July 15 Fly-In
The Society’s July 2006 Fly-in was a huge success! By 10 a.m. a total of 78 aircraft and a tethered hot air balloon were tied down adjacent to the E/W asphalt runway at the A.J Flying Ranch seven miles north of Nanton.
Aircraft attending varied from small ultra-lites, home built sports planes, vintage aircraft, general aviation single engine types, helicopters, to a spectacular twin engine Beech Expeditor. A tethered hot air balloon was on hand giving free rides to any one attending.
The Nanton and district Lions Club served breakfast from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. After everyone had filled up on pancakes and bacon, the two Tiger Moths that had flown in, took passengers for short flights. Several people arrived back from this aerial adventure in wartime training aircraft with wide grins that wouldn’t wipe off! These vintage WWII bi-wing training aircraft belong to Gordon Jones of High River, AB, and Neil Davidson of Kimberly, B.C. Neil had flown “over the Rocks” the evening before.
The arrival of the highly polished Beech Expeditor in its RCAF livery was a definite crowd pleaser! This aircraft belongs to SunWest Aviation in Calgary and was flown in by Mark Eberl.
Volunteers with mini vans shuttled flying visitors to and from the AJ Flying Ranch and the musuem.
After a lunch of hambugers and refreshments served by the High River Cadets, the visiting aircraft departed for their home bases. Another great day became part of the history of our Society.
L- Gordon Jones’ Tiger Moth in formation along with Neil Davidson’s Moth.
Sun West Aviation’s restored Beech Expeditor flown by Mark Eberl.
1944 Jeep On Loan To Museum
The restored Jeep in the photo above is on long-term loan to the museum from Jerry and Eunice Barthel of Lethbridge.
This Jeep is the fulfilment of a dream that Jerry had since May 5, 1945. He was eleven when he watched Canadian troops in their Jeeps roll into the Dutch town where his family lived during WWII. Jerry later immigrated to Canada. In recent years he was able to acquire an old beat-up Jeep, painted an ugly blue and full of holes. He and some equally dedicated friends resurrected the vehicle to its original glory. It sports the numbers 5-5-45 and a slogan, “Holland Says Thank You Liberators.” Also it has been nicknamed “The Freedom Wagon” because of what it stands for in the heart of a Dutch-Canadian who has valued freedom ever since it was taken from him and his family 60 years ago.
NLS was pleased to accept the loan of “The Freedom Wagon.” During the past summer it was used in parades, displayed at the July fly-in (see photo), and is now displayed in the museum. THANKS JERRY for letting us use this nicely restored symbolic vehicle!
Our 2006 annual summer event featured a full day of activities beginning with an outdoor pancake breakfast served by the Nanton Lions Club. During the breakfast, the British Army Gazelle helicopter arrived from CFB Suffield as did the No. 408 Squadron Griffon from CFB Edmonton. The museum’s operational Lancaster rear-turret was demonstrated by Richard Adams. This was followed by the official opening of the Peenemunde Display by Maureen Love, daughter of former NLS member Jim Love. Later in the morning, we enjoyed flypasts by Gordon Jones’ Tiger Moth, Alex Bahlsen’s Stearman, and a Lancaster Merlin engine start-up. At noon, Tutor #177 was officially placed on display by Major Dan Robinson, MCpl Tim Collis, and Marg Liessens.
The focus of the day was the Twentieth Anniversary of the Society. Our luncheon was sold out as usual. The program by Dave Birrell, featured a slide presentation illustrating the development of the museum from 1986 to the present time. Don Pearsons, Director of Air Force Heritage and History for the Canadian Armed Forces, congratulated the Society on its accomplishments. Don was followed by Dave Bashow, author of “No Prouder Place; Canadians and the Bomber Command Experience” who reminded the audience of the critical role played by Bomber Command during World War II and the huge contribution by Canadians in this struggle. The program concluded with Jim Blondeau singing “The Wall at Nanton,” the song that he wrote for the 2005 Memorial Wall Dedication.
Following the program Capt. Greg Wiebe performed an impressive fly-past in a Snowbird-marked Tutor aircraft followed by Mark Eberl in the Sunwest Aviation Expeditor. The day concluded with a second running of the Lancaster’s Merlin engine.
Jim Blondeau sings “The Wall in Nanton” song at the August event. [ K. Tearum photo ]
408 Squadron helicopter arrives.
Dan Fox with Maurice Galli who is holding the commemorative “Snowbirds” coin presented to him by NLS in gratitude for his restoring nad painting Tutor 177 in snowbird colours.
Dan Fox and Marg Liessens officially place the Tutor 177 on display.
Nanton born, MCpl. Tim Collis and his wife Christine stand with Tutor 177 and the August 26/06 event. Tim has been instrumental in locating seats for the Tutor.
MCpl. Collis has just been appointed to a key position with the 2007 Snowbirds – that of Deputy Crew Chief. Congratulations Tim!
Lanc 159 moving out for engine run.
Getting ready to start #3 Merlin.
431 Squadron – WWII and Now
As part of 6 Group, No. 431 Squadron flew Wellington, Halifax, and Lancaster Bombers during World War II. Today, No. 431 Air Demonstration Squadron is known to all Canadians as the Snowbirds.
A Lanc panel with artwork painted by Clarence Simonsen is displayed with Tutor #177 and reflects the connection between the squadron’s wartime duties and its current role. Lancaster KB-859 is part of the artwork and honours Albert Dorey, an RCAF air-gunner who was lost with this aircraft while serving with No. 431. His daughter, Marg Liessens, joined us for our summer event and together with Major Dan Robinson, officially placed Tutor #177 on display.
David Mould Donation
Our museum is the proud recipient of a number of very special paintings that were willed to the Society by the late David Mould of Regina, Saskatchewan.
During WWII David completed a tour of operations as a rear gunner on Lancasters. He passed away in Regina on March 29/06 after a courageous battle with Lou Gehrig’s disease.
David Mould had been an NLS member since 1991. He arrived the day before the Lanc was to be moved into the new museum hangar building, which was in the final construction phase. He returned the next day to assist with the actual move and had remained a Society member since that time.
Until contacted by the solicitors for David’s estate our Society had no idea that he had been an artist who had portrayed scenes from his wartime experience in his own very unique renderings. Some of his very special paintings are already on display in the museum.
Former Flight Lieutenant, David Mould, will be remembered along with all those who fought for our freedom. Our museum will help keep his memory alive by displaying his unique art work.
Above are four of David Mould’s paintings that now reside in the museum.
To fully appreciate these special paintings, a visit to the museum is a must.
Although it remains a work-in-progress as the newsletter goes to press, a major new feature in the “Aviation Art Collections” section is now available on our website. “The Clarence Simonsen Collection” will focus on the museum’s collection of 46 pieces of artwork that Clarence has donated over the years. It also provides an on-line location to feature Clarence’s research into a number of areas including the American Airpower Heritage Collection, the original nose art panels currently on display at the Canadian War Museum, and the biographies of Canadian nose artists. With Clarence’s assistance, our museum hopes to play a leading role in the preservation of Canadian nose art.
Peenemumde – Jim Love Display Dedicated
August 26 saw the official opening of a joint display commemorating the WWII raid on the Peenemunde factories, and the memorabilia of the late Jim Love. Jim, a former navigator who took part in this historic raid was one of the Nanton Lancaster Society’s long-time members and supporters. His daughter, Maureen Love, along with NLS President Dan Fox, officially opened the display.
Jim Love’s log book and medals, including his DFC, are a prominent part of this new display.
The Society is pleased to honour the memory of Jim Love and would like to thank his family for entrusting his special memorabilia to the museum’s care.
Maureen Love and NLS President Dan Fox stand in front of the newly opened Peenemunde/Jim Love display.
by John Phillips, NLS Director
Joe English seated at the gate to AirVenture 2006.
In support of the High River chapter of the EAA, a number of Nanton Lancaster Society volunteer members made a trek to Oshkosh, some by air and some by land. Joe English and Merrill Honeyman took the high road and Greg Morrison, Jon Puckett and myself took the low road in Greg’s trusty 4-door Dodge pick-up.
The purpose was not solely to help out the EAA chapter but to promote the Nanton Lancaster Society with our traveling display. In this display was a practice bomb-sight, a propeller, several story boards, much give-away literature and nominally priced medallions and pins.
We took along many flags. One of them, the RCAF ensign, was flown along with a large Maple Leaf flag at the front corners of the tent.
The front of the tent was occupied by the High River EAA group, spear-headed by Jack Dueck. They did a furious business of soliciting donations which went towards the expenses of the CWH Lancaster, which appeared at the latter part of the show. The rear of the tent was shared by the NLS guys and Halifax 57 (Canada) representatives, Karl Kjarsgaard, Jim Blondeau, and Chris Charland, (the walking aviation encyclopedia). They held court and quietly, but with fervor pushed their Halifax project, bringing forth the fact that there were many Americans in the RCAF in the early part of WWII.
The passers-by at our table were given much information about our museum, and Greg, with his map, gave a lesson in geography, referenced to Montana, so they could find us should they come this way. Merrill, Jon and Greg answered hundreds of questions. During the early part of the show the most-asked question was, “When is the Lancaster coming?” It arrived at a spot right in front of our tent and was instantly surrounded by masses of visitors. The Lanc was really a hit in its parking spot in Aeroshell Square in the company of a B-24A Liberator. The most photographed part of the Lanc was the rear gun turret !
All of us managed to visit some of the tents and sights but not near as much as we would have liked. Every afternoon was devoted to flying displays and for this action we had close to a ring-side seat.
Joe English deserves special mention because he was very active with the EAA group and made presentations in the evening including Theatre in the Woods. Karl made presentations regarding Halifax LW170 and his devotion to bringing it to the Nanton Lancaster Society Museum.
The last day, Sunday, was a bit of a wash-out due to a very early morning rain. When we arrived at the tent it was evident that interest was way down – so we loaded our display and by early afternoon were ‘on the road again’ with our capable driver in command.
All in all a successful, albeit tiring, adventure.
The CWH Lancaster arriving at Oshkosh.
Jon Puckett, John Phillips, and Greg Morrison man the NLS booth at AirVenture 2006.
The Oshkosh display tent – flags flying.
Relaxing after a big day at AirVenture, from L-R are: Jon Puckett, Jim Blondeau, John Phillips, Greg Morrison, Merrill Honeyman, and Chris Charland.
Joe Engish stands with a group of re-enactors, dressed in WWII uniforms who acted out parts of a bomber aircrew.
Museum Expansion News
As we go to press, our representatives are contacting building contractors regarding building the first phase of the 160 ft. x 90 ft. addition. Phase One will be the bare building and hopefully the concrete floors. The latter will depend on how far the money on hand goes.
The NLS board of directors will be hiring a contractor in the next while to commence construction in the spring of 2007. In the interim, additional funding is being sought for phase two, to complete the building interior.
Lanc Ammo Track
NLS recently acquired a Lancaster ammunition track from Mike Berry in Ontario. Some pieces of this wartime component are still needed. The missing parts are the end sections that attach to the ammo boxes mounted on the rear of the bomb bay floor. If anyone reading this article knows where the missing pieces might be obtained, please contact us.
The ammo track sections will not be installed right away, but the acquisition of this wartime component is another step in returning the old bomber to its original wartime configuration.
Pictured at right is a major portion of an original Lancaster ammunition track.
Merlin Engine Stand
A long-time friend of the museum, Neil Wilson, owner, operator, of South Central Welding Ltd., has just competed an engine stand for the shop. The stand is Neil’s own design based on the NLS engine crew’s input. This will enable the engine crew to rotate a Merlin engine to any position for dismantling and overhaul.
A Merlin engine crankcase was used to size the stand. This crankcase was a recent donation to NLS by the Greenwood, Nova Scotia, Military Aviation Museum. Its timely arrival facilitated greatly the making of this new piece of shop equipment. THANK YOU Greenwood!
While your Society contracted the building of this much needed tool, Neil donated a goodly portion of the labour. We extend a grateful THANKS to Neil Wilson for his continuing support of the museum.
The new Merlin engine stand with the donated Merlin crankcase still in place.
Director Rob Pedersen has informed us that an area company will be donating a metal turning lathe that was used during WWII and originally funded by War Bonds! This indeed will be a welcome addition as a work shop tool, but as an artifact from the era our museum portrays. We will report further on this in the Spring 2007 newsletter.
Anson Restoration Update
by Rob Pedersen – Anson project leader
The Mark I Anson was nicknamed the “Flying Green House” due to all of the windows in its cabin section. While it afforded its crew with a fantastic view in all directions, it also acted like a green house and on sunny days it was reported by crewmembers to be very hot. With the introduction of the Mark II Anson and its operational roll moved from bomber to trainer, several modifications were made to its fuselage. The biggest were to remove and cover over the upper turret and to cover over many of its side windows.
The current task underway for the Anson restoration crew is the restoration of the cabin windows. They are of all wood construction with vertical metal supports. Out of the 18 Anson fuselages that we collected, we managed to find, save and restore enough original materials to produce all of the necessary window frames, vertical supports and fittings with the following exceptions. We had to manufacture the lower half of the starboard navigator window, the starboard and port navigator window frames plus the longerons that support the windows themselves. All other materials are 100% original and date back to 1940 when the aircraft was first assembled.
The windows are assembled in one long strip and then installed on the airframe as a single piece. When the Mark II windows were built, the major change from the Mark I was to add formers and stringers to support the fabric that covered the deleted windows. Currently our windows are being assembled in the shop. Over the next two months they will be painted and installed on the airframe. They should be on ‘Annie’ in late November.
Looking forward, once the window assemblies are finished, the next task for the restoration crew will be the restoration of the cockpit floor and the mounting of all fuselage formers and stringers.
Before and after photos of the starboard cabin window frame of the Anson. Not much to start with, but it is now nearly ready to install. Wherever possible, the original wood has been used in restoring this aircraft.
Airforce Tour 2006
by Jon Puckett
On Sept. 20 the journey started. Three flights later the group of 31 Canadians was all together at our Manchester hotel. The six war veterans present consisted of Paul, a Halifax pilot; Ray, a Lancaster driver (flew the Nanton Lancaster when it was at Comox), Ralph, a flight engineer on Halifaxes and Lancasters, Ian, a Mosquito bomber navigator, Larry, who was with the British army in Italy; and Myra, who served in the RAF as part of a barrage balloon operational unit. It was a privilege to travel with these people and hear their wonderful stories.
Our first museum was the Manchester Museum of Science and Technology. Here I saw my first Shackelton bomber along with a Spitfire, and the delta wing prototype used in the Vulcan bomber.
Our next visit was Stonehall Cemetery, at York, where Paul visited the grave of his mid-upper gunner who was lost March of 1945. The visit to York and York Minster Cathedral gave us a view of the past, and the homage paid to military men over the ages, including a dedicated plaque to RCAF 6 group at the Air Force Memorial. We visited the Yorkshire Air Museum and the Canadian Memorial Hangar where we were given VIP treatment. Paul got a chance to once again visit the cockpit of a Halifax, and Ralph relearned the fuel system of this bomber. We found the NLS newsletter is read by all and archived for future reference. After our time in the Canadian Hangar, I met with two former gunners who proudly displayed their collection of refurbished gun turrets, and told interesting, first person stories. Our next stop was RAF base Holme Upon Spalding Moor, the home of 76 Sqn., Paul’s old squadron where he was reunited with an old flying buddy.
Sunday, September 25 we traveled to RAF Coningsby and the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Hangar. This day they flew their Lancaster, Spitfires, Hurricane, and DC3. The Lancaster flanked by two Spits was a sight not to be forgotten. We stopped at Woodhall Spa and visited the Damn Busters Memorial. Here we were treated to a fly past by the Lancaster.
We continued on to Coventry, our base from which to tour RAF Cosford, and the Midlands Air Museum. Again we had special treatment. We got up close and personal with the aircraft, a V2 rocket bomb, a Lincoln bomber, etc. They also had great training aids that explained the theory of flight. At Midlands we got to experience the air crew working area of a Vulcan bomber as well as a collection of jet fighters from around the world.
London, with the RAF Museum at Hendon and the Imperial War Museum, was our next stop. Hendon has added an impressive new entrance building, displaying the only surviving Hawker Tempest. In bomber hall we saw a collection of Wellington, Halifax, B17, and Mitchell bombers, plus other vintage aircraft. There was a display of Victoria Crosses won by RAF personnel. Of interest to the Nanton Museum was Ian Bazalgette’s Victoria Cross.
The Imperial War Museum is impressive. At the front gate you are met by two 15-inch naval guns. Here we visited Monty’s African Tank, a German one-man sub, and a mockup of a submarine toilet complete with operating instructions, and many more artifacts.
September 28 we were off to Portsmouth with a stop at the Air Force Memorial at Runnymede. Reading the personal messages left by friends and relatives to loved ones who were lost with no known grave gave me a whole new perspective on the cost of war. I stopped to wonder what contributions these 20,000 young men could have made to the world, had they been given the chance.
From Portsmouth to Caen via fast ferry, on to Juno, Gold and Omaha beaches, the museum at Bayeux, the Canadian War Cemeteries at Beny Sur Mer, Bretteville, William the Conqueror’s city of Falaise, and the Abbey d’Ardenne where 19 North Novas were executed by the SS under the command of Kurt Meyer. Next was Pegasus Bridge Museum. We finished the tour at Le Memorial De Caen which pays tribute to victims of the wars of the twentieth century.
All good things must come to an end. On October 2, twelve of us left very early for Charles de Gaulle airport and the flight home.
Florence and I had a great trip and saw things we shall never forget. We came home with a new understanding and appreciation for the sacrifices made by a previous generation, so that we can live the life we do today in Canada.
Rocky Air Show
by Greg Morrison NLS Secretary
Hello All! As this is my first article for the Newsletter, please bear with me! On Tuesday, August 15, 2006 we loaded trucks, and trailers with tools and headed for Rocky Mountain House. We arrived in Rocky that afternoon to see our new aircraft, Canadair CT-114 Tutor jet #114177, painted in “Snowbird” colours of jet #4. As we set up our booth we were treated to flying displays of all the performers for the following day’s show. The day before an airshow is what is known as media day and on this day all the performers usually arrive at the venue and take radio and television personalities for rides. In late afternoon, the star performers arrived, the Canadian Armed Forces 431 Air Demonstration Squadron, commonly known as the Snowbirds. They performed a few manoeuvres for the small crowd before landing all nine jets in succession. That evening the Nanton Lancaster Museum presented a piece of Nose Art to the “Snowbirds” in recognition of that squadron’s roots as a WWII bomber squadron and to officially recognize the handover of Tutor 114177 to the museum.
The morning of August 16 found us all up early and headed to the airport for the airshow. A small rain shower passed through in the late morning but by the time the gates opened at 1:00 p. m. the clouds had opened up to reveal a lovely day for flying.
With our Tutor jet positioned in front of our display we were now ready. The crowd began to build and swarmed around the jet. For $5 we allowed visitors to sit in the cockpit for photographs – many people did!
Just before the show started, a P-51D and a B-25 showed up to add themselves to the static line with the Chipmunk and Harvard Mk IV. The CF-18 Hornet Demonstration Team put on a very spirited and noisy show culminating with a full arrested landing on the airfield complete with sparks from the dragging tail hook! The Harvard Mk IV treated us to a display that was much slower paced and quieter! The evening’s show ended with a water bomber drop by AirSpray Ltd. from Red Deer with their Lockheed Electra. The show proved to be very successful. The gate count indicated that 7000 people attended!
The next day found us back at the airport to take our Tutor apart for trucking home. With help from two Snowbird techs, one being from Nanton originally, MCpl Tim Collis, we had the jet disassembled and ready to load by noon that day. By 5:00 p.m. we were loaded and strapped down.
We were quite the sight heading down the road and I counted no fewer than eight cameras pointed by people as they passed our convoy on Highway 2! By 10 p.m. that night we rolled into Nanton bringing our 3-day adventure to an end. Many thanks go out to Maurice Galli and his crew for planning and pulling off a tremendously successful airshow and for painting Tutor 114177 for us!
Nine Snowbirds performing at the Rocky Mountain House Air Show.
A member of the “Sky Hawks,” Canadian Forces Parachute Team, unfurls a Canadian flag as he descends after jumping from a de Havilland Buffalo.
This immaculately restored de Havilland Chipmunk, from the Reynolds collection was flown to the air show by Brett Binnie, former executive director of CAPA. Brett gave rides to several persons that day, including your NLS editor. Thanks Brett!
Dave Birrell and Greg Morrison present a special nose art panel to the Snowbird’s lead pilot, Major Ian McLean. This panel was specially painted by Clarence Simonsen. It portrays symbols of the WWII activities of 431 Squadron and its present role as the Canadian Forces
Air Demonstration (“Snowbirds”) Squadron. The painting is don on a piece of wind skin
from a long since scrapped Lancaster.
Tink & Judy Robinson, their son Major Dan Robinson, and MCpl. Tim Colls stand beside Tutor 177 at the Air Show.
57 Rescue (Canada) Ltd Halifax Recovery Report #12 (condensed)
by Karl Kjarsgaard
During the time of the annual celebration at the Nanton Museum on August 26, Directors Karl Kjarsgaard and Jim Blondeau renewed acquaintance with supporters of the Halifax Project and of the Nanton Museum and their great Bomber Command Memorial.
They were especially pleased to meet with local MLA David Coutts, (Minister of Sustainable Resource Development) who attended and was a guest speaker at this function. He continues to be a most stalwart supporter of all our endeavors, including the Halifax Project.
Jim Blondeau and MLA Coutts talked about the importance of passing on our great RCAF heritage and sacrifice to all Canadians and the world, especially the young people of our nation. David Coutts graciously consented to a video interview at the museum with Jim and he was able to record his comments about the saving of our air force history and other important issues. These videos will be used in future promotion for the Halifax Project and the Nanton Museum’s aims as we proceed into the future on our joint projects.
Once again, Father Harry Schmuck, WWII mid-upper Halifax gunner, joined us from Ontario on his third pilgrimage to Nanton. His presence and eloquent grace before the luncheon were greatly appreciated. The fact that he represents both the RCAF veterans and the Almighty in one package is a wonderful addition to all of those gatherings he attends.
Jim Blondeau, director, multi-media expert, and creator of the great musical ballad “The Wall at Nanton” performed his musical tribute twice for the audiences attending on August 26. There were many misty eyes after his performance. Jim’s tribute song about the RCAF Americans, personified by the song about Tom Withers Jr., was part of a musical video produced by Jim. This was played on the museum’s big screen as a tribute to the Americans who volunteered in the RCAF during WWII. Thanks to Jim Blondeau for all his efforts on our behalf.
Momentum for the Halifax Project is still ongoing, with political support of MPs, Senators, MLAs, and high level officials. Halifax 57 Rescue (Canada) directors have been able to open several lines of communication with all these officials and this will help as we continue our fund raising efforts to get the Halifax Project underway in the summer of 2007.
Many donations have been received, keeping us operational. The sales of our beautiful signed Halifax print “Invincible Item” are doing well. Please continue to support us as we proceed to recover RCAF Halifax LW170 and bring her home to Nanton.
Please note that the digital encyclopedia of the Handley Page Halifax, “HALIFAX EXPLORED,” produced by our partners Flying Zone Publications, was released on Nov. 7, 2006. This CD-ROM promises to be ‘the’ definitive source of Halifax information with over 2000 pages and diagrams on the good old Hallie.
We cannot think of a more unique and better Christmas gift for Halifax veterans and fans than either a print of “INVINCIBLE ITEM” or a copy of the CD “HALIFAX EXPLORED” (or both). This would be the ultimate “Hallibag” bundle for Christmas.
There are several very positive developments for both Halifax 57 Rescue (Canada) and our partners, the Nanton Lancaster Society, as we move forward in the coming months of 2006 and 2007.
Warmest regards from Halifax 57 Rescue (Canada) to our friends at the Nanton Lancaster Society Museum.
For Karl Kjarsgaard’s full report see the 57 Rescue (Canada) website:
Air Canada Capt. Karl Kjarsgaard beside a Air Canada Boeing 767 engine inlet.
Volunteer Appreciation Night
NLS volunteers, RAF 617 Squadron members and out of town guests who attended.
[ photo by Kathy Taerum ]
Our annual thank-you to the volunteers was well attended and featured some very special guests. W/C Pete Rochelle and fourteen members of No. 617 Squadron RAF toured the museum in the afternoon and, following supper, joined the volunteers at our annual Volunteer Appreciation Evening.
A slide presentation by No. 617 member Stu Lawson illustrated both the history and current operations of the squadron which was stationed in Alberta to train with the British Army at CFB Suffield. Following the slide show, W/C Rochelle presented framed prints to Rob Taerum, nephew of Harlo (Terry) Taerum who flew with the squadron on the Dams Raid, Shere Lowe, whose father was shot down on the Dams Raid, Bill Hume of Claresholm, Alberta, who was an air-gunner with No. 617 during the war, and to the museum. W/C Rochelle then invited museum members to come to Calgary the next morning to watch the squadron “operate” as its four Tornado fighter-bombers would be taking off and landing regularly as part of war-games underway at CFB Suffield. Those of us who attended were very impressed, both with the aircraft and the friendliness and professionalism of the squadron.
The volunteers then enjoyed a most impressive “reading” by play-write Sandra Dempsey. Her recently published play, “Flying to Glory,” follows the careers of young Alberta recruits who train with the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan and then fly Halifaxes with Bomber Command. The play is very well done, including both humor and tragedy but always historically very accurate. Sandra chose three “light-hearted” scenes to read that were very well received by those present.
W/C Pete Rochelle presents a print to Dave Birrell and Dan Fox.
W/C Pete Rochelle presents a print to Bill Hume.
Manager, Lea Norman, suggested that instead of her report we mention the end-of-season evening, held for tour guides and summer volunteers.
Tour guides and volunteers at a gathering September 9, ending the summer season.
2006 tour guides from L to R; Katelyn Hornecker, Richard Adams, Ashley Burrows, Carla Hornecker, Camille McDonald. (They did a tremendous job!)
Katelyn made this cake for dessert.
NLS Members being introduced to a RAF Tornado aircraft at the Calgary airport.
NLS volunteer, John Maze, in the cockpit of a Tornado. The smile on John’s face is still there
– it may be permanent!
The museum’s 1941, 60 cwt truck (Old Blue) now has a new engine due to the dedicated efforts of shop volunteer, (retd. heavy duty mechanic) Gordon Neu.
Here, “Old Blue” is all decked out and participating in the Nanton August long weekend parade. Tour guides dressed in WWII uniforms rode the back along with one of the museum’s mannequins.
Letters and e-mail addressed to the Society have in some cases been edited.
We try to make sure the intent of the message is left intact.
S/L Wilard Sawyer, (BA)
Dear Sirs: I read with interest the E-mail article in the spring/summer 2006 newsletter regarding the fate of the German pocket battleship, the Admiral Scheer. The following entry in my log book is the highlight of my operational tour while attached to 101 Sqn. bomber command RAF.
“Apr 9, 1945 Time 5 hours 15 minutes
Operations – Kiel
Target – Shipbuilding yards, U-boat pens and workshops
Bomb load 1×4000, 10×500, 1×250
Many searchlights. Bombed ground markers. Good prang
ADMIRAL SCHEER SUNK”
Dear NLS: Hi, I have just finished reading a book by Philip Grey (ex Scot Lancaster pilot) now living in Canada called “Ghosts of Targets Past” which readers of this website might be interested in. I am also a regular return visitor to this most impressive and informative site. I wish you all well.
Hello Mr. Armstrong: I have just received your Society’s Newsletter, and was most encouraged to see the Lanc’s Starboard Engine (#3) as it was running on Page 9! Excellent! I was president of Ontario Lancaster Society, and pushed the board to send out our cheque for $1,000.00 in order to get that engine up and running! Great to see that is happening!
My name is Rev. Kenneth J. Knight, and I am a close friend and fellow member with Mr. Ed Curnutte, of the Canadian Historical Aircraft Association (CHAA) at Windsor, Ontario. You may be interested in knowing that my wife, the former Betty Mugford, and I worked at Victory Aircraft Ltd. in the early forties. She was the fitter, (never call Her “Rosie the Riveter”) on the Mid-Upper turret fairings, while I was employed out in Flight-Test Hangar.
I am one of the founding members of CHAA. Betty has also become a member. We have the responsibility for the care of “Lancaster FM212” and there’s a de Havilland “Mosquito Bomber” being rebuilt in our hangar! There are also four “Yellow Perils” two are “DH Chipmunks” one is a “PT-17 Stearman” and there’s a member owned, “Fleet Fawn.” Another member has a Yellow J-3 Cub, and parks it in our wartime wooden hangar!
Dear NLS: Just wanted to let you know I visited the museum a number of years ago with my wife and children. It was fantastic being able to get into the “Lanc.” It was a super opportunity and gave us an intimate appreciation for the plane. Brings history alive! I recommend everyone to go the museum if they have the chance.
From an e-mail about preserving Lancaster FM212.
At their meeting on Monday, Oct. 30, 2006, Windsor, Ontario, City Council unanimously approved the relocation of their Lancaster Bomber, FM212, from its temporary storage area to Windsor Airport under the stewardship of our group, the Canadian Historical Aircraft Association. The move is to take place in the spring of 2007. We should have the date for that shortly.
The whole process of saving Lanc 212 and bringing it down off its pedestal to be restored has been a long time coming, and has taken a great deal of time and patience. We can now continue on from where we left off when the Lancaster was removed from its pedestal in May of 2005, by bringing it to Windsor Airport where it can be housed in a new building, restored, preserved and displayed to the public.
Thanks to all of you for everything you’ve done… all the letters, phone calls, emails and the support in general for the Lanc 212 project has been worth the effort. Honouring our veterans and remembering our fallen airmen is what itÕs all about. Well done everyone!
Ed Curnutte, Project Manager
Wyman E. Campbell
Long-time member. Donated some very special BCATP photos for archives.
Died June 4, 2006. Former ferry pilot during WWII. Guest speaker at the NLS summer event in 1996.
Passed away March 29, 2006. Former WWII air gunner, long-time NLS member.
Edyth T. Prowse,
Passed away March 3, 2006.
William B. Thorpe,
St. Lambert, Quebec.
Passed on August 16, 2006. Was a long-time supporter.
Black Diamond, Alberta.
Edward (Ted) Hutton,
Died October 10, 2006. Was a long-time supporter of NLS.
The Nanton Lancaster Society extends deepest sympathy
to the families and friends of these former members and supporters.
May God Bless.
So many things have happened in the past six months, it seems like one of those old movies on fast-forward. First, we had our “Planes, Trains and Elevators” event in May, which generated a lot of interest. Next, our annual Fly-In where we had the most aircraft ever (78) attend. I had a ride in a vintage Tiger-Moth with Neil Davidson, from Marysville, B.C. A real treat!
Several NLS members, including former Lancaster pilot Joe English, attended the Oshkosh Air Show in late July, with our museum display. The organizing was handled by the High River EAA Chapter. They also enabled the Canadian Warplane Heritage Lancaster to attend. By all accounts a very worthwhile venture.
Next on the list was the Rocky Mountain House Air Show in mid-August, where we displayed our latest acquisition – a Snowbird Tutor jet, newly painted in appropriate colours (courtesy of Maurice Galli). Greg Morrison had the bright idea of charging people to sit in the jet and have their picture taken, thus making a few dollars to offset costs. Disassembling the Tutor and hauling it home afterwards was an experience in itself.
Of course, the highlight of the summer had to be our 20th Anniversary event on August 26. Under brilliant sunshine, we unveiled our newly acquired Tutor and started up number three engine on the Lanc again. Our guest speakers were excellent and they spoke to a capacity crowd.
We are getting closer everyday to realizing an enlarged facility. Once building permits, etc. are approved, we will be starting on the 14,000 square foot addition.
As you may have guessed, we have been extremely busy this summer at the museum. With continuing support from members like yourselves, the activity level will continue at its present pace into the foreseeable future.
Curator / Editor’s Desk
With twenty years now behind us, the thought comes to mind – what will the next 10 to 20 years bring? Will the momentum of the past, that resulted in a museum that is beyond any vision we had in 1986, still carry on? Will more aircraft of the WWII era be added to the collection – a Halifax bomber for instance?
I really believe that there will be many advances in refining our facilities and upgrading present displays. Some of this is already in the works, like the 14,000 square foot expansion due to start next spring. This will create space for the Oxford and Crane projects, which are now in storage. As this newsletter goes to print, contractors are being contacted to build the first phase.
As I see my presence gradually becoming less in the next few years, I am glad to see that several younger members are showing increasing interest in upgrading and advancing the museum. This is indeed heartening to those of us who have spent many pleasurable hours (years?) helping make the musuem what it is today.
Those who eventually take over will have obstacles to overcome. Some of these will appear when the proposed new highway by-passes the town of Nanton. I have faith that the same attitude our small group developed over time will carry them onwards to greater things. The motto of the Pathfinders of WWII that we adopted – ‘Press On Regardless’ will serve them also !