Museum’s 25th Anniversary Salute to 408 Squadron’s 70th Anniversary
As part of its Twenty-fifth Anniversary Celebrations on August 20, the museum honoured No. 408 Tactical Helicopter Squadron currently based at Edmonton Garrison.
2011 was 408 Squadron’s Seventieth Anniversary. Formed in 1941 it operated as part of Bomber Command, flew Lancasters in a variety of roles from 1949 until 1964 and has operated as a tactical helicopter squadron since 1971. Fourteen members of the squadron including Commanding Officer, Lt. Col. John Casey, flew to the museum in two Griffon helicopters on August 19. The following morning Squadron members spoke of their recent service in Afghanistan and showed a riveting video of their work. Later in the day they participated in a program in the hangar, the unveiling of a display panel honouring the squadron, and a Remembrance Service at Canada’s Bomber Command Memorial Wall upon which squadron crests had been placed next to the names of the 425 squadron members who were killed.
Guest speaker for the event was Chris Terry, a long-time supporter of our museum and the former Director-General of the Canada Air and Space Museum. Chris congratulated the museum on its anniversary saying, “This museum attempts, and does so well, to bring them (Those who served with Bomber Command) to life, to give them an essence more than that of earnest young faces looking out of black and white photographs. In this respect I think the Bomber Command Museum of Canada stands four-square among the practitioners of the museum profession in Canada and far beyond. It’s one of the reasons why I have been such a devotee. It could teach its lessons to many others interested in similar outcomes. So my wish is for the continued success of the Bomber Command Museum of Canada. It deserves the high regard it has earned as a museum with a clear mission and the ability to carry it out. Given what has happened in the last 25 years we can only wonder at what the next 25 will bring. It will be a delight to see this story continue to unfold.”