their qualifications. (Did the Taliban ever shovel snow on their battlefields?)
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  #10  
Old 08-12-13, 06:38
David Dunlop David Dunlop is offline
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The Gun Butts at the BCATP airfields were all quite tall, with two buttresses at the back with a small storage shed attached. A couple of photos attached. The one at former RCAF Station Winnipeg is still alive and well, just across the street from the ESSO Avitat Terminal. The one at RCAF STation Yorkton, Saskatchewan was recently still used by a local Cadet Sqn as the backstop for their rifle range using .22 cal Enfields.


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  #11  
Old 08-12-13, 23:45
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Default Cement wall

That picture exactly captures my intent David .

Thanks .

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  #12  
Old 09-12-13, 01:24
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Default Anybody got Lat and Log

Hi All

So I can look at the area on Bing maps anybody got latitude and longitude for the base? Interesting to look at the Bing areal oblique view.

Cheers Phil

PS The only way I could qualify with a pistol was get with throwing range, didn't need rain shelter. So a large concrete wall was a suitable target for me.
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  #13  
Old 18-12-13, 01:34
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Default concrete walls

I have seen some photos of these concrete walls being used by aircraft to protect others from the backblast of jet engines at air bases in later years.

I don't recall seeing a wall at Rivers AFB which is now tragically a hog barn. Two of the hangers long since burned down, and many of the PMQ were moved to local communities. Not all CATP locations probably taught gunnery, so that could account for these walls not being everywhere.
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  #14  
Old 19-12-13, 05:44
David Dunlop David Dunlop is offline
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Correct assumption, Ewan.

RCAF Station Rivers started out in 1942 as a Navigation School, so the Gun Butt was not a required construction component.


David
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Old 19-12-13, 15:16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maple_leaf_eh View Post
There is a wall type range just off the apron in St Hubert. The now-pistol in Trenton had a soft roofed shelter over it so the Air Force guys don't have to walk through the snow when they shoot their qualifications. (Did the Taliban ever shovel snow on their battlefields?)
Having used that one a bunch of times, I think its more a function for achieving a zero template (for ricochets anyway) rather that protection from the elements. Although pretty ironic being on an AFB, especially coming from Petawawa where conducting a PWT3 in the middle of Feb at Y Range, you were simply given an extra 15 seconds to navigate the snow during the run downs. Good times.
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Old 21-12-13, 14:29
Darrell Zinck Darrell Zinck is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Dunlop View Post
Correct assumption, Ewan.

RCAF Station Rivers started out in 1942 as a Navigation School, so the Gun Butt was not a required construction component.


David
Hi David

RCAF Pennfield Ridge also was built as an Air Nav School (No.2) in 1940 but it has butts:

http://carlykb.com/blog/?tag=pennfield-ridge

As it later became No.34 OTU maybe the butts were built later. More likely, every BACTP airfield included rifle calibre buttstops as part of a common building plan.

Couple of possibilities there. I'm also not sure what the longer lower concrete wall was for.

regards
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  #17  
Old 21-12-13, 16:07
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I can remember as a kid there was such a wall at St Catharines...my dad said it was to calibrate plane guns.

I remember someone- angrily- saying that they took down the wall later because they wanted to remove the -poisonous- lead from the dirt underneath....but they only found about a small handful of lead and fragments in total
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Old 21-12-13, 18:08
David Dunlop David Dunlop is offline
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Darrell: Interesting photos from Pennfield. I have never seen that long concrete wall feature before, and have no idea what it's purpose. Be interesting to see what other wartime airfields in Canada had that feature and what training took place at them. Maybe that would show a 'common denominator' and explain it all. RCAF Station Virden, here in Manitoba was a BCATP site for primary flight training and was built as a grass field facility. The only concrete was the ramp area and around the hanger line and it never had a gun butt. I would lean towards them being built on an 'as needed' basis. I will check my Manitoba airfield air photo collection and see what shows up.

Marc: One of the mysteries with these gun butts is how little damage they all show on the face of the concrete. One would expect that with dozens of aircraft having their guns sited in over the years, you would find some form of wear pattern. Wartime .303 ball ammunition has a very heavy jacket on it, compared with the modern military ammunition of today. It would take it's toll on the concrete over time. One would also think the shrapnel created would be a hazard sooner or later. More than one weapons tech probably had bits of jacket whizzing past their heads!


David
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  #19  
Old 21-12-13, 18:23
rob love rob love is offline
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Targets were set up in line with the sand which was piled against the butt. You did not shoot at the walls...that would be bad. The cement was only to catch strays.

Records were kept of how many rounds are expended into the sand, and when it reaches a certain point the sand is changed, otherwise you would eventually have ricochets from the bullets in the sand.
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Old 21-12-13, 19:09
David Dunlop David Dunlop is offline
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Thanks for that, Rob. Makes a lot of sense, and on reflection, I recall seeing a video of a Hurricane somewhere having it's guns sited in. There was a jack stand set up under the rear fuselage to level the plane and I think sand bags up against the wall about six feet or so. And there was some sort of 'paper target' setup. Reminded me a bit at the time of the targets that used to be used in service stations many years ago to aim headlights on vehicles.

The storage sheds in back of the butts probably held all the equipment needed for the siting process.

Have you ever run across those long concrete walls at any of the old bases here on the prairies? The old Gunnery Range at Langruth had a long curved earth berm running from the old admin site by the original gate at the highway, up to the SE Range Control Tower, and that was likely to protect people/vehicles in transit to the tower while the range was active.

David

Last edited by David Dunlop; 21-12-13 at 20:10.
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Old 21-12-13, 19:41
rob love rob love is offline
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The berms I am talking about were for small arms and pistols. They usually had a wooden hut that you shot out of. No place for an aircraft. Nowadays you still see the cement berm, but the huts are usually long gone.

You mentioned Virden.....I thought I saw the Berm there. I pass by that old base once and a while to some of the local shooting matches. They just recently tore down the hanger. I'll have a look for the berm next time I am by.

Edited to add: Just had a look on google satellite and sure enough, there is/was the pistol range berm at the Virden site. It shows on the aerial view, but is a pile of rubble on the street view.

Last edited by rob love; 21-12-13 at 19:47.
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Old 23-12-13, 01:25
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Now that you mention it, I wonder if the wall and (overgrown) dirt/sand in front, were for pistols and rifles, not aircraft mg...can't think why they would have mg siting at St Kitts? I was very young at the time so size ,distance from other buildings etc are fuzzy.
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Old 23-12-13, 07:18
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Default small world David....

I just got off the phone with Henry Hill of Burnaby B.C. A navigator in a Halifax Bomber during WW11, Henry always comes with our group when we do parades and stands proudly in the trucks waving to the crowds. Anyway, we were talking of current books we're reading and it turns out we are both reading books from the same author (Mark Zuehlke). Somehow during the conversation Henry mentioned Carberry Manitoba and I had mentioned to him David's thread on the subject. Turns out that Henry was stationed there or did business there after the war (not sure of the years). And yes....he does remember the airport, or parts of, being sold off to a "potato farmer" by the name of Simplot. And David....he only paid $100.00 for the whole shootin' match!!
But he also remembers a flight of 14 to 16 P51 Mustangs flying into this airport and being parked along the edge of the runways. And they were put up for sale. Price (fasten seat belt!) $1000.00 each. An American bought up pretty well the whole lot, as he knew a deal when he saw it.
So it is...from the horse's mouth so to speak. If you have any other questions re Carberry, let me know. I'll be seeing Henry and his wife Christmas Eve. Cheers.....Robert
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Old 23-12-13, 09:00
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Default RCAF Station Abbotsford

Abbotsford municipal airport uses two WWII era runways for it's operations today. RCAF Station Abbotsford was the war-time home of 24 EFTS and 5 OTU, if memory serves me correct. A portion of the airfield is now home to 192 Airfield Engineer Flight Abbotsford, my old unit. We worked hand-in-hand with the city who now owns the airport and practiced our BRATT (Base Repair after ATTack) and RRR (Rapid Runway Repair) techniques while at the same time effecting repairs or improvements to the facilties. Once while operating a Ditch-Witch to run electrical power to a new parking lot we started kicking up dozens of war-dated spent .50 BMG cases from what we assumed was where the armourers tested the defensive weapons of the B24's flown there during the war.
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Old 24-12-13, 07:50
r.morrison r.morrison is offline
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Thumbs up If you're interested Derek.....

If your interested Derek, you should get in touch with local Abbottsford "historian" Micheal DezMazes. I would say Mike is probably one of the foremost authorities on 5 OTU. He has a gazillion photos and tons of articles on the airport. He has done many a display and seminar for the local populace as well as "out of towners". PM me and I'll connect you up with him. Cheers.....Robert
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  #26  
Old 25-12-13, 00:56
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Although Lancasters get all the glory, fact is most Canadia aircrew flew Halifax..I think 70% of Canadian crewed flight were Halifax.

Sadly I dont think there's a flying Halifax, although a suitable restoration is in Trenton, it will never fly.

Interestingly most of the Canadians interned at Stalug Luft III (the great escape) seem to have been shot down from Wellingtons.

BTW- the majority of the people working on the tunnels,, planning, preparing maps, compasses, clothing, etc etc. were Canadians. dont think any Americans were involved at all.

Meanwhile, the MTB shop in Montreal during the war, apparently also made wings for the Mossie...makes sense as they had all the woodworking skills and equip
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