Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum
Canada 150 Vignette – 129 of 150
British Commonwealth Air Training Plan
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Mentioned in Dispatches - the BCATP Version

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In Canada, a Mention in Dispatches is a recognition by a senior commander that a member of the armed forces, junior to that commander, deserves recognition for a brave and/or meritorious act. It is an award given by the Governor General on behalf of our monarch, as recommended by the commander. The award may include a tangible military honour such as a medal or bar for a medal, or it may simply be a written acknowledgement of the member and his or her act. A Mention in Dispatches is published in the Canada Gazette.

With this in mind, this is why the attached pamphlet published by the Canadian Directorate of Air Training, Air Force Headquarters is confusing. It is entitled ``Mentioned in Dispatches’’ but doesn’t fulfill the objective of the definition outlined above. It is a collection of incidents, for July 1943, in which RCAF airmen acted stupidly on duty with the possibility of dire consequences for that action. Recipients in this case also, are not personally identified, but are given the title `student,’ `instructor’ or `staff pilot’ etc.

Most confusing of all is that the Directorate of Air Training would be allowed to satirize the otherwise sombre purpose of the `real’ Mentioned in Dispatches. Apparently there was no objection - this pamphlet is one of a dozen or so in the Commonwealth Air Training Plan archives for a number of months during World War II. As incredible as this document may be, it probably served a good purpose reminding readers of a multitude of situations to be avoided in order to avoid personal injury or death, and damage to equipment.

Enjoy – it is a humourous read with inside information about the intricacies of involvement with the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan.  
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