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Interior of Lancaster X FM213
Here we see the modified interior of the flying Lancaster Mk.X at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum. This shows the changes made to allow it to carry passengers, and the interior is rather less crowded than in its wartime configuration!
The aircraft is a Lancaster Mk.X, original Canadian serial number FM213. The aircraft is now at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, and is still flying.
Many thanks to Robert Bourlier for sending us this photograph.
Avro Lancaster vs Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress
2 x 0.303 caliber (7.7mm) Browning machine guns in nose turret.
2 x 0.303 caliber (7.7mm) Browning machine guns in dorsal turret.
4 x 0.303 caliber (7.7mm) Browning machine guns in tail turret.
4,000lb to 22,000lb of internal ordnance (conventional drop bombs) or specialized mission equipment (22,000lb Grand Slam, 12,000lb "Tallboy" or 9,250lb "Upkeep" bombs).
STANDARD (Primary Models):
1 x 0.50 caliber Browning heavy machine gun in left-front "cheek" position.
1 x 0.50 caliber Browning heavy machine gun in right-front "cheek" position.
2 x 0.50 caliber Browning heavy machine guns in powered dorsal turret
1 x 0.50 caliber Browning heavy machine gun at radio operator station (removed on later models).
2 x 0.50 caliber Browning heavy machine guns in powered Sperry ball turret.
1 x 0.50 caliber Browning heavy machine gun in left waist position
1 x 0.50 caliber Browning heavy machine gun in right waist position
2 x 0.50 caliber Browning heavy machine guns in tail gun position
B-17G (In Addition to Above):
2 x 0.50 caliber Browning heavy machine guns in powered Bendix chin turret
Lancaster bombers PA474 and FM213
The last two surviving airworthy Lancaster bombers in the world, PA474 and FM213 (visiting the UK from Canada), 7 September 2014.
Below. Lancs over Lancs Rolls Royce flypast at Barnoldswick, Lancashire.
Below. Visiting Canadian Lancaster FM213 over Barnoldswick.
2 comments on &ldquo Lancaster bombers PA474 and FM213 &rdquo
You`ve got some great shots of the two Lancs from earlier this year – I went up to Salmesbury with my eldest lad to watch the flypast and as ever was amazed how many people were there ! We also went to Duxford a few months back and had a great day out, highlights for me were the TSR2, Liberator and Concorde !
Anyway all the best for 2015 and keep up the good work !!
Hi Dave, great to hear from you. The Lancs were a treat! We were going to go to Salmesbury, sounds like a decent turnout there as well.
Hope all’s good with you and your family and a happy new year to you all.
9 January 1941BT308, the Avro Lancaster prototype, at RAF Ringway, 9 January 1941. (Avro Heritage Museum) Captain Harry Albert (“Sam”) Brown, O.B.E. (Photograph courtesy of Neil Corbett, Test & Research Pilots, Flight Test Engineers)
9 January 1941: Test pilot Captain Harry Albert (“Sam”) Brown, O.B.E., (1896–1953) makes the first flight of the Avro Lancaster prototype, BT308, at RAF Ringway, Cheshire, England, south of Manchester.
Throughout World War II, 7,377 of these long range heavy bombers were produced for the Royal Air Force. The majority were powered by Rolls-Royce or Packard Merlin V-12 engines—the same engines that powered the Supermarine Spitfire and North American P-51 Mustang fighters.
The bomber was designed by Roy Chadwick, F.R.S.A., F.R.Ae.S., the Chief Designer and Engineer of A. V. Roe & Company Limited, based on the earlier twin-engine Avro Manchester Mk.I. Because of this, it was originally designated as the Manchester Mk.III, before being re-named Lancaster. Chadwick was appointed Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, 2 June 1943, for his work.
The first prototype, BT308, was unarmed and had three small vertical fins.
Avro 683 Lancaster prototype BT308, shortly after the first flight at RAF Ringway, Manchester, England, 9 January 1941. (A.V.Roe via R.A.Scholefield) Photograph is from The R.A. Scholefield Collection and is used with permission.
With the second prototype, DG595, the small center vertical fin was deleted and two larger fins were used at the outboard ends of a longer horizontal tailplane. DG595 was also equipped with power gun turrets at the nose, dorsal and ventral positions, and at the tail.
Avro Lancaster DG595, the second protoype of the Royal Air Force four-engine long range heavy bomber. This armed prototype has the twin-tail arrangement of the production aircraft. (Test & Research Pilots, Flight Test Engineers) Air Ministry clearance form for Avro 683 Lancaster BT308. Shown on page 1 are the aircraft’s engine type and serial numbers. Air Ministry test flight clearance form, Page 2. This form is signed by the airplane’s designer, Roy Chadwick, 5 January 1941.
The first production model, Lancaster Mk.I, was operated by a crew of seven: pilot, flight engineer, navigator/bombardier, radio operator and three gunners. It was a large, all-metal, mid-wing monoplane with retractable landing gear. It was 68 feet, 11 inches (21.001 meters) long with a wingspan of 102 feet, 0 inches (31.090) meters and an overall height of 19 feet, 6 inches (5.944 meters). The Mk.I had an empty weight of 36,900 pounds (16,738 kilograms) and its maximum takeoff weight was 68,000 pounds (30,909 kilograms).
BT308 and early production Lancasters were equipped with four liquid-cooled, supercharged, 1,648.96-cubic-inch-displacement (27.01 liter), Roll-Royce Merlin XX single overhead camshaft (SOHC) 60° V-12 engines, which were rated at 1,480 horsepower at 3,000 r.p.m. to 6,000 feet (1,829 meters). The Merlins drove three-bladed de Havilland Hydromatic quick-feathering, constant-speed airscrews (propellers), which had a diameter of 13 feet, 0 inches (3.962 meters), through a 0.420:1 gear reduction.
DG595 was used for performance testing at the Aeroplane and Armament Experimental Establishment (A&AEE) at Boscombe Down. The Mark I had a maximum economic cruise speed of 267 miles per hour (430 kilometers per hour) at 20,800 feet (6,340 meters), and a maximum speed of 286 miles per hour (460 kilometers per hour) at 20,000 feet (6,096 meters) at a gross weight of 45,300 pounds (20,548 kilograms).¹ Its service ceiling was 20,000 feet (6,096 meters) at 64,500 pounds (29,257 kilograms). It had a range of 2,530 miles (4,072 kilometers) with a 7,000 pound (3,175 kilogram) bomb load.
The Lancaster was designed to carry a 14,000 pound (6,350 kilogram) bomb load, but modified bombers carried the 22,000 pound (9,979 kilogram) Grand Slam bomb. For defense, the standard Lancaster had eight Browning .303-caliber Mark II machine guns in three power-operated turrets, with a total of 14,000 rounds of ammunition.
According to the Royal Air Force, “Almost half all Lancasters delivered during the war (3,345 of 7,373) were lost on operations with the loss of over 21,000 crew members.”
Only two airworthy Avro Lancasters are in existence.
The Royal Air Force Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Avro Lancaster Mk.I, PA474. This airplane was built in 1945 by Vickers Armstongs Ltd. at Broughton, Wales, United Kingdom. (Battle of Britain Memorial Flight) The Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum’s Avro Lancaster Mk.X FM213, flies formation with an Royal Canadian Air Force CF-188 Hornet. The bomber is marked VR A and nicknamed “Vera.” FM213 was built by Victory Aircraft Ltd., Malton, Ontario, Canada. (Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum)
Historical Maps of Your City
Some cities have historic maps that you can search by address. There’s no guarantee they include photos of your home, but it’s worth a shot. You can look up historic photos of interest near you using WhatWasThere.com, for example. Otherwise, you’ll have to run a search for historic maps specific to your city. Here are a few maps for major U.S. cities:
And while it’s not exactly ancient history, you can look up your home’s Google Street View history, too: Just search your address in Google Maps, click on the photo of your home to access Street View, and then look for the timeline, which goes back to 2007. You can also try searching for your home’s address in Google Images to see what pops up.
- Lancaster B I W4783"G-George" was operated by No. 460 Squadron RAAF and completed 90 sorties. It was flown to Australia during the war for fundraising purposes, and was assigned the Australian serial A66-2. The aircraft was later placed on display at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra, and underwent a thorough restoration between 1999 and 2003.
- Lancaster B VII NX622 served with the Aeronavale as WU-16 from 1952 until 1962, when it was donated to the RAAF Association. It is now restored and displayed at the RAAF Association Museum [ 1 ] in Bull Creek, Western Australia
Lancaster Mark X
Victory Aircraft was set up as one of many Canadian shadow factories during the early stages of World War II to provide a supply of military equipment that was safe from German bombing. The company built its factory at the recently-constructed Malton Airport, which at that time was far in the countryside outside Toronto, although well served by road and rail links. 
In September 1941, Victory received a contract to build the Avro Lancaster under license. Using a variety of Canadian and American systems, the aircraft would be known as the Mark X, although it would be similar to the Avro-built Mark I models. In addition to using the US-built Packard V-1650 Merlin engines in place of their Rolls-Royce counterparts, Victory later modified the design by replacing the original Frazer-Nash mid-upper turret with the widely-used Martin 250CE which featured the much more powerful Browning .50 caliber machine gun in place of the F-N&aposs 303 British. The aircraft were otherwise similar to the point that damage in any aircraft could be fixed using parts from its counterparts. 
The first Mark X first flew in August 1943 and by 1945 were being delivered to operational squadrons in the UK at the rate of one per day. A total of 430 Mark X&aposs were produced, but most of these were in 1945 and a number were still in Canada when the war in Europe ended.  Left with these surplus aircraft, the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) sent them into storage in various locations. Construction number 3414 was one of these after basic flight tests she was taken on strength by the RCAF as FM213 on 21 August 1945, and then flown directly to CFB Trenton and immediately put into storage. 
In 1950, with the Cold War opening, the RCAF was lacking any long-range maritime reconnaissance aircraft and developed a plan to convert the surplus Lancasters to the role while developing plans for a more capable aircraft. Victory, by this time reorganized as Avro Canada, won the contract to modify the aircraft to what was known as the "10MR" version. Avro&aposs plants were gearing up for production of the Avro Canada CF-100 Canuck, so they subcontracted much of the work to de Havilland Canada at Downsview Airport. 
By this time most of the surviving Lancasters had been sold off for about $400 each by Crown Assets Distribution. A number remained at Trenton, and FM213 was part of a set of ten that were dismantled and shipped to Downsview on 28 August 1950. The conversion effort was considerable and FM213 was not complete until January 1952. After flight tests at Downsview she was re-registered as VC-AGJ and assigned to 405 Long Range Patrol Squadron at RCAF Station Greenwood in Nova Scotia. On 24 January 1952 on the first leg of her ferry flight, via Trenton, she had a serious landing accident after stalling just short of the runway and suffering a ground loop as a result. 
Many more airframes were needed than the small numbers still in storage, which had prompted Mickey and Bud Found, of Found Aircraft, to begin scouring Alberta for them after recalling many had been sold there. They eventually found 50 complete aircraft which they sold back to the government for $10,000 each. When Bud heard of the accident with FM213, he contacted the RCAF and noted that he had seen several additional airframes in Alberta that were not suitable for returning to flight but might be useful for repairing FM213. This ultimately led to Clifford Doan&aposs farm near RCAF Station Penhold where KB895 "Lady Orchid" was in terrible condition. The centre section was salvaged and sent to Downsview. FM213 was repaired in July 1953 and flew again on 26 August. 
Search and rescue
By this time the RCAF was receiving a number of Lockheed Neptunes for the MR role and sending their Lancasters to other roles. FM213 was then flown to RCAF Station Torbay, today&aposs St. John&aposs International Airport, to join 107 Rescue Unit RCAF. She was assigned tail code VC-AGS, which later changed to CX-213. FM213 spent the next decade as part of 107, flying patrols over the Atlantic Ocean. As part of these duties, she crossed the Atlantic on several occasions, including three times to escort the British Royal Family on flights to North America, as well as similar duties as part of Operation Jump Moat in June 1958, which delivered CF-100 Canucks to the Belgian Air Force.  
FM213 was officially retired on 6 November 1963 and sent to storage at RCAF Station Dunnville near Hamilton, Ontario. She was purchased by Royal Canadian Legion Branch 109 in Goderich, Ontario, and flew to Goderich Airport on 14 June 1964, before being officially struck from the RCAF charge on 30 June. After lengthy preparation, she was mounted on three pylons and officially dedicated on 15 September 1964. 
By 1977, FM213 was in poor shape, the victim of the weather and vandalism. The Legion did not have the funds for a restoration and began plans to sell the aircraft. The Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum expressed an interest, but could not reach an agreement. Eventually, local businessman Bruce Sully solved the problem by arranging for the Legion to donate the aircraft in exchange for Sully starting a scholarship fund for the Legion members&apos children. The deal closed on 1 July 1977. 
After two years of preparation and partial disassembly, FM213 was airlifted to the Museum&aposs base at the Hamilton International Airport by a Canadian Armed Forces Boeing CH-47 Chinook. Returning the aircraft to flight status entirely by volunteers took almost ten years. She flew again on 11 September 1988, and since then has flown for roughly 50 hours a year. 
The aircraft was initially painted as the wartime KB726/VR-A of No. 419 (Moose) Squadron.  On the night of 12 June 1944, "A for Apple" was hit by fire from a German night fighter and engulfed in flames. While preparing to jump from the aircraft, mid-upper gunner Andrew Mynarski noticed tail gunner Pat Brophy was trapped. Mynarski later died of burns he received while attempting to free Brophy, actions that led to Mynarski winning the Victoria Cross. Brophy survived when the aircraft broke apart on impact, catapulting him from the turret. 
The aircraft has carried several different paint schemes since then. In 2014 it briefly wore KB772/VR-R "R for Ropey"&aposs distinctive shark-mouth pattern, but returned to VR-A for a flight across the Atlantic to tour the UK with the only other flying Lancaster, PA474.  In 2015 she was repainted again, this time with KB732/VR-X, "X-TERMINATOR", which flew 84 missions during the war. 
Avro Lancaster: 70 Years an Icon and Still Flying
The four-engined Lancaster bomber, which entered service with the RAF in 1942, is one of the most iconic British aircraft of the Second World War and is still flying, seventy years on.
The aircraft made its first operational bombing mission on 17 April 1942 and by the height of the war 42 Bomber Command squadrons operated Lancasters. It was the mainstay of Bomber Command and the one aircraft, above all others, that did more to take the fight to the enemy in the skies over occupied-Europe during those dark days of the war.
The Lancaster first entered service with RAF 44 Squadron at Waddington, Lincolnshire, in February 1942 and then with 97 Squadron at Woodhall Spa the following month. The aircraft’s first operational sortie took place on 3 March 1942, when four Lancasters laid mines in the Heligoland Bight. However, the Lancaster’s first major bombing mission took place on 17 April 1942, when twelve aircraft flew more than 1,000 miles across France and Germany, in broad daylight, to attack the MAN (Maschinenfabrik Augsburg-Nürnberg) U-boat diesel-engine factory at Ausburg, Bavaria.
|Lancaster Mk III, RAF 619 Squadon|
The first Lancasters into the air were six aircraft led by Squadron Leader John Nettleton from 44 Squadron that took-off at 3.12 pm and were joined by a further six aircraft from 97 Squadron. The Lancasters faced unprecedented anti-aircraft fire and were soon pounced upon by German fighters, including the fighter ace Major Walter Oesau, who had 100 victories to his name and who had been forbidden to fly again by the Luftwaffe.
Of the twelve Lancasters that set out only five returned home and forty-nine of the eighty-five aircrew were missing. Nettleton’s Lancaster, R5508, was the last to return and landed at Squire’s Gate near Blackpool in the early hours of the following morning. Ten days later on 28 April 1942 the London Gazette reported that Nettleton had been awarded the Victoria Cross and the other surviving aircrew had been awarded Distinguished Flying Crosses (DFC), Distinguished Flying Medals (DFM) and a Distinguished Service Order (DSO).
The Lancaster was designed by Avro’s chief designer Roy Chadwick, who had joined the company in 1911. Tragically he died in 1947 when his Avro Tutor crashed when he was attempting to take-off. Chadwick was responsible for numerous noted aircraft including the Lincoln, which superseded the Lancaster. He laid down the initial designs for the revolutionary Vulcan bomber, which in 1982 bombed the runway at Port Stanley in an astounding mission that flew from the Ascension Islands to the Falklands.
Avro was established by Alliott Verdon-Roe in Manchester in 1910. Roe is regarded as the first person to fly an all-British designed and built powered-aircraft when he flew his Roe I Triplane at Walthamstow Marshes in July 1909. The Avro Lancaster that bore his company’s name entered service fourteen years after Roe had sold the company to Armstrong-Siddeley in 1928 and he had formed the noted flying boat manufacturer Saunders-Roe. The Avro mark changed hands again in 1934 when Armstrong-Siddeley was sold to Hawker Aviation and the infamous Hawker Siddeley aircraft manufacturer was established.
The four-engined Lancaster was evolved by Roy Chadwick from the twin-engined Manchester, which was generally felt to be underpowered. A Manchester Mk III was fitted with four Rolls-Royce Merlin XX engines and had an increased wingspan. The aircraft became known as the first prototype Lancaster and made its maiden flight on 9 January 1941.
|Lancasters over Hamburg, Germany|
In all, the Lancaster took part in 156,192 missions and dropped 608,612 tons of bombs before the end of the Second World War. Of the 7,374 aircraft produced a total of 3,431 were lost in action and 246 were destroyed in operational accidents. Only 35 managed to complete 100 operations the most successful managed an astonishing 139 missions.
Today there are only two flying Lancasters left in the world. Lancaster BI PA474 City of Lincoln is operated by the Royal Air Force’s Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and can be seen at numerous air displays around the UK each year. The second is BX FM213, an ex-RCAF aircraft, which underwent a ten-year restoration programme and is operated by the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum at Hamilton International Airport, Ontario.
The development of the Avro Lancaster and some of the daring missions that the aircraft took part in are just some of the many British aviation achievements that are chronicled in a new book by Sussex based authors Richard Edwards and Peter Edwards. Heroes and Landmarks of British Aviation tells the dramatic story of Britain’s aviation industry in the last century. The heroes are Britain’s innovative aviation pioneers and their aircraft, those who persevered to be the first into the air, to fly the fastest, the highest and the furthest, from innovative airship designs to the world’s only supersonic jet-airliner.
Visiting Lancaster County as COVID-19 Eases
Travel should be an informed, responsible, and personal choice, so we encourage travelers to seek and heed the latest expert guidance as COVID-19 recedes.
And when the time is right for you, Lancaster County is prepared and ready to safely welcome visitors.
It’s just a short drive to our wide open spaces, from our parks & trails to recreational activities to farmers markets and roadside stands – as well as our world-famous Amish farmlands and covered bridge driving tours.
Hospitality businesses throughout the county and its city & towns have steadily re-opened in adherence with public health guidelines, though there are some properties that remain closed or in limited hours, so confirm by calling or checking social media of particular properties for the most current info.
In addition, please note and respect that some properties may choose to implement additional safety measures than those required by the state or county, for the comfort level of all their guests.
Our Visitors Center will be open Mondays - Saturdays, 9am - 4pm.
When you’re ready to experience Lancaster County's fresh air and beautiful landscape and make some wonderful memories, we’ll be here – practicing good public health and asking you to do the same – so that we can enjoy safe, sensible fun together.
Avro Lancaster KB889
There are currently only two airworthy Avro Lancasters in the world. These include: PA474, operated by the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight in the UK, and FM213, flown in Canada by the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum. However, a number of other ‘static’ survivors also exist, including KB889, which is currently on display at the Imperial War Museum, Duxford.
KB889 was built in Canada in 1944, being the first of a batch of 300 constructed by Victory Aircraft Ltd in Malton, Ontario. The aircraft was powered by four Packard built Rolls-Royce Merlin engines, and was test flown in December before being delivered to Britain in March the following year. The aircraft was posted to No.428 Squadron RCAF (sometimes referred to as the ‘Ghost Squadron’), where it was involved in an accident during a training flight, flipping onto its back during a violent storm, which injured one of its crew. KB889 later sustained unspecified damage during a cross-country exercise in May, but was subsequently repaired. The aircraft returned to Canada on 10th June, later being converted for use in maritime reconnaissance. As such, KB889 saw no active service during the Second World War.
Following retirement from service in Canada, KB889 was put on public display at the Niagara Falls Museum, Ontario in 1965, before being sold to Ken Short in 1968, who intended to restore the aircraft to flight. However, the necessary work was not carried out and the aircraft remained in Oshawa as a static memorial. The airframe was then sold on in 1984 to Doug Arnold, a UK based warplane collector, being shipped to Blackbushe Airport in Hampshire the same year. It was again sold in 1986 to the Imperial War Museum, who had it restored over an eight-year period to a wartime configuration using parts from an Avro Lincoln (RF324).
Since 1994, KB889 has been on display at Duxford, where it can be seen today. It has the civil registration G-LANC. It remains an excellent surviving example of an Avro Lancaster, and a must-see exhibit for visitors to the museum.
Interior of Lancaster X FM213 - History
Flight Officer Ron Jenkins & "Lady Orchid"
WL-O serial # KB-895, 434 Squadron. (Photo courtesy - Clarence Simonsen)
In the summer of 1993, Clarence Simonsen began research into the history of Ronnie Jenkins and his Lancaster bomber called "Lady Orchid". The research idea was a two-part project, first the Aero Space Museum of Calgary needed money, and second, Clarence would like to see the Calgary Lancaster painted in the colours of Lady Orchid to honour Calgarian Ronnie Jenkins.
He completed a replica nose art on original Lancaster skin and this went to auction on 5 November 1993, at the Calgary Convention Centre. The daughter of Ron Jenkins purchased five tickets to the event at $100 per ticket and had the winning bid of $1,000.00 for her father's replica nose art which The Aero Space Museum of Calgary received.
Clarence had researched the history on &ldquoLady Orchid&rdquo and Ron Jenkins and in May 2003 the story was published in "Flightlines" the publication of Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum in Hamilton, Ontario.
I would like to thank Clarence Simonsen for providing a complete article on "Lady Orchid". Equally important the research into the life of F/O Ron Jenkins born in Calgary, served his country, preserved history, and instrumental in providing the City of Calgary with strength for the future.
by Clarence Simonsen &ndash Nose-Artist
During World War Two, 73% of the RCAF active bombing operations (28,126), were flown by the Handley Page Halifax bomber. Over 17,000 personnel in the RCAF gave their lives in the service of Canada. The major overseas casualties came from Bomber Command where 8,240 personnel were killed on active operations, most flying in the Halifax aircraft. No. 6 (RCAF) Group lost 812 aircraft, 127 Wellington, 149 Lancaster and 508 Halifax bombers. During 40 years of interviews with Canadians who flew both the Halifax and Avro Lancaster on operations, some still insist the Halifax was the superior bomber. It is no exaggeration to state the Halifax was far superior to the Lancaster in one area &ndash painting and preservation of No. 6 ([RCAF) Group Canadian Nose Art.
On 11 April 1945, F/L Harold Hunter Lindsay arranged for the removal of fifteen - Seventeen actual Nose Art panels from the Canadian flown Halifax bombers. The Nose Art, salvage work was carried out by Mr. Robert Goodwin, of New Earswick, Yorkshire, England. The panels arrived in Ottawa on 7 May 1946 and today fourteen still remain in the total collection.
This is the largest collection of original Halifax Nose Art in the world and second only to the Americans collection in total original Nose Art panels.
While the Americans have one complete museum dedicated to their Nose Art collection (Midland, Texas) the Canadian collection was never displayed as a complete unit until the new War Museum (Ottawa, Canada) opened on 8 May 2005.
The first Canadian Lancaster Mk. X (more than one aircraft) operation took place on 27 April 1944, target &ndashMontzen, Belgium. No. 419 (Moose) Squadron flew eight new Canadian Lancaster X&rsquos and five Halifax bombers. This was the only time the squadron flew an operation with more than one type of aircraft, and the last Halifax lost by the squadron, (Pilot P/O R.A. McIvor). No. 419 (Moose) Squadron carried out the most bombing raids and flew the most sorties of all No. 6 (RCAF) group Lancaster Mk. X squadrons. These early Moose squadron Lancaster crews saw fierce combat action, set Canadian records and painted some of the best Lancaster Canadian Nose Art.
The Andrew Mynarski V.C. Lancaster [Canadian Warplane Heritage] records forever the story of the Lancaster KB726 and crew on the fateful night of 12/13 June 1944, but sadly the bomber carried no Nose Art to go with the history. Well that is not completely correct as part of FM213 forever carries the center section from KB895 which featured Canadian Nose Art history from Calgary, Alberta.
Henry Marshall Jenkins grew up on a farm in the heart of Prince Edward Island potato country. As a teen he grew bored with the picking and sacking of the endless rows of suds. For pure adventure Henry came up with an idea of placing a note in each sack of potatoes, asking the recipient to write back to him, telling of the place they lived. When a letter arrived from a western town named Calgary, Henry was hooked and saved to purchase a one-way train ticket west. In June 1909, Henry stepped from the train and just two months later formed a partnership with store owner John Irwin with &ldquoJenkins and Crowfoot&rdquo groceries opening at what is today 9th Avenue and the Calgary Zoo turn-off.
The hard working Henry married in 1911 and a new son was born on 8 July 1913, named Ronald Henry Jenkins. Ronnie grew up around the grocery store business, while attending Earl Grey and Western Canada High Schools. In 1929 Ronnie joined the family business &ldquoJenkins Grocerteria&rdquo which now consisted of seven stores, a bakery and a wholesale grocery branch.
At age 29 Ron Jenkins left the family business to join the Royal Canadian Air Force, and became recruit LAC Jenkins R178132, reporting to No. 4 Initial Training School at Edmonton on 18 April 1943. The British Commonwealth Air Training Plan reached its peak output in October 1943, when 5,157 aircrew graduated. One of these students authorized to wear a pilot flying badge was Flying Officer Ronald Henry Jenkins J36968 of the RCAF. F/O Jenkins was posted overseas for further training and arrived with No. 434 (Bluenose) Squadron on 21 December 1944.
One British and two Canadian Lancaster bombers carried the code letters WL-O in Bluenose squadron during World War Two. The first Canadian built Lancaster (KB850) was delivered in 1944 after first serving with No. 419 (Moose) squadron. On 17 January 1945, it was reported missing on a raid to the oil refinery at Zeitz, Germany.
The next Lancaster to wear WL-O became a Mark I, built by Vickers-Armstrong, Chester, England, wearing serial PA225. Ron Jenkins crew flew Lancaster PA225 on 3, 7, 9, 26 and 27 February then again on 2, 7, 8, 10, 14 and 20 March 1945. PA225 was transferred to No. 429 (Bison) Squadron on 28 March 45.
On 2 April 1945, a new Canadian built Lancaster Mk X serial KB895 aircraft was air-tested by Ron Jenkins and crew
Navigator - F/O Savage A.W. #J28963
Bomb Aimer - F/O Hines P. J. #J38296
Wire Operator - F/Sgt. Mc Lean N. #R165106
Engineer - Sgt. Foss D. C. #R202282
Rear Gunner - Sgt. Baird T. B. #R21186
Mid-Upper - F/Sgt. Moodie K. #R200478
Upon completion of the testing Wing Commander J.C. Mulvihill informed Jenkins the new bomber, serial KB895, would become his bomber with code WL-O. The crew now decided &ldquotheir&rdquo bomber needed a name and Nose Art painting. At first they named her &ldquoWee Lady Orchid&rdquo for each of the code letters, then later dropped the Wee and she became &ldquoLady Orchid&rdquo.
Pilot Jenkins painted the name in large white letters with a larger red capital L and O. The complete crew then shared in the painting of the Lady Godiva pin-up riding a bomb while holding two Calgary Western style six shooters. The bomber nose art lady was painted fully nude, and completed her first operation on 4/5th April 45, to attack the synthetic oil plants at Leuna, Germany.
F/O Jenkins flew a total of fifteen operations with 434 Squadron in Lancaster aircraft, five in his Lady Orchid, last to Bremen on 22 April 1945. Under his pilot position he painted fifteen white bombs and one red bomb for one aborted operation.
On Friday, 13 April 1945, Flight Lieutenant Ron Jenkins and crew flew operation No. 13 to Kiel, Germany. Twice Jenkins had to dive and corkscrew from German night fighter attacks.
(Donated to Aero Space Museum of Calgary - not on display)
Lady Orchid flew her last mission on 25th April piloted by F/O Bonar to Wangerooge. Other members of this crew F/O H.G. Hall, F/O W.T. Perry, F/Sgt. A.E. Sully, F/Sgt. R.G. Smith, Sgt. J. Noonan, and Sgt. L.P. Churchill.
On 7 June 45, No. 434 Squadron left Croft, England, for the transatlantic flight to Canada, and for this return, two red Maple Leafs, were painted on the upper torso of Lady Orchid. On 17 June, Lady Orchid and crew landed at Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, and 37 days leave.
The photo shows ground crew member Fred Bendus in the cockpit of Lady Orchid just before departure for Canada. Note - the red Maple Leafs have been painted over the nude Lady Orchid.
The atomic bombing of Hiroshima and the second bomb on Nagasaki ended World War Two, resulting in the disbanding of &ldquoTiger Force&rdquo on 5 September 45.
The Canadian Government had no requirements for a large bomber force, so orders were given to place hundreds of Lancaster bombers into long-term storage. The veteran KB series Lancaster aircraft (many with Nose Art) were ordered to Western Canada, with stop over in Toronto, and RCAF Station Gimli, Manitoba, for fuel.
On 8 September 45, eighty-three Lancaster aircraft arrived at Pearce, Alberta, the final stop until they were ferried to their respective storage depots in Alberta. In the next six months they were placed into long-term storage from Penhold, Alberta (North) to Medicine Hat, Alberta (South).
Lady Orchid (KB895) remained in service with No. 2 Air Command from 11 September 45 to 22 January 1947. Struck off charge by the RCAF the aircraft was flown to Penhold, Alberta, by F/L H. Buocher and turned over to War Assets. On 12 April 1947, Ron Jenkins arranged for War Assets to reserve his old bomber for him, which he purchased for two hundred and thirty dollars. Ron then ordered each station point in the bomber removed, which he mailed to each of his old crewmembers.
The bomber was then returned to War Assets who re-sold the Lancaster to a local Penhold farmer who had ideas to turn it into a machine shop, tool shed. By 1952 the Lancaster had been raised up onto three cement columns, but the farmer had lost interest in his project.
Lancaster sitting on 3-columns
In 1947 the Canadian Government decided to sell off many of the Lancaster bombers stored in Alberta. Each bomber sold just below the $400 range. A High River, Alberta farmer, Mr. Albert Hoving purchased 44 complete bombers from Crown War assets twenty-one came from Pearce, and twenty-three from Penhold. He also purchased twenty Merlin engines and tons of spare parts, which were stored at the old base in High River. He intended to melt the bombers and sell the aluminum for pots and pans.
In 1950 the Canadian Government needed the old Lancaster bombers for anti-submarine maritime patrol, as the Cold War was coming to the East coast of Canada. The company, &ldquoFound Brothers&rdquo Aviation of Malton, Ontario, were attempting to get their single engine bush plane into production and needed cash. When they heard the Government wanted to buy back the bombers they left for Alberta and scouted out the aircraft purchased by local farmers. In total the found Brothers purchased fifty World War Two Lancaster bombers at a price of $1000 each. They then sold the same aircraft back to the Canadian Government at market value of $10,000 per airframe plus twenty Merlin engines and spare parts which had been at High River, were sold to Avro and de Havilland. The $600,000 profit from the sale was used to develop the Found Brothers FBA-2 bush plane.
The Found Brothers had also looked at the Lancaster [KB895] Lady Orchid at Penhold, but found it in too poor a condition to purchase for re-sale to the Government.
By 1950, 70 Lancaster Mk X aircraft had been modified by A.V. Roe Canada Ltd, for post-war service in the RCAF. In the next two years design work began on the Canadian C-102 Jetliner, and full production began on the CF-100 Canadian fighter jet. Due to lack of space and manpower a number of Lancaster X conversions were now sub-contracted to de Havilland Aircraft of Canada. On 28 August 1950, FM213 and nine other bombers were dismantled and taken by road to the Downsview, Ontario, aircraft plant. When the conversion work was completed FM213 was flight tested in January 1952, then assigned to No. 405 Squadron at Greenwood, Nova Scotia. On 24 January the modified Lancaster was flown to Trenton, Ontario, by a partial crew when no regular ferry crew was available. On landing the crew stalled the bomber over the runway, lost control, ground-looped and then the starboard undercarriage collapsed. The centre-section was damaged so bad the RCAF feared it was a complete write-off. When the inspection team checked the Lancaster they reported repairs could be made but a complete centre-section would have to be found. There were no other centre-sections in Canada according to RCAF records but Bud Found recalled the farmer in Penhold, Alberta.
Lancaster KB-895 at Penhold Alberta, 1952
A phone call was made and the farmer was willing to sell Lady Orchid (KB895). Soon afterwards a flatbed truck heading for Penhold railyard with centre section of "Lady Orchid"
"The experience and ingenuity of technicians from Found Bros. Combined successfully to tackle the job. Many problems and much hard work &ndash a story in itself &ndash had to be faced before the centre-section was safely removed and cradled ready for rail shipment to Toronto."
The largest railway flat-car in Canada was sent from New Brunswick to Penhold, Alberta, in order to carry the centre-section to Downsview.
The new section was inserted into the mid-section of FM213 in July 1953, and test flown by Bob Fowler on 26 August. The rest is history as FM213 went on to fly ten years with No. 107 Composite Unit at Torby, Newfoundland, and today flies as KB726, VR-A, known to all as the Mynarski Lancaster.
Well-known Calgary businessman, Ron Jenkins passed away in Holy Cross hospital on 30 April 1976, age 62 years.
Mr. Jenkins was president and general manager of the following&hellip
Louis Petrie Ltd.,
Store Properties Ltd.,
Commercial Equipment Ltd.,
Glencoe Buildings Ltd.
President of the following&hellip
Burritt Travel Service Ltd.,
Glendale Properties Ltd.,
Dejay Investments Ltd.,
Rocar Leasing Co. Ltd.,
Kenron Building Ltd.
Member of the advisory board of Canada Permanent Trust Co.
Best known for his association with the Harry Hays Stampede breakfast, plus associate director of the Calgary Stampede.
Honorary president of the YMCA.
On the board of directors for the United Fund and Chamber of Commerce.
Past President of the Calgary Rotary Club and founder of the South Calgary Rotary Club.
Past president of the Petroleum Club and Calgary and District Community Foundation.
Member of the Ranchmen's Kanukeena and Glencoe Clubs.
Director of the Calgary Flying Club.
On the board of directors of the CNIB.
The following items from Lancaster KB-895 were donated to the Aero Space Museum of Calgary.
- Original instrument panel has been restored and is in the Calgary Lancaster FM-136.
- Pilot seat from &ldquoLady Orchid&rdquo (not on display)
- Log book (missing).
- Painting &ndash &ldquoLady Orchid in corkscrew&rdquo (Clarence Simonsen collection - not on display).
On Saturday 27 June 1989, the author stood for two, then three hours waiting for the arrival of the Mynarski Memorial Lancaster at Calgary International Airport.
Mynarski Lancaster arriving over Calgary 27 June 1989.
When the moment arrived, I heard and saw my first Lancaster bomber, but my mind could only think of Ron Jenkins and how his centre-section from Lady Orchid had passed over a farm at Penhold and now came home to Calgary, Alberta. What were the odds?
The Americans have the only nose art museum in the world at Midland, Texas. This contains the largest original collection of nose art in the world, at 33. The Canadian War Museum has the second largest collection in the world with 14 original Halifax nose art panels in Ottawa.
This museum has a number replica RCAF and RAF nose art, along with one original WW II nose art panel and three replica nose art panels painted by two WW II nose artists (Muff Mills painted two panels and Floyd Christmas painted the German 434 titled "Death by Night".)