July 27, 1996 – Salute To “Those Who Served”
Our special event for this, our Society’s tenth anniversary year, is currently being planned and it appears that it will be both an exciting and meaningful day.
The highlight of the day will be the unveiling and dedication of a memorial to all the men and women who served the Allied Air Forces in all capacities during WWII. Featuring a striking and appropriate design, our memorial is currently under construction and will be one of the few in the country to specifically commemorate the contribution of the Allied Air Forces.
The day will feature a Lions Club breakfast, special displays at the museum, a parade with military bands, a skydiving exhibition, a flypast of a B-17 bomber and other aircraft, a banquet in the Nanton Recreation Centre. Several prominent guests will be in attendance including a WWII lady pilot. After the banquet there will be a “Big Band” dance featuring the “Oath,” an eighteen-piece orchestra.
All the afternoon activities are free and tickets for the banquet are available. We hope that many of our members will be able to join us to “Salute Those Who Served.”
Indications are that this is going to be the largest event that your Society has organized in its ten year history. If you intend to participate in the banquet, it might be a good idea to get your tickets for this as early as possible. All other events are free.
NLS wishes in particular to salute the women who contributed so much, thus making possible the defeat of the Axis powers.
Several ladies who served in the women’s branches of the services are part of the Society’s planning committee for the July 27 event. Cecilia Douglas, of Calgary, one of the NLS members there has spearheaded getting in touch with ex-airforce women’s groups. These groups have indicated a lot of interest in attending this special “Salute.” Nanton’s local Royal Canadian Legion Women’s Auxiliary will be on hand as usual to help with colour party flag presentations, etc.
WWII B-17 Bomber To Fly Over July 27, 1996
The Confederate Air Force (CAF) B-17 “Sentimental Journey” will participate in a flypast that will be part of the agenda of this year’s “Salute to Those Who Served.”
This WWII four-engine bomber will be making a tour in July/August with stops in Lethbridge, Calgay, Edmonton, and elsewhere in western Canada. While in Lethbridge during the last part of July, it will be flying over Nanton as part of the NLS special day flypast of WWII vintage aircraft.
Your Society hopes to have someone on hand from the CAF who flew with the United States Air Froces of WWII.
We feel this would be a terrific addition to our Special Day as the plaque that will be unveiled that day honours all those persons who served with the Allied Air Forces, which includes all those men and women of the United States who participated in WWII.
B-17G Flying Fortress Specifications
|103 ft. 9 3/8 inches
74 ft. 3.9 inches
19 ft. 2.44 inches
Wright R-1820-1200 hp. each
2,700 U.S. gals.
NLS Ten Years Old
As of January 1996 your Society has existed for ten years. Looking back, none of the original members could have predicted the progress that resulted from a meeting called to do something about preserving the Lanc!. To date we now have world-wide membership, a 16,000 square foot museum building (valued at over $500,000) with at least 20 major restoration projects under way (including 10 aircraft). Already the five-year-old building needs to be expanded! Also our small artifact display area is bulging at the seams, with hundreds of donated artifacts now in storage because there isn’t any exhibit space. It boggles the mind that we have outgrown the building in just five years!
The NLS is now an accepted member of the growing aviation museum community across Canada and around the world! A decade later we are elated with what has been accomplished and hope in all humility to be able to match the successes of the last decade with similar advances over the next ten years.
The “BAZ” Book
Your Society has recently published its first book. This book was authored by NLS secretary/treasurer, Dave Birrell, and is about the life and times of S/L Ian Willoughby Basalgette VC DFC.
The Nanton Lancaster Bomber is dedicated te S/L Bazalgette in honour of his being the only Alberta born person to receive (posthumously) a Vicotria Cross for bravery beyond the call of duty in WWII. Ian perished trying to land his crippled Lancaster in an attempt to save two injured crew members.
For author Dave Birrell, this is his second published works. His first book was on a subject entirely unrelated to the NLS activities, being a guide book pertaining to the Alberta Rocky Mountains. As is the case of his first book, the research regarding S/L Bazalgette was meticulously done, resulting in a precise account of the life of a brave man.
The book is available in the museum gift shop priced at $8 which includes GST. Mail orders will be sent out for $10.
Students from the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology have been working hard to produce a Corporate Video for the Nanton Lancaster Society. This has been a two year project and has been well worth the wait.
The video was unveiled to the public in May of 1996 to a delighted crowd. Presentations were made to all the students involved with the project and to other people who helped out with the project. Special presentations (a copy of the video) were made to the actors and all the people who appeared in the video.
“On The Wings Of A Lancaster” is the story of Lancaster FM-159 and the Nanton Lancaster Society Air Museum. It begins with a grandfather (played by Joe English) taking his two grandchildren (played by Maggie Bozyk and Curtis Blake) to the museum.
The video is available in the museum gift shop priced at $8 which includes GST. Mail orders will be sent out for $10.
The Nanton Lancaster Society would like to express their thanks and appreciation for all those involved in the project.
Participant Credits go to the following:
editor/boom operator/production assistant
actor, former lancaster pilot
NLS Shop Activity
The NLS shop saw a lot of activity over the winter and especially during March and April. Pat and Rob Pedersen have been cleaning, restoring, and painting smaller parts for the Anson Mk.II at intervals all winter. The five cylinder Genet Major engine has been worked on (a slow process loosening up seized cylinders) and will be ready to ship to Australia soon, in trade for a seven cylinder Genet.
One of our newer members who recently moved to Nanton, Jim Weirsma, has been really involved in the shop. He has been refurbishing a display case and has recently taken down our highway signs and repainted them in the shop.
The clutch arrangement on the Society’s WWII towing tractor is being worked on by local member Alvin Berger. Also one of last summer’s AME students, Debbie Israel, came back on two weekends to complete some small jobs on the Fleet Fawn and work on the Lanc starboard elevator.
Paul and Peter Whitfield, of Sarvia, Ontario, are coming the last week of May, to work on the Lanc’s engines. During the summer, Harold Branton, Trail, B.C., will be here to put fabric on the Lanc’s starboard elevator.
The Society has received in trade a cutaway Ranger engine from the Shearwater Aviation Museum in Nova Scotia. This engine is a former WWII engine maintenance training aid and is in excellent condition with its own mount. This was transported via the military to Nanton.
In return, your Society will be Sending a Jacobs engine to Shearwater. The Jacobs is being crated up for shipment. Due to the long winter we are a little behind in getting a Jacobs engine crated and sent out to the Shearwater museum and herewith extend our apologies.
The Shearwater Museum also would like and Armstrong-Siddley Cheetah engine and we hope to be able to come up with an extra one ounce our Airspeed Oxford project is assured of adequate Cheetah parts. Is there anyone out there who knows where there might be an old Cheetah engine or ports for one? Please contact us if you do. This would help us assist the Shearwater group.
Our grateful THANKS to the Shearwater Aviation Museum for this great display.
NLS and George White
One of the original trio who brought the Lancaster to Nanton in 1960 is still an active participant in the Society’s ongoing efforts. George White is one of the Society’s volunteer greeters, his half ton truck is available to the museum anytime, and he restores artifacts.
George has, over the past few years, refurbished nearly all of the museum’s wooden propellers and one metal prop. Some of the restored props have become part of displays in the small artifact area while others still need a display area allotted. With the exception of one prop on one of the Anson’s Jacobs engines and a scimitar-shaped one from a WWI -JN4 “Canuck,” all the wood props in the museum have been worked on by George.
The ‘Net’ and Email
The Nanton Lancaster Society now has a web site on the Internet. Lexicom Ltd. of Calgary has provided space on their system for the Nanton Lancaster Museum and other air, naval and military museums in the Calgary area as a community service. The site was originally programmed by Brent Munro of Calgary. Brent Munro has recently trained NLS member Brent Armstrong in HTML programming and Brent is now maintaining the site.
The Nanton Lancaster Society is most appreciative and very excited about the work Lexicom and Brent Munro had done for us. This is a wonderful project for our museum as it gives the museum another method of communicating our many stories and historical information. The museum has already received lots of interesting E-mail from all over the globe.
We had a Merry Christmas note from New Zealand and we are communicating with people from all over on a variety of topics. People from everywhere have been signing the on-line guest book and leaving many interesting bits of information as well as positive responses about the site. Other organizations have contcted the museum wishing to link to our site.
The site continues to evolve and expand. Do visit us on the Internet and at the museum, anytime.
1942 BCATP Fire Truck
This 1942 Ford vehicle served on the wartime air base at Vulcan until the end of WWII. We consider this vehicle to be a valuable addition to our collection of artifacts related to the wartime history of southern Alberta. It is particularly significant to us that the truck served on a base so close to Nanton.
Following the war the truck was acquired by the Town of Nanton as its first factory-made fire truck and served with the Nanton Fire Department (NFD) until 1977. During this time the truck became affectionately known as “Old Bumpy” because the unusual tread on its original Royal Canadian Air Force tires made for a very bumpy ride. Past and present members of the NFD consider it a very special part of the history of their organization.
Now owned by the Municipal District of Willow Creek, the truck has been placed on long-term loan to the Society. It was transported to Nanton, at no charge, by Magwood Motors of Nanton.
The vehicle, although mechanically sound. is in need of body repair, paint, and upholstery work. As well, the wood rails and plank platform must be replaced and the missing water tank and associated fire fighting equipment will have to be purchased.
Upon completion of the restoration the truck will be placed on permanent display in the air museum. It will be available to the Nanton Fire Dept. for use in parades, etc.
The fire truck restoration was funded by the Nanton Fire Department, the Willows Project, your Society, and our corporate sponsors, Seibens Auto Industries, Garths Mobile Upholstery, & G&JD Construction.
The contiuing saga of accumulating parts goes on. Recent parts have come from our good friends at the British Columbia Aviation Museum (BCAM) at Sidney, B.C. These include a Mercury engine and the exhaust ring for it. While the engine is derelict, it will do for purposes of a static Bolingbroke display.
BCAM has passed on many surplus Boly items over the last year to help our project. Their Boly is nearly complete and is looking just great according to NLS member, John Green, who hauled the Mercury engine back to Nanton. We extend Thanks to all our friends at the Sindney, B.C., museum.
We hope this will be the year that someone will come forward with a wing centre section and outboard wings to help get our Boly restoration project up on its gear. Even if this happens this restoration effort won’t happen overnight. It would be nice if someone living nearby (retired?) would take on the supervision of this project. As has been mentioned in the past, the Bolingbroke (Blenheim) is the only aircraft other than the Lanc that was part of WWII Bomber Command. A priority project!
As many of you are aware, our growing collection of aircraft and other artifacts related to Bomber Command and the BCATP has required us to begin planning for the expansion of our museum. We believe that when completed this expansion will allow for the full and effective display of what has become a unique and valuable museum collection as well as a significant tourist attraction.
Expansion will proceed in two stages:
The existing main hangar area will be extended by sixty feet, adding 7200 square feet for the display of aircraft and other large artifacts. The possibility of a mezzanine for this area is being considered. Only minimal heating would be provided and we will utilize natural lighting so that limited additional operating costs will be incurred. A written estimate of $173,388 for this phase is in hand.
This phase will see an additional 5200 square foot expansion. Space for a mini theatre, and 3400 square feet will be for display of smaller artifacts, aviation art, associated interpretive displays, an expanded gift shop and library. Provision for a meeting room and storage area are also included. Estimated cost for this phase is $150,000.
A “Building Fund” has been established and 25% of all donations to the museum are currently being directed towards the fund. Some members have asked that their entire donation be placed into the fund and we are pleased to do this when requested.
If any of our members have ideas as to how we might, through corporate or private donations, add to our “Building Fund,” we would be most interested in hearing from you.
1941 Fuel Bowser
This project is now under way with a search on for missing parts. Seibens Industries, a local auto body shop, has given us an estimate of the cost to restore the truck and has offered a substantial donation to this end. When we obtain funds this project will go ahead.
Some needed parts, such as the hose booms, bumpers, and compartment doors have been obtained from Wally Fydenchuk, at Huron Park, Ontario. Wally has a nearly-complete bowser of his own which will be part of the Contralia SFTS Museum, which he is starting on his own. His efforts are like ours, to preserve a portion of Canada’s wartime aircrew training history from his area. Mullen Trucking has again helped out by hauling these parts back to Alberta for us.
We are in dire need of one hose boom casting. There are two of these to a unit. They are the pivot point items that held the overhead booms. NLS would appreciate any leads regarding these items. Also, another museum is looking for two of the castings and we would be pleased to pass on any additional castings to them.
Rob and Pat Pedersen, the husband and wife team who are in charge of this project, have been held up with adding components to the Anson because of the winter (at this time the hanger is not heated). However, they have a large number of small parts ready for installation as soon as the warmer weather arrives.
We hope members realize this project is going to take a long time to complete. Most recent newsletters have updates regarding this project, but photos have not, in most cases, shown the real progress. However, by this fall Rob and Pat will have many of these restored items in place on the aircraft.
An example of how long such a project can take is the Anson restoration at the Calgary Aero Space Museum (CASM), the wing alone took them seven years! Their whole project has been under way for something like twelve years. The completed CASM Anson Mk.II is very well done and well worth a visit to their museum. Come see ours too as it gradually changes from year to year.
Also, anyone who lives near enough who would like to assist the Pedersens with this project would be welcomed to the Anson restoration crew. Extra hands would help speed up the process.
As mentioned in our last newsletter, the Fleet Fawn project made great progress last year. This summer will see the aircraft completed except for the engine. NLS has contracted with member Ron Jackson, a licensed AME, to do the fabric work on the Fawn. We hope to have this completed by midsummer.
The refabricing of the Fawn will go ahead due to the helping hand of the Lethbridge Foundation which has committed an additional $3500 to the project. The Society has managed to find matching funds. We again extend grateful THANKS to the Lethtbridge Foundation for making it possible to complete this project.
When the fabric job is complete, the only remaining part of the Fleet restoration is the engine. Our five cylinder Civet (Genet Major) engine will be ready to ship to Howard Jones in Australia, by June. This is in exchange for a seven cylinder Civet 1A (Genet Major) engine which was the Fawn’s original engine type.
This trade has been on the go for three years, with the delay being on our shoulders. We have been dismantling the five cylinder engine to free up seized cylinders and to have firsthand experience as to how it goes together. It has taken a lot of time to free up a couple of the cylinders. Knowledge gained by this disassembly will be very valuable when we assemble the Civet 1A which will be in pieces.
The Society will be scheduling a special event to officially unveil the completed Fleet Fawn sometime in the fall. Our Kinner engine will be installed temporarily until the Australian engine is available. Completion of the Fawn will be a milestone for the Society, as its first restored (static display) aircraft.
We hope to have members of the Oakman family (who donated the aircraft), representatives of the Lethbridge Foundation (who funded a major portion of this restoration), and all those who worked on the aircraft, in attendance for the unveiling.
The Society’s good friend, Tom Palmer, of Vicotria, B.C., has put together a listing of all the aircraft in museum collections across Canada. Tom’s booklet, “Canadian Preserved Aircraft,” will be a very handy reference for museums and all those who are trying to preserve aircraft from Canada’s historic past.
The Society extends congratulations to Tom for completing this record of aviation artifacts. We also thank him for his help in the past. In 1994 Tom Palmer arrived two days before our Paathfinders Commemoration Day and helped us get ready. We have not forgotten! Tom is an NLS Lifetime member.
Three years ago local member Andy Munro sorted some 40 years of the publication “Aviation Weekly” as well as a number of “Flying” magazines.
Well Andy is now back placing these and others in containers on new shelves that have been installed in the kitchen/meeting room. It’s the only place with room until the building expansion takes place! When this job is completed, Andy will have handled some 15,000 magazines, all of them at least twice!
The new shelf materials and installation were donated by NLS Flight Director, John Green. This donation is a welcome addition to the museum and has helped to make order out of the chaos of books on the floor in boxes.
It is hoped that members will make use of these preserved publications for research, etc. Our THANKS to Andy and John!!
This summer we will be honouring those who served the Allied Air Forces during WWII. The schedule of events promises to be quite exciting.
When we chose the theme for the 1996 event, “A Salute to Those Who Served,” several images came to mind. Fighter pilots valiantly battling with the Luftwaffe, Bomber Command aircrew heading off night after night to an uncertain fate, Coastal Command personnel searching for elusive U-boats and dedicated ground crew preparing aircraft for action.
On this special day we will also be saluting the women who served. Without the contributions of women to the Allied war effort during WWII, victory may not have been possible. They packed parachutes, drove lorries, built and maintained aircraft, nursed the wounded and even flew planes all over the world with Ferry Command. Those on the home front raised their families, packed Red Cross parcels and worked at jobs traditionally held by men. Accordingly, one of our guest speakers will be Marie Wright, a renowned WWII pilot, who flew everything from Hurricanes to Lancasters. Women were supposed to be kept in noncombat roles, but as Marie will tell you , many died in the service of their country.
Numerous other “special guests” who have supported the Society and in some cases played a prominent role in the WWII effort will be joining us.
We trust this event will be a worthy tribute to all those whe served in so many capacities with the Allied Air Forces. Hopefully we will see you there in July.
Curator / Editor’s Desk
Several projects moved along during the winter months in spite of the cold weather.
It is anticipated that the Fleet Fawn, Airspeed Oxford, and the Bolingbroke projects will see more progress again this nummer. The amout of work carried out on any of these projects will hinge on whether the Society comes up with funds enabling the hiring of first year AME students from SAIT as in the previous three years.
Over the past 12 months our museum has developed stronger ties with other aviation museums across Canada. This has come about in some cases due to our participation in Canadian Aviation Preservation Association (CAPA) and by our members visiting museums with similar themes.
Our Society and the British Columbia Aviantion Museum C(BCAM) at Sidney, B.C., have been mutually helpful duirng the past year. We have helped them in a small way to make imitation Brownings for their Bloy turret. Due to a trade of our small Le Blond radian to BCAM, we now have another Mercury engine for our Bloy restoration. They have given us many other components (that were left over from their Bolingbroke restoration) to help ups with our project.
Presently we are in the process of co-relating with the Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum (CATPM) in Brandon, Manitoba, in the restoration of 1941 Dodge “fuel Bowsers.” Both their vehicle and ours are in need of several components. We have one hose boom casting and are looking at having three more made, two of which will be for CATPM. This one casting and other items came from our good friend Wally Fydenchuk of the Centralia SPTS Museum in Ontario.
The aviation museums I have mentioned here are only three of those across Canad with whom we now have a good working relationship, and are trying to help in return. My apologies for not listing the others herein.
While we get lots of compliments about our newsletter, as the editor, I would welcome comments as to how it might be further improved. Please let us know if you have any ideas to make it better.
I might mention, however, that one of the most asked questions concerning the newsletter is why we don’t send it out more often. The answer being the cost at this time does not justify doing so. We try to pack as much information about our progress in each issue to make up for it being mailed every six months. However, we will soon have a “current events” page on our Internet site.
Elsewhere in this issue is information about our July 27 “Salute to Those Who Served.” We hop you will attend this function as it appears like it will have the largest attendance of any event you Society has undertaken to date. Come and be a part of this Salute!