No. 1 Advanced Flying School

By the Organization Order of June 13, 1951, the RCAF station at Saskatoon became No. 1 Advanced Flying School (AFS), part of the air force’s expanded training program to accommodate NATO commitments. The reactivation of Saskatoon’s former Service Flying Training School necessitated the relocation of a 142-bed Department of Veterans’ Affairs hospital that had been using a number of buildings which the new No. 1 AFS would need. The veterans’ hospital had been planning to move to Saskatoon’s General Hospital once construction of a new wing there was finished. Since it was clear in April 1951 that construction might not be completed for at least another year, the Department of National Defence proposed that a temporary joint-occupancy plan for the veterans’ hospital and the training station be devised. The presence of NATO trainees at RCAF Station Saskatoon brought visits from dignitaries to No. 1 AFS. Canada’s Minister of National Defence, Brooke Claxton, visited on April 27, 1954, and Lieutenant-General Finn Lambrechts, Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Norwegian Air Force, spoke with NATO students on November 11, 1954. On November 26, 1954, Colonel André Deperrois, France’s Military Air and Naval Attaché for Canada, visited NATO trainees from France, and presented wings to the graduating class. (See NATO Air Training Plan)

Rachel Lea Heide