Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum logo

Creber, Robert Thomas (Leading Aircraftman)

Killed in Flying Accident 1943-July-05

Birth Date: 1921-March-06 (age 22)

Born: Newdale Manitoba

Thomas Henry & Martha Greta Creber

Home: Newdale, Manitoba (parents)

11 SFTS- Service Flying Training School
RCAF Stn. Yorkton, Saskatchewan
Leading Aircraftman
Air Chief MarshalA/C/M
Air MarshalA/M
Air Vice MarshalA/V/M
Air CommodoreA/C
Group CaptainG/C
Wing CommanderW/C
Squadron LeaderS/L
Flight LieutenantF/L
Flying OfficerF/O
Pilot OfficerP/O
Warrant Officer 1st ClassWO1
Warrant Officer 2nd ClassWO2
Flight SergeantFS
Senior AircraftmanSAC
Leading AircraftmanLAC
Aircraftman 1st ClassAC1
Aircraftman 2nd ClassAC2
Service Numbers

Took off (solo) from Yorkton on a night navigation exercise.

Involved in a mid-air collision with Cessna Crane 7742 which was on a similar exercise.

Both aircraft crashed to the ground three miles east of Mehan, Saskatchewan. LAC Creber was killed in aircraft 4000 and LAC J Zora was killed in aircraft 7742.

This incident involved multiple aircraft:

  1. Crane Mk. I Serial: 7742
  2. Crane Mk. I Serial: 4000

All the aircraft in the above list are referenced in this report.

Canada Source Canadian Virtual War Memorial

Commonwealth War Graves Commission Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Canada Primary Source Library and Archives Canada Service Files (may not exist)

Google MapNewdale, Manitoba (parents)
Google MapNewdale Cemetery
Family Plot

Cessna Crane

Cessna Crane Mk. I
Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum

The Cessna T-50 Crane was the RCAF version of the Cessna AT-17 Bobcat, a twin-engined advanced trainer designed and made in the USA during the Second World War. It served to bridge the gap between single-engined trainers and twin-engined combat aircraft.

First flown in 1939, the American-built Cessna Crane was developed as a five-seat, light transport civilian aircraft. It was originally intended to serve only a minor role within the BCATP (an initial 180 were ordered in 1940) until the Canadian-built Avro Ansons became available in greater numbers. This was the first large order that Cessna had received for one of its products. Eventually, more than 5,400 Cranes would be produced, of which 826 saw service with the RCAF. Cessna Cranes were used primarily to teach future bomber pilots, after they had received their initial training, to fly multi-engined aircraft at Service Flying Training Schools in western Canada.

Powered by 245-horsepower Jacobs R-755-9 radial engines, Cessna Cranes featured wooden wings and tail married to a fuselage constructed of welded steel tubing. Most of the aircraft was fabric-covered. It was cheap, reliable and relatively easy to fly, with a top speed of 315 kilometres (195 miles) per hour.

The Crane provided twin-engined complexity with economy of operation and went on to become one of the most important aircraft used by the BCATP. Cranes continued to serve with the RCAF until 1947, after which many were purchased by private individuals and companies.

Nicknamed the Bamboo Bomber because of its largely wood construction, the Crane had a reputation as a stable and reliable aircraft. Although not an ideal training aircraft because of its poor single-engined performance and load-carrying capability, it performed its duties satisfactorily and helped train several thousand bomber pilots. Bomber Command Museum of Canada

YouTube Cessna Crane Trainer

Wkikpedia Wikipedia Crane Trainer

General Harold A Skaarup Web Page

CASPIR Aircraft Groups:
RCAF On Strength (826), RCAF 400 Squadron (3), Canadian Aircraft Losses (81)
last update: 2021-08-30 15:20:54

Crane Mk. I 4000

Built at No. 11 Service Flying Training School, using spare fuselage and parts of 8027.
1942-09-01 Taken on Strength 2019-08-20
1942-September-12 Accident: 11 Service Flying Training School Loc: Aerodrome Names: Fearn
1943-July-05 Accident: 11 Service Flying Training School Loc: Mehan Saskatchewan Names: Creber | Zora
1943-10-11 Struck off Strength 2019-08-20

Crane 7742

Crane Mk. I 7742

First assigned to No. 12 Service Flying Training School at Brandon, Manitoba. Category C14 damage at Brandon at 10:00 on 2 July 1941. To Prairie Airways for overhaul, 17 December 1942 to 23 February 1943. To Storage with No. 2 Training Command when completed, issued from storage on 27 April 1943. Category A crash on 5 July 1943, while with No. 11 Service Flying Training School at Yorkton, Saskatchewan. Scrapped by No. 11 SFTS.
1941-05-15 Taken on Strength No. 2 Training Command 2019-08-20
1941-July-02 Accident: 12 Service Flying Training School Loc: Aerodrome Names: Mace | Robertson
1943-July-05 Accident: 11 Service Flying Training School Loc: Mehan Saskatchewan Names: Creber | Zora
1943-07-24 Struck off Strength Struck off, reduced to spares and produce 2019-08-20

11 SFTS (11 Service Flying Training School)

Graduates of the EFTS "learn-to-fly" program went on a Service Flying Training School (SFTS) for 16 weeks. For the first 8 weeks the trainee was part of an intermediate training squadron; for the next 6 weeks an advanced training squadron and for the final 2 weeks training was conducted at a Bombing & Gunnery School. The Service schools were military establishments run by the RCAF or the RAF.

There were two different types of Service Flying Training Schools. Trainees in the fighter pilot stream went to an SFTS like No. 14 Aylmer, where they trained in the North American Harvard or North American Yale. Trainees in the bomber, coastal or transport pilot stream went to an SFTS like No. 5 Brantford where they learned multi-engine technique in an Airspeed Oxford, Avro Anson or Cessna Crane.

NO11 SFTS Opening Day 1941

For more Information on RCAF Station Yorkton see here

  • RCAF Roundel RCAF.Info - RCAF Station Yorkton SK

  • RCAF Roundel RCAF.Info - Relief Landing Field Sturdee SK

  • RCAF Roundel RCAF.Info - Relief Landing Field Rhein SK

  • General 11 SFTS Yorkton SK History

  • Saskatchewan Virtual War Memorial Saskatchewan Virtual War Memorial - 11 SFTS Yorkton History

  • Museum Vintage Wings - Ghosts of Saskatchewan

  • © Canadian Warplane Heritage 2024

    To search on any page:
    PC — Ctrl-F
    Mac — ⌘-F
    Mobile — or …