Newsletter – 2002 Spring and Summer

BCATP Is 2002 Event Theme

The Society’s main event this year will be a salute to the wartime British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. In attendance will be a number of veterans who trained or instructed in this vast undertaking that graduated some 130,000 aircrew from 1940 to 1945.

There will be the displays from visiting aviation groups and individuals, with model aircraft, aviation paintings, etc.

One of the highlights of this special day will be the official dedication of the 1:72 scale model of the #5 Elementary Flying Training School as it existed at High River, Alberta in the 1940’s. This model had been under construction over the last three years, by Larry and Debra Kunz of St. Gregor, Saskatchewan, who donated it to the museum.

As usual we will have a fly-past of vintage aircraft. This will take place near the end of the day just prior to the evening banquet.

Details of the day’s agenda, will be mailed to all members in June with details of the day’s itinerary and banquet ticket costs.

We look forward to a large turnout for this event and encourage all our members to join us on August 24, 2002.

Tiger Moths parked on the tarmac of #5 EFTS, High River in 1942.

A Tiger Moth airborne in the High River area during flight training circa 1942.

This photo of the #5 Elementary Flying Training School dates to the period when the Tiger Moths were still in use. This photo was taken from a position north of the base.

The Model Of #5 EFTS

Nearly three years ago Larry Kunz of St. Gregor, Saskatchewan, e-mailed us after visiting the MuseumÕs website. He asked if we would like a model built of one of the BCATP bases in Southern Alberta and that he would do this for the cast of the materials and transportation to Nanton when it was completed. We immediately accepted his offer and chose the High River, #5 Elementary Flying Training School (EFTS). This model is now on display in the museum. Larry, wife Debra, and son Bryce, delivered the crated parts of this 1:72 scale recreation of the High River base, on April 2/02, and installed it on a table that local volunteers had made to accommodate it. (A Plexiglas cover is being constructed to cover the model). We think the new display is a tremendous addition to the BCATP theme! we extend a most GRATEFUL THANKS to Larry and Debra Kunz for adding so much to our museum !

Larry and Debra Kunz standing with the model #5 EFTS, High River,
built by Larry over the past three years.

Entryway Expansion

The 480 sq. ft. expansion to the museum front entryway is now competed except for the exterior stucco, which should be completed by the end of May, 2002.

While the addition is not a large area, it has made a tremendous difference to the area as the visitor enters the museum. The additional wall space has made room for some spectacular new wall displays. The floor area will be kept relatively clear except for a couple of medium-sized artifacts and a “greeter” in full wartime dress uniform.

One of the 30 inch x 96 inch enlarged photos in the new entryway.

BCATP Display Enlarged

The museum’s main gallery has been subject to some changes in the last month. The area that had been previously designated to the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP) in conjunction with other smaller displays is now totally dedicated to this theme. The model of #5 EFTS has been the main addition and integrating it into the area made it necessary to change the position of other items.

Another addition to the BCATP display will be a photographic treatise of the #19 Service Flying Training School (SFTS) which is located 19 miles east of Nanton, near Vulcan, AB. The photographs are the work of local RCMP officer, Danny Palmer, whose hobby is photography.

The daily dispatch blackboard from #19 SFTS, which has the names of the second last class to graduate from #19 in 1945 and of their instructors written in the original chalk, is still part of the display. Photos and a short written history of this base will be added in the next few weeks.

Dave Birrell redoing the BCATP displays.

Another T-33

In December Bruce Winters of the Okotoks Air Park contacted us about the T-33 that has been mounted on a plinth near the Okotoks airport for a number of years. Bruce wanted it removed as it was in the way of housing development.

Your Society now owns the aircraft and has placed it on long term-loan with the Rocky Mountain House Flying Club (RMHFC). Society member, Maurice Galli, who is also a member of the flying club, helped to formulate the loan agreement. This Flying Club is a “gung-ho” group; they removed the T-33 from its pedestal and hauled it to “Rocky” in one day! They are presently cleaning and repairing the aircraft for mounting it at the Rock airport sometime in May.

“Okotoks” Canadair T-33, #21437, being dismantled for hauling by members of the Rocky Mountain House Flying Club.

Shop Upgrades

Volunteer Don Ellis has been at-it-again! He has added several additions and improvements in the museum shop over the last six months.

Four “tool cribs” now grace the walls near individual work stations, making tools easily available to the job at hand. In addition, Don has built a table saw cabinet which can be easily moved on its retractable casters, with drawers for accessories, Skil saws, etc. Last year he extended airline outlets throughout the shop and electrical outlets over each work station. Don is a licensed electrician and gas fitter in addition to his other talents of carpentry and handyman extraordinary!

Our THANKS to Don Ellis for all the things he has done to make the shop easier to work in.

The table saw cabinet built by volunteer Don Ellis. Quality that could fit into a living room.

Tool cribs, by Don Ellis – a shop upgrade.Your Society is indebted to all volunteers who dedicate Tuesday nights (and sometimes weekdays) to the numerous projects.

Hangar Doors Installed

Due to the generosity of one of our members, we now have a full 110 feet of door installed. Our museum’s good friend Alex Bahlsen donated a substantial sum of money towards the purchase of the additional hangar door sections. With this incentive, your Society went ahead with this project which otherwise was slated for two years hence.

Actually, the word “door” is a bit misleading, as there are in fact five doors involved. The hangar was originally equipped with the 22-foot wide centre door. All doors are of the roll-up type. The tracks are split and the “pillars” (with the lower roller track sections attached) between the doors roll off to one side after the doors are raised, leaving a clear span large enough to roll the Lancaster out! for moving smaller aircraft in or out, only two or three of the five doors are opened.

the Society extends a grateful THANKS to Alex Bahlsen for his generous contribution that has resulted in the completion of the hangar and making it possible to move aircraft in an out for special day demonstration, etc.

The museum hangar with all five doors installed as of April 16, 2002.
The Lancaster could now be “rolled out”.

The new look of the hangar from inside.

The museum hangar fully open for the first time since the Lancaster was pulled into the building in May 1991. The pillars seen in place here for lowering the doors.

A Stearman For The Winter

Your museum had a “live” airplane on display all winter. Last November, NLS member Alex Bahlsen, flew his vintage Stearman into a field adjacent to the town and taxied it to the museum. It was stored and on display in the museum until late April. We are anticipating that this aircraft will be on display again next winter.

Alex Bahlsen arrives at the museum November 19, 2001 with his Stearman.

Alex Bahlsen’s Stearman on display.

Manager’s Report

Once again it is time to say a few words for the newsletter. I have had so many new experiences in the past months, that it would take too long to describe them all! As time progresses, I am learning new things about the history that the Society is trying to portray and also about the operation of the museum. This knowledge requires taking on more tasks in addition to duties that were originally in my job description when I became museum manager.
The whole aspect of the daily operation of this Nanton Lancaster Society Air Museum continues to be of the utmost interest to me and every experience is very rewarding.
As I enter the fifth year of being involved with the museum, I have to state that there is never a dull moment and I continue to enjoy every moment!

Lea Norman

An Ode To A Hero

The following is a verse by director Rob Pedersen’s 14-year-old daughter Krysta. It was the winning entry in a Remembrance Day 2001 writing contest. A pencil sketch depicting S/L Ian Bazalgette was originally part of the presentation.

Baz’s Flight
by Krysta Pedersen

The engine screeched, as I tried to keep, my Lancaster in the air.
Two of my crew were badly wounded and we were flying on a wing and a prayer.

With the wing in burning mass of flames and all but one engine gone,
I called ‘Bailout, bailout’ to those able. To leave would not be wrong.
I could save myself but what of my crew ? To leave them now would mean certain death.

I would not leave, I could not leave, so I gripped the wheel and held my breath.

As time stood still in those last minutes I thought about home and friends.
I thought about how this war had gone and those who are now dead.
I saw the town below and felt my Lancaster drop. I could not let them down.
Oh, God, oh please help me keep it up. A field arose on the other side a short distance away,

I put her down as best I could but there would be no escape today.
To die for nothing is sad and cold so remember us, those who gave their lives,

those who will not grow old. In a moment of silence think about family and friends,

think about how that war had gone and think about us, the dead.

North American Yale

Since the Fall 2001 newsletter was sent out some changes have taken place in contemplated work for the shop over winter. The progress note regarding the N.A. Yale stated that the engine and wing centre-section for the Yale would likely be the next items due for restoration. A review of this project in December resulted in these items being relegated to the back burner and the Yale rear fuselage section being brought into the shop instead.

Also contributing to this change was the willingness of our AME volunteer Greg Morrison, to undertake the restoration of this component over winter. It was also decided to restore this part of the aircraft to an airworthy standard due to its relatively good condition (other than the skin). With volunteer work being done by Greg, the costs of certified materials being little more than those used for static restoration made this feasible. The accompanying photos will hopefully give the reader some idea of the progress up to late March.

Our Society is grateful to Greg for his dedication to this project. Thanks also to Bob Long and John Phillips AME, who are assisting Greg with this restoration.

New aluminum skin “clecoed” in place.

Anson Project Update (by Rob Pedersen)

Since the last news letter most of the fuselage formers are made and three floors finished. The Navigator floor is well along. Drawings for this floor were unavailable. Harry Volk, drew up a set of drawings from the remains of several navigator floors.

The solid plywood cockpit floor will be replaced with an authentic framed floor. Complete drawings did not exist for this floor either. Thanks to locating a fairly complete original floor a a pattern, Harry’s drafting talents have now created a drawing that will allow us to construct a cockpit floor as in the original Ansons.

Warmer weather to allow us to work in the hangar and mount the formers sand floors on ‘Annie.’ In the mean time volunteer Jack Hicks, Charles and Hugh Logie, Krysta Pedersen, Richard Adams, John Green, and myself have been busy sorting and cataloguing parts, making formers, and rebuilding the crew door.

Thanks to all the volunteers for their dedication to this project.

Harry Volk works on fuselage formers.


May 25, 2002 Ceremony:
The Society jointly with local Royal Canadian Legion #80 will rededicate the Cenotaph which was moved to the museum grounds last year. In conjunction with this there will be the official opening of the museum’s new entryway.

July 13, 2002 Fly-In:
Date of the Third Annual Fly-in to the AJ Flying Ranch, sponsored by NLS and the Local Chapter of the Bomber Command Association of Canada. (Camping under the wing for those who fly in the evening of July 12.) A pancake breakfast will be served from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. by the Nanton and District Lion’s Club ($4 a plate). Cadet Squadron #187 will be serving hamburgers at noon at a nominal fee. Transportation to and from the Air Museum will be supplied.

August 24, Salute To The BCATP
Nhe Society’s main annual event for 2002: See above for details.

Halifax Print Donated

Ken Townend, Western Canada representative of the Canadian Branch of the Yorkshire Air Museum (YAM), presented a framed, limited edition of a print featuring the Halifax “Friday The 13th.” This print is from an original painting by John Moutray DFC, DFM, and is titled “Trouble over Texel.” Ken presented this on behalf of the Yorkshire Air Museum and Douglas Sample, CD, president of their Canadian branch.

This print will be added to the museum’s Halifax display. The Society extends a grateful THANKS to Ken Townend, Douglas Sample and the Yorkshire Air Museum for enhancing this display.

Ken Townend presents the framed Halifax print to NLS curator Bob Evans. It will be added to the Halifax display seen here in the background.

Bristol Gun Turret

One of the projects underway in the shop is the restoration of a Bristol Turret from the Blenheim (Bolingbroke) bomber. Volunteer Charlie Cobb, who drives from Calgary nearly every ‘Tuesday work night,’ is in charge of this project. The late Buck Koral was assisting him.

The museum has two such turrets. One is presently installed (unrestored but complete with imitation machine guns) in the restored Blenheim that is on display in the hangar. Your Society hopes to eventually restore both turrets. One will be used as a display unto itself to show visitors the workings of this 1930’s design. The other will be refitted to the Blenheim.
Thanks to Charlie for his dedication to this project and the museum.

Charlie Cobb concentrates on the turret.

“FM159-The Lucky Lancaster”

A sixty page book chronicling the history of the museum’s Lancaster will soon be printed. It begins by describing the aircraft’s early years as it flew to England after the war ended and then returned to Canada only to be placed in long-term storage in southern Alberta. FM159’s travels during the 1950s while based at Greenwood, Nova Scotia, with 103 Rescue Unit and at Comox, B.C., with No. 407 Squadron are described.

With the cooperation of former RCAF personnel who flew the post war Lancasters, many stories and photographs have emerged regarding flights to Ireland, Florida, Alert, California, and Alaska. The book goes on to tell the story of how FM159 was acquired by three Nanton residents and later became the centrepiece of an air museum as the Ian Bazalgette Memorial Lancaster

The book is the result of two years of research by NLS director, Dave Birrell, who has previously authored the book, “BAZ,” the story of S/L Ian Bazalgette VC, to whom the museum’s Lancaster is dedicated. Dave has also published two books about the Rock Mountains.

FM-159 at Yellowknife, NWT, in 1950s.

New Domain Name

The Society’s website is becoming an increasingly important way of how we deliver the history of Bomber Command and the BCATP to the public as several hundred people a day visit our museum through the Internet. Our volunteer website manager has made significant upgrades to the site over the past few months. As well we now have our own “Domain Name.”

Simulator Donated To Museum

The photo below is that of a simulator fuselage which was donated to the Nanton Lancaster Society Air Museum by the Canadian Warplane Heritage (CWH) Museum, Hamilton, Ontario. CWH had acquired as number of these ‘P-51s’ and offered some of them to members of the Canadian Aeronautical Preservation Association (CAPA) members at that organization’s convention last fall.

NLS will be adding a computer with the Flight Simulator program to this for a hands-on display for visitors, both young and older.

NLS extend THANKS to the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum for this donation and also to the Calgary Aero Space Museum for transporting it along with some of these same simulator bodies acquired by their museum.

Last but not least, THANKS to two NLS directors; Jim Weirsma for making a trip to Calgary to pick up the fuselage, only to find that it would not fit in his short box pickup truck; and to director John Phillips for finally hauling it.

Large Anson Mk.I model donated by Don bowhay, Airdrie, AB. It was built as a radio controlled model but was never flown.

Alex Bahlsen’s Stearman has been on display in the museum all winter. It was the first aircraft out the new hangar doors.

AME Greg Morrison in the cockpit of Alex Bahlesen’s Stearman, April 20, 2002. It was the first aircraft to be moved out of the museum via the new hangar doors. the Museum’s T-33 in the background.

Directors, Greg Morrison and Eric Bryant stand on the man-lift, while director Jim Weirsma uses a ladder.

All three are in the process of removing the walls that have covered the hangar door area since 1991.

The additional doors, now installed, were installed inside with the walls in place,
so the building was never open to the weather.

The final weather stripping, etc., was added after the walls were dismantled.
Removing the sheet metal and wall framework was an “all volunteer” undertaking.
Several other Society members also spent a full day getting this done.
The Society is very pleased with the work of the contractor, “The Door Doctor,” Dave Gourley, and his crew.

THANKS to DAVE, NEIL, and JO ANNE for a job well done!
THANKS also to MAGWOOD MOTORS for the use of their forklift in removing the walls!.

Members of the Society are often asked, what is the secret of our success. We believe the old saying that a lot of organizations fail because they have “too many chiefs and not enough workers.”

An example of our attitude is that even our president, will take on the menial jobs.Here is President Dan Fox, shown above (left) with member/volunteer Maurice Galli (right).They are painting the main gallery floor, after first sweeping and washing it. The uniformed “lady” in the background is supervising.

Letters Received

March 11, 2002
Dear Editor:
I read with interest a letter from Horace Lapointe in your Spring/Summer 1999 Newsletter. Horace had served as a navigator on a Lancaster flying from RAF station Ludford Magna. In his letter Horace recounted the shooting down of a Messerschmitt 262 by his bomb aimer F/G Drewery and his pilot F/O Withenshaw during an operation on Pforzheim.
I knew John (Jack) Drewery well as we trained together as bomb aimers. (See the enclosed picture taken at Mossbank, Sask.) Having completed our training in Canada we went overseas together where we served in different Bomber Command squadrons, Drewery with #101 Squadron at Ludford Magna and I with #626 Squadron at nearby Wickenby.
My crew and I also flew on the Pforzheim operation of Feb. 23, 1945. It was an oil target and we carried a 4000 pound ‘cookie’ and incendiaries. According to my log book it was a night op of 7 hours 45 minutes.
I was shocked and saddened to hear Peter Mansbridge on the ‘National’ of Feb. 4 announce the death of John Drewery (he had been a war correspondent) and I am enclosing a contribution in his memory to the Nanton Lancaster Society.

Jack Crammond

    Canal, New Brunswick

Jack Ccrammond’s photo of the September 1943 graduates of Course 87 at #2 Bombing and Gunnery School, Mossbank, Saskatchewan. Jack is third from theh left in the front row. Jack Drewery is next to him (4th).

In Memorium – “Buck” Koral

“BUCK” KORAL of High River, Alberta, member and volunteer; passed away suddenly on April 10, 2002.

Buck will be missed by all his NLS friends and other regular volunteers who work in the museum restoration shop. His energy and dedication to whatever project was underway in the shop helped tremendously to complete several displays and make the museum a better place to visit.

On behalf of everyone who worked with Buck at the museum, we extend deepest sympathy to his family.

May God Bless.

The late “Buck” Koral working in the NLS shop on another project that will enhance the museum.

In Memorium For

* Richard S. Couch *
of Nelson, B.C., passed away February 8, 2002. Richard was a Flying Officer during WWII and long time member of the Society.

* James France *
of Qualicum Beach, B.C., passed on recently. James was a Square Footer member and supporter of the museum.

* John G. Jarvis *
of Calgary, Alberta, a long-time supporter and a Square-Footer member, passed away in October 2001.

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

Copyright 2010, Nanton Lancaster Society