“It was a fine, bright day but terribly cold, and we realised at once why they had issued us with beaver hats, fur-lined gloves and special boots. We had been warned that venturing out without this type of protection could lead to severe frostbite, especially at night.
The whole camp looked bleak and functional, probably because the buildings had been erected on a tight budget. As far as the eye could see it was flat, flat, flat. It was clear why the ‘powers that be’ had chosen the prairie sites to train pilots and other aircrew. The weather was excellent for flying (heavy snowfalls had finished by December) and the flat prairie landscape was of course free of obstacles. Furthermore, there was no blackout and so night-flying was easy to organise in terms of lighting, with plenty of runway lights and no problem in using powerful floodlights. The three of us stopped near one of the runways to watch a large machine equipped with giant rollers moving slowly along pressing down the snow. We nodded our approval; we had wondered how the loose snow was treated to allow an aircraft to take off safely.”