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Fitton, Geoffrey (Leading Airman (Acting))

Killed in Flying Accident 1943-09-28

Male Head

Birth Date: 1923-01-01 (age 20)

Son of Edwin Arnold and Augusta Victoria Fitton, of Burnley, Lancashire, England.

31 SFTS- Service Flying Training School (RAF)
Kingston, Ontario, Canada
Leading Airman (Acting)
Service Numbers

General Harvards Above, A book about 31 Service Flying Training School - In Memoriam

Commonwealth War Graves Commission Commonwealth War Graves Commission

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

Google Map Cataraqui Cemetery, Canada
Sec G Range 7 Grave 11

North American Harvard NA-26 NA-44

North American Harvard Mk. IV
Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum

The North American Harvard appeared in 1937, in response to a US Air Corps proposal for an advanced trainer. The first of 50 Harvard Mk. Is ordered by the Canadian Government were delivered to RCAF Sea Island, BC in July 1939. By early 1940, the Mk. II was being assembled in California with an all metal fuselage replacing the original tube and fabric structure. 1200 Mk. IIs were supplied from US sources, until Canadian built Harvards started being produced in 1941.

In August 1938, Noorduyn Aviation of Montreal farsightedly signed an agreement with North American, to build the Harvard under licence. When the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP) came into being in December 1939, Noorduyn received its first orders and went on to produce nearly 2800 Harvard Mk. IIBs for the RCAF and the RAF, between 1940 and 1945. In Canada, Harvard Mk. IIBs were used as advanced trainers with the BCATP at fifteen Service Flying Training Schools across the nation. They helped pilots make to the transition from low powered primary trainers, like Fleet Finch or the de Havilland Tiger Moth, to high performance front line fighters such as the Spitfire.

At the end of WW II, although the RCAF retained the Harvard as a trainer, a large number of them were sold off to civilian operators. The RCAF soon regretted this, for by 1949 the Cold War with the Soviet Union was in full swing and the RCAF urgently needed trainers again. 100 T-6J Texans were leased temporarily from the USAF and a further 270 Harvards, the Mk. IV version, were ordered from Canadian Car & Foundry, Thunder Bay. The RCAF used the Harvard Mk. IV for a further fifteen years, before finally retiring it in 1966.

A total of 20,110 Harvards were built between 1938 and 1954, 3,370 of them in Canada. Countless numbers of privately owned Harvards are still flying today.

Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum's Harvard Mk. IV was built by Canadian Car & Foundry, Thunder Bay, Ontario in late 1951. The aircraft saw service at four RCAF flying schools across the nation until it was sold to a civilian owner in 1965. It was the third aircraft to join the Museum after Dennis Bradley, Alan Ness and John Weir donated it in 1973. Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum

YouTube Harvard Advanced Trainer

Wkikpedia Wikipedia Harvard Advanced Trainer

General Harold A Skaarup Web Page

CASPIR Aircraft Groups:
RCAF On Strength (2196), RCAF 400 Squadron (1), Canadian Aircraft Losses (374), RCN On Strength (3)
last update: 2021-10-19 20:12:13

Harvard Mk. II AJ693

Equipped with Dunlop pneumatic firing gear. Used by No. 31 Service Flying Training School at Kingston, Ontario. Category C7 damage at Kingston at 21:00 on 20 October 1941, and again at 20:50 on 25 November 1941 when the aircraft taxiied into a stationary refueling tanker. To Noorduyn Aviation for repairs on 26 November 1942. Back to No. 1 Training Command, in storage, on 4 March 1943. Issued from storage on 1 June 1943. Aircraft lost into Lake Ontario at 03:30 on 28 September 1943. A/LA G. Fitton, FAA killed. Crashed into Collins Bay while performing night circuits, no cause found. Wreckage recovered from lake by Don Nightengale in 1983. Aircraft restored and mounted on a pole at Kingston, Ontario airport (CYGK), in war time markings, from 1990. Still there August 2007.
1941-08-25 Taken on Strength No. 1 Training Command 2019-08-20
1941-October-20 Accident: 31 Service Flying Training School Loc: Aerodrome Names: Higginson
1941-November-25 Accident: 31 Service Flying Training School Loc: Aerodrome Names: Roe
1942-November-14 Accident: 31 Service Flying Training School Loc: Rome NY Names: Hale
1942-November-17 Accident: 31 Service Flying Training School Loc: Rome NY Names: Talman
1943-August-25 Accident: 31 Service Flying Training School Loc: Aerodrome Names: Boardman
1943-September-28 Accident: 31 Service Flying Training School Loc: Aerodrome Names: Fitton
1944-01-31 Struck off Strength 2019-08-20

31 SFTS- Service Flying Training School (RAF) (31 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.

SFTS31 Kingston ON

For More information on RCAF Station Kingston see here

  • RCAF Roundel RCAF.Info - RCAF Station Kingston ON

  • RCAF Roundel RCAF.Info - Relief Landing Field Ganaoque ON

  • RCAF Roundel RCAF.Info - Relief Landing Field Sandhurst ON

  • 1940-10-07 Primary Location Kingston ON Canada Currently site of Kingston Norman Rogers Airport CYGK
    1940-10-07 Relief Field Ganaoque On Canada Currently site Gananoque Private Airport
    1940-10-08 Relief Field Sandhurst ON Location approximate. Currently site of Lennox Power Generation station.

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