Behind the Glory
Macmillan of Canada, 1992. Orange boards, endpaper maps. pp 358 + plates. Index. Fine copy. Jacket has a crease to front flap, else fine. "When war broke out in Sept. 1939, the Allied air forces had few combat aircraft and even fewer military pilots ready to fight. In December 1939, Britain, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada created the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. Most of the air crew training took place in Canada. The instructors moulded thousands of teenaged recruits into fighter and bomber pilots, navigators, air gunners, bomb aimers, wireless operators, and ground crew. They took pilots from elementary 'circuits and bumps' on Fleet Finches to the rigours of aerobatics in Harvards, navigational practice in Ansons, or gunnery exercises in Fairey Battles. At its peak, the plan adminstered 107 schools and 184 other units at sites all across Canada, operated 11,000 aircraft, and employed 104.000 men and women. The BCATP trained 200,000 air crew in less than five years."