The public is invited to attend the City of Miami Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.) Cemetery’s Fifth Annual British Flyers Remembrance Ceremony on Saturday, October 25 at 10:30 a.m. A reception at the Coleman Theatre Ballroom will follow immediately after the ceremony.
This event is held to honor the 15 Royal Air Force pilots that were killed in training accidents while attending Spartan School of Aeronautics Miami B.F.T.S. #3 during the early 1940’s. These pilots are interred in the Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.) Cemetery.
British Flying Training School #3 and the City of Miami share a rich history. Spartan School of Aeronautics B.F.T.S. #3 actively trained Royal Air Force and USAAF pilots from 1941-1945. Of the 2,124 RAF cadets and 117 USAAF cadets trained at the school, 1,493 were awarded pilot’s wings.
Representatives from the Royal Air Force and Royal British Legion will be part of the program as well as the City of Tulsa Pipes and Drums, Bugles Across America, Miami Fire Department, Marine Corp League (Northeastern Oklahoma Detachment), Vietnam Era Veterans of America (Chapter 277), Quapaw Tribe Fire/EMS Honor Guard and American Legion (Post #147).
The guest speaker this year will be Paula Carmack Denson, author of “The Royal Air Force in Oklahoma”. Paula is a native of Ponca City, which was home to Darr School of Aeronautics, British Flying Training School #6. In 1994, Paula was responsible for founding the North Central Oklahoma Historical Association, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the history of Kay County. Her book, “The Royal Air Force in Oklahoma” was published in 2006.
G.A.R. Cemetery Director Kim Horn stated, “B.F.T.S. #3 played an important part in Miami history. We host this annual event to remember the British Cadets buried at G.A.R., and to honor the relationship the citizens of Miami had with the training school.”
Anyone wishing to learn more about the ceremony and reception can contact the City of Miami G.A.R. Cemetery at (918) 541-2288. More information about the event is also available at www.miamiokla.net.
Photo Caption: G.A.R. Cemetery has a special section dedicated to the 15 Royal Air Force pilots. The City of Miami honors these cadets annually at a remembrance ceremony.