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MacDonell, Hugh John (Pilot Officer)

Killed in Flying Accident 1942-08-24

Birth Date: 1919-01-01 (age 23)

Son of Dr. Hugh G. MacDonell and Muriel MacDonell, of Kitchener.

Husband of Helen Elizabeth MacDonell, of Waterloo, Ontario.

Home: Kitchener, Ontario

10 SFTS- Service Flying Training School
Dauphin, Manitoba, Canada
Pilot Officer
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
Died in the crash of Cessna Crane - 7953.

Canada Primary Source School Daily Diary Entry – 1942-08-25

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)

Crew on Crane Mk. I 7953

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 7953

With No. 10 Service Flying Training School at Dauphin, Manitoba when it suffered a Category A crash at 15:20 on 24 August 1942, near Wawanesa, Manitoba (about 100 miles south of Dauphin). The aircraft had landed in a small field to pick up the pilot of another Crane that had forced landed, and then struck trees and crashed while attempting to take off. Instructor Pilot Officer J.O. Thorne and two passengers killed. Scrapped by No. 12 SFTS at Brandon.
1941-09-12 Taken on Strength No. 2 Training Command 2019-08-20
1942-August-24 Accident: 10 Service Flying Training School Loc: Wawanesa Manitoba Names: Hemmons | MacDonnel | Thorne
1942-10-22 Struck off Strength Struck off, reduced to spares and produce 2019-08-20

10 SFTS- Service Flying Training School (10 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.

No10 SFTS Dauphin

For More Information on RCAF Station Dauphin see here

  • RCAF Roundel RCAF.Info - RCAF Station Dauphin Manitoba

  • RCAF Roundel RCAF.Info - Relief Landing Field North Junction MB

  • RCAF Roundel RCAF.Info - Relief Landing Field Valley River MB

  • General Manitoba Historical Society - 10 SFTS Dauphin

  • General Manitoba Historical Society - North Junction Relief Landing Field

  • 1941-03-05 Primary Location Dauphin MB Canada Present site of Lt. Col W.G Billy Barker Airport Dauphin Airport CYDN
    1941-03-05 Relief Field North Junction MB Canada Some remnants remain returned to agriculture.
    1941-03-06 Relief Field Valley River MB Canada Turf runways returned to agriculture.

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