Huron County Museum & Historic Gaol Online Collections

Henderson Digitization Project

WWII Air Training Sites in Huron County

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No. 31 Air Navigation School

Port Albert, Ontario

No. 31 Air Navigation School (ANS) was originally located in St. Athens, Wales. During the Battle of Britain, frequent aerial bombings from the German Luftwaffe made training in the United Kingdom dangerous. As a result, No. 31 ANS was relocated to Port Albert, Ontario, opening October 1940.


Port Albert, located on the shores of Lake Huron, was an ideal location for navigational training as it gave students experience navigating over land and water. Typically, students at No. 31 Air Navigation School would first learn in a classroom how to read and use the astral compass and how to plot a course using landmarks. Next they would train with the Ground Simulation Trainer. Finally, they would complete daytime and night time navigational flights.

Most graduates were stationed in the United Kingdom and became members of Bomber Command. No. 31 Air Navigation School produced 1,964 student navigators and observers.

The base closed on February 17, 1945.