By Jenna Leifso, Archivist
There are a lot of stories shared about the BCATP schools in Huron County, some are true, others are not. Over the next few days we’re going to dispel two myths that involve the rich and famous.
Myth #1: Ian Fleming, creator of the James Bond series, trained at either No. 12 Elementary Flying Training School (Sky Harbour) or No. 31 Air Navigation School (Port Albert). While he was wandering around the Maitland Cemetery, located just outside of Goderich, he came across a grave marker with the name “James Bond”. After seeing the grave stone, Mr. Fleming was inspired to name the main character of the successful spy series after Huron County resident.
The Facts: There is actually a James Bond buried in the Maitland Cemetery. His grave marker is near the memorial stone for the unidentified seamen who died in the Great Storm of 1913. James Bond was born in 1859 and died in 1931. However, there is no evidence that Ian Fleming ever attended a WWII training school in Huron County. In the Second World War, Fleming was in the Royal Navy, the personal assistant to the Director of Naval Intelligence. He would have no reason to train as a pilot at No. 12 EFTS or to learn navigation at No. 31 ANS. Mr. Fleming would have no reason to be in Huron County, let alone have the time to take a tour of Maitland Cemetery.
James Bond was actually named after an ornithologist from Philadelphia. According to Mr. Bond’s obituary in the New York Times, Fleming thought that the name was, “brief, unromantic, Anglo-Saxon and yet very masculine… just what i needed…”.
Next week: Louis B. Mayer’s connection to No. 31 Air Navigation School (Port Albert).