Pennfield Ridge War Memorial Service
Planned For September 27th

by G. Christian Larsen

PENNFIELD The Pennfield Parish Military Historical Society will host a memorial service in September to remember all those who served and/or worked at two major military bases in the area during the Second World War - the Pennfield Ridge Air Station and A-30 Canadian Infantry Training Center (Camp Utopia).

The two bases were an important part of the Canadian war effort. Aircrews from Canada, Britain, New Zealand and Australia trained at Pennfield Ridge as part of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP). Sixty-nine airmen died while training at the base along with one British seaman who was aboard a Ventura aircraft when it crashed. Also during the initial stages of construction three civilian workers were killed and, during the history of the base, an additional three civilian workers died.

Assault troops trained at nearby Camp Utopia that, at the time, was one of the best-equipped and most effective Army training centers in all of Canada. This was borne out by the gallant actions of the Carleton & York Regiment in Sicily and Italy and the North Shore Battalion and N.B. Rangers in France, Belgium, Holland and Germany, all of whom were principally made up of personnel receiving their advanced training at Utopia. The base official closed in April of 1946, but continued to operate mainly as a summer camp until 1957. Six army personnel died at the base between 1943 and 1952.

The memorial service will take place Sunday, September 27th at the Provincial Park, Pennfield Ridge (across Route 1 from the Pennfield Ridge Post Office) at 2 pm. A reception service will follow at The Royal Canadian Legion (Branch #40), St. George afterwards from 3:00 until 5 p.m.

Past and current members of the military have been invited to attend the ceremony as well as representatives from the local, provincial and federal governments. Also family members of those killed at these two Charlotte County bases have been invited to attend the service as well.

Registration, although not necessary, is strongly recommended due to seating limitations at the reception service. To reserve your seat to the reception services please call (506) 456-3494.

Original Article from "The Saint Croix Courier" - August 7, 2009.

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Return to A-30 C.I.T.C. (Camp Utopia) Page
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