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Air Force Day in Vanastra

June 8 @ 7:00 am - 5:00 pm

Vanastra, formerly RCAF Station Clinton, is celebrating the Royal Canadian Air Force 100th Anniversary: 1924-2024. What began on April 1st, with Blue Lights on Canadian military installations across the country, and around the world continues with the AIR FORCE DAY events on Saturday, June 8 2024.

For one day, the RCAF CLINTON MINI-MUSEUM is the location for the participants and displays, in the former A.V.M. Hugh Campbell School, now Fellowship Hall, Vanastra Christian Church, at Front Rd. and 7th Ave.

The 1941 construction of the only highly top secret Radar and Communications School, was the beginning for RAF, then RCAF, then CFB Station Clinton. The wartime training included British, Canadian and American personnel in the most timely undertaking, working to help save Britain and eventually Europe. This was considered the “university” of the latest training and equipment in flight electronics, and some of that equipment will be here for all to see. RCAF Clinton was the only base in Canada without a runway, and it became the largest base with the population of up to 3000 training  personnel and students.

The Secrets of Radar Museum began in the old Sergeants Mess, but moved to London 21 years ago. Now, for one day, an RCAF veteran honourary curator and support staff will be bringing back pieces of Radio & Communications School history….so many stories to tell!

The Huron County Museum will show artifacts from their local military collections. Huron had four major military installations established through the 1900’s.The Huron County Historical Society will be releasing the 2024 Historical Notes, featuring stories of RCAF Clinton gleaned from diaries and scrapbooks of an actual resident of the PMQ’s then and now. From the words and photos of the personnel on base in the 1950’s, the opening of the #1 School of Food Service (first in Canada) will be on display.

Local historian David Yates will have the revised edition of ‘That Freedom May Survive” available. Bonnie Sitter of “Onion Skins and Peach Fuzz: The Farmerettes” will be on hand to discuss the play of the same title running at the Blyth Festival Theatre, Aug. 14 to Sept.7.

The “Streamliners RCAF Swing Dance Band 1941 to 1946” play will be running at the Goderich Livery Theatre, October 16 to 27.. This play is based on the story of two airmen from Clinton (Jake Perdue and Phil Sparling) and one from Goderich (Billy Carter), who became the founders of the best frontline entertainment band in Europe! (Learn who said that was so!) It is based on Andy Sparling’s book “Dance Through the Darkness”. There will be a sneak preview (details to come) from cast and crew.

The Vanastra Heritage Trail as presented by Huron East Tours and Trails will be in guide book format, with optional means to follow the streets of the old base, now commercial and industrial park.

This is also the Annual Village of Vanastra Yard Sale Day, this year with a popular food truck at the ball diamond/recreation centre.

More participants and displays are coming forward each week. Join us to share your family stories; call or email Pamela Stanley 519-482-9914