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Royal New Zealand Air Force


page 60


In order to make the pre-flying training as progressive as possible, and also to provide employment for the large numbers of men who were thrown up by the Aerodrome Defence Units and awaiting absorption into the flying training organisation proper, the Ground Training Squadrons were classified as Elementary and Advanced squadrons. A trainee normally went through EGTS and AGTS.

It was intended that recruits who had satisfactorily completed their course in the Air Training Corps should be exempted from EGTS; but there was such a bottleneck at the ITW stage, with approximately 2000 trainees waiting to be absorbed, that the majority of ATC cadets had to enter EGTS with the rest and await their turn. This involved some duplication in their training and gave rise to a considerable amount of dissatisfaction among pupils.

The sequence of pre-flying training at the end of March 1943 can be summarised thus. The recruit first entered a Ground Training Depot. From there he went to an Elementary Ground Training Squadron and then to an Advanced Ground Training Squadron. On passing out of the AGTS he went to the Initial Training Wing at Rotorua. His course there was divided into four weeks at Junior ITW and eight weeks at Senior ITW. The final selection into aircrew categories took place at the end of the course.

As all the pre-flying training schools were at different stations, trainees spent much of their time travelling. In some cases they had to cross Cook Strait four times during this stage of their career. In addition to the loss of time involved, this further taxed the country's already overburdened transport system. It therefore became desirable to group the whole of pre-flying training in one area, preferably, in accordance with general training policy, in the South Island. Accordingly the camps which had been built for the Army at Delta, near Blenheim, were taken over for the purpose.

RNZAF Station, Delta, started to form in June 1943, and during the latter part of the year GTD, EGTS, and AGTS were established there, while similar units on other stations closed down. The Initial Training Wing moved from Rotorua to Delta in February 1944, and the grouping of all pre-flying training was then completed.