Newsletter – 2001 Fall and Winter

New Website Address

Effective December 7, 2001 The Nanton Lancaster Society website address changed to…

We also have new email addresses. Please update your links and bookmarks.

Entrance Expansion

As this newsletter is being finalised, the Society has commenced construction of a 480 square foot expansion to the museum’s entrance area.

As well as providing more display space, the additional area will permit us to redesign our gift shop and wolcoming kiosk, and provide for a lobby at the entrance in which individuals and particularly larger groups can get their bearings before entering the museum.

Warren Memorial

Visitors to the museum are immediately introduced to one of Nanton’s Warren twins as they walk towards the museum entrance. The Bruce Warren Memorial Garden, which now surrounds the three flagpoles and has the museum’s CF-100 as a backdrop, was a beautiful tribute to one of Nanton’s native sons this summer. The garden was the result of the efforts of museum director Jim Wiersma and his wife Pauline.

Fifty years ago, Bruce Warren was killed while testing a prototype CF-100 jet fighter hue to an oxygen system malfunction. The garden was dedicated to his memory at a ceremony on June 24, 2001. In attendance were Bruce’s twin, Douglas Warren, Bruce’s son Douglas, Douglas’s son Bruce, and other members of the Warren family.

Col. Don Matthews (Ret’d), a former CF-18 fighter pilot who led the Canadian Air Force in the Gulf War, reviewed Bruce Warren’s career. He spoke of the differences between the military of today and that of WWII and of the dedication of such men as Bruce Warren and his twin to the task of winning the air war 1939-45. The garden was dedicated by Rev. Dwight Powell. Duke Warren and Bruce’s son Douglas unveiled the engraved black granite monument.
Born in Nanton, the Warren twins trained at High River and flew Spitfires together at Dieppe and throughout WWII. Douglas (Duke) Warren retired to Comox following a distinguished career with the Air Force. Duke is a lifetime member of the Nanton Lancaster Society and an enthusiastic supporter of the museum.

Guest speaker, Major Don Matthews, addresses those assembled for the dedication
of the memorial flower garden and plaque honouring the memory of S/L Bruce Warren.
Fittingly perhaps is the museum’s CF-100 seen in the background as it guards the memorial garden.

A plaque honouring Bruce Warren is unveiled by his brother Duke and Bruces’s son Douglas.
The plaque is part of the NLS memorial garden dedicated to Bruce’s memory.

The Bruce Warren Memorial Plaque

Women At War Display

The museum’s “Women At War” display was officially opened on Saturday, May 26, 2001, with a large crowd filling the museum hanger.

Representatives of the wartime RCAF, Women’s Division (WDs) and the RAF Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) were in attendance. Among these were special guests, Lynn Wallace WAAF, RAF Intelligence; Connie Annis WD, Aerial Photography; Cecilia Douglas WAAF, Signals Division; Margaret Smith WAAF; Rosella Bjornson, Canada’s first woman airline pilot; and Annett Cantaloupe from Veterans Affairs.

Mararet Smith and Cecilia Douglas, both from Calgary, AB, along with Andy Comstock and Gwen Lyon of Nanton officially opened the display with the cutting of a ribbon. NLS President Dan Fox along with Rosella Bjornson then unveiled a special plaque commemorating the 60th anniversary of the Women’s Division of the RCAF. Dan Fox reiterated that in excess of 17,000 Canadian women volunteers served 65 non-combatant roles during WWII.

Rosella Bjornson spoke of her career as a pilot and attaining the position of Airline Captain. The other special guestts spoke about their wartime experiences. Cecilia Douglas spoke at length about the Nanton Lancaster Society’s educational program that is now under way and is to be expanded with a future class room and other facilities.

Dan Fox stands with Andy Comstock, Nanton; Margaret Smith, Calgary; Cecilia Douglas, Calgary; and Gwen Lyon, Nanton, all of whom served during WWII in various branches of service. Here, they have just cut a ribbon officially opening the new “Women At War exhibit in the NLS Museum.

60th Anniversary Of First Flight Of A Lanc

This year being the Sixtieth Anniversary of the First Flight of the Avro Lancaster, the Society chose to “return to its roots” at this year’s summer event. Those in attendance listened as the Society’s honourary president, Margaret Dove, daughter of Lancaster designer Roy Chadwick, described going with “Daddy” to witness the first flight. The wartime virtues of the Lanc were then extolled by Lancaster navigator Jim Love and pilot Joe English. Insight into the aircraft’s postwar service was provided by Duke Dawe who flew as a flight engineer with No. 407 Squaddron in the 1950s and logged some 225 hours in our museum’s Lancaster.
Norm Etheridge, chief engineer for the restoration of the Mynarski Memorial lancaster, recalled the monumental efforts and dedication of his team at Canadian Warplane Heritage. Finally, the tremendous conttribution of the Whitfield Family to the restoration work currently underway at our museum was acknowledged. Peter, Paul, and Louise have been travelling from Sarnia, Ontario, each summer for nine years to spend two weeks working on our Lancaster. Commissioned pieces of artwork by Clarence Simonsen were presented to the Whitfields.

Finally, tribute was paid to what may have been the greatest of the Canadian Lancasters, KB-732, VR-Xterminator of No. 419 Squadron. Completing more operations than any other Candian-built Lancaster, and shooting down two enemy fighters, it was felt that this aircraft epitomised the trusty Lancaster, going to war night after night and doing its duty. A commissioned painting by John Rutherford depicting X-terminotor’s return to base following its 84th and last raid of the war was unveiled by current No. 419 Squadron C/O Lt. Col. Steve Hill and Howard Witwer, a wartime No. 419 pilot who piloted three ops aboard KB-732. Wartime No. 419 squadron personnel, Howard Witwer, Al McMillan, and Cliff Black then unveiled a near full size depiction of X-terminator’s nose art and bomb tally that had been painted on a piece of Lancaster wing panel by Clarence Simonsen.

Following the ceremonies, the Society’s efforts towards the eventual running of the Lancaster’s engines were demonstrated by the turning over of three of its engins with their starters. Seeing the props turning was exciting and brought the aircraft back to life for a few moments.

After an informal supper the audience was enthralled by Lt. Col. Steve Hill’s recollections of his experiences in Kosovo as the officer commanding Canada’s CF-18s.

Duke Dawe, former RCAF flight engineer, speaking about his flights in Lancaster FM159
when it served as a maritime patrol aircraft in the 1950s with 407 Squadron at Comox, BC.
He logged some 225 hours in FM159 during the 1950s.

Norm Etheridge speaking at the August 18, 2001 event. Norm was chief engineer in charge of the restoration of the Mynarski Lancaster in Hamilton, Ontario. He told the assembled crowd about the monumental nine-year effort to make this Lanc airworthy. Norm is a good friend and member of the Nanton Lancaster Society and has been very helpful with the on-going restoration of Lancaster FM159.

Winston Parker is seen here handing a cheque in the amount of $1000 to Dan Fox. This is a donation from the Southern Alberta Prisoners of War Association. Winston and the POW Assoc. are long time supporters of the museum.

John Green (at the microphone) has just presented Gordon Jones (centre) with the framed enlarged photo of his Tiger Moth. This was a token of appreciation for the numerous times Gordon has flown it for NLS events over the years.

X-Terminator nose art reproduced by Clarence Simonsen being unveiled by Howard Witwer, Al McMillan, and Cliff Black.

X-Terminator returning from its 84th Operation.

Blenheim News

While the Blenheim was officially unveiled last year, several components were not yet restored or installed at that time. The ailerons were two such items along with the starboard elevator. Progress has been made over the summer in getting these three items ready for installation on the aircraft.

First year SAIT AME student, Travis Hutchings, was hired under a student employment grant to work in the museum shop for the summer. His main job was to restor the Blenheim ailerons. This was a long, meticulous, drawn-out job which took most of the time (June through August) that Travis was employed. He had to make some of the ribs and totally dismantle one aileron which had hardly any rifs left intact. By the time SAIT fall classes started, both aileron frames were completed and Travis had one covered with fabric under the direction of AME volunteer Greg Morrison. Since his return to school, Travis has been volunteering on days when his classes aren’t too heavy and has now finished covering the second aileron. We are grateful to him for his continued interest in our museum.
Our THANKS to Travis for his interest and dedication to the Blenheim project.

Both ailerons ready for fabric cover.

Travis Hutchings checks his fabric work on one of the Blenheim ailerons.

Yale Progress Report

While the North American Yale is presently not on display in the museum, work on this project is underway. the forward tubing fuselage frame is still in Calgary, where it has been repaired and painted by our good friend Marcus Stephenson. This and the engine mount (Marcus restored this some time ago) will be back in the museum by late November.

The next step in this restoration is to repair the wing centre-section. The Wright 975 engine is being contemplated as a winter job for the shop. This will consist of making one engine out of two.

Manager’s Report

Is it possible that a year has passed since I became the manager of the museum? The old phrase “time flies when you are having fun” certainly applies in my case. After a year this definitely is still my “dream” job!

This position keeps me very busy, doing all aspects of the museum’s accounting and other administrative work. This includes collections management, receiving, labeling, entering donors’ names and artifacts in the database, ensuring that books donated to our library are recorded and properly labeled, maintaining the membership data base, issuing receipts and assisting the directors in planning for all events, ensuring distribution of brochures, advertising, etc. I also trtanscribe the minutes of the Society’s monthly meetings.
Ordering of merchandise for the gift shop, keeping inventory controls, recruiting and training volunteers, ttraining summer student tour guides, and ensuring the cleanliness of the museum are also part of the job.

Every day is a new experience, especially meeting visitors from all over the world and learning about them and their country, while explaining what our museum is all about. I have also learned a great deal about our museum, its history and the history of our country’s contributions to WWII.

I try each day to learn something new and if I work until I’m 100, I’m sure I’ll still be doing this. How could anyone possibly ever get bored in this position?

Lea Norman

More Expansion Planned

Planning is under way for construction of a 70 ft. x 100 ft. separate restoration shop building. It is hoped that construction will commence within the next two to three years. This building will be situated on the north side of the museum, adjacent to the present shop. An enclosed passageway will join the two shops together. This building will enable restoration and assembly of complete aircraft.

Lancaster Restoration

Lancaster FM159 has seen a lot of activity this past summer. In June the Whitfield family, Paul, Louise, and son Peter, from Sarnia, Ontario, spent two weeks at the museum in which they removed the front turret. They cleaned, painted it, and then installed the previously formed Plexiglas before finally reinstalling the turret on the Lanc. This was the ninth year that the Whitfields have spent their holidays working on the Lancaster. Your Society will be forever grateful to Paul, Louise, and Peter, for their dedication to the Lancaster project and to the museum.

Paul Whitfield cleaning the Lanc turret.

Peter Whitfield painting the front turret.

Volunteer From France

Guillaume Uziel, from Paris, France, spent five days in Nanton and most of that time he worked in the museum shop. Guillaume is a 16-year-old student who traveled to Canada on his own to work on Lancaster FM-159. He has been a volunteer with the group in France which is restoring the only Lancaster in that country.

Guillaume spent his first week in Alberta staying with family friends in Edmonton and volunteered in the Alberta Aviation Museum there before taking the bus to Nanton. In Nanton he stayed with Bob and Carol Evans. The photo above shows Guillaume holding the bomb aimer’s compartment handrail which he painstakingly stripped, primed and painted it the NLS shop. He also removed the remains of the the wireless operator’s seat cushion and other small items in the Lanc cockpit which are in need of restoration.

On Saturday, July 21, 2001, Guillaume attended the fly-in at the AJ Flying Ranch. Here he, along with NLS curator Bob Evans, had a short flight in the 1929 Fokker Universal aircraft, restored and flown by Clark Seaborn of Calgary. Needless to say, this was the highlight of Guillaume’s visit to Canada. He indicated the only thing that might exceed this would be to ride in a Lancaster!

Guillaume Uziel from Paris, France

July 21, 2001, Fly-In

A calm morning and blue skies for most of the day contributed to a very successful fly-in on July 21, 2001. This annual event is organised by the Society and the No. 6 Squadron of the Bomber Command Association of Canada. with its 4500-foot paved runway, the AJ Flying Ranch, 12 km northeast of Nanton, is the ideal host.

This year saw 46 aircraft participate, including a number of vintage types. Clark Seaborne’s foker Super Universal was undoubtedly the highlight but we were also delighted to have Gordon Jones’ Tiger Moth, the Reynolds Museum’s Chipmunk, and Sunwest Aviation’s Stearman put in appearances. John Phillip’s L-29 Jet was on static display. As well, our friends from No. 408 Squadron, CFB Edmonton, flew a Friffon helicopter hown for the day. The Nanton Lions Club served a pancake breakfast and lunch was provided by the No. 279 Air Cadet Squadron.

Thanks to all of the above for contributing to an excellent day. The 2002 Fly-In will be held on July 20. All of our members are welcome to attend.

Joe English stands silhouetted in the hangar at AJ Flying Ranch on July 21, 2001.
On the tarmac in the background are a Fokker Universal, Tiger Moth, Stearman,
and a de Havelland Chipmunk.

Dutch Resistance Display

Thanks to the donation of a carbine used by the Dutch Resistance and a series of photographs, the museum has opened a display that honours the members of the Dutch Resistance. Ron Groeneveld of High River, Alberta, was only sixteen when war broke out. following the Nazi occupation of Holland, he and his family became part of the Resistance and had a hide-out for Resistance members in their cow barn.

Ron’s photographs and carbine are now on display together with the story of the efforts of his family and friends to assist in the overthrow of their Nazi occupiers. The connection with Bomber Command is that the carbine, as well as other weapons and ammunition, were dropped into Holland by the RAF.

We are pleased when we can connect people such as Ron Groeneveld with the artifacts and history in our museum.

Anson Report

The past six months have seen considerable progress with the restoration of the NLS Anson Mk.II project. This progress may not be immediately noticeable to the museum visitor as most of it is the restoration of small parts, the making of templates for fuselage formers, and the construction of these. In early October, a number of the recently restored components were placed on display along side the fuselage. Also, the roughed-out formers have been mounted temporarily to check for accurate fitting before final finishing.

Project leader, Rob Pedersen, and his family have removed the remains of the floor between the wing spars from one of the Ansons in storage in order to make up drawings. This is one of the drawings that the Society does not have on hand. Harry Volk is busy transposing the measurements to paper so the construction of this floor can proceed. Fittings for this are presently being cleaned, primed and painted.

Discussions have taken place regarding the construction of the wing, which has not yet been tackled. A dicision will be made shortly as to whether the wing will be made in sections, due mainly to the lack of space to layout this 54 foot component. The option is to again delay starting this part of the project until the next expansion to the museum is constructed.
Interest in getting the Anson project underway in a “big way” has grown considerably in the last while, with several shop volunteers getting involved.

This project could use even more help and anyone interested please contact either the project leader, Rob Pedersen or curator, Bob Evans.

Anson seats, controls and numerous small parts ready for installing on the airframe.

Photo shows a trial fitting of the fuselage turtle deck formers. Most of the formers for the fuselage sides are “rough cut” and ready to fit to the tubular frame.

Expiditor Project

The Beech 18 Expeditor restoration has seen quite a lot of activity over the summer. Volunteer Greg Morrison (AME) has taken a leadership role in restoring this aircraft to taxiable status.

the starboard P&W 985 engine, which Greg (with intermittent help from several other volunteers) had dismantled during the early months of this year, has now been reassembled and is now ready to mount back on the aircraft. This engine was found to be in very good condition. It would now be runnable, but still lacks a carburettor and magnetos. Anyone reading this who knows where these might be obtained, pleas contact curator Bob Evans at the museum.

Greg is planning on dismantling the port engine during the winter months. If this engine is in as good condition as the first, it too should be back together by next spring. Then work will start on the aircraft itself.

As with all the museum’s aircraft, the Expeditor restoration will be to “taxiable” condition with “runnable” engines. This is , of course, due to the extreme cost of an airworthy restoration.
The Society has been in contact with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Museum in Regina, Saskatchewan, and has received photos and information about Expediter CF-MPI’s service with the RCMP from 1046 until it was retired from service in 1973. We extend a grateful THANKS for their help in this regard.

ExxonMobil – Fundraiser

A golf tournament sponsored by ExxonMobil took place on September 20, 2001. local representative Bob Long, and his crew organized the tournament. (Bob is also a NLS member and volunteers in the museum shop on weekly “work nights.”)

Eighty participants, consisting of representatives from contractors and other companies who work with ExxonMobil, paid their golf fees directly to the Nanton Lancaster Society. An additional cheque for $1000 from ExxonMobil was also presented to museum curator Bob Evans by company representative, Sid Kenyon.

The funds raised were designated to the restoration of the museum’s Beech 18 Expeditor project. A total of some $3800 was realized from the tournament which will make possible the restoration of the second P&W 985 engine an accessories.

Details about the Bech 18 Expeditor and other museum aircraft are part and parcel of an educational booklet that is used by public school students from the area who participate in a non-going educational program instigated by the NLS Museum.

THANKS to ExxonMobil and its represetatives for organizing this fundraising event and for the company’s additional donation of $1000. Thanks also to all the participationg golfers for their contribution which in many cases exceeded the $30 tournament fee!

The shop crew with the newly assembled P&W engine for the Beech 18. From L to R: John Phillips, John Green, Dan Fox, Greg Morrison, Gordon Neu, Charley Cobb, the late Bob Braid, Bob Evans, and Don Ellis. There are several shop volunteers missing from this photo.

Local Cenotaph Moved

September saw the moving of the local cenotaph to a spot adjacent to the museum. It was formerly located on the other side of town near the north bound #2 highway. This memorial to those who died in two World Wars an in Korea has been part of the Nanton scene since the 1920s.

The local branch of the Royal Canadian Legion was responsible for the move. Over the past year they raised the funds necessary to hire a Lethbridge based monument company to relocate the cenotaph and a local contractor to pour the concrete base in the new location.
The main reason for moving the monument was to enable the November 11 Remembrance Day ceremonies to be held in a more suitable place. In the oringinal location, north bound #2 highway traffic had to be diverted or stopped during the ceremony. Also the new location is near the Community Centre. Legion members will no longer have a five block march from the cenotaph for indoor ceremonies after the outdoor salutes. For the museum it adds to the overall theme of remembering those who served.

Nanton’s cenotaph in its new location adjacent to the NLS Museum.

CAPA Convention

This year 60 delegates representing 23 aviation museums from Nova Scotia to Vancouver Island attended the annual meeting of the Canadian Aeronautical Preservation Society (CAPA) at the Canadian Warplane Heritage (CWH) museum near Hamilton, Ontario. CWH features numerous airworthy historic aircraft, housed in a spectacular modern facility adjacent to Hamilton’s Mount Hope Airport.

The two full days of meetings included sessions on display development, disposal of surplus military aircraft, fund raising and grant opportunities. the society’s business meetings focused on the cuntinuing development and formalisation of CAPA which has become a respected voice in promoting Canada’s aviation heritage. Representatives of the museums present signed a “Memorandum of Cooperation and Understanding” that formalised the commitment of all members to cooperate with each other in promoting the preservation of Canada’s aviation heritage. The enthusiasm and determination of all CAPA members to maintain and promote Canada’s aviation heritage is most enouraging.

NNLS delegates, curator Bob Evans and treasurer Dave Birrell, were pleased to accept CWH president Rick Frank’s offer to go for a flight in the Andrew Mynarski Memorial Lancaster. They very much enjoyed this wonderful opportunity and realised that it was a token of respect for the efforts of all our Society’s volunteers over the years.

All CAPA members gratefully acknowledge the generous support of WESTJET in making it possible for this annual conference to be so well attended.

The WESTJET advertisement on page 23 of the printed version of this newsletter is a token of our appreciation.

On October 6, 2001 the Society rented a “scissors-lift.” Dan Fox and the late Bob Braid are shown here, using it, while repainting the lettering on the museum building. The lift was also used to check the welding on the mounts that support the T-33 and CF-100 gate guardian aircraft.Two local welders, Wade Rozander and Cody Young, gave a clean bill of health to both guardian mounts, except for one minor weld. The Society extends a grateful THANKS to both for their help.

Vacancies Filled On Board Of Directors
The NLS Executive has filled two vacancies on the Board of Directors by appointing Keith Phillips and Greg Morrison. They will complete the terms left open by the resignation of Enid De Roaldes and the passing of Bob Braid.

Enid De Reoldes

Enid De Roaldes has moved to Calgary and has relinquished her position on the board of directors. Enid has been very active as a director, volunteering at the front desk, organizing volunteers, etc.

The Society wishes Enid all the best in her new home in Calgary.

In Memorium

Bob Braid
passed away October 2001.

Our good friend and exceptional volunteer BOB BRAID passed away suddenly at his home in Nanton, on October 8, 2001. His passing has left a large gap in the ranks of those who are dedicated to the everyday operation of the museum. Bob not only volunteered at the greeting desk, but was forever busy in the museum shop and wherever there was work to be done. His Scottish brogue and friendly manner have made him many friends from near and far. bob and his wife retired to Nanton in 1996 and he almost immediately began to help in the museum. He was a director and a regular in the restoration shop.
The Society extends deepest sympathy to Bob Braid’s family and friends. May God Bless.

In Memorium For

* John Dwelle *
of Nanton, Alberta, passed away in October. John was a Lifetime member and long time supporter.

* Hugh Winslow *
of Nanton, Alberta, passed on in September. he was a local supporter and member.

* Agnes Oakman *
of Swift Current, Sask., passed away October 13. Agnes and her late husband Ernie were major supporters of the museum, having donated the Fleet Fawn, Fairchild Cornell, and numerous other artifacts.

* Jean Armstrong *
of Red Deer, Alberta, passed away May 24. Jean was a lifetime member.

The Nanton Lancaster Society extends deepest sympathy to the families and friends of these members.
May God Bless.

Copyright 2010, Nanton Lancaster Society