Recently, a group from the Estevan area discovered the wreckage of an Avro Anson, an airplane that was a common sight in the skies above southeast Saskatchewan during the war. The plane was entangled in the base of the tree, which had grown through the body without damaging the frame.
Lester Hinzman had the plane transported to his field after the discovery.
“When history is remembered and those who remember honour and hold it with respect, then Remembrance Day will be 365 days a year,” Hinzman said. “Young men believed in Canada. When we walk out the door, freedom is the Christmas present that they gave to us.”
During the Second World War, Weyburn and Estevan were both home to Service Flying Training Schools as part of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. The school in Estevan was in operation from April 27th, 1942 until February 11th, 1944, while the Weyburn school was in operation from January 5th, 1942 to January 22, 1944. Airmen from across the Commonwealth, including places like Australia and Britain, came here to learn how to fly multi-engine planes such as the Avro Anson.
Other training centres were set up in Regina, Saskatoon, Prince Albert, Assiniboia, Yorkton, North Battleford, Moose Jaw, Swift Current, Mossbank and Dafoe.
The Anson was a British-designed and Canadian-built plane primarily used as a trainer after being deemed obsolete for combat shortly after the start of the war.