G-CYEI started life in the Canadian Air Force as an Avro 504K on 27 October, 1921 when its certificate of registration was issued, after having been gifted to Canada in 1919 along with 113 other assorted Aircraft by Great Britain. (Source)
Canada to Have Volunteer Air Militia 5,000 Strong
New Canadian Air Force, To Be Recruited at Once,
is Announced by Ottawa
Preliminary Strength About 5,000 of All Ranks —
Organization Will Be Along Lines of Militia, Not Permanent Units —
Almost Whole Personnel Non-Professional
The Toronto World, 5 April 1920
A Short-Lived Plan
This plan to develop a Canadian air militia began in July 1920 and ended in March 1922 when the air militia was dissolved.
Ottawa, April 4.—(By Canadian Press)—A Canadian air force is to be formed immediately, and the personnel will be drawn from volunteers from the ranks of ex-officers and airmen of the Royal Air Force, resident in Canada. These will train at centres, which will be in operation all the year round and officers and airmen enlisted in the new force will spend at least one month out of every 24 in active training, receiving pay and traveling expenses during their active period.
The force probably will be limited in the beginning to about five thousand, inclusive of all ranks, and the training centres will not number more than one or two to begin with for the whole Dominion. It is understood that the Government wishes to avoid an expensive permanent organization. The organization of the force will be placed in the hands of Canadians who have had experience at home and on the war fronts in flying, and who are interested in building up a Canadian air militia which can readily be extended and mobilized in an emergency. Age limit is set at about 30 for junior officers, and 33 for senior officers.
Applicants for Enrolment
Applicants for enrolment in the new air force, giving all particulars of previous service may be sent at once to the secretary of the air board at Ottawa.
Volunteer provincial executive committees of seven, acting without remuneration, will administer the force by provinces. Four members of each committee will be nominated by the officers of the ative list in each province and three members will be nominated by the respective lieutenant governors. A grant will be made from headquarters to cover the expenses of an office and secretary.
The announcement of the air board in the connection follows:
"The government has been very carefully considering the question of the formation of a Canadian air force and has decided upon the immediate formation of such a force from among the ex-officers and airmen of the Royal Air Force resident in Canada. Provision will later be made for the recruitment of all ranks of the force so constituted, but the numbers of ex-officers and airmen in Canada is at present such that it is not necessary to make provision for such recruitment.
"The force will be a militia, not a permanent force. Almost the whole personnel will be non-professional, and the professional personnel will be negligible in number.
Officers Will Be Commissioned
"The Total Authorized Strength will probably be in the neighbourhood of 5000. Commissions will be given to officers and airmen will be enlisted in the usual way. It is proposed that training should be carried on at training centres, which the personnel will attend, not by units, but as individuals attending as may be arranged or directed during one month in every twenty-four being on leave without pay at all other times. They will receive pay while on duty and their traveling expenses to and from the training centres will be paid.
"It is considered important that the training not only provide efficient junior officers and airmen, but that it should be such as to furnish a supply of senior officers qualified to take command of larger formations in emergencies and an opportunity will consequently be afforded to senior officers to take command of training centres for periods longer than one month, but probably not in any case exceeding six months. The undertaking of duty for such extended periods will not be compulsory, but officers who volunteer for extended periods of duty will, of course, be entitled to preference in the consideration of appointments and promotions.
Administration of Force
"It is hoped that the same plan may be applied to the duties to be performed at Canadian air force headquarters and that a succession of officers will be found from time to time able to assume duties at Ottawa in connection with the administration of the force as a whole. In this way a large number of officers and particularly the senior officers will be afforded an opportunity in normal times to obtain as great a familiarity as possible with the duties which they would be called upon to perform in an emergency and the force will become more readily capable of expansion in circumstances required it.
"The training stations will be few in number. At first it may not be possible to establish more than one, but at least a second doubtless will have to be added shortly and plans for this purpose are under consideration.
System of Committees
"The local administration of the force will be carried on by provincial executives' committees acting without remuneration, but receiving a grant towards the expenses of maintaining an office and the payment of a secretary. It is proposed that these committees shall consist of seven members, of whom four shall, after the first year, be elected by officers on the active list of the force in the province, the remaining three being nominated by the lieutenant governor of the province, each lieutenant governor having been invited to act as honorary president of the branch of the Canadian Air Force Association in his province and to select all the members of the first executive committee and the three appointed members of subsequent committees. It is intended that the executive committee should keep the provincial rosters, arrange for the attendance of the provincial personnel for training and perform other necessary administrative duties, exercising a general supervision over the interests of the force within their respective provinces.
Retirement of Officers
"It is proposed that the active list should include only officers of such an age that they can be expected to render useful air service in war and retirement from the active list will be compulsory for junior officers at or about the age of 30 and for the most senior officers at or about the age of 38.
"Negotiations are on foot with the British Air Ministry, looking to an arrangement whereby any duties that may be assumed by officers on the reserve of the Royal Air Force will not be inconsistent with the duties they assume as officers of the Canadian Air Force. Officers on the reserve of the Royal Air Force may, therefore, volunteer to serve with the Canadian Air force and such use of their services in the latter force will be made as the arrangement with the air ministry renders possible.
Officers and Airmen Eligible
"All officers and airmen who have served with the Royal Air Force in any branch or department and are willing to undertake service with the Canadian Air Force on the lines of the proposition above indicated and in the ranks which they held on demobilization are invited to send notice to the secretary of the air board, Ottawa, with particulars in each case showing the full name of the applicant in block capitals, his permanent address, his age and his rank on discharge from the Royal Air Force or of his transfer to or discharge from the reserve of such force. The application should be accompanied by a copy of the applicants discharge certificate or of the advice that he has been transferred to the Royal Air Force reserve."