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As I write this, I am looking out of the window onto a very snowy scene – for the third time since New Year, we struggle to drive down our road. It’s rather cold for March. Which makes me think of Clewiston where the temperature is hitting 28°C or 82°F just now – very pleasantly warm!

Hugo Trotter (Co 11) was in Clewiston in March 1943. Hugo has allowed me to see his photograph album containing photographs taken between September 1942 and May 1943 (between arriving in Canada as a cadet and leaving Canada as a pilot). Wonderful memories for those who were there, and such an interesting archive for those who were not and only know Riddle Field when the buildings were empty and deteriorating, or from historical pictures or as the empty field it is today. The first tranche of pictures is in this newsletter. Thank you Hugo.

Three other people who are significant in the life of the 5BFTS Association were also on Course 11. One is John Jorgenson who died in January 2016 but whose death is included in ‘In Memoriam’ this time. The other two are John Potter (died 2011) and Fen Charlesworth (died 2006). Please read ‘In Memoriam’ to find out why.

I promised that this edition would focus on the Instructors – without whom the cadets would not have become the excellent pilots that they were. The civilian instructors could all fly when they arrived at Riddle Field, but many were not much older than the cadets they taught, and some had to be taught to teach! They represented nearly half the States in America and produced 1,434 graduate pilots. They didn’t win the DFCs, they weren’t mentioned in Dispatches, but without them, the cadets would not have been the pilots that they became and in the words of my father, George (Co 3) “I feel it would be difficult to have had any better experience that we had in Florida”. Thank you to them all.

‘Their efforts to preserve the freedom of the world were not in vain and will never be forgotten’



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