Where Gumbo Was #423
Gumbo was visiting Canada's Bomber Command Museum, located in the small Alberta prairie town of Nanton about an hour's drive south of Calgary. Congratulations to George G, Professor Abe and Roderick Simpson, who recognized where Gumbo was!
The Bomber Command Museum of Canada opened in 1986 and was founded largely to protect and restore the town's Avro Lancaster FM159 bomber, one of only 17 remaining in the world. It has since grown to include a sizeable collection of aircraft, many of which were used during or in training for WWII by the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan.
The town's Avro Lancaster had been on outdoor display since 1960, and creation of the museum allowed the plane to be sheltered from the elements. The Museum kept acquiring additional aircraft and it has expanded several times since its opening. The museum includes a restoration shop and reference library. It is presently working to add second hangar for its collection.
Since 1986, the museum's Lancaster has undergone a full restoration, and all four engines are operational. Sometimes they roll the plane out of its hanger and start up the engines -- deafening!
The Museum also has an interesting collection of historical items and art pertaining to the Lancaster bomber, like these:
There's a lot to see and take in at the museum. Here are some of the other items from the Museum's Collection:
de Havilland Tiger Moth (1942)
A 1930s British biplane designed by Geoffrey de Havilland. It was operated by the Royal Air Force (RAF) as a primary trainer aircraft.
North American Harvard Mk IV
American single-engine advanced trainer aircraft used mostly to train U.S.A pilots.
Cessna Crane 8127
Twin-engine trainer aircraft designed and made in the United States, and used during World War II.
Canadair CD114 Tutor
This was the Royal Canadian Air Force's (RCAF's), standard jet trainer between the early 1960s and 2000. It was designed and produced by Canadian aircraft manufacturer Canadair. While most Tutors have been retired, a small number are currently still used by the RCAF’s Snowbirds aerobatics team.
Bristol Blenheim Mk IV
Maritime patrol aircraft and trainer used by the RCAF during WWII. Built by Fairchild-Canada, most of these planes served as patrol bombers on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of Canada between 1940 and 1944. Two squadrons of these aircraft also served in Alaska during the Aleutians campaign.
A full-sized replica of the well-known German WWII fighter aircraft.
There are lots of other exhibits in the museum in addition to airplanes, beyond the scope of this discussion, but a few that caught my eye included this tribute to women who served in the Bomber command....
Some personal items belong to some of the Air Force recruits....
Perhaps most interesting of all was the preserved art from the aircraft themselves. Most if not all of the aircraft were personalized by those who flew in them, often with fanciful names and images, and a count of how many hits and kills a particular plane had made.
Several non-flying vehicles are displayed, like this old military jeep....
I enjoy visiting museums of this type but understand not everyone does. If you like vintage aircraft, old vehicles and military history and memorabilia, then a stop at this museum when visiting southern Alberta is for you.