No.2 Operational Training Unit (OTU) (July 6, 1942-August 19, 1942)

Pennfield Ridge Air Station
No.2 Operational Training Unit (OTU)
June 22, 1942-August 20, 1942 (RCAF)



The formation of No.2 Operational Training Unit Effective 6-7-42  was authorized by Organization Order No.207, file 925-189-1 (D of O) under date of June 5th, 1942.

Upon arrival S.L. E.L. O'Leary (C1920) June 22nd arrangements were immediately made with D.A.P.S. to retain the services of the senior administrative N.C.O., who had remained on the Station with Flt. Lt. Dadson, Accounts Officer, to clear up various matters in connection with No.2 Air Navigation School.

Two offices of the Administration buildings were allotted to the unit for use as Orderly Room, Central Registry, etc. by No.34 O.T.U.

F.O. R.J. Gillis (C.11741) arrived 1-7-42 and was assigned to Adjutants duties.


First airmen posted to the unit arrived on June 24th, and strength as at June 30th totalled 236. Personnel continued to arrive daily in small and large groups, and on 7-7-42 with a promulgation of first D.R.O., the population was increased by the addition of 5 officers, 2 Nursing Sisters and 128 Airmen, all R.C.A.F., who had been attached to No.34 O.T.U. upon disbanding of No.2 A.N.S.

On July 19th personnel posted to strength of No.2 O.T.U. reached a total of 905, made up of 6 officers and 764 airmen, plus the above mentioned R.C.A.F. personnel taken over from No.34 O.T.U.

As the Cooks and S.G.D.'s were the only airmen for whom employment could be found, it was necessary to plan and carry out a programme of daily drilling, route marches, games, etc. to keep the airmen occupied. Inspections were carried out from time to time, and the airmen reminded upon arrival that the station was operated by No.34 O.T.U. that neatness in appearance, cleanliness of quarters, and good behaviour were essential to harmony and cooperation. In this connection it must be stated that, despite the lack of employment and sports facilities, the airmen taken on strength of No.2 O.T.U. as a whole behaved exceptionally well, and for this were commended by the undersigned.

Three senior N.C.O.'s selected for a course at Dorval, Que, acquitted themselves very well - obtaining in examinations on B.24-D aircraft marks of 96, 89 & 75.


All remaining space in Barrack Blocks was made available by No.34 O.T.U., but it was necessary to place a large number of airmen in the Drill Hall before washing, showers and toilet facilities were completed. However, this condition existed for a few days only, and with the completion of the sanitary buildings east of the Drill Hall, over 400 men were very comfortably quartered.


Responsibility for control was taken over by F.L. Furneaux, B.P. (RAF31390) reporting 30-6-42. As assistant Equipment officer, F.O. A.T. Tomlinson (C.6892) reported 20-7-42.

Owing to the lack of building space, marquees were erected to cover large shipments of technical equipment received in bond for England and consigned to No.35 O.T.U.

Disposition of the equipment has been made in accordance with instructions received.


Seven B.25 Aircraft were on this station, and charged to No.2 O.T.U. before the arrival of any personnel. All have been ferried to Dorval in accordance with instructions received by F.O. H.J. Russell (A.E.) C9370.


On 14-7-42 S.L. R.G. McLean, Senior Accounts Officer, reported to the unit on temporary duty, and assumed control off all work pertaining to pay and equipment accounting.


Pursuant to telephone conversation from D.A.P.S., advising suspension of the formation of No.2 O.T.U. under authority of Amendment List  No.2, dated July 18th, 1942, - preparations were made to post out airmen taken on strength of the Unit.

On July 20th, and 21st two special trains were dispatched to Bagotville and St. Johns, Que with 134 and 102 airmen respectively, and smaller groups were sent out daily by S.M.T. Bus, Government vehicles for transportation via C.N.R. and C.P.R.

Actual strength, - excluding personnel transferred back to 34 O.T.U., effective 20-7-42, - remained over 250 until Aug. 10th on which date 137 airmen were dispatched, following a signalled request to D.A.P.S. that postings be expedited owing to the adverse effect on interest and morale caused by the continued unemployment.

The posting of eleven airmen was delayed for a few days owing to their lack of funds to provide transportation for the wives and families brought with them on posting. The situation was explained to D.A.P.S., and posting arranged after S.L. McLean had made needed payments.


In view of the above mentioned Amendment to Organization Order No.207, the question was raised with D.A.P.S. on 27-7-42 as to the status of the Unit until complete disbanding, and authority given to continue in operation as a unit until practically all personnel were disposed of.

Continued operation was considered necessary because of the uncertain status of No.34 O.T.U., the work in hand organizing Station, and the fact that the R.A.F. administrative officers, - comparatively new to the procedure followed by the R.C.A.F., - could not possibly cope with the work involved. Some appreciation of this fact may be gained by perusal of the correspondence contained on files forwarded to Eastern Air Command.

Due to the unexplained delay in receiving documents of airmen arriving, a large number of amendments to D.R.O.'s were caused by misinformation given the Orderly Room by the airmen concerned. The circumstances were fully explained to D.A.P.S. with a request that the importance of forwarding documents of airmen to their new units immediately after posting be again brought to the attention of all Stations, Depots, etc. through A.F.H.Q.'s.

In connection with the personnel posted for duty with No.2 O.T.U., it must be stated that the senior N.C.O.'s and other ranks generally were considered above average, and it is to be regretted that circumstances prevented them from continuing in operation as a unit.

In all problems pertaining to accommodation, equipment, discipline and morale Group Captain A.C. Evans-Evans, Commanding Officer of the Station, and all administrative officers of No.34 O.T.U., R.A.F. have cheerfully and unhesitatingly given their utmost cooperation and assistance.

(signed) E.L. O'Leary Squadron Leader      
Commanding Officer                                      
No.2 O.T.U. R.C.A.F. Pennfield Ridge, N.B.

SOURCE: Operational Records Books No.2 Operational Training Unit / Library and Archives Canada/ Copy Number: C-12361 (copy in archival holding of "Pennfield Parish Military Historical Society.")

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