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Archive Report: Allied Forces

Compiled from official National Archive and Service sources, contemporary press reports, personal logbooks, diaries and correspondence, reference books, other sources, and interviews.
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01.10.1943 No. 19 SFTS Anson 11547 P/O. Gordon V. Scheltens

Operation: Training

Date: 1st October 1943

Unit: No. 19 Service Flying Training School

Type: Anson

Serial: 11547

Base: RCAF Vulcan, Alberta, Canada

Location: 8 miles south of Milo, Alberta, Canada

Pilot: P/O. Gordon Vick Scheltens J/26943 RCAF Age 28. Killed

Crew 1: LAC Robert Edward Shaw R/181255 RCAF Age 21. Killed

Crew 2: LAC Harold Frederick Douglas R/187482 RCAF Age 22. Killed


The two LAC crew members were undergoing training at the Vulcan Airbase, Alberta Canada. The Anson was seen to be diving from a great height and as it was beginning to recover, the wings collapsed and the aircraft dived straight into the ground 8 miles south of Milo on the shores of Lake McGregor.

RCAF Station Vulcan, more properly called RCAF Aerodrome Vulcan, was a Second World War flying training station located southwest of the town of Vulcan, Alberta, Canada. It was one station of many that were established in Canada under the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan.


Above left: On left, P/O. Gordon Scheltern and right The Scheltern Memorial at the renamed "Schelten Lake" at Alberta, Canada. (With thanks to: Airmans Memorial Cairns Committee, Royal Canadian Legion, McGrane Branch No 28, Lac La Biche, Alberta and also to Geographical Names Board of Canada)

The Vulcan aerodrome was officially opened on October 30, 1942 and hosted No. 2 Flying Instructor School (FIS), which had moved to Vulcan from Claresholm. The aircraft used were Cornells, Cranes, Fawns, Finches, Harvards, Oxfords, Tiger Moths and Ansons. In April 1943, No. 2 FIS moved to the Pearce aerodrome near Fort Macleod and No. 19 Service Flying Training School (SFTS) took over the facilities, training future bomber pilots using the Anson. The Vulcan station closed on April 14, 1945.

Although the runways still exist, the aerodrome is no longer a functioning airport. Six of the original seven hangars remain standing. The remaining hangars are used for storage and for private industrial purposes.


Above left Memorial at the former Airbase - some of the old hangers still can be seen in the background. Right P/O. Gordon Scheltern grave


The Avro Anson was a British twin-engine, multi-role aircraft that served with the Royal Air Force, Fleet Air Arm and numerous other air forces during the Second World War and afterwards. Named for British admiral George Anson, it was originally designed for maritime reconnaissance, but was soon rendered obsolete. However it was rescued from obscurity by its suitability as a multi-engine air crew trainer, becoming the mainstay of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. By the end of its production life in 1952, the Anson spanned nine variants and a total of 8,138 had been built in Britain by Avro and, from 1941, a further 2,882 by the Canadian Federal Aircraft Ltd.

(1) Scheltens Lake in Alberta, Canada was renamed after P/O. Scheltens.

We are working very closely with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Manitoba geographical names project and the Saskatchewan Tourism Parks, culture and sports department to show with the aid of Google maps where many of the WW2 Aviators are being remembered. 

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Burial details: 

P/O. Gordon Vick Schelterns Sedgewick Memorial Cemetery Lot. 9. Block H. Grave 4. Son of Charles C. Scheltens and Amanda C. Scheltens, of Lac La Biche, Canada.

L.A.C. Robert Edward Shaw Vancouver (Mountain View) Cemetery Block 3. Plot 27. Lot 15. Son of Leonard P. Shaw and Dorothy Grace Shaw, of Vancouver, Canada.

L.A.C. Harold Frederick Douglas Edmonton Cemetery, Alberta, Block 4. Sub. Div. 1. Grave 7. Son of Harold F. Douglas and Eliza A. Douglas, of Edmonton, Canada.

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Sources used by us in compiling Archive Reports include: Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vols. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vols. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Tom Kracker - Kracker Luftwaffe Archives, Michel Beckers, Major Fred Paradie (RCAF) and MWO François Dutil (RCAF) - Paradie Archive (on this site), Jean Schadskaje, Major Jack O'Connor USAF (Retd.), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Archiwum - Polish Air Force Archive (on this site), Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Stan D. Bishop, John A. Hey MBE, Gerrie Franken and Maco Cillessen - Losses of the US 8th and 9th Air Forces, Vols 1-6, Dr. Theo E.W. Boiton - Nachtjagd Combat Archives, Vols 1-13. Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of CWGC, UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, New Zealand National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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