RCAF Botwood

Category Exploration Date Status Province / State Country
Military July 10, 2014 Public Newfoundland Canada

Posted on: Fri, 07/25/2014 - 15:15 By: Mike


Aviation has been a part of Botwood for a very long time.  As early as the 1930's, Charles and Anne Lindbergh arrived here and recommended it as a stop-over for sea-planes flying across the Atlantic Ocean.  The recommendation was accepted, and air lines like Pan American began scheduled flights.

During World War II, the RCAF created facilities for two squadrons of PBY Canso (AKA Catalina) aircraft for the purpose of patrolling part of the North Atlantic for German U-boats.  The Canadian Army was also deployed here to defend RCAF Botwood from potential enemy attack.  In addition, two 14" guns were installed, one at Philip's Head, to help secure the harbour.

By the end of the war, over 10,000 Canadian and British military personnel had been through Botwood.  In addition, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and Bob Hope had visited this tiny Newfoundland community.

With the war's end, however, RCAF Botwood was no longer needed and ended operations.

Personal Commentary: 

I suspect that this town offers more than I had time to see.

On the location of the former base sits a static PBY Canso (or Catalina) for display.  The concrete ramp into the water is still present, and the causeway out to the ammunition bunkers is still present.  The bunkers themselves appear to be in great shape, but were all padlocked.  This was a little disappointing, but the scenery around this point quickly took my thoughts away from such things.

There are a number of other buildings in the town that appear to have been erected by the military at some point, but they have either been repurposed or are locked up tight.  Perhaps another opportunity will present itself in the future.

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