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Beechcraft C-45


A version of the Beech Model 18, the C-45 was affectionately nicknamed the "Bug Smasher"by its pilots. The C-45 was a very pleasant aircraft to fly, but extremely demanding to land, especially in a crosswind. You simply could not relax until the engines were shut down and the wheel chocks in place.

From circa 1962 to 1970, select Canadian Army pilots received a sixteen to eighteen week multi-engine conversion and instrument rating qualification Course (also referred to at times as the Dual Conversion Course) on the C-45 aircraft, either at 1 AFS CJATC Rivers MB (1 AFS moved to Rivers from Saskatoon in Sep 1962 and subsequently to Portage la Prairie in Aug 1964 and was re-named 3 FTS) or, later, 3 FTS RCAF Station/CFB Portage la Prairie MB. This website article has tried to capture as many of those Courses as could be found archivally, including Course photos, dates and Army Course members on those Courses. Regrettably, there will be many Courses missing and errors and omissions occurring due to the vast amount of time that has lapsed from present day to when these Courses occurred, plus the disappointing results of archival searches to fill in the blanks. It is sincerely hoped that anyone viewing this article who can add to it or otherwise amend what has been shown, will do so.




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Course (no number available at present), 1 AFS Rivers MB, 3 Dec 62


L to R

F/C DB Paton,   F/C EA Cummings,   Capt EJ Grant,   Capt GC Walker,   F/C Thivierge.






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Course 6201, 1 AFS Rivers MB, 21 Jan 63


L to R

SLT LT East,   SLT JB. Klassen,   Capt FJ. Wagner,   Capt CH Reid,   SLT RK Hamilton,   SLT DJ Mcbride.


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Course 6401, 1 AFS Rivers MB, 31 Dec 63-10 Mar 64


Front Row L to R

F/O Gagnon,   F/O Clement,   F/O Lynch,   F/O Bernard,   F/O Whitman.

Rear Row L to R

F/O Meyers,   Capt Nethercott,   Capt Lewis,   F/O Olson,   F/O Lecompte.




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Course (no Course number available at present), 3 FTS Portage la Prairie MB, early Oct-Dec 64


Note: Capt JM Macfie was the only Army officer on this Course.




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Course 6407, 3 FTS, Portage la Prairie MB, 8 Nov 65-4 Feb 66


L to R

O/C J Grotkopp,   O/C HJ Russell,   F/O MN Pomerleau,   F/O WJ McIntosh,   O/C TP Nevison,   LT RW McCann.

Note: LT RW McCann was the only Canadian Army Pilot on this course.




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Course 6501, 3 FTS, Portage la Prairie MB, 7 Feb-29 Apr 66


L to R

O/C JG Graham,   O/C J O'Connell,   Lt JA Lowe,   O/C JR Wood,   O/C PA Zebruck,   O/C CV McIntyre.






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Course 6502, 3 FTS, Portage la Prairie MB, 4 Apr-24 Jun 66


Rear Row L to R

O/C Triffo,   F/O Belzil,   O/C Germain,   LT Brocklehurst,   Capt Brown.

Front Row L to R

F/O Hemus,   F/O Brown,   F/O Wright,   F/O Munroe,   F/O Westlake.




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Course 6505, 3 FTS, Portage la Prairie MB, 29 Jul-17 Oct 66


L to R

O/C Peaver,   O/C Baker,   Capt White,   O/C Owen,   O/C Jennings,   O/C Gauthier.






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Course 6507, 3 FTS, Portage la Prairie MB, 17 Oct 66-10 Jan 67


Note: Lt Oakley was the only Canadian Army Pilot on this course.






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Course 6602, 3 FTS, Portage la Prairie MB, 28 Mar-15 Jun 67


Rear Row L to R

Capt P March,   F/O B Reid,   F/O P Vanderbasch,   F/O A Anderson,   F/O D. Sprusten,   F/O K Williams,   Capt P Dudley.

Middle Row L to R

P/O J Wood,   F/O W Miller,   F/O F Lofto,   F/O W Tucker.

Front Row L to R

O/C R ainlley,   F/O B Cunniff,   F/O A Strynadka.

Note: Dudley and March attended Ground School and Simulator portions of the ongoing Course only.




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Course 6701, 3 FTS, Portage la Prairie MB, Feb-Apr 68


No photo available at present. Names of Army students on this Course: Cadorette, Chambers, Flath, Simmons, Thornton, Waldrum.




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Course 6702, 3 FTS, Portage la Prairie MB, Feb-May 68


L to R

Mathias, Filteau, Anglesey.




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Course (no Course number or photo available at present), 3 FTS Portage la Prairie MB, 22 May-30 Jul 68


No photo available at present.

Note: Schultz attended this short Course for his Instrument Rating only. Multi-engine Conversion not done.




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Course 6704, 3 FTS, Portage la Prairie MB, graduation Sep 68. No photo at present




Note: Capt WD Marshall was the only known Army student on this Course.




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Course 6705, 3 FTS, Portage la Prairie MB, 10 Jun-4 Oct 68


Rear Row L to R

Lt(N) Brock Horseman(later LGen Comd Air Command),   F/L Blair Wilkinson,   SLt Robby Robertson,   F/L Jim Caffrey,   Lt (N) Gil Shepherd.

Front Row L to R

F/O Dave Riley,   F/O Bob Hawes,   F/O Doug Mosher,   F/L Shorty McFarlane,   F/O Andy Poirier.

Note: Capt John Dicker, the only Army Officer on this Course, is not shown in the above Course photo as he already had his Army Flying Badge and had departed Portage for Ottawa, on posting prior to the Graduation/Wings Parade, to join his new unit, 412 (T) Sqn CFB Uplands. He is shown in the insert photo along with fellow student Gil Shepherd and Instructor F/L Mike Martinelli while at Saskatoon SK undergoing ILS training. A larger coloured photo of the insert is attached also, for the viewing of those with weaker eyes.




Gil Shepherd, Instructor F/L Mike Martinelli and John Dicker while at Saskatoon SK undergoing ILS training.




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Course 6707, 3 FTS, Portage la Prairie MB, early Sep 68-11 Feb 69


Rear Row L to R

RD Gillan,   CD Patrick,   EP Mousseau,   TE Adkins,   DW Anderson .

Front Row L to R

PL Murphy,   BT Bourne,   BE Woods,   IP Martin.

Missing

GF Ireland,   WS Pennell.




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Course (no Course number available at present), 3 FTS Portage la Prairie MB, 2 Jul-13 Dec 69


Note: Edmonds and Winmill only two Army students known, at present, to be on this Course.






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Course 6906, 3 FTS, Portage la Prairie MB, 1Sep-19 Dec 69


Rear row L to R

Capt AV Coroy,   OCdt G Wellstead,   OCdt W Vermue,   Lt D McGrath,   OCdt E Michaud,   Capt R Rogers.

Front row L to R

OCdt J Burrell,   OCdt J Pollock,   Capt A Bryski,   OCdt J Graham,   OCdt M Rush.



Capt Vic Coroy with a C-45. The photo was taken at Randolph AFB, USA on 3 Dec 1969. "We had three C-45 on a long cross-country navigation trip with an opportunity to conduct let downs at various unfamiliar airfields." The photo was taken by Capt Dick Rogers.




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Course (no Course number available at present), 3 FTS Portage la Prairie MB, prior to or during 1970


Note: Home and Foster only two Army students known, at present, to be on this Course




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Course 7001, 3 FTS, Portage la Prairie MB, 5 Jan-18 Mar 70


Rear Row L to R

Mr. Dennis Webster - Met,  Capt Jim Forrestel - Flt Planning/Flt Conduct,  Capt Jon Pellow,  Capt Gerry Gower,  Maj Fred Ayers,  Capt Jack Farncombe,
Maj Pete Harrison,  Capt Jurgeon Peterat - Engineering/Simulator.

Front Row L to R

Capt John MacGregor,  Capt Pete Armstrong,  Capt Gord Vandyke,  Capt Wally Johnson,  Capt Fraser Webb,  Maj Gord Mastine.






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Course No. (not available at present), 3 FTS Portage la Prairie MB, dates (not available at present)


Note:The only Army student on this Course was Maj GA McDonald.




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Course No. (not available at present), 3 FTS, Portage la Prairie MB, dates (not available at present)


Capt RJ Lovell


Note: It is obvious that this article is a work in progress with changes occurring on a regular basis ie, amendments, new Course data, Course photos etc. It is hoped that our viewers will take an active role in making this article as complete and as accurate as humanly possible, notwithstanding the number of years intervening. All input greatly appreciated.

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  • 1 Air OP Flight Group photos.
    Assistance would be welcome in identifying personnel in these photographs: View Content.

    Compiled by BGen R.G. Heitshu.