Lancs In The Fifties Celebration -August 22 and 23
The museum was pleased to host a well-attended reunion of RCAF veterans who had flown in post-war Lancasters, many of whom had flown in our aircraft during its RCAF service from 1953 until 1958. A reception was held on Friday evening followed by a full day of activities on Saturday. The program in the main hangar on Saturday afternoon saw the official opening of new display panels focusing on the post-war role of RCAF Lancasters and, in particular, our museum’s aircraft. A commissioned painting by John Rutherford depicting FM-159 during its No. 407 Squadron years was unveiled. Our special guest speaker was No. 407’s current commanding officer, Lt. Col. Mario LeBlanc, who paid tribute to the efforts of the squadron’s aircrew of an earlier era.
Displays by other aviation related groups and special demonstrations were held in the main hangar. The day also featured the unveiling of a display panel and special artwork by Clarence Simonsen honouring Bomber Command ground crew. Our recently opened “Joe English Room” was the venue for several presentations and the new north hangar was utilized all day for coffee, lunch, and hangar flying. The running-up of the Lancaster’s starboard engines and the Fleet Fawn added some aircraft smoke and noise at various times during the day. A much-enjoyed hangar dance featuring a twenty piece band that focussed on “Fifties” music concluded the celebration.
Lt. Col. Mario LeBlanc, C.O. of 407 Squadron, first unveiled the new “Lancasters in Peace Time” display panels then spoke to the crowd about the actions of 407 squadron’s past and present.
Two Merlins running – the highlight of the 2008 season!
Remembering Baz -August 15, 2009
S/L Ian Bazalgette is buried in the yard of this Senantes church.
As part of our celebration of Canada’s Centennial of Flight, the museum’s special event next summer will focus on the sixty-fifth anniversary of Ian Bazalgette’s Victoria Cross Flight. As most of our members are aware, our Lancaster was dedicated to S/L Bazalgette in 1990. Although our museum building had yet to be built and the aircraft remained outside, it was a very significant step in the development of the museum as we forever tied Alberta’s only WW II V.C. recipient with the centrepiece of what would become the museum that honours the Canadian airmen who flew with Bomber Command.
“Remembering Baz” will rejuvenate this relationship between our museum and S/L Bazalgette. We encourage our members to mark the date on their calendars and join us in Nanton.
During May, museum director Dave Birrell visited Downham Market in England where Baz was based and the small French village of Senantes which Baz overflew prior to landing the aircraft. It subsequently exploded killing all three that were still aboard. S/L Bazalgette is buried in the town’s churchyard. Dave visited the crash site and spoke with Simèon Desloges who, as a nine year old boy, watched Baz’s flaming Lancaster fly over his farm and land in a nearby field. The museum is working on some projects which hopefully will come to fruition at our “Remembering Baz” event next summer.
Simèon Desloges, of Senantes, France, holds a piece of the original Bazalgette Lancaster, F-2T, which he recovered from the crash site near his farm.
July 2008 Ninth Annual Invitational Fly-In July 19 turned out to be a great day for the ninth annual NLS Fly-in. The weather cooperated with clear skies and light winds.
In all fifty-four aircraft arrived to partake of the pancake breakfast that was cooked up by the Nanton and District Lions Club. Most of those attending also stayed for the noon luncheon put on by the Okotoks/High River Cadet Squadron.
Local volunteers transported a number of those attending to and from the town of Nanton to visit the aviation museum. All in all a successful gathering enjoyed by all.
The collage of photos below shows just a few of the visiting aircraft and those who attended the fly-in.
Some of the first arrivals – Lions Club serving breakfast.
Some of the visiting aircraft.
Sunwest Aviation’s immaculate Expediter!
Former Harry Whereatt Harvard.
Gordon Jones’ Tiger Moth.
Phase III Expansion Plans As most of our members are aware, Phase I of our museum’s expansion was completed in 2007 when 14,400 square feet were added to the north of our main hangar. Phase II was completed this year with the installation of heating and electrical systems and the interior finishing of our shops and “The Joe English Room.”
Phase III will see the installation of a sprinkler system for the entire building (a requirement under current building codes) and the construction of a large mezzanine for displays and aircraft viewing. Following this our previous shop area will be removed to connect the expansion area and the original hangar area. As well, our “small artifact” area will be enlarged and additional washroom facilities be made available.
The cost of this final phase of our expansion is estimated to be $300,000 and we are actively seeking funding to complete the project. If you are able to assist or have ideas as to how the museum might access corporate or government support please let us know.
Hawk One and Nanton’s Jack Allan
Jack Allan’s Golden Hawk T-33 In conjunction with Canada’s Air Force, an F-86 Sabre owned by Michael Potter of Vintage Wings in Gatineau, Quebec, is being restored as a “Golden Hawk” as part of the celebration of Canada’s Centennial of Flight. The aircraft has been designated “Hawk One” and will be seen at air shows across the country during 2009. The Golden Hawks aerobatic team was created in 1959 as part of the celebration of the Fiftieth Anniversary of flight in Canada. One of the RCAF officers involved in the creation of the team was Nanton’s Jack Allan and he went on to become the commanding officer of the Golden Hawks from 1960 to 1962.
W/C Allan was born and educated in Nanton prior to joining the RCAF in 1939. He flew Hurricanes and Spitfires in North Africa but was wounded by shrapnel and posted back to Canada. Although he had been a Sabre squadron commander, Jack had no experience in aerobatics and did not fly as part of the team. Instead, he travelled with the team in T-33 #21500 that was painted the same golden colour as the Sabres and had identical markings. W/C Allan often “warmed up the crowd” prior to the Golden Hawks’ arrival at an air show with some spectacular low passes.
Check www.lancastermuseum.ca for additional information about Nanton’s W/C Allan that includes a splendid colour photo of his T-33 and a photo of the Golden Hawks over Nanton that was taken by Jack’s father from their back yard. When you visit the museum during 2009, you’ll see a special “Jack Allan” display featuring Jack’s Golden Hawk flight jacket and a model of his T-33 that is being built by the Rocky Mountain Modelling Club.
The “Golden Hawks” fly over Nanton back in the ’60s when Jack Allan was their C.O.
T-33 dedicated to Nanton’s Jack Allan. NLS volunteers and a rented crane, moved this gate guardian last spring. The whole tarmac area is now clear for parking aircraft outside. The white X marks original psition of this gate guardian.
Minnie Simcoe Flys with Snowbird #1
No. 431’s wartime C/O, W/C Eric Mitchell, holds the original “Minnie Simcoe” doll. No. 431 “Iroquois” Squadron was adopted by the City of Simcoe, Ontario, and its citizens supported the airmen by sending items such as chocolate, candy, gum, toothbrushes, and knitted garments to the airmen. An unknown Simcoe resident made an Indian princess doll which made the trip overseas and eventually became the squadron’s mascot. “Minnie Simcoe” flew at least eighteen operations aboard the No. 431 Lancasters. When the squadron c/o was posted elsewhere, “Minnie” was presented to him and her current whereabouts are not known. However one of our members, Marg Liessens, made contact with a resident of Simcoe, Myrle Smith, who made a replica of the doll and it is now on display at the museum.
As the original “Minnie” had flown with No. 431’s wartime c/o, W/C Eric Mitchell, Marg and other members of our museum felt it fitting that the replica “Minnie” should have a flight with the current c/o of No. 431 Squadron which is now the Snowbirds. So this summer at the Rocky Mountain House Air Show, as Major Rob Mitchell (yes, both COs are named Mitchell) was buckling on his parachute, Marg watched as the little doll was tucked into Snowbird #1. A few minutes later, “Minnie” was airborne and Marg found it difficult to take her eyes off Snowbird #1 knowing that a very special passenger was aboard.
It was a remarkable way to connect the wartime airmen of the squadron to today’s pilots who fly a very different role with No. 431. Our thanks to Capt. Jennifer Jones and Major Mitchell of the Snowbirds for their cooperation.
Major Rob Mitchell with the replica Minnie Simcoe doll sitting in SnowBird #1 at the 2008 Rocky Mountain, Alberta, air show.
Seen here at the Rocky Mountain air show Capt. Jennifer Jones, of the SnowBirds team, is pinning a Snowbird pin onto the “Minnie Simcoe” doll (held by Marg Liessens) before her flight as the Squadron mascot.
On The Road Again Our volunteers enjoyed taking our museum’s “Travelling Display” to four events this summer. The Cranbrook Air Show featured the Snowbirds and we visited with many people from the west Kootenay Valley. We were also pleased to be part of the North American Tournament at the huge Spruce Meadows complex south of Calgary as part of their “Salute” to our armed forces. Our Lancaster cockpit section was a major attraction for the huge number of visitors to this remarkable venue over a four-day period. We joined our friends at the Reynolds Alberta Museum when they hosted an excellent and very well attended two-day air show. The Snowbirds were perfect and there were a number of other spectacular flying displays. Maurice Galli of Rocky Mountain House has been one of our special volunteers over the years and through him we have enjoyed a unique relationship with the bi-annual Rocky Air Show. Like previous shows, this was the “Best Ever” and was attended by thirteen of our museum’s volunteers.
With the celebration of Canada’s “Centennial of Flight” next summer, we’ll be “On the Road Again.” Watch our website for the schedule and visit our display if you’re able to attend any of the events.
The Lancaster cockpit mockup loaded for the trip to the Spruce Meadows, North American Tournament.
Lancaster cockpit mock-up is a hit with visitors to the NLS display at Spruce Meadows in July.
Sitting in a real Lancaster pilot’s seat was an experience they all wanted.
The Panda Bear That Flew on the Dams Raid During our salute to the “Americans in the RCAF” during the summer of 2007, we paid tribute to Joe McCarthy who served with No. 617 Squadron and flew on the Dams Raid. His son, Joe McCarthy Jr., was present and unveiled a large piece of artwork that had been painted on a Lancaster wing panel by Clarence Simonsen. The images were replicas of nose art that had been painted on Joe’s No. 617 Squadron Lancasters. Each one featured a panda bear. Clarence’s artwork, together with the related information and wartime photos were then placed on www.lancastermuseum.ca.
Last summer, we were contacted by Dorothy Bailey who lives in Yorkshire, although her father was a Canadian. She wrote, “I’ve just found your website, having done a search for “Q for Queenie” and found the article on Joe McCarthy’s nose art. My father, William (Bill) Radcliffe, was Joe McCarthy’s Flight Engineer on both No. 97 Squadron and No. 617 Squadron. I have a small panda bear about 5″ high which my father had as a mascot, tucked into his boot during every flight. I have always understood that it was the mascot for the whole crew. Having seen your article I now wonder if the panda was given to my father because of the nose art or whether the panda actually gave rise to the nose art. “All the wear on him must have happened whilst he was at war as he was never played with by me or my siblings. His right ear is quite worn down and his nose is threadbare!”
Dorothy has sent us an excellent photo of one of the nose art images as well as a photo of the panda that accompanied Joe McCarthy’s crew on all their operations, including the Dams Raid. Visit our website, www.lancastermuseum.ca for the complete story.
Joe McCarthy’s Dams Raid mascot!
The Joe English Room The museum has honoured one of our founding directors by naming our new “multi-purpose” room in his honour. The reasons for choosing Joe English’s name for this room are too numerous to list here but include his service as a wartime Lancaster pilot and as a museum director and volunteer. The only problem with “The Joe English Room” so far is that it was much too small to accommodate all of Joe’s family and friends at its official opening.
Some of the crowd attending the dedication. The room is a significant addition to the museum. Featuring a variety of aviation art, the space is used on a daily basis as a theatre for our visitors. It is also used by school classes and other groups, for special presentations and social functions.
Joe English speaking at the dedication.
NLS President Rob Pedersen speaks at the official opening of the Joe English room.
Look close and you can see Joe’s image from the movie “Bomber Boys,” in which he starred, projected on the wall.
Ex-Lanc Pilot Joe English and the Falco Project Joe English and Pieter Uithuisje continue making progress building the Falco. The fuselage is now stored temporarily in the museum shop while the wing structure is being assembled in Pieter’s small shop connected to his home.
We understand that they hope to have the wing skeleton (spars, ribs, etc) constructed and assembled before the end of the year.
The Falco fuselage skeletn is stored temporarily in the NLS wood working shop.
Progress in the Addition The following photos should give the reader some idea as to the progress made in completing the new space in the new addition to the original museum building.
Several volunteers have been involved in moving, sorting, and placing the items on the new mezzanine storage area. Volunteer Rick Featherstone’s leadership, his donation of the shelving, plus a special frame for hanging uniforms, etc., and his continuing efforts have really contributed to making this happen. Thanks Rick. The engine/metal working shop shapes up.
Aircraft parts in storage on the mezzanine.
The new uniform room on the mezzanine.
The 43-Year Old Air Gunner
There are many stories of young men (many still boys really) who lied about their ages to gain entry into the air force. Last August Frank Barber of London, Ontario, visited the museum and told us that his father was killed with Bomber Command while twice the age of his fellow aircrew. Born in 1901, Joseph Barber was initially refused admission to the military partly because of his trade as a bricklayer but also because of his age. He volunteered numerous times but to no avail. Finally one day, in frustration, he took out his birth certificate and, as his son Frank remembers, folded it repeatedly, back and forth, so that eventually the date of birth could no longer be read. He then volunteered again and was accepted into the Royal Air Force. After training as an air gunner, he flew in Lancasters and Halifaxes. Sgt. Barber had completed seventeen operations when his aircraft failed to return from a raid on Duisburg on the night of 21/22 May, 1944.
Frank Barber stands beside Nanton’s Lancaster bomber after telling the story of his father Joseph, as related above.
Nose Art Developments With the cooperation of artist Clarence Simonsen, our museum displays numerous pieces of his replica nose art, many of them full size and almost all painted on aircraft skin. We have become the leader in the display and interpretation of the history related to this art form which is regarded as a window into the lives of the aircrew and ground crew who served with Bomber Command. The entire collection is available for viewing at www.lancastermuseum.ca.
At the “Lancasters in the Fifties” event this summer, “Willie the Wolf” was placed on display. At over eleven feet in width, “Willie” is Clarence’s largest replica to date and covers two Lancaster wing panels. “Willie” is now serving as the backdrop to the museum’s new “Nose Art Corner” that features our nose art adorned Lancaster replica cockpit section.
With the cooperation of Clarence and others, the museum has created a database of information and photographs of all the RCAF, RAF, and RAAF nose art that we have been able to locate. The project was completed by Katelyn, one of our most experienced summer students. Thanks to her special efforts, the database contains some 1500 photos of nose art and nose artists as well as information related to over 900 different nose art images. The database is a “work in progress” that we will share. If you have photos of nose art and/or related information that you would like to contribute please contact us.
Replica nose art in the museum’s new display.
“Willie The Wolf” the largest of Clarence Simonsen’s nose art reproductions.
by John Phillips
After a longer than expected stay in the shop, #4 engine was hung mid-year 2008 into its engine bearers. After much hook-up work involving the cooling system (we had installed a British header tank which unknown to us was slightly different from the Canadian Mk X tank), we had to then install the proper one which enabled the thermostat to fit. Some oil lines had to be cannibalized from #2 engine and a feed line improvised due to lack of original large diameter copper oil lines. An up-to-date temperature indicating system was installed to do away with the unobtainable temp probes used originally. Even the overhauled prop installation had a minor glitch involving an oil seal. Eventually we were ready for the shake-down runs which yielded some more glitches that were overcome by the perspiring and willing Lanc engine crew.
Seen here on June 10, the newly overhauled starboard outer Merlin engine is being reinstalled on Lancaster FM159.
Canadian Centennial of Flight Celebrations “Back To Baddeck”
Our museum will be participating in a commemorative flight that will begin in Baddeck, Nova Scotia (the location of the first powered flight in Canada in 1909), travel to Newfoundland, and then across the Canadian Arctic (with considerable help by an air force Aurora). Following the Aurora’s arrival at the Comox Air Museum, a series of some 33 legs will be flown “Back to Baddeck” by a variety of vintage aircraft arranged by aviation museums. This project is being co-ordinated by CAPA (the Canadian Aeronautical Preservation Association), the organization that speaks for the aviation museums of Canada. Our museum is scheduled to participate by welcoming the arrival of an aircraft from The Canadian Museum of Flight on May 30 as part of our “Planes, Trains, and Elevators” event. Our participation leg will be from Nanton to Springbank Airport west of Calgary. We hope to have Gordon Jones fly this leg in his Tiger Moth to where he will be met by members of the Avro Museum who will carry on to the Aero Space Museum at Calgary.
Flying Visit to the Museum On Sunday, October 26, seven private aircraft from the area around Calgary took part in an old fashioned type fly-in to Nanton. They landed in a stubble field adjacent to the town and walked the 1/2 mile into town to visit the air museum.
This fly-in was organized by Paul Botting of Calgary who flies a restored Piper Vagabond. Some of the other aircraft in the group were an Aeronca Champ, Piper Super Cub, Team Minimax, Quad City Challenger, and a Macair Merlin.
After spending part of the morning in the museum they lunched at one of the local eating establishments and then returned to their aircraft for the flight home. These flyers suggested a grass strip near town would encourage more such visits to the benefit of flyers and the community.
The North American Yale Presently in a jig and under restoration is the wing centre section. This assembly has been waiting for a sub-spar to be made by a firm in Calgary. It is hoped that this component will be on hand shortly and work will resume. Also, Bob Long, who had been working on this project, is back volunteering in the shop after being unavailable the past year. He is gung-ho to get started on the Yale again.
As mentioned in previous newsletter, the restored rear fuselage is now in Marcus Stephenson’s new shop at Springbank where he will be painting it. Marcus also has a Yale project which is slowly evolving.
Also the rudder and elevators are now in the museum ready to be worked on once the move to the new shops is completed..
We will have some more news on this rebuild in the spring newsletter.
Pictured here is N.A. Yale wing centre section in its rebuilding jig. As we go to print with this newsletter, this unit is about to be moved into the new metal/engine workshop where restoration will continue.
Anson Restoration Update
by Rob Pedersen
Rob Pedersen checks the positions of the components that will be attached to the Anson cockpit floor after the plywood skin is applied to the substructure. The floor should be completed before year end.It seems like it has been a long time coming but progress can finally be seen on old faithful Annie. She has been bare for so long, stripped of her formers and covering, that she seemed more a skeleton than an airplane. Now with the window frames finally completed and installed, the formers, windshield and upper decking have followed. You now look at her and instead of asking, “Is that an airplane?” you know “That is an airplane!” The formers for the cabin have been clamped in place to ensure that everything aligns and fits, just as it should. (see photos of cabin.) Off of the airframe, the cockpit floor is nearing the last of its restoration. The floor is 100% authentic and has retained over 90% of its original materials. To look at its lattice structure one wonders if it could have ever been strong enough to support anyone. (see photo of floor below). Over the winter our Anson restoration crew will finish the cabin by installing the remaining fuselage formers and floors. We have also begun to assemble the spar table that we obtained from the Aerospace Museum of Calgary several years ago. Upon this table we will begin to restore our original wing spars.
I would like to thank John Maze, Charles Logie, Alan Palmer and Gary Amundrud for their tireless dedication. Without their efforts Annie would still be a skeleton sitting in the corner somewhere.
The Anson fuselage shows some of the formers now in place along with door and window frames, etc. It’s been a long time coming but those hundreds of small pieces that were made over the last few years are now finally being installed. Progress!
57 Rescue Report
by Karl Kjarsgaard
To all our members and supporters of the Halifax Project, I thank you for waiting for developments and news of our historic quest. While you have been waiting, visiting our website and saying ‘when are these guys going to put up something’, we have not been idle. We have been relentlessly moving forward towards our goal to find RCAF Halifax LW170.
We have good news of a new sonar ship with a new deal for the Halifax Project which we will be able to afford. Director Jim Blondeau and myself travelled to St. John’s, Newfoundland, on October 19 to meet with the owners and operators of the sonar ship “Polar Prince.” We met with operations manager Mike Stephens and had a personal tour of this fine ship which is a converted Coast Guard ice-breaker that is being refitted with some new systems for its work as a deep sea sonar ship. Jim and I stayed overnight on board while we were in meetings with operations manager Mike Stephens and his chief engineer.
We gave them a full briefing on all of the exhaustive research and analysis that had gone into building up the Halifax survey area. I was also able to show them the five targets in our search box, with exact coordinates, that have been located by the Marine Institute’s Fiona Fitzpatrick from a survey done seven years ago.
Mike Stephens is an experienced ocean expedition manager and deep sea expert. He was impressed that we had done our “homework” and could see that the sonar survey for the Halifax could be fairly straightforward from his operational end.
The “Polar Prince” is scheduled to go to the Mediterranean for some commercial work after her refit is complete in St. Johns in the next few weeks. The golden opportunity for us will be that when the vessel sails for the Med, the owners have agreed in principle to do the Halifax sonar survey, with the emphasis to survey those “hotspots” that our Irish friends have discovered from their past surveys.
This is an excerpt from Karl’s update.
For the complete report #25 please go to the following website: [www.57rescuecanada.com]
CAPA Conference NLS president Rob Pedersen, curator Bob Evans, and director Dave Birrell attended the 2008 annual conference of the Canadian Aeronautical Preservation Association (CAPA) held in Edmonton this year at the Alberta Aviation Museum (AAM).
Representatives of eighteen member aviation museums from across Canada were in attendance along with some associate members. AAM did a great job of hosting and organizing the event.
There were several very interesting seminars. Including one on how the AAM museum had constructed “hands-on” flight simulators at very little cost. Your president and curator will be using this info to create a similar hands-on activity display for use next season in our museum.
Not only was the meeting productive for those attending, but delegates from member museums had their once-a-year chance to relate directly with each other. This personal contact is always productive. An example of this is the agreement between NLS and AAM to exchange displays. See the following article for detail.
CAPA delegates in a meeting at AAM.
Permanent Loan Agreement The NLS has owned a 7/8 scale mockup of a Vickers Viking amphibious aircraft since 1991. The Viking has been on temporary loan to the Alberta Aviation Museum (AAM) in Edmonton since 1995.
Tom Hinderks, AAM’s executive director, had a proposal for the NLS delegates who attended the 2008 CAPA Conference. He offered a 2/3 scale Lysander aircraft on permanent loan from AAM in exchange for permanent loan of the Vickers Viking mockup. Both museums have agreed to this exchange.
The Vickers Viking mockup is a replica of an actual aircraft used in Alberta in the 1920s which fits into the themes of the AAM. The 2/3 scale Westland Lysander adds one more BCATP aircraft to the NLS collection. This exchange is a good example of CAPAs museums helping and enhancing each other’s displays.
7/8 scale Vickers Viking.
2/3 scale Westland Lysander.
Volunteers, Einar Overn and Ev Murakami, are seen here pasting labels on envelopes for use in mailing this newsletter!
Library Shelf Expansion: The museum’s library collection has been expanding every year
until all available shelves were full. Long-time NLS volunteer, Jim Wiersma, who built the original book cases, took on the job of building extensions to the existing cases. The photos:
(1) shows Jim finishing up the last of the three additions, (2) shows two already in place. Our grateful thanks go out to Jim!
The T-33 was moved to new location about 60 feet north to clear access for aircraft being moved out of the new addition hangar on to the museum’s tarmac.
Neil Wilson welds the large pipe that supports the T-33 to its new base. Neil is a longtime friend of the museum who was instrumental in making up the original mountings for both the T-33 and for the museum’s CF-100.
A special display honouring ground crews of WWII and post war is unveiled.
Len Isaacson, from Lethbridge, Alberta, former tail gunner now in his 80s mans the guns
in the museum’s restored rear turret.
The last “crewman” to board the Lanc waters down the tail tire for luck on the Op.
The Re-Enactors who helped make the day dressed as aircrew were accompanied by their ladies, also dressed in period costume.
Former Lancaster flight engineer, Duke Dawe, assists Rob Pedersen in unveiling the special
“Lancs of the 50s” painting by aviation artist, John Rutherford.
Here the Fleet Fawn’s Kinner engine is being run-up. In the background visitors try out the SnowBird Tutor’s cockpit.
In the left photo, Stephen Quick, Associate Director General of the Canada Aviation Museum in Ottawa, tries his hand at running the NLS restored Frazer/Nash rear gun turret. In the right photo, Anthony Smyth, Director General of the National Aviation Museum,
takes a photo of nose art in the new nose art corner of the museum. Tony Smyth and Steve Quick visited the Nanton Air Museum while enroute to the CAPA conference in Edmonton. Thanks Tony and Steve for your interest!
During the summer the Bruce Warren Memorial Garden (in front of the museum’s CF-100)
was rededicated to the memory of Bruce, who flew Spitfires during WWII and served afterwards as a CF100 test pilot.
Email and Letters
July 7, 2008
Hi Bob and Dave,
I just want to say thank you very much for providing an insight in to the museum yesterday; it made the visit even more extra special and you were very informative. Phil was very pleased with the visit and of course brought back many memories for him. It had been 65 years nearly since he last stepped inside a Lancaster. All the family enjoyed it and all Thomas wanted to do when he got home was to fly around like a Lancaster Bomber. I’m sure we’ll be visiting again. Many Thanks
Dale Plante, (Niece of Allan Kurtzhals)
July 8, 2008
My uncle was part of the Parrott crew and is memorialized on the wall along with his crewmates I visited the museum in the week after the dedication in 2005 and was very impressed with the Memorial Wall and enjoyed the museum. Today I revisited your website for the first time in quite a while – well done.
Thank you on behalf of:
434 Squadron, Halifax, NR118 – WL-U, December 18, 1944:
Pilot – F/L James Murray Parrott.
Mid Upper, W/OII, Alexander Divitcoff
Flight Engineer P/O Leslie Homer Janzen
Bomb Aimer – Allan Edward Kurtzhals.
Rear Gunner – W/O II, Gordon W. Olafsen
Navigator – F/O Samuel H.J. Pearce.
Wireless Operator – Herbert Brown, (who thankfully survived the war.)
August 23, 2008
During the past year I have been completing a project based on the “Dambusters.” My project was then entered in a competition for which I gained first prize. I want to thank the Nanton Lancaster Society for all their help and the information which they sent me. You have a great and very informative website which was very useful.
Firstly may I say what a brilliant site. I Googled Lancaster JB601 and it took me to your site. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw an enquiry regarding a Sgt. Bradley (my father who sadly passed away 1995). I clicked on the link to your comments pages to read more about the enquiry from a Greg Wilson in Australia back in April 2007. I have sent off an email to him, will let you know the outcome of any reply. I would be interested in any info that John Pollard has on 106 Sqdn Metheringham and Lancaster JB601. I am going to the national archives in Kew London tomorrow the 16th. It really is a very interesting place and the staff are really helpful.
Once again what a brilliant site to come across. I will put some more info on this page at a later date.
Joyce and Ed Dodd,
September 10, 2008
Hello all: My wife and I had the pleasure of attending the “Lancs in the Fifties” reunion in August. We drove so just now got back home to Nova Scotia. I wish to thank all of the people who organized this event. We had a great time renewing old friendships and meeting some new. Your museum is wonderful and a real tribute to Bomber Command. Thank you all.
September 11, 2008
Subject: Lancaster Reunion. A belated thank you to all the members of the Nanton Air Museum who made the reunion of postwar Lancaster crews such an outstanding success. It was so well organized. We were particularly impressed by the fact that everything ran exactly on time as advertised. We hope to visit your museum again, and look forward to the time you’ll be able to run up three engines! Again, our sincere thanks for a job well done.
To Dave Birrell and NLS:
Hi Dave, Just a quick note to personally thank you and the Society for a wonderful August show. Both Edith and I had a wonderful time and the hospitality shown was appreciated.
You and the society are doing an outstanding job in the restoration and it shows that it is a labour of love. Your sobriquet “The Lucky Lancaster” is most apt: that she has found a home in Nanton proves this.
All the best,
Below are the names of members of the Nanton Lancaster Society who have passed away during 2008.
Charles Ross Goldie,
Harry K. Ward,
Andrew T. Joerissen,
The Nanton Lancaster Society extends deepest sympathy to the families and friends of these former members and supporters.
May God Bless.
President’s Report It seems like it was just yesterday that we were laying out plans for our summer season. Looking back we have indeed had a very busy season. Your museum was represented at several air shows and public displays covering southern and central Alberta as well as making an appearance in British Colombia. The travelling display appeared at the Cranbrook air show, Spruce Meadows, the Wetaskiwin and the Rocky Mountain House air shows. I always enjoy the opportunity to introduce our museum to those who haven’t had a chance to visit us.
This year also marked the rededication of the Bruce Warren memorial garden, the completion of Phase I and II of our new restoration hanger, the dedication of our very special multimedia room to our very own Lancaster Pilot, Joe English, and the 50th anniversary of the last flight of our Lancaster. With much pride I watched the results of our Lancaster restoration crew’s dedicated efforts, when for the first time in 50 years, two Merlin engines roared to life.
As the president of our fine museum I am very proud of what our team of volunteers has accomplished. It is not without great dedication, sweat, and tears, that our museum moves forward. It is the volunteers, who spend countless hours moving equipment into the new shops, sweeping floors, caring for the lawns and gardens, running the front desk, restoring airplanes and putting together new displays that makes this museum more than just a collection of artifacts. It is because of you, the volunteers, that we are a world class museum that is second to none.
Curator / Editor’s Desk Our Society continues to create an aviation museum that ranks with some of the best in the world. The museum’s growth and prestige can be credited to the efforts of volunteers and contributors who have given so unselfishly over the past two decades.
In 1986 volunteers set about restoring the tired old Lancaster as a tourist attraction and ended up creating a museum. Over the years thirteen more aircraft were acquired, most of which are either restored or are under restoration. A 16,000 sq. ft. museum building was erected in 1991 which has grown to 40,000 sq. ft. In 2005 our Society designed and built Canada’s only Memorial Wall honouring the 10,673 Canadians who gave their lives serving with WWII Bomber Command. We have numerous displays portraying the history of those who served in the BCATP and Bomber Command that have been made by volunteers.
Like most aviation museums our funding has always been limited. Restoring aircraft and museum upgrades have always been a priority as funds became available. Hiring personnel has always been secondary. At present volunteers operate the museum with the assistance of two part time employees and summer students. Each year new displays have been added and other improvements are made to our facility, enabling us to better present the history that we are committed to preserving. Running two of the Lanc’s Merlin engines this past summer was another step into the realm of being world class! Again the work of volunteers! Looking forward to 2009!