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
CASPIR Aircraft Groups:RCAF On Strength (32), Canadian Aircraft Losses (8)
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. LAC 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. LAC 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. LAC 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. LAC 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