Remembering the Telegraphist Air Gunners
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East Camp RCAF Station Yarmouth Nova Scotia, 1942-1945 Calendar Record of Events No 34 OTU Operational Training Unit (OTU) 1942 Early in 1942 East Camp of RCAF Station Yarmouth was under construction to accommodate No 34 OTU 1942 (April 20) Five (5) officers and 700 airmen of the Royal Air Force (RAF) arrived in Canada to form No 34 OTU and reported to RCAF Station Yarmouth while East Camp was still under construction. 1942 (May 24) No 34 OTU left East Camp for RCAF Station Pennfield Ridge, New Brunswick. 1942 (August 31) A detachment of No 34 OTU (Armament Training Flight), using Ventura aircraft, returned to East Camp. No 1 Naval Air Gunners School (NAGS) 1942 (November 17) Commander I.M.N. Mudie, Royal Navy, Training Commander designate, arrived in Yarmouth. 1942 (December 11) The Admiralty officially requested through the Air Ministry that facilities for training of Telegraphist Air Gunners (TAGs) for the Fleet Arm be provided in Canada by the RCAF. No 1 NAGS to form at RCAF Station, Yarmouth, Nova Scotia effective January 1, 1943. Accommodation: No 1 NAGS to be accommodated in East Camp buildings originally constructed for No 34 OTU Policy: - To train 378 TAGs - Intake 42 per month - Length of course -36 weeks: ground instructions (13 weeks); radio training (14 weeks); gunnery school instruction (4 weeks); air firing (4 weeks); Staff: - Administration (RCAF personnel) - Training Staff (Royal Navy) - Training Wing (RN Training Commander) - Maintenance Wing (RN Commander) (with Repair, Servicing and Workshops Squadrons to be manned mainly by Air Force personnel attached to RN) - Squadron pilots (RN, RAF and RCAF under RN command) Aircraft: - 45 Swordfish to be supplied by Admiralty (745 Squadron) - 15 Ansons to be made available through TCAF channels (743 Squadron) - 40 Stinson Reliants to be supplied direct off Admiralty contracts in the USA (744 Squadron) Command: Commanding Officer RCAF Station Yarmouth (West side of airfield) responsible for providing services to No 1 NAGS: works and buildings, medical and dental, security, flying control and meteorology, and in matters of policy and administration, he is also the Commanding Officer of both camps, East side and West side. 1942 (December 25) No 45A Course, first TAG course, arrived in Yarmouth by train from Halifax (from HMS St Vincent, Gosport, England and occupied quarters in East Camp. About 250 RAF personnel, a detachment from No 34 OTU (Pennfield Ridge) occupied other quarters in East Camp for several months after No 1 NAGS was officially formed on January 1, 1943 1943 (January 1) The following personnel taken on strength: Commander I.M.N. Mudie, Training Commander Flight Lieutenant T.H. Spear, Station Administration Officer Flight Lieutenant H. Joseph, Station Equipment Officer Flight Lieutenant F. N. Scanlan, Station Adjutant Flight Lieutenant F. C. Gardhouse, Senior Accountant Officer Lieutenant Commander R. Gillett Senior Master E. Doust Naval Warrant Officer S. Boyd Naval Warrant Officer E. Taylor Naval Warrant Officer H. Kingston Warrant Officer Writer C. R. Cutliffe 28 RCAF and 75 Royal Navy personnel also are taken on strength this date. Commander E. Featherstone (reported January 26) commanded Maintenance Wing Wing Commander D.D. Findlay was Commanding Officer No 1 NAGS (In the Royal Navy records No 1 NAGS was referred to as “No 2 TAG School, RCAF Yarmouth Nova Scotia” to distinguish it from No 1 TAG school, RN Air Station, Worthy Down, Winchester, Hampshire, England) 1943 (February 27) Aircraft Strength: 23 Ansons; 9 Swordfish RCAF personnel: 9 officers; 196 men (all ground crew) RAF personnel: 27 officers aircrew; 41 men (aircrew); 1 officer (ground crew); 199 men (ground crew) RN personnel: 35 officers (aircrew); 148 men (aircrew); 3 officers (ground crew); 277 (ground crew; Civilians: 8 females (ground crew). 1943 (March 1) 5 East Camp pilots proceeded to Roosevelt Field, New York, to collect Seamew aircraft which are being substituted for Stinson Reliant aircraft shown on establishment strength. 1943 (March 13) Aircraft strength: 23 Ansons; 9 Swordfish; 10 Seamews 1943 (March 26) Large draft of naval personnel (350) arrived from England for Maintenance Wing Now over 100 men being fed in Airmen’s Mess 1943 (April 30) No 34 OTU detachment finally returned to Pennfield Ridge, New Brunswick. Aircraft Strength: 23 Ansons; 14 Swordfish; 60 Seamews Officers: Other Ranks: Aircrew Ground Crew Aircrew Ground Crew RACF 1 8 n/a 226 RAF 12 1 n/a 180 RN 39 12 71 733 Civilians n/a n/a n/a 25 Total: 1309 1943 (July 4) Royal Navy personnel henceforth subject to Air Force discipline. 1943 (August 1) East Camp streets named: High Street; Metapan Road; Taranto Avenue; Narvik Road; Queen’s Road; and King’s Road. 1943 (September 8) All ranks celebrated the great news of unconditional surrender of Italy. 1943 (September 30) Aircraft Strength: 1 Anson I; 45 Anson II; 66 Swordfish; 1 Walrus; 1 Lysander; 2 Lysander IIIA; 61 Seamews; 10 Seamews (Reserve) 1943 (October 1) First TAG course to graduate (45A Course) left Yarmouth and posted to Squadrons in the USA, Trinidad, Pacific and Britain. 1944 (June 30) Now 30 naval pilots and 42 RCAF pilots at No 1 NAGS. All RCAF pilots were flying Swordfish and will gradually convent to Ansons. 1944 (September 28) The Governor General of Canada, Earl of Athlone, visited East Camp. The Guard consisted of RN, RAF, and RCAF personnel. 1945 (February 5) The Entire School assembled and the Commanding Officer announced that a preliminary signal had been received from the Admiralty notifying that reduced commitments would enable No 1 NAGS to be disbanded and all naval personnel returned to the United Kingdom. 1945 (February 19) Lieutenant (A) J.W. Clulee, RNZNVR, discharged to No 13 E. F. T. S. St Eugene, Ontario. 1945 (February 20) 63A TAG course graduated. 1945 (February 28) Aircraft Strength: 34 Ansons; 57 Swordfish IV; 10 Swordfish; 6 Walrus; 3 Hurricane XII; 4 Harvard IIB. 1945 (March 3) At 1530 No 1 NAGS ceased TAG training. (64A Course with 44 graduates was the last course to finish at No 1 NAGS) 1945 (March 10) First draft (Courses 65 through 71) of 340 men entrained at the siding near Stores Building. 1945 (March 18) Second draft (541 personnel) departed by train. 1945 (March 30) Good Friday. East Camps last day. All remaining personnel posted to West Camp. No 1 NAGS closed and naval personnel dispersed. On March 30, this chapter in the history of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan of World War II ended. At east Camp, people from various countries, Canada, Britain, Australia, New Zealand, and the United States, representing many military services were partners in the experience. On July 1, 1983 some of the East Camp survivors returned to Yarmouth for a first East Camp Reunion.