Americans In The RCAF
by Dave Birrell
On 25 August, 2007, the museum will be hosting a special event to salute the “Americans in the RCAF.” Canada’s Bomber Command Memorial, situated by our museum, lists 10,643 names which includes all the Canadians who were killed serving with Bomber Command as well as those of other nationalities who died while flying with the Royal Canadian Air Force in Bomber Command. A total of 379 of the names on the memorial are those of American citizens.
Prior to the United States declaring war against the Nazis in December 1941, approximately 9000 Americans had already joined the Royal Canadian Air Force, having made a personal decision to enter the war. Of these, about 800 were killed in RCAF service – 379 while serving with Bomber Command. We feel that this sacrifice, a chapter of history shared by Canada and the United States, is not well known and should be brought to the attention of Canadians and Americans.
The day will feature 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, aircraft fly-pasts, music, special displays and events, demonstrations, and time to relax and enjoy the museum. You’ll be able to get a good look at our expansion as well.
Wing Commander Joe McCarthy, DSO, DFC and Bar, of Long Island, New York, One of the Dambuster pilots.
Arguably the most illustrious of the Americans in the RCAF was Wing Commander Joe McCarthy, DSO, DFC and Bar, of Long Island, New York. W/C McCarthy played a leading role in the well-known “Dambusters Raid” and completed a distinguished wartime and post-war career with the RCAF. We are very pleased that Joe McCarthy Jr. will be joining us for the day. Another renowned American in the RCAF that will be honoured was Pilot Officer John Gillespie Magee, author of the classic aviation poem, “High Flight.” P/O Magee was killed in 1941 while serving as a Spitfire pilot with No. 412 Fighter Squadron RCAF.
Visit the new “Americans in the RCAF” section of www.lancastermuseum.ca for background information including a list of the 379 Americans whose names are on our Memorial Wall. Watch for further developments and announcements as planning is finalized. Members will receive a letter in June providing all the details.
Air Marshal W.A. “Billy” Bishop, VC, pins wings on Leading Aircraftman R.N. Harrison of Montclair, New Jersey, upon his graduation from No. 2 Service Flying Training School at Uplands, Ontario (31 July, 1942).
BCATP Display Upgrade As of May 1, we will have a completely re-designed British Commonwealth Air Training Plan display in the museum. It will feature a series of concise, informative statements, related quotations and photographs. The new display will hopefully get the message across to our visitors that this largely Canadian effort in training aircrew played a huge role during World War II. It left a legacy from which the country is still benefiting.
Owen Fauvel’s wonderful colour documentary, filmed at No. 5 Elementary Flying Training School in High River, will be displayed on a new, large-format, flat-screen monitor.
2007 Summer Activities
June – The annual PLANES, TRAINS & ELEVATORS event –
Tours of the Museum will include periodic running of the restored gun turret, the Lancaster will be rolled out, and the Merlin engine run up. “Ultimate Trains” will have special displays as well as running their huge Garden railway exhibit. The Nanton Elevator Society will be giving tours of one of the preserved grain elevators (from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.).
July – 8th Annual Fly-In –
Will be held at the AJ Flying Ranch, 4 miles east of Cayley.
August 4-6 – The Town of Nanton’s Centennial Celebrations –
The museum will run the gun turret periodically. One of the Merlin engines will again be run-up. Some vehicles from the museum will participate in the Monday parade.
August 25 – The Museum’s Annual Summer Event –
This year’s theme is “AMERICANS IN THE RCAF.” Several special guests will be in attendance, including W/C Joe McCarthy’s son. NLS expects many visitors from the United States to attend this function. It is hoped that the second Merlin engine will be ready for run-up that day. Details of the event will be mailed to members in June. For additional information call the Nanton Lancaster Air Museum at 403-646-2270.
Museum Expansion Sod Turning Ceremony Saturday, March 31, saw a crowd of some fifty persons gather at the museum to observe the turning of the first sod for the new addition to the museum building. On hand were several dignitaries, including MLA David Coutts, MP Ted Menzies, Nanton’s Deputy Mayor Bill Szabon. Also attending were several members of the local Royal Canadian Legion.
NLS Vice-President Rob Pedersen greeted those attending and introduced the special guests. Bill Szabon spoke of the contribution that the Society has made to the community in creating a museum around the old Lancaster and congratulated the volunteers who were again expanding the facility. MP Ted Menzies spoke about the dedication of the volunteers. He also mentioned Karl Kjarsgaard’s project of raising a Halifax bomber from the ocean off Ireland, which would come to Nanton when recovered. MLA Dave Coutts spoke of the huge volunteer effort that has resulted in an air museum that is known across Canada. He told the crowd that he had been approached by Society directors asking for assistance in funding the expansion. He had supported the project by taking a 12-page proposal document to the provincial Minister of Gaming that resulted in funding amounting to $600,000. This has made it possible to build Phase 1 of the project. He reiterated that we are on the verge of creating Canada’s most prestigious museum dedicated to preserving the history of WWII Bomber Command and the important role it played in preserving our freedom. He said, “What a legacy this will leave for future generations.”
After the brief gathering in the museum hangar, everyone moved outside to the expansion site. With golden shovels in hand the dignitaries, along with NLS vice president Rob Pedersen, turned the first sod for this much needed addition to the present structure.
Thus began another decade in the history of the Nanton Lancaster Society Air Museum.
Special guests get right into turning the first sod for the new addition. L-R: NLS President Rob Petersen, MLS Dave Coutts, MP Ted Menzies and Deputy Mayor Bill Szabon.
Special guests are joined by local Royal Canadian Legion members in turning sod.
Ground Levelling The morning of April 13, 2007, levelling and excavation of the site for the addition began. Construction equipment from the M.D. of Willow Creek, the Town of Nanton, and Fox Backhoe Service arrived at 8:00 a.m. This work was donated by all three entities!
Over a two day period, three trucks, a large road grader, an articulated loader, and a loader/backhoe moved a lot of soil in preparing the site. The Society extends a GRATEFUL THANKS to the Town of Nanton, the MD of Willow Creek, and Gary Fox (owner – Fox Backhoe Service) for their generous donation.
If you look close all the donated equipment can be seen in this photo.
Willow Creek loader fills a Town truck.
Gary Fox’s backhoe – MD grader (nearest)
MD loader filling a Town of Nanton truck.
Gary Fox loads an MD truck.
Fleet Fawn Gets Upgrade
by Greg Morrison (AME & NLS Director)
Greg Morrison and Dan Hawken work at installing the Kinner engine controls. Hello all! I was asked to bring our members up to speed and date with the Fleet Fawn’s second restoration. It was decided that after our success with the Merlin engine on the Lanc, we should make another aircraft run and move under its own power.
The Fawn was disassembled and moved into the shop to begin the work. Work began on the airframe to decide how to build and install the missing systems needed to make the aircraft operational.
With help from volunteer, Bob Long, new control cables were fabricated as were new wheel brake cables. These are now installed in the airframe and rigged. The landing gear was removed to facilitate the work on the fuselage and later reinstalled with new hardware. Wheels and brakes were inspected and are in good shape.
The museum’s Fawn lacks its original 5-cylinder Civet Major engine so it was decided that we would use the Kinner B-5. Our Kinner engine was completely overhauled by museum volunteer, Gordon Neu. An adapter ring made from 1/2 inch thick aluminum allowed us to mate the Kinner with the Fawn’s original Civet engine mount. This ring was built by Roy Hansen from Cactus Machine Ltd. in Calgary. The Kinner engine will be swinging an 85 inch diameter Cornell propeller.
New museum member Dan Hawken, from High River, came on board in February and with his help the engine system’s installation has picked up pace. A “New-Old-Stock” fuel valve was purchased off eBay and installed. This will allow the fuel to be shut off from the fuel tanks to the engine. The fuel system has now been completely installed. Engine controls have been installed, rigged, and are able to be operated from both seats as are the brakes. Work is now progressing on the installation of the oil system. A Cornell oil tank was sourced and is now mounted to the firewall.
We can now see the light at the end of the tunnel and with some luck the Fawn will be able to undergo its first engine runs in late May or early June of 2007 with taxi tests to follow. Our hope is to be able to taxi the Fawn for the museum’s summer event on August 25 for all to enjoy! Keep ’em flyin’.
Merlin Engine Overhauled
The Merlin in the new rotatable stand.
The Merlin from the number four position (starboard outer) on the Lancaster is being put back together as this newsletter goes together. As of April first, the one bank of cylinders was back in place on the crank case. Both cylinder banks had been cleaned, new rings placed on the pistons, and cylinders honed by Stauffer Aero Engine Overhaul, in Calgary. A special thanks goes out to Tim and Carol Morrison, owners of Stauffer Aero, for their assistance and donation of honing the cylinders.
The second cylinder bank should be back on by the first week in May. Hopes are that the Merlin will be back on the Lancaster by the first of July ready to have the electrical, fuel, and other connections made.
Everyone has their fingers crossed that it will be ready to run for the museum’s main annual event of August 25.
Easy does it boys.
Second cylinder block back on! The crew (l-r) Shane Chipchase (hiding behind rod), John Phillips, Karl Kjarsgaard (how’d he get there?), Brian Taylor, Fred Hollowell.
New Book Release Over the past several years, Clarence Simonsen has donated forty-six paintings of replica nose art to the museum. Clarence, as most of our members will know, is a recognized authority on nose art and its associated history. The museum is pleased to announce that our latest publication, “NOSE ART – The Clarence Simonsen Collection” is now available. This 74 page, full-colour book features photographs of the collection, related archival images, and the remarkable stories associated with the nose art that provide a wonderful window into the history of Bomber Command. The book may be purchased at the museum.
Editor’s Note: The book “NOSE ART – The Clarence Simonsen Collection,” is authored by NLS Director Dave Birrell.
www.lancastermuseum.ca Operating under the philosophy of using the Internet to project our museum’s message to the world, we continue to build a huge amount of content on our website. Recent additions include a major section on the Clarence Simonsen Nose Art Collection including photos of all the artwork in the museum and complete descriptions of the actual wartime panels that are on display at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa. The article, “Americans in the RCAF” features the story of how WW I ace Billy Bishop led a somewhat clandestine effort to recruit Americans for the RCAF. The stories of W/C Joe McCarthy, John Gillespie Magee, and others are also featured. As well, an article regarding the Pennemunde Raid and our former member Jim Love’s role in it has been added. The website now contains 380 pages of information and over 1400 photographs.
CAO’s Report Another year is behind us and an exciting new one is upon us. One of the major highlights for me is the Board of Directors has changed my title from Museum Manager to Chief Administrative Officer.
Also new in staffing our museum is a part-time position of Visitor Services Manager. Bev Nelson has been hired for this and will be looking after the merchandising and staffing of the greeting kiosk and gift shop. This position is important because of the increasing number of visitors, and therefore sales, in our gift shop. This position became very important to the efficient operation of the museum.
All the faithful and dedicated volunteers we are fortunate to have, will again staff the museum in May, June, September, and October. As in previous years, students from our local high school will be hired for staff in July and August.
Each and every one of our volunteers and staff, as they relate to our many visitors, receives an educational, fun, and enriching experience. Thank you once again to all of our excellent volunteers and summer staff! Without you we would not be able to offer the hours and quality of service that we now give to our visitors.
We have an exciting year ahead of us with our usual three large events, not to mention the creation of the much needed space with the construction of the new addition to the existing building. Knowing our group, this is most likely not the last construction project that our members and visitors will see!!
Dicimus (we lead),
Tools Donated The NLS is indebted to Ed Lowden of Lethbridge, Alberta, for his donation of a large collection of tools. Volunteer Barry Beresford and museum curator Bob Evans drove to Lethbridge to pick up the collection which completely filled the pick-up truck box.
Many of the items are tools that were used in the aircraft industry while others would fit into any shop doing mechanical or even household repairs. Some of the tools were: a pneumatic rivet gun c/w riveting tools and bucking blocks; several sets of sockets and wrenches, several hundred files including the type used by jewelers; one rolling tool chest and four portable tool boxes with dozens of screwdrivers, numerous lathe bits, four sets of drill bit indexes plus wood bits, etc., etc.
Our grateful THANKS to Ed Lowden for this great addition to our museum shop. These items have already been put to use.
The rolling tool cabinet donated by Ed Lowden. Note the smaller tool chest on top and several extension cords in the bottom.
One on the socket/wrench sets from the collection of tools donated by Ed Lowden.
Inside one of several portable tool boxes showing some of the various items.
This lathe was donated by Mark Peterson (Peterson Welding Ltd.) High River, Alberta.
This lathe dates back to the WWII era. A grateful THANKS to Mark.
Items To Upgrade The Tutor M. Cpl. Tim Collis, the 2007 Chief of Maintenance for the Snowbirds aerobatic team, had located two seats for the museum’s Tutor. By May first, when the museum opens every day for summer tourists, these will have been installed in the aircraft.
Friend of the Society, Frank Thompson, aircraft collector and restorer, of Readlyn, Saskatchewan, supplied a set of “smoke tanks.” Our grateful THANKS to Tim Collis and Frank Thompson!
Seats for the Tutor – sourced from DND by M. Cpl. Tim Collis, who grew up in Nanton.
Tutor smoke tanks donated by the Society’s long-time friend Frank Thompson of Readlyn, Saskatchewan.
Frank Thompson also donated the Airspeed Oxford nose section shown in the photo above.
Frank has helped NLS with other parts for the museum’s Oxford project.
Former Snowbird Tutor #177 as it is presently displayed in the museum along with the nose art depicting the past and present of 431 Squadron.
T-33 At Warner, Alberta
he T-33 at Warner, Alberta.In the mid ’90’s the Society was given the major parts of a Canadair T-33, by the late Jonathon Spinks. It stayed in storage for several years, the intent being to eventually assemble and mount it as a gate guardian. In the interim, another more complete Silver Star was acquired from Orville Rowland which was mounted near the museum.
To shorten the story, about four years ago a group of Warner, Alberta, Flying Farmers contacted the Society looking for an aircraft to mount on a pedestal near their airport. A deal was made (as usual the Society needed funds). The group hauled the T-33 components to a Warner farm for assembly. The final mounting of this aircraft on a pedestal very similar to the one used by NLS took place this past fall. It can now be seen in the village of Warner.
We extend congratulations to the Warner area aviators who accomplished this!
NLS Acquires Scissors Lift Robert Holmgren, president of the Project North Star Association of Canada, in Ottawa, checked the NLS website and found the list of items wanted included a “scissors lift.” He contacted us to see if we were still interested, stating they had such a lift which was surplus to their needs We responded and a deal was made.
One of our members donated the purchase price of $2500 and our trucking company of choice, Mullen Trucking, hauled it for a nominal fee. Thanks to Robert Holmgren for looking us up and to Mullen Trucking for their help.
Museum To Own CF-100
F-100 – serial number 18152 has been a gate guardian for the museum since 1993. Up until now it has been leased from the Department of National Defence as are similar aircraft in other locations across Canada. This is about to change with ownership of these aircraft being transferred to the individual museums that have been looking after them.
The process of transferring ownership of the CF-100 to NLS involved some work on the part of the Society. Photos of the interior of the cockpit, the engine compartments, etc., were required to assure authorities that no military components remained that are restricted items for civilian usage.
The recent acquisition of a scissors lift facilitated taking the necessary photos. A couple of spring snow storms delayed photo taking until mid-April. The day this was accomplished coincided with the arrival of the Elk Valley #279 Cadet Squadron for their annual visit to help with cleaning the museum prior to it opening every day again for the summer, commencing May 1.
The CF-100 does not fall into either of the museum’s themes of Bomber Command or the BCATP. However, a Lancaster was used as a test bed for the Orenda engines that powered this first “made in Canada” jet fighter plane. Also it, along with a nearby granite memorial, is a tribute to Bruce Warren, the Nanton born test pilot who perished while testing one of the prototype CF-100s.
Ex-Lancaster Pilot Building An Airplane! You read the heading correctly! Nanton’s WWII, ex-Lancaster pilot Joe English, now in his 83rd year, is building a two-place airplane. This aircraft is a “Falco” all wood design that originated in Italy. The Falco has been referred to some builders as “the Ferrari of the air.”
Joe has talked for years that he would like to build and fly his own airplane and is now doing it. He, along with his friend, Peter Uithuisje (a local building contractor originally from Holland) have an all-out effort going to complete the aircraft, within the next year ! More news on this project in the fall newsletter.
Elk Valley Cadets Elk Valley Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron 279 arrived Friday, April 13. They spent the next day cleaning, washed the hangar floor, polished airplanes, and doing a general tidying up of the museum.
This cadet squadron has been coming to Nanton to help with spring cleanup for a quite a number of years. In the past they have also helped to tidy up the large storage area at the ‘Evan’s acreage.
The three adult officers in charge were, Capt. Bruce “Scruffy” Timbrell, Lt. Murray Clow, and Lt. Deneen Ganter. They have been bringing cadets to the museum to help with spring cleaning for several years.
Cadet Squadron 279 is considered as being part of the museum Society! We extend a GRATEFUL THANKS to these energetic youngsters and their leaders for their help.
Cadets under the supervision of NLS Past President Dan Fox, are having a first hand look at the “Canuck” using the newly acquired scissors lift.
Cadets from 279 Squadron, Sgt. Darren Rolfe and AC Mackenzie Kealy change the flags
on the poles in front of the museum, using the scissors lift. They were not alone up there! Dan Fox is behind and just out of sight operating the scissors lift.
Cadet Leader Lt. Murray Clow standing by the cockpit of Canuck 18152 while Air Canada 767 Capt. Karl Kjarsgaard tries out the front seat.
Murray Clow replacing window in CF-100.
Capt. Bruce ‘Scruffy’ Timbrell has just finished lunch and is offering to help do the dishes! (Paper plates?)
Cadets line up on the starboard wing of the Lancaster after spending the day cleaning.
[ photo by Malcolm Stick ]
57 Rescue (Canada) Ltd Halifax Recovery Project
by Karl Kjarsgaard
In our last progress report I told you of the exciting news that the Irish national television network – RTE invited me to Dublin to tell about the Halifax Project on their variety show “Seoige and O’Shea.” I traveled to Dublin by air on Feb. 22 (after working my Air Canada flight all night from Toronto.) The interview was only 10 minutes but it was broadcast live all across Ireland. I was able to tell about past recoveries of Halifaxes NA337 and LW682 with historic video of NA337 images as colourful background to our interview.
I also told of the 11 Irish Nationals killed-in-action on RCAF Halifaxes along with our proposed Halifax Project. A future dedication will include the names unknown “RCAF Irish.” To date we have had over 2000 hits from Ireland on our website because of the TV program. In fact we now have a Mr. and Mrs. Lacey in Dublin researching to find the families of these RCAF Irish for us. The nephew of Sgt. Dinnen, KIA on an RCAF Halifax, has been in touch with us with information.
We were given a DVD copy of this television interview which we hope to share with our members soon, subject to the permission. RTE definitely wants to follow up with us on the Halifax Project and possibly cover the location and recovery events of the Project in the near future.
Also, I was able to meet with the Irish deep sea exploration group to give a technical briefing on the proposed Phase 1 – Sonar survey of RCAF Halifax LW170 and discuss the possibility of this group helping us locate our Halifax. We talked about the feasibility of attaching the Halifax sonar survey, as an historical effort, onto a scientific survey. There are several scientific surveys done in the deep water near LW170 each year. We hope to find out which surveys are planned and if possible “piggyback” our historic survey on one of these scientific expeditions.
With the positive reception by this scientific group to our request for sonar assistance to find LW170, we have rallied all our high level Canadian officials to provide letters of support and reference for the Halifax Project to this scientific group and influential officials who may assist us. If we can get high level approval for the Halifax Project with these people, then I think we will be able to get the sonar survey done without major cost. By this I mean we could save (60 to 90%) of the sonar surveys costs which I have estimated to complete would be $265,000.
Here we have a golden opportunity to work with a top-line deep water exploration group which could sponsor and underwrite our Phase 1 to acquire the image of LW170 using their high tech research vessel. This group has indicated to me that the deep water sonar they use is a lease-rental and they would like Halifax 57 Rescue (Canada) to pay the costs of this high tech sonar on their vessel. This would mean that we would need $25,000 to $30,000 in the next several weeks for our share of a sonar survey. Considering the main cost of the sonar survey is the vessel, we would be getting this done for about 10% of the entire expedition cost.
To this end, I must now speak frankly to all of you about the financial situation of Halifax 57 Rescue (Canada). Thanks to our individual members and the sales of the Halifax prints, Halifax CD-ROMS, memberships renewals, and donations we are doing OK from month to month. You have seen over the past 36 months the good work we have done (on a very tight budget) to promote and build up the Halifax Project. I had hoped to find a major sponsorship within the government or corporate world for the Halifax Project, but to date no one has come forward. We keep trying. If we can get the critical sonar image of Halifax LW170, as we got the sonar image of NA337 in 1995, supporters, who right now are “sitting on the fence” will be convinced we are in earnest.
We have the timely and serious need for members and supporters to send in their donations and purchase orders to show, to our future sponsors, we are serious about going ahead with the Halifax Project. If we had 30 people step up now and donate $ 1000 each, we would be ready to move into Phase 1.
A command decision is in order to get this critical funding underway. I have therefore written a personal cheque to Halifax 57 Rescue (Canada) for $1000. For those who donate, a tax receipt will be issued to you for the tax year 2007. My donating is to show serious intent to get our historic project started at this opportune time. Please send whatever you can afford so we will be ready to go this summer! Our aim is to make the $30,000 target. I cannot stress how important these funds are at this time to make the Halifax Project GO !!
Boulton-Paul Turret Cupola The Society recently acquired a major component of a very rare Boulton-Paul rear turret from a Halifax bomber.
Both the museum curator and NLS volunteer Peter Whitfield, Sarnia, Ontario, were in contact with the owner. NLS member, Capt. Karl Kjarsgaard (Air Canada 767 pilot) was asked to look at the cupola on his next trip to London, England. Karl took one look at a photo of the cupola and said; “Don’t wait – buy it now! This is a scarce item, almost impossible to find!” He purchased it and later had it transported via Air Canada for the museum.
The Society hopes to acquire more Boulton-Paul turret parts that at least enable volunteers to assemble a near-complete static turret for display.
The former owner’s daughter, “Maissy” beside her “Rocket!” [ photo by Karl Kjarsgaard ]
Helping Other Museums Our Society tries to help other museums whenever possible. To this end we have loaned our Lancaster lifting jacks to the Windsor, Ontario, group which is about to move Lancaster FM212 to its new home. The jacks will be used to lift the aircraft so they can remove the main undercarriage wheels. A tandem wheel assembly will be installed to lower the aircraft for its trip to the new site.
We have also been able to help the RCAF Museum in Trenton with drawings for their Anson Project and the RCAF Museum at Greenwood, N.S., with Anson parts.
This has not been a one-way street. Windsor will be helping with some Lanc related parts and Greenwood will be making fairings for our Anson project. The Trenton museum has been contacted regarding spare parts for a Boulton Paul turret to add to the recently acquired cupola.
One of the NLS jacks being readied to lift Windsor’s Lancaster FM212 to facilitate removal
of main undercarriage wheels to install special “dual” wheel assemblies for moving the Lanc to its new home.
The starboard undercarriage with wheel removed awaiting “dual” wheel assembly. [ above two photos by Ed Curnutte ]
Dual wheel assembly installed on Lancaster FM212’s starboard undercarriage.
A view of FM212 with both of the special wheel assemblies mounted. The NLS jacks are still in place.[ above two photos by George Mock ]
Shop Volunteer For the past year Roger Olynyk from Strathmore, has been driving to Nanton on Tuesday’s to work in the museum shop. Both he and his wife are Para-Medics who work mainly in the oil fields under contract.
Roger has a military background with a lot of experience in working with sheet metal. In the photo above he is seen using these talents to repair the Lancaster’s rudder control jack-shaft arms. THANKS ROGER!
Newsletter Proofing For the past 20 years, Lynne Maynard has volunteered to proof read our newsletter. No exception this year. Lynne has again made the corrections to punctuation and sentence structure.
We extend a GRATEFUL THANKS to Lynne for her assistance over the years.
Any errors that are found in this newsletter are those of the Editor.
Building expansion sod turning.
Fleet Fawn upgrade.
Merlin Engine Overhaul.
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.
The following excerpts of e-mails from Wendy Flemming tell a story that we think is worthy of printing. Wendy Fleming,
RAF 514 Squadron, Canadian Contact.
Dear Curator: Another success story because of your website. My sister’s mother-in-law, Fran, was married to an aircrew member (William Glass) for one month – then his plane went down. All but one were killed. Through some research, the book, “They Shall Grow Not Old,” and your website, I was able to trace the sole survivor – Al Hymers from Bruderheim. The story gets better. Where did this widow live? three miles from Bruderheim! I have put the two of them together. It has been a rewarding experience for both.
I have to add a bit more to the story. My sister and brother-in-law have an acreage with a commercial greenhouse, where Fran (William’s widow) and her second husband (Ernie) live. (They have been married for 51 years.) Fran used to tell me about this fellow from Bruderheim who came to the greenhouse. He had a Caterpillar pin – she, being curious, asked him about the pin. He told her the story about how his crew had been killed and he was the sole survivor. Well, we didn’t make the connection till Al and his wife came to visit Fran and Ernie, after my research! He commented how he had been at the greenhouse many times and chatted with the owners. He had actually driven right past the mobile home where Fran and Ernie live! The meeting has answered lots of questions for Fran. Being married for only a month, she didn’t know a lot of what William’s job was with the crew. She had a wedding picture and when she showed it to Al, that confirmed that she was married to William Glass. Thanks for everything you do. It has made a great difference in many people’s lives.
Keep up the good work!
Wendy Flemming RAF 514 Squadron, Canadian Contact.
Roy K. Mould,
Brigadier-General (ret.), OMM, CD
Dear Dave Birrell: My name is Roy Mould. I am the nephew of David Mould and the son of Cliff and Mae Mould with whom you recently corresponded regarding the material you have put on display from the legacy of my Uncle David Mould, who recently passed away. I just wanted to tell you that my parents and I recently viewed your display on your website and found it to be remarkable – well done! Not only is your work excellent, it is probably the best I’ve seen and I used to be the Heritage Officer for Canada’s Air Force so I’ve seen a lot. My parents were equally impressed and asked me to let you know what they thought as well. Your portrayal not only does our family proud but you do a great historical portrayal of our Air Force and the courage of its members, so embedded in our Country’s Heritage, proud as well. On behalf of our family I thank you. I know that David would be very proud indeed. Carol Patterson,
Dear NLS: My husband and I visited your museum last Sunday and really enjoyed your Operation Manna display. My dad, Elmer Youle, a Canadian, flew with the RAF Squadron 153 in this mission. My dad lives in Regina and has some interesting memories of that mission which I thought I would pass along. His grandson asked him to talk about the war for a school project and one of the stories (below) is from the Manna Mission. I have a photo of the crew in front of their Lancaster. I showed my dad a photograph of the painting of the Manna mission you sell in your gift shop. He says it is very realistic. “That is what is it looked like as the sky was full of Lancs and flying low as the Germans had insisted.”
Elmer Youle’s Manna Story
On May 1, 1945, six days before the surrender was signed, Holland was still occupied and the people were starving. The RAF loaded its bombers with food in jute bags to drop on a racetrack in Rotterdam. We had the permission of the German occupying army to drop food. We flew over Holland at 100 feet. It was a great thrill to see the Dutch people cheering as we passed over. It went well but I think I saw the odd bag of flour break and fly up as dust. I think it was a success because I went back three more times. Years later, I met a Dutch electrician, Fred Krahe, at Saskatchewan Power Corp. where I worked, and he told me he was from Rotterdam. I told him I came within 100 feet of Rotterdam. He was a 12 year old boy who watched the food drop happen. He said, “We were very hungry”. The Germans had shipped all our food off to the homeland. Fred and I became close friends.
Dear Sirs: I am doing research into my family tree and was stunned to see your website about my mother’s first cousin, Albert Stanley Prince. His father, Harold, born 1888, is an older brother of my grandfather, John (Jack) Prince born 7th April 1891. My grandfather served in the Winnipeg Grenadiers in WW1 and died in 1922 as a result of his time in the Canadian Army. Because my grandmother brought up his two girls alone since then, we have lost touch with the Princes. All I knew was my mother’s story that one of her first cousins was the first airman killed in WWII. Your excellent website gives me much information. I have traced, with the help of the Saskatchewan Genealogical Society, some of my grand-dad’s other brothers, Archie and Charlie, and am on the way to finding their descendants. I am very much hoping that you will be able to share with me the information you have about our family, and especially be able to put me in touch with his son Bill. My mother was Marjorie Ethel Shaw nee Prince, known as Rocky.
ED. Note: NLS director, Dave Birrell sent Peter Shaw what information we had in our archives about the Prince family.
Passed on Dec. 31/06. Frank was everyone’s friend and long-time NLS volunteer.
Passed away in February 2007. A long-time supporter and volunteer with NLS.
Passed away April 2007. Another long time volunteer and supporter of NLS.
Passed away March 2007. An NLS volunteer.
Passed away December 2006. NLS volunteer.
Albert ‘Muff’ Mills,
Passed away in March 2007. Former WWII aircrew and “nose artist” – long-time NLS member.
John G. Cook,
Passed away February 2, 2007. NLS member.
Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
Passed on in March 2007. The sister of S/L Ian Bazalgette. Lifetime NLS member.
Lifetime member and patron of the museum.
The Nanton Lancaster Society extends deepest sympathy to the families and friends of these former members and supporters.
May God Bless.
Past President’s Report By the time you read this, I will be serving the museum in a different capacity than as your president. After nineteen years in that position, I felt it was time to pass the title and responsibilities onto someone else in our organization.
I have every confidence that whoever takes over as president will be highly qualified and will capably lead us into the next chapter of our future. Of course, I could never “quit” cold-turkey as a museum volunteer. I have every intention of staying on the board of directors (if they will have me!) and helping in whatever way I can to assure the continued success of the museum.
It is amazing to look back over the past nineteen years or so, and recollect some of the many successes in our steady progression as a society. In 1988, when I was first elected as president, we were touring people through our un-restored Lancaster, showing them a few artifacts in our small, borrowed museum building. By 1991, we had moved the Lanc into our new hangar with attached display and shop areas. 1997 saw our next expansion to house our growing collection of aircraft and display materials. Over the next few years, we added four more doors to allow the Lanc to roll outside onto new pavement and expanded the main foyer and kiosk area. This year, we will see our next expansion of 90 feet x 160 feet on the north side of our shop area, This will allow restorations to take place on the Yale, Cessna Crane, the Anson, and other aircraft.
Over all these years of material growth, the most gratifying experience has been the friends we have made throughout the world. Many people we have met at our special events or just touring through the museum have become ardent supporters. They are the reason I will look back with fond memories of my time as president.
Curator / Editor’s Desk The Nanton Lancaster Society has entered its third decade! In 20 years our initial aim to preserve one old Lancaster bomber in need of some TLC has evolved into an air museum that is known worldwide.
The third decade will see further progress, again far beyond the imagination. Changes are already in the works – 14,000 square feet of new display and shop space is being added. Visitors will be suitably impressed with the new BCATP display in the museum’s front gallery. Board members, Dave Birrell and Rob Pedersen have done a fine job of redoing this display.
The next decade is starting with new personnel at the helm. Dan Fox is to be commended for his 19 years as president. Much of the success of our museum can be credited to his unwavering leadership. The torch has been passed to Rob Petersen, who will do a fine job filling Dan’s shoes. It is good to see new faces being added to the executive. We welcome new director, Brian Taylor, who is also a volunteer in the restoration shop. New blood with new ideas is needed to bring “Canada’s Bomber Command Museum” into its own.
While there is need for change, some things remain constant. The philosophy we have developed needs to be adhered to: maintaining themes of Bomber Command and the BCATP; free admission for all is a must – money must never be the main objective; and extending help to other museums without expecting something in return. Twenty years have proven this philosophy to be the road to success.