Today the last group of 41’s Cadets will head to their General Training course at Penhold Alberta. As well as being the last intake of Cadets to head to course this summer, this group is special in a different way; they are the last intake of Cadets to ever be sent to Penhold CSTC.
In 1940, Penhold was first opened as RCAF Manning Depot, It was transferred to the RAF the following year to become part of the British Commonwealth Air Training Program. Between the end of the WWII and 1965, Penhold had been decommissioned, handed over to the Department of Transportation, stood up again under NATO as a flight training school which then ceased years later. In 1966 it became Canadian Forces Base Penhold, which it retained until 1990 when it was reduced to a detachment of CFB Edmonton. In 1994 it was decommissioned, with buildings and land sold off the following year.
Cadets have been attending Penhold since the sixties and as such have been a large part of its history. And while we still know and call it “Penhold”, the area containing what remains of the barracks, mess and buildings cadets use each summer, is now called Harvard Park.
2014 marks the final year Penhold will be used as a summer training centre. Next year cadets that traditionally go there will be sent to other locations such as CFB Cold Lake. The cadets leaving today are the last of a legacy.