Alberta Government Funds Phase I of Museum Expansion
The support of the Government of Alberta through the Alberta Lottery Fund has made it possible for the museum to proceed with Phase I of a major expansion project. A cheque in the amount of $600,000 was presented to the museum by our MLA, David Coutts, Minister of Sustainable Development, on March 29, 2006. To all concerned, our THANKS!
In conjunction with our engineering consultant, the museum board of directors is now finalizing plans for the 14,400 square foot expansion to the north of the existing facility. The expanded area will be 90′ in width and attached to the existing structure along the 160′ long north wall.
Phase I of the expansion will see the new structure erected over the existing restoration shop and storage area. The expansion area will be a “bare-bones” building although it will be used for storage purposes prior to the second phase.
Phase II and subsequent phases will see the installation of a sprinkler system, the completion of the interior of the expansion area, and the development of areas devoted to aircraft restoration, aircraft displays, artefact and parts storage, and the display of small artifacts, interpretive information, and aviation art.
Over the next several weeks the museum will be approaching other levels of government, corporations, and our membership with the hope that funds may be acquired in order to complete the entire project.
The Honourable David Coutts, MLA for the Livigstone-Macleod Constituency of Alberta,
presents a $600,000 cheque to NLS President Dan Fox.
Artist’s drawing of the expanded museum.
Twentieth Anniversary Celebration -August 26th The museum’s annual event this summer will be an informal celebration of the Nanton Lancaster’s Society’s founding in 1986. Over the two decades since our incorporation, we have grown from becoming the custodian of a vandalized Lancaster mounted beside Highway #2 to an, about to be expanded (again), 26,000 square foot facility that has established an international reputation as Canada’s Bomber Command Museum. The museum has welcomed over 400,000 visitors since 1986 and each has left knowing more of this important part of our history.
This has been accomplished by a huge effort involving thousands of dedicated individuals. We are inviting as many of these people as possible – our members, our benefactors, our former student -employees, and our friends from across the country – to join us at the museum on August 26th to celebrate what has been achieved.
Lancaster FM159 being towed across the Little Bow River on its way to Nanton in 1960. This is how it all started!
The day will include an outdoor pancake breakfast and a luncheon and program in the hangar. We plan a full day of activities including Lancaster Merlin engine start-ups, demonstrations of our “taxi-able” Fleet Fawn, aircraft flypasts, music, and lots of time to relax, enjoy the museum displays, and to meet and visit with others who have played a role in the development of the museum.Further details and a ticket form will be mailed to members during June. This photo emphasizes the on-going preservation work being done by Society volunteers and supporters. Running a Merlin was indeed a major milestone of the past 20 years.
Author To Speak At Twentieth Anniversary Celebration We are pleased that David Bashow, author of “No Prouder Place – Canadians – and the Bomber Command Experience,” has accepted our invitation to be a guest speaker at the museum’s “Twentieth Anniversary Celebration” on August 26.
In our view his book is the definitive work on the subject of Bomber Command. There is no better written record of the story we tell at the museum. This book recognizes the Canadian contribution to Bomber Command (25% of the personnel and 10,000 lives lost) within the context of what was one of the longest, greatest, and most costly military campaigns in history.
As well, a 28 page appendix provides an objective analysis of the costs and gains of the bombing offensive, concluding that Bomber Command played “an essential part as a guarantor of victory” and that Canadians “should be extremely grateful to those warriors of the night who held firm and proud from the right of the line in European skies so many years ago.” Published by Vanwell, this thoroughly researched, 544 page book is highly recommended.
David Bashow retired from the Canadian Armed Forces following a long career as a fighter pilot, senior staff officer, and military academic. His flying career includes 2400 hours in the F-104 Starfighter. He is currently a professor of history at the Royal Military College in Kingston, Ontario.
People and Planes Your museum has just published its fourth book titled, “People and Planes -Stories from the Nanton Lancaster Air Museum,” authored by NLS board member, Dave Birrell. This book is in recognition of the twentieth anniversary of the Nanton Lancaster Society. True to our philosophy of connecting individuals to the aircraft and artifacts at the museum, the book tells the stories of thirty-five people whom we have come to know through the museum. Through these stories, the history presented at our museum is told; the wartime history of Bomber Command and the BCATP, the history of our Lancaster Bomber, and the history of the Nanton Lancaster Air Museum itself.
“People and Planes” (6″x9″, 220 pages, 250 photos) is available at the museum at a cost of $20 or it may be ordered with an additional charge of $5 for postage and handling. It is for sale in the museum gift shop and also through our Website.
Fleet Fawn Being Upgraded
Fleet fuselage in shop being restored. The one BCATP aircraft in the museum that was restored as a static display a few years ago is presently dismantled. The fuselage is in the shop being upgraded and the wings are on special stands awaiting the time they can be reinstalled. The Kinner engine is being overhauled to a runnable condition by Gordon Neu, one of our shop volunteers.
When all things are completed, it won’t be airworthy, but will be taxiable for special events and maybe every once in awhile during the tourist season.
NLS board member’s Greg Morrison AME, and Bob Long, will be trying to complete this project in time for this year’s annual event on August 26. Member Gordon Neu hopes to have the Kinner engine ready to install sometime in the next six weeks.
Members should keep their fingers crossed in hope that time doesn’t run out for completing the upgrade for the event!
Fleet Fawn wings in waiting.
Gordon Neu standing beside a dismantled Kinner B-5 engine. He is making one good runnable engine out of the two the museum has on hand. The non-runnable parts wil make up a display engine. Gordon is also overhauling the engine for the museum’s 60 cwt wartime truck.
NLS History In Photos Here are some randomly picked photos taken over the past 20 years. We have hundreds of photos like these and some might have been more appropriate. These will hopefully give the reader an idea as to some of the activities and accomplishments of the Nanton Lancaster Society to date.
First Anson – 1987
Tours of Lanc – 1987
1 of 20 Ansons – 1988
Lancaster VR-A near Nanton – 1989
Museum building goes up – 1991
Mounting the CF-100 – 1994
Boly-Blennheim – 2000
Tall Boy replica – 2004
Planes, Trains & Elevators at Nanton, Alberta Bring the entire family to Nanton for a fun-filled day enjoying our Planes, Trains, and Elevators.
-The Nanton Lancaster Air Museum features WWII bombers and training aircraft, post-war jets, interpretive displays, and Canada’s Bomber Command Memorial Wall. (Admission by donation)
– the bomber’s V-12 Merlin engine will be started at 12:00 and at 2:00.
– Rear gun-turret demo’s during the day.
BIG SKY Garden Railway features a 7000 sq. ft. miniature world of villages, mountain, lake and river with 22 trains running! Find us under the BIG Flag.
– Children get in free for the day.
– Covered Thomas The Train play area.
– Ride the Dewinton Station motorized train.
The last row of three of these towering and historic “prairie sentinels” in Alberta, Nanton’s historic grain elevators have just received a fresh coat of paint.
– Free guided tours of the interior of one of the elevators – 10:00 a. m. – 4:00 p.m.
– Mural of the Nanton area on display.
For additional information call the Nanton Lancaster Air Museum at; [403-646-2270]
Annual Fly-In Set For July 15 The seventh annual NLS fly-in will be held again at the A J Flying Ranch airport, 7 miles north of Nanton on July 15.
Last year’s fly-in was rained out, with only two aircraft attending along with about 70 drive-in visitors. So, we are hoping the weather man will treat us better this year.
Flyers are welcome to arrive the evening before and camp out under the wing if they wish.
The Nanton & District Lions Club will again serve a pancake breakfast to the flyers and other visitors who will likely attend to see the “airplanes.” The High River-Okotoks Air Cadet Squadron will serve up hamburgers at lunch time. During the day there will be transportation to and from the town of Nanton for those who would like to visit the Air Museum and other attractions such as the Antique Walk or the Ultimate Trains, garden railway exhibits.
IOOB Veterans Visit
by NLS board member Jim Wiersma On March 25, 42 members of the unique group, Independent Order of Old Bastards, of the Calgary area, paid a visit to the NLS Museum. Their spokesperson, Roger Taylor, had scheduled the visit so. This group is composed of veterans from all services whose object is fellowship. One of their objectives is to visit historical places of interest in Alberta. They had heard about the Memorial Wall and decided it was a “must” to visit.
The group arrived at 11 a.m. and Jim Wiersma, one of the museum board members, met the group and toured them through the museum. Local Royal Canadian Legion #80 members were also in attendance to assist and answer questions. The tour culminated the presentation of donations amounting to $330. Museum volunteers, Peggy Duthie and Ashley Burrows, accepted the cheques on behalf of the Society. The group then assembled outside at the local Cenotaph and in solemn tribute laid a wreath.
Roger Taylor expressed thanks on behalf of the group, saying the tour was an exceptional one that harkened many memories. He commented that the museum is an historical showpiece and is very well done.
Museum News-Group To Be Launched Members are invited to join an on-line newsgroup that will be established over the next month. This feature will be provided at no cost to the Society or to the members that choose to make use of it. It will allow participating members to quickly be informed of important developments at the museum. Files containing posters and information regarding our annual Fly-In and other special events will be available for downloading and members may then easily participate in promoting these events on the museum’s behalf. Over the years, we expect that this will become an important way for the museum to communicate with its membership.
If you would like to become a “charter-member” of the museum’s newsgroup, please contact our webmaster at:
at lancastermuseum dot ca. Include your name and the email address you would prefer to use with the group. You will then receive an email inviting you to join the newsgroup. Simply follow the instructions contained in the invitation.
A Bell For The Museum
The museum has acquired a Royal Air Force, Air Ministry Scramble Bell. Weighing 18 kg and with a diameter of 10.5 inches, we feel this is a major acquisition. Flecks of red paint indicate it was likely used as a fire bell and the date suggests it was brought from the UK and saw service on one of the RAF operated BCATP Station.
We would be very interested in hearing from anyone who has knowledge of where this bell might have been used, here in Alberta or elsewhere.
Nose Art Donated Clarence Simonsen, nose art authority and artist, has donated 37 pieces of his reproduced nose art to the NLS. These very special pieces of art have been on loan to the museum for several years.
This donation consists of various sizes of Clarence’s replica art work, some items are as large as 4’x5′. Most of them are painted on aluminium salvaged from actual wartime aircraft. Some of this material is wing panel skin from Lancasters that were scrapped after WWII.
We are indebted to our good member and friend, Clarence, for making this extensive collection a permanent part of our air museum. On behalf of the members of the Nanton Lancaster Society, we extend a GRATEFUL THANKS to Clarence Simonsen for this great donation!
Website Content Members who visit www.lancastermuseum.ca will have noted that our museum’s website has developed a huge amount of content. Our museum’s philosophy is that the most important thing we can do is make the history related to Bomber Command and the BCATP available to the public. The website provides a vehicle through which much of the information available at the museum is also available around the world.
Recent additions include a list of the serial numbers of all 430 of the Canadian-built Lancasters. Each serial number links to information regarding that particular aircraft. In some cases there isn’t very much, but in other cases detailed information and photos are available that pertain to the particular aircraft.
A new section titled, “BCATP Schools in Alberta” provides links to specific information and photos related to the various sites and schools in our province. If you know of photos or information that could be added, please let us know.
Information and photos regarding our Tutor #177 has been added including the story of its participation in what many feel is the finest photograph ever taken of the Snowbirds.
In our “Chronicles” section, there are now articles about Norm Etheridge – the aircraft engineer responsible for Canada’s flying Lancaster, George White, Howard Armstrong, and Fred Garratt – the trio responsible for acquiring a Lancaster for Nanton, Reg Lane – the legendary Canadian Pathfinder, Hamish Mahaddie -the Pathfinders’ horse thief, and stories about several other individuals, all of whom have a direct connection to the history presented in our museum. Over 16,000 visits per month are recorded at www.lancastermuseum.ca. Almost 1200 photos enhance the information and stories.
WWII Air Gunner VIsits Again Long-time NLS member, Al Hymers from Bruderheim, Alberta, accompanied by his son-in-law, Tom Hendricks and grand-daughter Vickie, visited the museum on March 29. Al is a former air gunner who bailed out of a crippled Lancaster and was the only survivor of its crew. He became a POW and was one of those prisoners who survived the Long March, when the Germans force marched POWs from one prison camp to another as the Russians advanced on the Eastern Front, towards the end of the war.
Al’s story of bailing out and walking 60 miles in his stocking feet through a foot of snow, is one of the 35 articles in the museum’s new book, People & Planes by Dave Birrell. This publication is now on sale in the museum gift shop. We thank Al Hymers for sharing his story with us.
Al Hymers looking out of the museum’s restored rear turret.
Al Hymers and his granddaughter, Vickie, examine the Memorial Wall
for the names of the other Canadians of the crew of Al’s ill-fated Lancaster LM213. They were:
F/O (N) Douglas James Bailey
P/O (AG) Donald Erwin Linington
P/O (BA) William James Glass
F/O (P) William Kerluk
Below are their names as they appear on the Memorial Wall.
The other lost crew members were:
Sgt. (FE) Francis Joseph Tate
Sgt. (WAG) Gilbert John Harris
Both were of British origin.
Tutor 177 Gets A Paint Job The Museum’s newest acquisition, Tutor 114177, is now back in Snowbird livery again. The paint scheme is that of the Tutors that are presently being flown by the 2006 aerobatic team, which is different from when it flew in the 1960s
The painting has been done by NLS member Maurice Galli, of Rocky Mountain House, Alberta. The Tutor was hauled to Rocky last fall when Maurice offered to do the painting in return for using the Tutor as a static display at the “Rocky” air show, scheduled for August.
At some point Tutor 177 will be reunited on the ground with the present Snowbirds who will be attending the airshow. After the airshow the tutor will be hauled back to Nanton and reassembled in the museum. Maurice Galli, of Twin City Enterprises, has volunteered his services in the museum many times over the years. The museum’s Blenheim bomber is but one of his previous paint projects. A GRATEFUL THANKS TO MAURICE for his all his help, past and present!
The fuselage painted – Maurice Galli in the background. The wings are next on the agenda.
Another Nantonite Flies With The Snowbirds M/Cpl. Tim Collis, who grew up in Nanton, Alberta, is a member of the Canadian Forces. He serves as an aircraft mechanic on the Snowbirds aerobatic team based at Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. Other Nantonites who have previously flown with aerobatic teams include, Jack Allen and Dan Robinson.
Tim informed us that each Snowbird Tutor aircraft has a team of one pilot and one mechanic. The mechanics fly with the pilots to the various annual air shows. Also each Snowbird Tutor has the pilot’s name on one side of the cockpit and the mechanic’s name on the other side.
Tim said, “I will see you at the August 18 Rocky Mountain House Air Show. Look for me in the Number 7 jet.” NLS will have a display at this air show.
Andrew Mynarski Statue
The Wartime Memories Project in England announces that the DVD “The Forgotten Hero” is now available. This documents the story of the Statue to Andrew Mynarski VC, which was unveiled at ex-RCAF Middleton St. George in June 2005.
The DVD tells a brief history of RCAF Middleton St. George, and the men who flew the hazardous missions, including interviews with veterans, telling their experiences in their own words. The story of Andrew Mynarski is retold, accompanied by a dramatic reconstruction of the events. The story of the making of the 8 ft. bonze statue is also told.
Also included is a question and answer session with Pat Brophy’s two daughters, Colleen Bacon and Sherry Sullivan, filmed when they visited Middleton St. George school. There is also a very thought provoking interview with sculptor Keith Maddison and air historian Geoff Hill giving their thoughts and feelings having re-enacted the events, in full flying kit, which took place in the Lancaster on that night sixty years ago.
On the second disc is the full unveiling ceremony with the emotional fly past of the Battle of Britain Flight Lancaster.
The two-disc set is priced at £11.99 plus P&H (£1.50 in the UK and £2.50 elsewhere.) They can be ordered from;
The Wartime Memories Project MHP
PO Box 325 Stockton on Tees
TS20 1XL UK
www.wartimememories.co.uk/forgottenhero For each DVD sold £2 (4 Canadian Dollars) will be put towards the fund raising effort to have a copy of the statue made and erected in Mynarski’s home town of Winnipeg.
RCMP Expeditor CF-MPI Sixty Years On In 1946, S.Cst. Stewart and Cst. Rothwell (standing in the above photo) of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police traveled to Wichita, Kansas, where they took possession of two Beech-18 Expeditor aircraft on behalf of the RCMP. One of the Expeditors was coded CF-MPI and was immediately delivered to Regina where it began a twenty-eight year career, serving primarily in western Canada.
Over the years, CF-MPI was primarily used for the transportation of personnel and supplies but also saw service in search and rescue work, anti-smuggling roles, and mercy flights. The aircraft served with the RCMP until 1973, the longest serving of five Expeditors which were operated by the service until replaced by the de Havilland Twin Otter.
Sixty years later “MPI” is on display in the Nanton Lancaster Air Museum, as an example of a type that served with the Royal Canadian Air Force during World War II and also served its country well with the RCMP. Its two Pratt & Whitney engines have been overhauled to runnable condition and over the next few years we hope that additional restoration work will be completed on this important aircraft.
Museum Manager’s Musings We have gone through many changes in the last six months. A few of our long time faithful volunteers have left us for various reasons, but we have been fortunate to get some very interested new ones. The volunteers that I refer to are the ones who look after the gift shop and greeting our many visitors. This is very important to our museum as we want our visitors to leave feeling they have been treated very well and that their visit was an enriching and rewarding experience. Without these good volunteers we would not be able to offer the hours and service that we do. Thank you all.
With my Certificate in Museum Studies now in hand, I am no longer travelling to other museums around Alberta to take the courses. I anticipate taking a holiday and travelling to the many museums that I have not had the pleasure to visit yet. I am most keen to learn about how others do some of the things in their museum, in particular the public programming.
We are endeavouring to get a series of new programs activated that will enhance tours through the museum. Some of these will be aimed at visiting youth groups. We hope to make their visits educational as well as aesthetically pleasing.
You will note in this newsletter that we have several interesting events coming up this year. We are particularly looking forward to the twentieth anniversary of our Society, to be held on August 26. We hope to have many of the visitors with whom we have developed long-standing friendships over the years, return to celebrate with us.
Dicimus (we lead),
by John Philips
#4 MERLIN ENGINE START-UP
A decision has been made to make #4 Merlin engine runnable. After the successful repairing and running of #3 engine, the directors have directed the now considerably experienced Merlin crew to proceed on #4. There will be more work done on this one as a result of the learning experience on #3 with the hope that this engine will not oil-foul the spark plugs as does #3. Prop off and placed on a special stand.
The engine has been removed from the airframe and is now on a shop stand. A trip to the very near-by car wash with the engine resulted in the removal of decades of bird deposits and dirt and makes it more attractive to work on. The propeller has been transported to Western Propeller in Edmonton for inspection and repair as necessary. We should mention that all of the hoisting was made possible by using a fork-lift generously provided by Beauchamp Motors and skilfully operated by Pres. Dan Fox. Some rather expensive rubber diaphragms have been ordered for the accelerator pump on the carburetor and a quote received from V12 Vintage Engines for the many bits and pieces for the engine repair.
The coolant radiator has been cleaned and tested. The oil cooler has been sent away for flushing and testing.
There is a possibility that Merlin #4 would be ready for our annual August event in 2007. We are excited about the prospect of having both engines running on the starboard side. When the day arrives we hope for a great weather and a big crowd ! Per Ardua Ad Astra !
Merlin #4 being lifted out of its mount.
The engine crew get right into the job!
Oshkosh By Gosh! The Society was contacted in mid April by Jack Dueck, who is EAA Canadian Council and a member of EAA Chapter 1410, High River, AB. Jack met with NLS board members to discuss our possible involvement with the July 24 to 30, “AIRVENTURE 2006.” This event is known world-wide and billed as “The World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration.”
EAA personnel have just finalized negotiations with CWH to have Canada’s only airworthy Lancaster attend the event. The tentative schedule is:
Wednesday, (26th)… Fly-in.
Friday, (28th)… Heavy Metal Fly-by (in possible formation with a B-29, a B-17, and a B-24).
Saturday, (29th)… Fly-by high-lighting the Lancaster with a Spitfire and a Hurricane in formation.
Sunday, (30th)… Fly-out. Jack Dueck reasoned that seeing as how our Society is very involved in the world Lancaster scene, we should have representation at this week-long air extravaganza.
Due to Jack’s contacting EAA’s Air Venture personnel on behalf of our Lancaster Society, we have been invited to play a significant role at AirVenture this year. We will be allowed a tent on Aeroshell Square to house our booth and display, at no cost other than rent for a tent and necessary equipment for displays. We will be allowed to sell gift items to help offset costs. Jack has also found accommodation that would be available for 4 or 5 persons.
As part of this representation, it was suggested that Nanton’s former Lancaster pilot, Joe English, should be persuaded to attend. Subsequently, Joe was contacted and is excited about attending. EAA officials have confirmed they would like to feature Joe as an impromptu speaker at the EAA Museum Theatre and where he could be available to sign autographs, etc.
It appears that we “definitely are going to Oshkosh!”
EAA AirVenture Oshkosh is The World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration, with more than 10,000 aircraft from around the world and visitors from 70 nations.
57 Rescue (Canada) Ltd Halifax Recovery Report #12 (Condensed)
by Karl Kjarsgaard
It is now over 24 months since we started our historic quest to find and recover RCAF Halifax LW170. As Project Manager I am heartened to see that all of our directors, members, and supporters have stayed with us through our ups and downs as we move forward to our ultimate goal. Yours truly and our staunch supporter Laurie Hawn, MP from Edmonton Centre and ex-RCAF pilot, have had several meetings since the lastÊprogress report. We have met with Ted Menzies MP for the Macleod (Nanton) Alberta, riding and with Senator Anne Cools, both keen supporters of the Halifax Project. They both feel strongly in seeing this historic Halifax brought home to Canada and the Nanton museum.
On April 1, a comprehensive proposal, including a sonar survey budget for the Halifax Project, was delivered to Minister Beverley Oda of Canadian Heritage, thanks to Laurie Hawn. We eagerly await the response.
In discussions with our political advisors it has become clear that we must get more press and tell the story in the U.S.A. and Canada, of the 704 Americans who were killed-in-action in the RCAF fighting for Canadian Freedom. To this end Halifax 57 Rescue (Canada) has drafted an official letter to send to specific Canadian government officials requesting assistance from them to help tell this special story of these “American Patriots – Canadian Warriors.” If we can get the word out to major press outlets in the U.S.A. and Canada of our special dedication to these RCAF Americans, this will be a great stepping stone for building the support we need for the Halifax Project.
The special limited-edition Halifax LW170 prints “INVINCIBLE ITEM” are selling very well, with close to 100 sold to date. We have started a campaign to approach all Legion branches and Air Force Association wings across Canada to buy a print of “INVINCIBLE ITEM.”
Along the way we have found 13 men still alive who flew LW170. Most of these former Halifax crewmembers have signed the prints. We have made many friends and touched many hearts as we proceed with our honourable project.
Ed. Note: For Karl’s full report see the website: www.57rescuecanada.com
Donald Patterson Donation
In June 2005 we had an inquiry from Don Patterson of Edmonton, AB, asking if we would be interested in a donation of his late father’s wartime memorabilia. (His father was S/L Donald Patterson.) We answered in the affirmative, with the proviso that the items would not likely be exhibited until the museum building expansion was completed. In Early January of this year Don and his family delivered the above pictured “fire screen” (which could double as a tea table.) The centre of this very fine mahogany table is a 20″x28″, handmade petit-point of the 426 Squadron Crest, exhibited under glass. Don, senior, had this made up just prior to his passing away in 1982. The petit-point was done by a lady who lost a son in aircrew during WWII. The Paterson family has indicated more memorabilia will be forthcoming.
Ex S/L Don Patterson, was also involved with the group who purchasing the Lancaster that is part of the Calgary Aero Space Museum’s collection at the old Calgary airport.
NLS is pleased to accept these items for future exhibit. THANKS to Don Patterson and his family for adding to the museum’s collection.
Ernie Leonhardt Donation The items in the photo were donated a few months ago by, Ernie Leonhardt, Westerose, AB. These items are from a Lancaster bomber purchased after WWII by Ernie’s father. Ernie occasionally stops in at the museum with some last remaining odds and ends from the Leonhardt Lancaster and an Avro Anson. The parts illustrated above are a mix from both aircraft. Our grateful THANKS go out to Ernie Leonhardt for his continuing support.
Vistor From England Stan Sickelmore, a former Lancaster pilot from Bournemouth, Dorset, England, visited the museum on December 23/05. He was visiting in Calgary and contacted us to ask if it was possible to tour the museum at this time. We were pleased to open for him. Stan was particularly interested in our Lancaster cockpit mock-up with the reproduced nose art, “Sugar’s Blues.” His interest in this stemmed from the fact that the Lancaster he flew during the war was similarly named. It was “S for Sugar.” which also had nose art depicting a pretty lady.
We were glad that we were available to show Stan around the museum only a few days before Christmas. However, please note, there is nearly always someone in our group available and willing to open up at anytime.
In email correspondence after he had returned to England, Stan sent us a WWII photo of his aircrew and their ground crew in front of their Lancaster. This photo is reproduced on this page with the names.
Stan Sickelmore stands with Sugar’s Blues.
Stan Sickelmore’s air crew and ground crew. Back row, L to R: Bob Anderson, (W/O); Ted Privett, (F/E); Johnny Ashcroft, (B/A); Stan Sickelmore, (P); Harry Rchards, (N); Bill Dennison, R/G; George Stevenson, M/U. Front Row: F/Sgt. (Jerry) Chambers, Maintenance Crew Chief; Alec. Engines; Jock, Airframes; Bill. Electrics.
Shown here, is a display of Douglas “Duke” Warren’s WWII flying Goggles. NLS had the goggles specially framed for display in the museum. Duke wore these during his 235 Squadron ops as a Spitfire pilot.
Visiting the museum on February 18 were some 50 Cadets and their leaders from #52 City of Calgary RCACS. The visit was scheduled by Lt. Rick Enns, who had been a visitor at the museum several times. Serveral other groups like these have also visited over the past year.
#52 Squadron Cadets in front of Memorial Wall.
Air Cadets of 279 Squadron, Elkford, B.C. spent April 22/23 cleaning the museum.
Back row from left: Cpl. Maddie Lowe, AC Nickie Jackson, AC Dominique Bennet, Cpl. Darren Rolfe, AC Jarret Klafki, Sgt. Peter Mendoza and LAC Altin Jarvis. Front row: AC Travis Couts, AC Elijah Thompson, LAC Josiah Thompson, AC Jeanna Miler.
Leaders: Sherri Shaw (left side), (R) and Murray Low (on the right).
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.
Dear NLS: On Nov. 12/05 my father, myself and my son visited your museum. It was our second visit and an outstanding day for a grandfather and his grandson. Sadly, Flight Lt. I.F. Carney (DFM) RAF left us less than a month later on Dec 7. I cannot stress enough the importance of your work and how much it meant to my father. Thank you so much for what you have done. J. Webster,
Sirs: Thanks to your site I have just contacted my old navigator after 61 years. As a matter of interest to anybody who took part in the night operation on Kiel harbour 9th April 1945 not only was the Admiral Scheer sunk but also the Emden and the Hipper.
Beverley Ann Foley Curtis,
Dear Sirs: Last October I inserted my brother’s name-James Donald Alexander Foley to determine if anyone had any information about him. I received four answers and now I have a wealth of information plus a book, “Gathering of Demons,” written by Kim Abbott, a good friend of my brother. My brother Don flew in the Coastal Command and he piloted a Hudson reconnaissance bomber. I want to thank the gentlemen who answered my email, particularly Garth Ridley; otherwise I would not have all this treasure trove of information and this wonderful book.
To: Lancaster Museum: I have been very much curious, and studious, about RCAF in the action in WWII. Your site is excellent about that. It is evident, in the context of the site, you are proud for those men that fought in the air of Europe by that time. Excellent!
To: Lancaster Museum: My father, Alex Campbell, flew Lancasters out of Waterbeach with RAF 514 Squadron. In 1993 Doug Harvey made a short film as a tribute to this aircrew. The film can be seen at: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=8725040788918615931 Working with a tiny budget, Doug has created a wonderful tribute and an important historical document.
Dear Sirs: Looking for Flt. Sgt. REGINALD JACKSON RAF. He served in 156 Squadron in 1943. Shot down over Holland May 27th 1943, spent the rest of the war as a POW. If anyone knows how to contact him or a relative, I would be grateful if you could contact me.
(If you can help, contact NLS for Steve’s e-mail address)
ED. Note: This type of request is very common on our website’s Visitors Interchange area.
Former W/C D. B. Babineau DFC,
Passed away in Hawaii, December 28, 2005. An NLS Square Footer member.
Passed away in March 2006. A long-time member of NLS and well known local aviation enthusiast. Lottie Kirchoff,
Passed away in March 2006. A long-time museum volunteer.
Redwood Meadows, Alberta.
Died January 14, 2006. Square Footer member and supporter of the Air Museum.
Passed on February 24, 2006. Lifetime member, long-time volunteer, father of NLS President Dan Fox.
C. Norman Lea,
Died June 23/05. Was NLS Square Footer member.
The Nanton Lancaster Society extends deepest sympathy to the families and friends of these former members and supporters.
May God Bless.
President’s Report As we enter our twentieth year of operation, many thoughts are going through my mind. One is, how, after humble beginnings back in 1986, the Nanton Lancaster Society and, subsequently, the Nanton Air Museum continues to thrive and grow. I believe that organizations which have high ideals, dedicated hardworking volunteers and a vision for the future will eventually succeed. In the opinion of many influential minds of the aviation community, we score highly on all accounts.
Obviously, the Alberta Government agrees with our vision as well. The Honourable David Coutts MLA very recently presented us with a $600,000 cheque to go towards our new expansion. This will enable us to get this important project underway. We are hoping the Federal Government will also support us monetarily so work shops, heating, lighting and sprinkler systems can be installed once the basic building is constructed. This expansion is coming none to soon. On the horizon we have a possible Halifax acquisition, our Anson needs room to grow wings and several other restorations are awaiting room for completion.
On August 26th, we are going to celebrate our twentieth anniversary with many of our friends who have supported us through the years. Former tour guides, volunteers and loyal members are all invited to participate in this happy event which will look at the past accomplishments, present activities and what the future may hold for the museum. I think it is about time that we paused to commemorate how we got to this point in our development, the people who made it happen and, most importantly, the reason why we started the museum in the first place – to honour our Bomber Command veterans. They deserve all the recognition we can provide for them.
Curator / Editor’s Desk This year we will be celebrating the 20th anniversary of the forming of the Nanton Lancaster Society. It is indeed hard to adjust to the idea that we’ve been at this preservation game for two whole decades.
We have to stand back and look at what has been accomplished by a diverse group of volunteers, who had only one thing in mind at the beginning, the preservation of one old bomber, to realize we’ve come a long way. Soon after the Society was formed to preserve the old Lancaster, it developed into much more. Delving into the history of this WWII bomber type, we found that Canadians had played a huge role in WWII Bomber Command and the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan.
We discovered that, along with ten thousand other Canadians, several local young men had given their lives flying in bombers, in that horrific war of 1939 – 45. It was also found that Canada had been without equal in training airmen for WWII in the BCATP. Because of these findings, over the past 20 years we have created a museum that has, and is, dedicated to preserving the memory of the men and women who served in both the bombers and the training plan.
Time, of course, has taken its toll on the numbers of those who started this Society. A few of the next generation are already participating. We hope that they, and others like them, will continue to upgrade and advance into the future with the same vision that we have had.
I hope to continue for some time yet as part of the decision making team. However, to those who will take our place eventually, I would say: keep to our two major themes, preservation of that history should always be your main goal. This generation having grown up in the age where jet powered aircraft are the norm. It may be pertinent then, in the future, to add a “Jet” wing to the museum. Preserving the three aircraft of this type that we have acquired, and maybe others, along with their history, would be a worthwhile endeavour. Even so, the original themes should remain primary. What will be accomplished in the next twenty years we can only guess, but I predict a great future for the museum.