Our first stop in Canada was in High River, Alberta. From there, we were able to visit several museums/parks within a 45 minute drive. I will have several blog posts on these museums over the next several days. For quick updates, I will use Instagram, as that works well with limited internet. For the more interesting things, or rather the touristy places that I take a lot of photos at, I will do a blog post, as Instagram is limited to 10 photos. Our Instagram page is liv2rv. https://www.instagram.com. Occasionally I may just post a blog with links to the IG pages, for those that are not on IG.
Located about 20 miles south of High River is The Bomber Command Museum of Canada https://www.bombercommandmuseum.ca. The museum commemorates those that served in the Bomber Command division during World War II.
The memorial wall contains the names of over 10,000 Canadian Bomber Command members that died in World War II.
During WWII the bombing forces of Canada were under British command to fight in Europe against the Nazi’s. The bombers suffered great losses during daylight raids, so they began operating almost exclusively at night.
The museum has displays of the instrument panels from the Lancaster bomber airplane.
This is the pilot’s instrument panel and flying controls, along with a photograph of a pilot.
The Flight Engineer’s Panel
Dan was checking out the mockup of a Lancaster cockpit that you can sit in. This mockup was used in the 1992 film “Map of the Human Heart.”
Air training bases in Canada had their own fire department. This is a 1942 Ford Aerodrome/Crash Fire Truck. After the war, the town of Nanton used it as their first fire truck. It remained in service until 1977. It was called “Old Bumpy” due to it’s ride.
This is a 1942 De Havilland Tiger Moth. It was the most widely used basic training airplane under the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan.
In 1939, the Royal Air Force established the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) which grew to 180,000 members during WWII. In 1941, the Royal Canadian Air Force Women’s Division (WD) was formed. Over 17,000 Canadian women joined and served. The museum has a display honoring their service. The women in the Air Force were issued bicycles for transportation.
Canadair CT-114 Tutor. Originally used for training pilots from 1963-2000, the plane is now used by “The Snowbirds,” Canada’s air demonstration team.
The main feature of the museum is the Lancaster, a heavy bomber plane. It was the most successful bomber used in WWII.
Specially modified Lancaster were used to transport and deploy the Grand Slam Bomb. Forty one of these 22,400 pound bombs were dropped near the end of WWII. The museum houses a full-size mockup of the 25 foot long bomb.
A large number of Nose Art reproductions are contained throughout the museum. We always enjoy looking at the creativity on display.
Quote of the Day: “The Navy can lose us the war, but only the Air Force can win it. The fighters are our salvation, but the bombers alone provide the means of victory.” – Winston Churchill, September 1940 (this quote is on display at the museum)