Engine Start-Ups & Events
Members are encouraged to refer to www.old.bombercommandmuseum.ca for details and the latest updates regarding our engine runs and special events. All of the following events will include engine run-ups except for the Fly-In.
- May 8 -Official name change celebration
- May 29 -Planes, Trains and Elevators (includes Western Canadian Regional Model Contest)
- July 2 -Alberta Pioneer Auto Club’s “International” antique automobile rally
- July 17 -Joe English Memorial Fly-In
- July 23, 24, 25 -“Jets over Cayley” (Engine run on July 24)
- August 2 -Nanton Parade Day
- August 20, 21 -Salute to the Flight Instructors (Engine runs on August 21)
- September 25 -Fiftieth Anniversary of Lancaster FM-159’s Arrival in Nanton; Porsche Car Club
Please mark these dates on your calendar and we hope to see you at one or more of our special events this summer.
New Sound System for 2010
A new Bose Sound System will be in use in the hangar and on the tarmac during all our special events this summer.
Pre-season test running of the two Merlin engines April 17, 2010.
WWII Lancaster Pilot and NLS Founding Member Passes Away
NLS founding member and former WWII Lancaster pilot, Joe English, passed on to his reward on January 10, 2010. Joe was active in the Society from its very beginning and was a supporter right up until his passing. He will be sorely missed by all those with whom he worked in establishing the Nanton Lancaster Society and the aviation museum that resulted.
Joe English was instrumental in getting the Society started and had a hand in every facet of the development of what has just now become the Bomber Command Museum of Canada.
One of the Society’s long running events, the annual Fly-In, can be credited entirely to Joe. His promotion of having such an event has developed to the stage where sixty to eighty aircraft attend each year. The year 2010 is the eleventh anniversary of this event. The first, “Joe English Memorial Fly-In,” will be held on July 17. This will be an extra special day. Please plan to attend.
Joe English spoke at the 2008 dedication ceremony naming the museum’s multi-media room in his honour.
New Mosquito Display
An example of engineering ingenuity inspired by the challenges of war, the De Havilland Mosquito’s all-wooden design, was a major advantage during a time of acute shortages of light metal alloys. The sleek, Merlin-powered design, together with lightness and lack of any defensive armament or armour, allowed the Mosquito to travel at speeds in excess of 400 miles per hour to escape from enemy fighters. Designed as a bomber, the Mosquito could deliver the same bomb-load to distant targets as the heavily armoured, four-engined B-17 of the American Air Force.
Mosquitoes served with Bomber Command in the Pathfinder Force and specialized in low-level precision raids. Others served in a night-fighter role.
“F for Freddie” flew more operations than any other Allied bomber and Clarence Simonsen has painted its nose art, full-size, on a piece of aircraft plywood from a Hadrian Glider, moulded into the shape of a Mosquito’s nose. This is the eye-catching feature of our museum’s new display that focuses on the Mosquito. The display also tells the story of the tragic end of the aircraft when “F for Freddie” crashed in Calgary two days following the end of World War II.
Quiltathon – May 1, 2010
The Okotoks, Alberta, branch of Victoria Quilts Inc., a Canada-wide volunteer organization which make quilts to give to cancer victims undergoing chemotherapy, held its 2009 annual Quiltathon in the museum last May. They will be back again on May 1, 2010.
This branch of Victoria Quilts has groups in several area towns, including Okotoks, Nanton, Black Diamond, Stavely, and one group in Calgary. Last year their combined efforts resulted in over 1000 quilts being sent out to patients taking therapy.
The Nanton Lancaster Society is pleased to be able to assist this volunteer organization by donating room in the museum for the Quiltathon.
Members of Victoria Quilts Canada at the 2009 Quiltathon, held in the air museum.
August 20, 21 – Salute to the BCACP Flight Instructors
Gordon Jones flies by in his Tiger Moth.
When the Second World War broke out in 1939, it was clear that air power would play a major role. The British Commonwealth Air Training Plan, with Canada playing the leading role, was created to answer the need for aircrew. The success of this scheme was dependent on its instructors.
Over the course of the war, 50,000 teen-aged and slightly-older recruits were moulded into skilled fighter and bomber pilots by their flight instructors. The graduates went on to win the air war and defeat the Nazis but the majority of instructors, most of whom longed to be posted overseas on operations, continued to teach class after class until the war ended.
Flight Instructors continue to play a role with Canada’s Air Force as the NATO Flight Training Program graduates pilots for today’s challenges.
During our special event on August 20 and 21, we will be honouring the following as outstanding examples of Canada’s Flight Instructors:
- The late G/C Eric “Marty” Mitchell who spent five years training Flight Instructors before completing a tour of operations overseas as the Commanding Officer of No. 431 Squadron RCAF. G/C Mitchell flew our museum’s Fleet Fawn trainer sixteen times during his service at RCAF Flight Instructor Schools at Borden and Trenton.
- Gordon Jones instructed on Tiger Moths and Cornells at #5 Elementary Flying Training School in High River, just north of Nanton. He owns and continues to fly one of the D. H. Tiger Moths he instructed in during the war.
- Owen Fauvel instructed at #5 Elementary Flying Training School in High River as well. During his time there he produced a colour documentary film that followed a class through their training.
Canada’s continuing role as the site of flight instruction through the NATO Flight Training Program will also be featured.
One of our special guests will be Ted Barris, whose highly regarded book, “Behind the Glory,” focuses on the story of the Flight Instructors.
During the afternoon of Friday, August 20, anyone interested may join us on a “field trip” to the former site of No. 2 Flying Instructor School about twenty kilometres east of Nanton. We will be hosted by the current owner of the “Vulcan Aerodrome.” Plans are being made for a tour of the site along with other activities there.
On Saturday, the “Salute to the Flight Instructors” will feature a full day of activities including a pancake breakfast, Lancaster engine start-ups, Fleet Fawn start-ups, “Living Historians,” a luncheon, various presentations during the day, an afternoon program honouring the Flight Instructors, flypasts of vintage and modern military aircraft, and a Big Band Dance during the evening.
New Bomber Command Display
To coincide with our name change to the “Bomber Command Museum of Canada,” the museum has created a series of new display panels to better tell the story of Bomber Command. They have been designed to concisely tell the most important facts of this important history, ilustrate them with carefully selected photographs, and then elaborate with quotations often by those who were there.
We would lik to thank authors David Bashow and Murray Peden DFC who provided valuable input.
Sgt. Albert Price – New Panel
Along with the Bomber Command display up-grades, the panel for the display commemorating the loss of Sgt. Albert Prince, the first Canadian killed in action during WWII, was also renewed. It is now part of the overall Bomber Command display rather than being separated, as it was before.
Along with these upgrades there are other changes to the displays making them much more visitor friendly.
The upgrades to the Bomber Command exhibit and other displays is the work of museum board member, and volunteer library/archivist, Dave Birrell. He has spent a lot of time over the past six months revamping the text and incorporating new additional photos.
Bomber Command Museum of Canada
As our long-time members will know, The Nanton Lancaster Society was formed in 1986 and soon afterwards established a small museum that was based on the town’s Lancaster. The museum has operated as the “Nanton Lancaster Air Museum” since that time. However, over the past twenty-four years, the museum and its collection has grown dramatically, both in size and scope, and we came to realize that the original name was no longer reflecting the goals of the museum, nor the displays, artifacts, and aircraft on display.
Letters for new building signage were made “in house” by museum volunteers.
Dan Fox and Dennis Muldoon on the lift with Barry Beresford below have just finished installing the signage letters for the Bomber Command Museum of Canada.
Effective May 8, 2010, the museum will operate as the “Bomber Command Museum of Canada” for the following reasons:
- The Lancaster is no longer the museum’s only bomber. A Blenheim bomber is also on display and the museum has acquired substantial components with which to begin restoration of a Halifax bomber. Initially the museum’s displays focused on the Lancaster but over the years have evolved to tell the story of the entire effort that was Bomber Command.
- Also, Canada’s Bomber Command Memorial stands at the entrance to the museum. Dedicated in 2005, this Memorial Wall lists 10,673 names of those Canadians who perished while serving with Bomber Command during WWII.
- The museum is of national significance as the only museum in Canada whose primary purpose is to honour those who served with Bomber Command.
Please note that:
- The “Nanton Lancaster Society” remains as the governing body and all financial and business operations will continue under this name.
- Our website will now be found at [www.old.bombercommandmuseum.ca]. Please update your bookmarks.
- Web pages and links at [www.lancastermuseum.ca] will continue to function for awhile but visitors will soon be redirected to our new web address.
- For revised email addresses, please check on our new website under “Contact Us.”
Over the next couple of years we will change our signage, brochures, publications, Etc., to reflect our museum’s new name, the Bomber Command Museum of Canada.
It is only through the outstanding support of our members and volunteers that we have been able to reach this pivotal point in our development.
Dan, Barry and Dennis viewing their work.
News from Senantes
Members will recall that the Town of Nanton was “Twinned” with the Village of Senantes in France during our commemoration of the sixty-fifth anniversary of Ian Bazalgette’s Victoria Cross Flight. On 28 November 2009, our friends in Senantes planted a “genuine Canadian Maple” tree to commemorate the Twinning.
The Nanton Lancaster Society is planning to have a joint ceremony on August 4, 2010, with the Senantes officials. This will be to commemorate the sixty-sixth anniversary of S/L Ian Bazalgette’s ill-fated wartime operation in which he lost his life in an failed attempt to land his flaming Lancaster to save the lives of his two injured crew members, thus posthumously being awarded the Victoria Cross.
It is hoped that a phone connection will be in place with the Senantes officials as part of the joint ceremony in August.
A Canadian Maple tree wa planted beside the Senantes church and near the grave of S/L Ian Bazalgette, commemorating the twinning of Senantes France with Nanton, Alberta, Canada in 2009.
Residents of Senantes, France, which was twinned with Nanton in 2009, stand in front of the newly planted Canadian Maple Tree.
Tiger Moth 4080 Restoration
In 2009 your Society contracted with Neil Davidson, owner of Davidson Aeroworks Ltd. in Kimberley, B.C., to restore the wings for Tiger Moth 4080. Neil delivered the four wing sections on December 29, 2009. They are now stored in the new hangar awaiting the application of fabric. This will hopefully get underway during the winter of 2010-11.
Bob Evans and Neil Davidson stand amid the restored wings holding an aileron.
Restored Tiger Moth wings were delivered by Neil Davidson, owner of Davidson Aeroworks.
RCAF #1202 now carries the tail number 4080 which was the Moth flown by Murray Peden during his initial training at the High River, Alberta, EFTS.
From L to R examining one of the restored Tager Moth wings: Neil Davidson, owner of Davidson Aeroworks, Kimberley, B.C., who restored the four wings, Bob Evans, NLS museum curator, and NLS board member, Barry Beresford looking on.
Jets Over Cayley
Members may wish to combine a visit to the museum with this exciting event that will be held at the AJ Flying Ranch, five kilometres east of Cayley, and just eleven kilometres north of Nanton. The event is for turbine (fixed wing and helicopter), ducted fan, and high performance electric ducted fan r/c aircraft. There will be a Lancaster engine run-up on the evening of the 24th for the participants.
For additional details please visit the Special Events section of our website at:
[ www.bombercommandmuseum.ca ]
or contact [ firstname.lastname@example.org ].
Olympic Torch Run
The Olympic flag flies on the NLS Museum’s flag pole.
Dan Fox and “Ginger” waiting for the torch runner to appear. Both are in the spirit of the Olympics carrying Canadian flags.
February 18 saw the Olympic torch run reach Nanton, Alberta. Our town was one of the communities through which the torch run was scheduled. Your air museum was involved in a small way. We flew the Olympic flag on the 100 foot flag pole (donated to the Society in 2009) during the week prior to and during the time the Olympics were being held in Vancouver.
The museum also hosted the noon luncheon in the new hangar at noon. Lunch consisted of sandwiches and an Olympic cake, which was supplied by the local Olympic committee.
An Olympic torch runner passes near the museum on February 18.
The local Olympic committee served sandwiches and “Olympic” cake in the Air Museum’s new hangar. Tables were decorated with Olympic flags.
Simulators in the Works
The need for hands-on displays in the museum has been evident for a long time. While this has been brought to the attention of the directors, everyone has already enough things “on their plate.” Your curator finally “took the bull by the horns” and contacted Education Director, Dave Heathcote, at the Alberta Aviation Museum in Edmonton. Dave has been building simulators for that museum for several years and is an expert in this phase of museum promotion.
To make the story short, Dave offered to put together a simulator package for NLS. He had found a source of used computers and was able to quote a price that was within our budget.
Curator Bob Evans had mentioned the need for such a display in the museum to his son-in-law, Lorne Herriman, who offered to help. Lorne has considerable computer knowledge. Once the simulator “package” was ready, Bob and Lorne travelled to Edmonton to pick up the components, with Lorne getting info on how the system worked.
Simulator temporarily set up on a table until the Anson cockpit is made ready.
The curator’s part in operation “Simulator” was to make ready the cockpit section of a Mk.V Anson, in which to install the components. The competed project should be ready for use by museum visitors for the May 8, name-change celebration.
Volunteer Francis Gardner checks over the Anson Mk. V cockpit that is to be used to house the simulator components. He hauled it to the museum with his “picker” truck.
Anson cabin stripped and modified for installation of the simulator electronics and mounted on a castered base.
NLS extends a grateful THANK YOU to Dave Heathcote for sharing his expertise that made this display possible! THANKS also to Lorne Herriman for his great help!
Lorne Herriman (foreground) and Alberta Aviation Museum, Education Director, Dave Heathcote, pack up the simulator components that Dave put together for NLS.
In March, Jo-Anne Callbeck, of “Comp-U-Learn,” contacted the museum looking for a space that had Internet access, in which to hold a computer class for persons in the Nanton area. The class was to run for ten days.
The NLS board agreed that the Joe English Room could be made available for such a class and a fee was agreed upon. The class ended up with five students. The income from this came at an opportune time and helped to off-set winter heating costs.
The Gun Turret Man
Charlie Cobb is the recognized “expert” when it comes to turrets. He has restored all but one of the museum’s turrets. He also has made up the “mock” turret in the Lancaster itself and the one in the travelling display. These last two turrets have some parts from “real” gun turrets but many of their parts have been made by Charlie.
The travelling display turret is being repaired for the summer season to become safer and more user-friendly. In the photo below, Charlie is contemplating the canopy from that turret in which he is installing some new Plexiglas. The turret should be back in the travelling display by the end of April and ready for the season’s activities.
The travelling display at one of the 2009 summer events.
Both children and adults were intrigued with the gun turret.
A Visit from Lincs Aviation
The Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre, at East Kirkby, England, owners of the taxi-able Lancaster, NX611 (Just Jane), are in the process of upgrading their Lanc to an airworthy status.
In March Ian Hickling and Andrew Panton from Lincs Aviation visited Nanton regarding the possible exchange of Lanc parts to the benefit of both our groups.
NLS is getting two header tanks for Packard Merlin 224 engines and propeller vibration mounts in exchange for a Rolls Royce Merlin 24 header tank and other items.
Your Society is pleased to be able help to Lincs Aviation in a small way to upgrade their Lancaster to flying condition. The trade of parts has also been of great assistance to the on-going restoration of Lancaster FM159.
We wish Lincs Aviation all the best in making “Just Jane” airworthy.
NLS directors and UK visitors, L-R in front:
Barry Beresford, Tink Robinson, Ian Hickling (UK), Rob Pedersen,
Greg Morrison, Bob Evans, John Phillips.
Behind sitting on a crate, Dan Fox, and Andrew Panton (UK).
(the 2/3 scale Lysander is in the background.)
North American Yale Update
The Yale center-section is seen here in a jig that is being modified so it can be rotated.
This will make the leading edge more easily accessible for the necessary repair work to take place.
A new main spar and other components are now in the works.
This long-term airworthy project has seen some action over winter. Our friend Marcus Stephenson is in the process of having new centre-section spars and associated parts made up to replace the originals. These components have been de-riveted and removed by volunteer Bob Long.
The photo above shows the centre-section in its jig, with the spar removed. Some of the rib components are seen hanging from the ceiling above the jig.
Marcus has also indicated that he hopes to have the restored, airworthy, rear fuselage painted and back to the museum very soon. We will then attach it to the forward fuselage tubing section and place it on display awaiting the completion of the centre-section. After that the outboard wings will become priority.
Merlin #2 Update
by Fred Hollowell
Since the removal of Merlin #2 (Port Inner) on April 21, 2009, we have continued preparation work for the running of this, our third Lancaster Merlin engine. Various components of the engine were stripped off such as the fire extinguisher lines, miscellaneous hoses, etc. The engine was then power washed to remove as much as possible the grease, dirt, etc., that has gathered over the years. The carburetor and radiator were removed and inspected.
We then left the Merlin in the shop while we concentrated on all other components on the airframe required to run the engine. Over winter we have done maintenance as required on number 3 and 4 engines – spark plug cleaning, checking oil filters, replacing leaking water pumps, etc.
It had been decided that before any work was done on overhauling the #2 engine, that all electrical wiring, fuel connections, gauges, etc., would be completed for both of the port engines. Continuity and voltage testing was done for number 1 and 2 engines. All circuits have now been tested for oil, temperature, magnetos, rpm, etc. The instrument panel has now been remounted. The fuel cross-over valve, tach generators and drive cables have been overhauled and re-installed. We have also connected the circuit for the landing lights. The pneumatic brake lines on the Lancaster have been reconnected and are now in working order and fully connected to the steering yoke hand lever. The Heywood air compressor for the pneumatic system has been mounted on #4 engine.
Another area we are currently working on is the hydraulic lines to enable us to open and close the bomb bay doors as well as the flaps. All plumbing is now completed including overhauling and re-mounting of the hydraulic pump on number 3 engine.
The DC generator is mounted and connected to the aircraft’s wiring, making the generator functional. The propeller has been sent to Winnipeg for overhaul.
A lot has happened over the past winter months thanks to our mild winter. This summer we will be concentrating on the overhaul of the third engine. It is hoped that it will be remounted on the Lancaster and running along with the other two in 2011. Then on to overhauling the forth Merlin!
John Phillips and Merrill Honeyman at work on the Lanc’s port wing.
Bomb Doors/Flaps Operating
The bottom left photo taken March 23, 2010, shows Lancaster FM159’s bomb bay doors in their full open position. This was the first test of the Lanc’s hydraulic system the “Lanc Crew” volunteers have been working on for the past several months.
Another step completed in the ongoing restoration of Lancaster FM159. The third Merlin should be back on the bomber and running in 2011.
The Lancaster crew is to be commended for the many hours of donated time members have spent this past winter in making the above noted improvements to Lancaster FM159. THANKS GUYS!
This photo shows the flaps in their full down position
during the April 17 engine run,
using the refurbished hydraulic system.
With the two Merlins running on April 17, the flaps were articulated.
Here they are shown in the full up position.
The bomb bay doors are shown here fully open, testing the
hydraulic system with the Lanc outside and the Merlins running
in mid-April at the trial run to make sure everything was ready
for the scheduled summer event run-ups.
Bomb bay doors are shown here completely closed
using the aircraft dydraulic system at the trial running
of the Merlin engines on April 17.
Closed dydraulically for the first time in sixty-some years.
Halifax 57 Rescue Canada (Edited excerpt from Progress Report #33)
by Karl Kjarsgaard
Edited excerpt from Progress Report #33
This is a special report to all of our members and supporters who believe in our unique and historic quest and wish to contribute to the Halifax Project.
We are making good progress in our work to get a commercial contract for Deep Ocean Research Ltd. and the Polar Prince. When we have acquired this contract we will be able to “piggyback” our historic 2010 sonar survey on this commercial work to find RCAF Halifax LW170, off the coast of Ireland. Our next report will have more details on these activities.
However, this special report is not about these diligent activities. This is an urgent appeal for contributions and funds to help bring back a large number of rare Halifax bomber components discovered in Europe to Canada’s Bomber Command Museum in Nanton, Alberta, by Halifax 57 Rescue (Canada). This author, as the recon and point man, was advised of the parts by some Warbird friends of our cause. I hastily rallied our directors for a consensus and we all agreed we must acquire these parts for they are unique and absolutely vital to any future Halifax bomber rebuild.
In our hour of discovery and financial need, a Canadian patriot and proud son of a Canadian veteran stepped forward to provide the funds to purchase these valuable Halifax parts. Clint Cawsey of Canmore, Alberta, was approached in February and given a full briefing on this great opportunity to acquire these unique Halifax parts. He was equal to our needs and donated the entire amount required to purchase the Halifax parts we had discovered. Talk about coming to the rescue and having faith in us!
I see this now as “the beginning of our real beginnings” thanks to Clint’s vision and timely generosity to our cause.
One of the Halifax Bomber “Finds” from Europe.
Shown here is one of the recently located Hercules engines.
It, along with another engine and wing sections,
are part of the Halifax bomber/Hastings
transport aircraft parts recently found in Europe.
But, we are not out of the woods yet. We must ship these parts from Europe to Nanton, Alberta.
We need your help, my friends, to provide the funds to help pay for the shipping costs of a container across this great distance. The shipping costs could be $10,000 – 12,000.
The acquisition of these parts will be a huge step toward our ultimate goal to have a Halifax at Canada’s Bomber Command Museum. Your assistance is needed!
Look for an announcement of a major Halifax/Hastings airframe find in both the NLS and Halifax 57 Rescue websites in May 2010.
Please check [ www.57rescuecanada.com ] for the complete Report #33 and for contact information.
Stop Presses April 12, 2010
Halifax 57 Rescue Project Manager Karl Kjarsgaard has just reported onsite from the undisclosed location in Europe of good progress in the preparation of the 12+ tons of Halifax airframe parts for shipping to Canada. This promises to be a great addition to the Bomber Command Museum of Canada and our Halifax Project.
In funding for the acquisition of the parts and shipping we planned (this has been covered) on one container being used. We now find that there are so many parts of unusual dimensions that we must now have a second container in which to pack all the vital parts acquired.
This will require an estimated extra ($12,000-$14,000) shipping costs over and above what we estimated in Progress Report # 33. This must be covered within the next 4 to 6 weeks. The total shipping could now be up to $24,000.
All our parts are presently secure and protected in a safe warehouse close to the shipping container facility.
Halifax 57 Rescue (Canada) has done a diligent job in locating these rare and vital Halifax parts and are now asking, in partnership with the Bomber Command Museum of Canada at Nanton, Alberta, for your donations and financial backing to help pay for the shipping of these unique parts back to Canada. These donations are required as soon as possible. Tax receipts will be issued for all donations.
Please contact Halifax 57 Rescue or our museum with your donations in this exciting rescue of these scarce “Halifax parts” for the Nanton museum collection.
Helper Malcolm with another Hali part.
This photo shows volunteer, Dennis mockford (center) and helper,
Mario, getting the Halifax/Hastings wing center-section
(c/w undercarriage leg and wheel)
ready to move from the scrap yard.
Anson Restoration Update
by Rob Pedersen
This report marks a special milestone in the restoration of “Annie.” In February the restoration of the Cockpit floor was finally finished and with the last drop of paint applied the floor was finally installed into Anson “7481.
After just under two years of restoration, the occasion was marked by the Anson crew with champagne and sparkling ginger ale. They say a picture is worth a thousand words so I’ll let the following pictures tell the tale of the floor and how it went from “fire-wood” to a living piece of history.
The floor when restoration began – Note that the floor was missing sections and had been cut right in half along the length of it. At this point in time it was hard not to look at it as anything more than “fire-wood.”
Missing pieces are replaced. Three partial floors were used
to produce one fully restored floor.
The floor, with the bottom attached,
now waits for the top covering to be installed.
Charles Logie and John Maze pose with the completed floor,
just moments before it is installed in Annie.
John Maze is the man responsible
for the restoration and the completed frame work.
The floor is now ready for the top and bottom covering.
Components that will later be mounted to the floor
are placed on top to make sure that all the necessary wood
has been added back. There will be no opportunity to do so
once the covering is added.
John Maze smiles now that the floor is located in its new home.
The 2/3 scale Lysander has been in the new hangar during
the winter months with the brakes and engine being upgraded.
It is hoped to have the egine run-able for the events this summer.
Two of the second year SAIT students,
Bruno and Richard, working on the Lizzie.
Repairs to the vertical fin are underway.
A Ranger engine that has been stored for some time in Calgary.
It will replace the cut-away training engine that is presently
on the museum’s Fairchild Cornell.
Email and Letters
February 4, 2010
Dear NLS Curator:
Hi, my name is Leon Laliberte and I am the son of Alphonse Laliberte who is mentioned in the article about Charles P. “Chuck” Lesesne, a pilot’s sacrifice. It is with great interest that I read this article confirming the story that my dad had told us.
My dad is the third on the picture, the one that is not identified! He was Bomb Aimer on board with the Halifax of the 425th Alouette. After the war he became a doctor and always stayed in touch with aviation by performing the medical examinations for the pilots, among other things. He died in 1980 at the too young age of 61 years old. He was born in 1919 at Smooth Rock Falls in Ontario, but he was raised in Metabetchouan, in Lac-St-Jean. He practiced medicine for almost 30 years in Kenogami, in Saguenay.
Would it be possible for you to send me the address of Lucien Pigeon’s parents who provided the details in this story? Your website is really interesting and I will surely come and visit your museum when I go to Alberta: my son lives in Medicine Hat.
Thank you for keeping alive the memories of the men and women who fought for liberty.
Hugo & Faye Engler,
St. Albert, Alberta
April 6, 2010
Our visit to your incredible Museum last summer was a wonderful experience, never to be forgotten.
Everything was so well exhibited, clean and interestingly documented. Thank you for all the time and great effort your staff and volunteers give to the preservation of such important history. Wishing you continued success!
R.C. Stowell, LCol [ret] RCA -1965-2002,
April 5, 2010
To You Special People:
As an Alberta born lad and having served 36 years in the Army and having family in Lethbridge, we have driven through Nanton for decades. We never stopped at the memorial or the museum. It was something we would do someday. We stopped last week for three hours, a Board Director took us into the workshops for a look at how you make things work. What a great experience for us. Your museum still lets visitors “touch” and “feel” – not many people can climb into a “Lancaster” anymore!
Congratulations to you all on making our history give us a feeling of what our Aunts and Uncles – Fathers and Mothers did. There is such a legacy about “Bomber Command.”
January 16, 2010
We extend our heart felt condolences on the passing of Joe English. He will long be remembered for his many contributions to the preservation of aviation history and he will be greatly missed by all those whose lives he touched.
Formerly of Nanton, Alberta, passed away November, 27, 2009. Long-time member and good friend of the Air Museum. Sadly missed, may he rest in peace.
Joseph (Joe) English
Passed away January 10, 2010. Former WWII Lancaster pilot, founding member and long-time volunteer of the Nanton Lancaster Society. Joe will long be remembered for the part he played in creating the Air Museum.
Died recently. Member and supporter of NLS for a number of years.
Passed away in December 2009. Member and supporter of the Air Museum.
The Nanton Lancaster Society extends deepest sympathy
to the families and friends of these former members and supporters.
May God Bless.
Well Spring is finally here and 2010 is beginning to look like it’s going to be a very busy year for us. We already have our summer slate full, starting with a milestone announcement. Starting in May, your museum will now carry the name, Bomber Command Museum of Canada. Over the years the museum has grown from a lone Lancaster located along side the highway to a facility that is recognized worldwide for its dedication to preserving the memory and telling the story of those who served with Bomber Command during World War II. To better fit this mandate the directors thought it important to convey the National focus that the museum now commands.
Throughout the summer the museum will continue to bring the stories and memories of Bomber Command and the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan to the public at various events thoughout southern Alberta. We will be in attendance at the Wetaskiwin and Rocky Mountain House air shows; we will also be attending at Spruce Meadows. Of course we will have multiple events throughout the summer where we will feature engine runs on the Lancaster.
For the museum, this year also marks a very special Anniversary; 2010 marks the 50th anniversary of the LancasterÕs arrival in Nanton. So when you’re out and about this summer please drop in and say hello. We’re looking forward to your visit.
Editor / Curator Comments
Sadly we lost one of our founding members, former WWII Lancaster pilot, Joe English. His influence on the creation of our aviation museum was tremendous!
Changing the museum’s name to the BOMBER COMMAND MUSEUM of CANADA is another milestone in the growth of our museum. Karl Kjarsgaard’s search for a Halifax bomber for our museum has moved forward as you will see in his latest report.
For the rest of this column I would like to speak to this year’s annual summer event, “Saluting the BCATP Instructors,” to be held August 20 & 21 We are hoping for a large attendance and have some special guests who will talk about the major part the instructors played in the war effort.
Over the years I’ve had the pleasure of knowing a few of the pilots who spent the war years training the 130,000+ aircrew for the war effort. One is Gordon Jones of High River, AB. Gordon has been a long-time supporter of our efforts in creating the museum. His Tiger Moth has been part of nearly every event “fly-past” we’ve held.
Al Smith of Swift Current, Sask. was another BCATP instructor that I knew for many years. He passed on to his reward last fall at the age of 89. Al made aviation his life long work after the war, operating Smith Airways in Swift Current.
These are only two of the many hundreds of men who, as instructors, made a huge contribution to the war effort, but were not recognised with DFCs and Victoria Crosses, like the fighter and bomber pilots. We will honour and remember them in August!