Huron County Museum & Historic Gaol Online Collections

Henderson Digitization Project

WWII Air Training Sites in Huron County

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No. 9 Service Flying Training School

Centralia, Ontario

Service Flying Training Schools (SFTS) were the fourth step in the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan for young men training to become pilots. Airmen who graduated from an Elementary Flying Training School advanced to a SFTS to gain more experience flying larger aircraft like Ansons and Harvards.

No. 9 SFTS originally opened in Summerside, Prince Edward Island in January 1941. As German U-boats began to approach Canada’s Atlantic Coast, Summerside was converted to a General Reconnaissance School. It was thought that Summerside’s geographic location was better suited to train men for Coastal Command, leading No. 9 SFTS to be relocated to Centralia, Ontario in 1942.

In June 1942, the first officers and personnel from Summerside began arriving at the new school in Centralia. The first official class arrived in August 1942, and the base officially opened that September.

No. 9 SFTS closed on March 30, 1945.

The Henderson Collection does not contain any photographs specifically related to No. 9 SFTS, although many of the men who graduated from No. 12 EFTS in Goderich proceeded to No. 9 SFTS in Centralia to continue training.