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The Harvard

RCAF 370

Harvard OJ-424Harvard 20370 was a familiar landmark at the entrance to CFB Penhold from 1967 to 1971. It was then moved to the main gate where it stood until 1994.

When the base was decommissioned, it was donated to the Red Deer Flying Club with its members keeping it maintained in good condition. On June 16, 2007, it was mounted on a pedestal near the terminal entrance of the Red Deer Regional Airport by the Red Deer Flying Club Association.

The article below on the background of '370' is from the final issue of 'The Harvard Flyer' June 1994.

Built in Fort William, Ontario in 1952, it was picked up at the factory by a navy pilot, Lt. Doug Frampton and flown to Calgary in 1953. It was then flown to Penhold where it played a prominent role in the training of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) pilots.

The aircraft, a two-seater training plane, was the last Harvard to fly an official mission out of CFB Penhold and the last to do so in the Canadian Armed Forces. The last mission took place on July 21st, 1965 during the Red Deer Exhibition parade. Its pilot was Wing Commander F.P. Clark, AFT, CD, who was Base Commander at that time.

Following that mission, the Harvard was decommissioned and the city of Red Deer purchased it from Crown Assets for the sum of $500.00, with the intention of displaying it downtown as a monument to the pilot training at CFB Penhold.

However, according to then mayor R.E. Barrett, a suitable display site could not be found and it was presented to CFB Penhold.

In a quiet ceremony held on August 5th, 1968, Harvard 370, "a memorial to the men who served their country and the world and to those who gave their lives in their service", was dedicated by the citizens of Red Deer and Canadian Forces Base Penhold.

A sparse crowd, a handful of dignitaries, and an honour guard comprised of Regular Force personnel and Cadets, as well as red-coated RCMP trainees, witnessed Red Deer Mayor R.E. Barrett and Base Commander LCol C.L. Read, CD, unveil a plaque which reads: "The citizens of Red Deer and RCAF Station, Penhold, dedicate this memorial to the airmen of many nations who filled the skies of Central Alberta with the renowned Harvard aircraft from 1952 to 1965."

On June 1st, 1971, the Harvard was moved to the main gate and rededicated as part of a ceremony to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Air Defence Command.

Harvard 20370 was rededicated once again in 1984 to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the RCAF.

The North American Harvard

The Harvard was used for training in Canada from 1940 to 1965. A total of 3,350 were built in this country.

It was chosen as the advanced single-engine trainer for the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan and later for NATO, teaching pilots who came from many parts of the world.

It served as a transitional aircraft for pilots to learn the basics of flying before going on to bigger and more complex aircraft.

Specifications:

  • Engine: Pratt & Whitney R-1340-AN-1 Wasp, 600 hp, radial
  • Wingspan: 42 feet 0.5 inches (12.8m)
  • Length: 28 feet 11 inches (8.8m)
  • Height: 11 feet 9 inches (3.5m)
  • Weight (empty): 3995 pounds (1812kg)
  • Weight (gross): 5235 pounds (2375kg)
  • Cruising speed: 140 miles per hour (225km/h)
  • Maximum speed: 180 miles per hour (290 km/h)
  • Rate of Climb: 1300 feet per minute (396 meters per minute)
  • Service ceiling: 22,000 feet (4.167 miles)
  • Range: 710 miles (1143km)


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