The only facility of its kind in Ontario during the Second World War, No. 1 Technical Training School, St. Thomas was established by the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) in 1939 to produce skilled ground crews for active wartime service. The Ontario Department of Health granted the RCAF permission to use the recently-built Ontario Psychiatric Hospital for wartime purposes. It was operated in compliance with Canada's commitment to establish air training facilities in sites removed from the theatre of war. Equipped to handle more than 2000 students at a time, the school offered six month course for aircraft electricians and aero-engine, airframe and instrument mechanics in addition to specialized training for fabric and sheet metal workers. When the war ended in 1945 the school was closed and the complex was returned to the Ontario Department of Health. (Source: Ontario Heritage Foundation Historical Plaque).
Scope and Content
Fonds consists of editions of "The Aircraftman", a monthly publication produced for the school, including the following editions: August, September, October, November and December 1940, January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, August,October and December 1941; January, September and December 1942; February (2 copies); March, April, and December 1943; and June and December 1944.
Fonds also consists of a publication entitled "St. Thomas Gets Its Wings" produced in April 1941 by the St. Thomas Times-Journal. This publication profiles the area and the importance of the school.
Fonds furthermore consists of an undated edition of "The Intava World" magazine with contemporary profiles of airplanes and equipment published in England, and a photographic overview of the school and residence simply entitled "Royal Canadian Air Force, St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada" which is undated but was likely produced shortly after the school's opening.
Fonds contains a collection of photographs collected by Iris Vincent (nee Moyes), who compiled the images into a photograph album during her time working at the training school as a secretary. Includes photographs of individuals who worked at or attended the school, as well as photographs of events.
Fonds contains medical records of RCAF personnel stationed at the Technical Training School during the Second World War. Records were created, collected and maintained by Dr. Joseph Mowat Janes. Arranged alphabetically. Access to these files is restricted due to privacy legislation.