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Hopton, Clayton Peder (Leading Aircraftman)

Killed in Flying Accident 1940-December-12

Birth Date: 1913-October-24 (age 27)

Born: Cabri Saskatchewan

Son of John W. Hopton and Amanda Hopton, of Cabri.

Home: Cabri, Saskatchewan

1 SFTS- Service Flying Training School
Camp Borden, Ontario, Canada
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
LAC Hopton was engaged in a formation flying exercise when he fell behind, he was not seen again. He was killed when his Nomad 3503 crashed near Everett, Ontario. Four additional airmen were killed in a crash over Lake Muskoka while searching for Leading Aircraftman Hopton.

Canada Primary Source School Daily Diary Entry " 1940-12-12

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 MapCabri, Saskatchewan
Google MapCabri Cemetery
Lot 1 Block 26 Grave 223

Northrop Nomad

(DND Archives Photo, PL-6224)(Source Harold A Skaarup Web Page)
Northrop A-17A Nomad, RCAF (Serial No. 3508), painted with target towing stripes
, RCAF Station Rockcliffe, Ontario, 21 Nov 1941.

The Northrop A-17, a development of the Northrop Gamma 2F model, was a two-seat, single-engine, monoplane, attack bomber built in 1935 by the Northrop Corporation for the U.S. Army Air Corps. When in British Commonwealth service during World War II, the A-17 was called Nomad.

The Royal Canadian Air Force received 32 Nomads that had been part of a French order of 93 aircraft. When France fell in 1940, this order was taken over by Great Britain who transferred 32 of the aircraft to Canada where they were used as advanced trainers and target tugs as part of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. All were assigned to No. 3 Training Command RCAF.

Nomads were never used operationally overseas. Initially, the aircraft were used at Camp Borden to check out qualified civilian pilots who were offering their services to the air force. In 1941, the aircraft were modified to a target-towing configuration to allow for air-to-air gunnery training at various schools in Quebec and Ontario. In addition to being used by the RCAF in Canada, the Royal Norwegian Air Force trained some aircrew in exile on the A-17A at airports in Toronto and Muskoka. The RCAF Nomads were retired with the cessation of hostilities. The Nomads were not particularly outstanding aircraft, but they did provide reliable training service logging an average of approximately 3,000 flying hours each in their four and a half years of service. Wikipedia and Harold Skaarup web page

Wkikpedia Wikipedia Nomad Trainer

General Harold A Skaarup Web Page

Kestrek Publications Northrop Nomad - Kestrel Publications

CASPIR Aircraft Groups:
RCAF On Strength (32), Canadian Aircraft Losses (8)
last update: 2021-12-21 00:45:17

Nomad (Northrop) 3503

Delivered marked as NX-N40. First assigned to No. 1 Service Flying Training School, Air Traffic Services, Camp Borden, Ontario. Category "A" accident on 12 Dec 1940 at Camp Borden. Leading Aircraftman C.F. Hopton took off on a solo formation flight with two other Nomad a/c on 12 Dec 1940 with light snow showers in the area. Leading Aircraftman Hopton was a student pilot with 67 hours of training on Tiger Moths, Yales and Harvards but with only 15 min on Nomads. #3503 fell behind the other two in snowy conditions and was never seen again. Leading Aircraftman Hopton was previously rated as "weak on instrument flying". A search was initiated using other Nomads (with catastrophic results - see #3512 & #3521). Wreckage of #3503 was subsequently found on 14 December by a ground party in a swamp 5 mi SE of Borden. Leading Aircraftman Hopton was deceased. He was assumed to have lost control of his a/c while flying on instruments. At the time of the crash, the total number of airframe hours was just 17:45 hrs.

1940-08-13 Taken on Strength at Uplands, Ontario 2022-01-27
1940-December-12 Accident: 1 Service Flying Training School Loc: Everett Ontario Names: Hopton
1940-12-12 Accident Category A 2022-01-27
1941-02-20 Struck off Strength written off 2022-01-27

1 SFTS (1 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.

Currently the site of CFB Borden. Heliport and grass strip remains. CYBN

Camp Borden Class 1917

For more Information on RCAF Station Borden see here

RCAF Roundel - RCAF Station Borden Ontario

RCAF Roundel - Relief Landing Field Edenvale Ontario

RCAF Roundel - Relief Landing Field Alliston Ontario

General Camp Borden History

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