Centralia PFTS reminiscences 1957


The Centralia “GenBook”


On arrival at Centralia, we were provided with a booklet containing useful information about the station.

The entrance to Station Centralia

Centralia "Gen-Book" (668KB)

The Centralia local flying area


The local flying area around Centralia did not extend quite as far as Stratford, where the new “Shakespeare Memorial Theatre” was being constructed. It was around 30 nautical miles square.


Centralia Local Flying Area Map

(Not to be used for navigation—out of date. See material credits detail)

To the West, part of the boundary to the area was formed by the Lake Huron. Inside that were the low-flying areas (low flying only for forced landing practice -- watch out for the odd mink farm ;-) and the Eastern boundary of that area was provided by the the CPR railroad line, then South from Monkton to Sebringville, SSW to St. Mary, West to Forest, and North to Kettle Point—a very visible coastal feature on the Lake Huron shore. The Northern boundary ran almost due West to Black Point from Walton (also on the CPR line).


The aircraft we flew


At Centralia, we began our flying careers on DeHavilland "Chipmunks"


DeHavilland Chipmunk in post-1957 paint

David Hill with first solo Chipmunk

Jim McQueen climbing into 044

Tom Harrison flying a Centralia Chipmunk in 1963


Les Hackett with Chipmunk 024

Les Hackett in Chipmunk with instructor

Les Hackett off dual in 045

The Tudor Restaurant


The Tudor Restaurant in nearby London, run by Ted Savage, was a favourite watering hole when schedules allowed. It seemed to be there expressly for the benefit of NATO Trainees and one of the walls was devoted to the signatures of members of every NATO Nation.


The Tudor Restaurant

The Tudor Restaurant menu covers

The Tudor Restaurant menu offerings

Graduating from Centralia


The six weeks we spent at Centralia passed amazingly quickly. In no time at all we were sitting down to our graduation luncheon and hastening off to Penhold and Harvards


The Graduation Luncheon menu

See material credits detail)

David Hill’s Centralia Reminiscences


This link takes you directly to the section of David Hill’s “Reminiscences” that are concerned with Centralia. The Centralia section is part of a larger set of reminiscences concerned with the time he left England to the time he returned. Although it is a personal story, it obviously includes tales, photogrpahs and memorabilia that are likely to interest others.


This site is under construction, with a target date for completion sometime in the next 18 months or so as we gather the far flung members for a cyber reunion and reminiscence.



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Page last updated 08-05-31