Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum
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British Commonwealth Air Training Plan

No. 2 Bombing & Gunnery School, Mossbank Saskatchewan

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INo. 2 Bombing & Gunnery School in Mossbank Saskatchewan opened on October 28 1940 and remained open for 1509 days until December 15 1944 when the Royal Canadian Air Force closed the school. It was at the BCATP Bombing & Gunnery Schools where bomb aimers, air gunners, air observers and wireless air gunners received training in bombing and gunnery techniques.

One of 20 BCATP Schools opened in Saskatchewan, No. 2 BGS was a large school with five aircraft hangars and various other buildings including H-Hut barracks, other living quarters , a parade square, administrative buildings, motor transport  buildings and service buildings for the aircraft. The primary aircraft used for training were the Westland Lysander, Bristol Bolingbroke, Avro Anson and Fairey Battle.

Mossbank was one of the few BCATP schools with an indoor swimming pool, built primarily as a reservoir for firefighting needs. Other recreational activities were facilitated by a bowling alley, recreation hall, several canteens and a theatre on the station. Sport facilities included tennis courts, a skating rink and baseball diamonds. Many airmen and airwomen enjoyed socializing in the Hostess Club, located in the town of Mossbank and operated by the local Masonic Lodge.

Two thousand and thirty nine students graduated air bomber training while 3702 completed air gunner training. Of these aircrew, 3493 were RCAF (Royal Canadian Air Force), 1651 were RAAF (Australia), 755 were RAF (Great Britain) and 342 were RNZAF (New Zealand).

While in operation, the Mossbank School won the Air Minister’s Pennant for the best Bombing and Gunnery School in Canada. It received Honourable Mention for July to September 1943, the Runners-up Pennant for October to December 1943 and the Air Minister’s Efficiency Pennant for January to March 1944 and April to June 1944.

The only reminders of No. 2 BGS remaining today is a gunnery backstop, hangar foundations and unusable runways. It is used frequently now by the RCAF Snowbirds to practice their air show maneuvers.  A cairn commemorating No. 2 BGS has been raised near the school.

RCAF 135 Squadron formed up and trained at No. 2 BGS and was then stationed at Boundary Bay B.C. as one Canada’s home air defence squadrons, defending Canada against potential Japanese attack during WWII.

References
http://mossbank.ca/british-commonwealth-air-training-program/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RCAF_Station_Mossbank
 
 
  
No. 2 BGS - ``Aim Well - Shoot Straight''