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Friday, 19 August 2011 14:08

Nanton museum celebrates 25th anniversary

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Nanton
Nanton’s Bomber Command Museum will celebrate its 25th anniversary by honouring the service of Alberta’s 408 Squadron and unveiling the museum’s progress with restoration of a rare Halifax Bomber.
The weekend celebration will get underway today, August 19, when members of the 408 Squadron land their Griffon helicopters at about 2 p.m., in the field beside the museum.


During the opening ceremony, Bomber Command Museum President, Rob Pedersen, will welcome members of Squadron 408 to Nanton and recognize their 70 years of service in both the Second World War and Afghanistan.


That ceremony will conclude with a ribbon cutting, officially opening the museum’s newest exhibit; a collection of recently–recovered and extremely rare Halifax Bomber parts that will be used to restore a Second World War Halifax Bomber.


The new exhibit and restoration project will honour the pivotal role the Halifax played with the RCAF Bomber Command during the Second World War, and will recognize the Halifax as the ultimate symbol of Canadian sacrifice in Bomber Command.


The Bomber Command Museum is the proud home of Canada’s Bomber Command Memorial Wall.


The wall includes the names of the 10,659 Canadians who killed while serving on bombers during the Second World War, 7,000 of which flew the Halifax.


That memorial also lists the names of 425 members of 408 Squadron who made the ultimate sacrifice.


There are currently three Halifax Bombers in the world; one is at the RCAF Memorial Museum in Trenton, Ontario; the other two are in England at the Yorkshire Aviation and RAF museums.


The ultimate goal of the Nanton museum executive is to have that museum become the first in the world to have restored Lancaster and Halifax bombers under one roof.


On Day 2 of the weekend event, August 20, the public will have an opportunity to meet and mingle with Second World War and Afghanistan veterans, Senator Anne Cools and other VIPs. They may also attend a presentation by 408 Squadron aircrew regarding their operation in Afghanistan; discuss Griffon helicopter operations with aircrew while viewing the inside of that aircraft; participate in a special 25th anniversary salute to 408 Squadron; participate in a memorial service at the museum’s memorial wall; view significant artifacts from Canadian military and aviation history; see civilian and military fly pasts over Nanton; and be on hand for more loud and memorable Lancaster Bomber Engine Runs.


A complete schedule of events for both days is available on the Bomber Command Museum of Canada’s website: www.bombercommandmuseum.ca

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