Alberta Aviation Museum

All posts tagged Alberta Aviation Museum

Something a little new this time, I’m just sharing an article. Darrell Hillier is a name familiar to any regular readers, especially if you read through my sources. He is often listed as a source, and has been a great help throughout all of my research. Darrell’s MA thesis has just been published through Memorial University, and I wanted to share it here with everyone. It is well worth the read and looks at the history and crash of USAAF B-24 Liberator No. 44-42169 which crashed near Gander on 14 February 1945 killing all 10 servicemen on board. But his thesis doesn’t just look at the crash. He has done extensive research, talking to family members and reading correspondences to look at the impact of this incident on the home front; how the families were notified, their questions, and how they lived with their loved ones first being declared MIA, then dead. I had the privilege to read a draft of the thesis a while ago, and have been waiting anxiously for it to be published so I could share it here. I haven’t written about this crash on my blog for a number of reasons, but it is the first crash site that I visited and it is the site that really woke up this passion for aviation archaeology. I made no secret that I am not an expert in aircraft, but do try to surround myself with people who continuously educate me on the finer points or who point my research in the right direction.

The tail fin from USAAF Liberator 44-42169. Photo by Lisa M. Daly 2007.

You can find Darrell Hillier’s thesis, Stars, Stripes, and Sacrifice: A Wartime Familiar Experience of Hope, Loss, and Grief, and the Journey Home of an American Bomber Crew on the Memorial University Research Repository.

A machine gun and other wreckage from USAAF Liberator 44-42169. Photo by Lisa M. Daly 2007.

As for myself, I am still getting settled into a new job, and it looks like my things (including any research documents I own) will not be delivered for a couple of months. That said, I have been working on some articles, and you can find one about the mock dogfight that happened over Gander that lead to the collision of a B-25 and an A-20 in their January/February 2018 edition of In Formation.

The engine from the USAAF A-20 involved in the 27 October 1943 crash. Photo by Lisa M. Daly 2011.

I do hope to be better settled soon so that I can get back to semi-regular posts.

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This was originally posted on 10 July 2015, and because I lost all of my old content, I am reposting it. In my last attempt at a blog, I tried for part aviation, part travel, but now I’ll leave the travel stuff to twitter and my personal facebook. My plan this year is to stick to aviation related posts. The only two aviation posts that I managed to salvage are this one and one about the Cochrane Pond Hawker Hurricane, which I will also repost. There are a few posts from my first blog on blogspot which I will also eventually repost here. Sadly, I have lost any and all comments from this blog, including a wonderfully detailed one about Le oiseau blanc. I hope it is somewhere in my emails, but I don’t think so.

Anyway, we return to the Alberta Aviation Museum!

The Boeing IM-99B BOMARC missile outside the hangar that houses the Alberta Aviation Museum. Photo by author.

The Boeing IM-99B BOMARC missile outside the hangar that houses the Alberta Aviation Museum. Photo by author.

First posted on 10 July 2015 on planecrashgirl.ca

This museum has been in the news lately because they are in the process of acquiring a Lancaster bomber. When I was there in May, it seemed to be what was on everyone’s mind; what model, where it will be housed, what work will need to be done on it… It was all very exciting.

"Such is the way to the stars" written (also in Latin) outside the museum. Photo by author.

“Such is the way to the stars” written (also in Latin) outside the museum. Photo by author.

The passion of everyone involved at this museum shows, from our friendly greeting to an impromptu tour by one of the volunteers who didn’t even bother to finish his pre-shift coffee before showing us around. I have been to a couple of aviation museums, and I love seeing how each one shows the history and story of aviation. The Alberta Aviation Museum did not disappoint. Actually, I wasn’t sure if I was even going to get in! I had been trying to get to the museum throughout my holiday, and on the day I got back from Jasper, was dropped at the museum. Unfortunately, it was closed for a private event! But no worries, the next day a whole crew of us decided to go together and earlier in the day so we could spend as much time as we wanted exploring the museum.

Inside the Norseman. Photo by Shannon K. Green.

Inside the Norseman. Photo by Shannon K. Green.

The group consisted of five adults of varying backgrounds, and two young children, and we all enjoyed ourselves. The kids particularly enjoyed the strollers shaped like airplanes, and I enjoyed encouraging airplane noises while we explored the museum.

One also loved the "pretty lady" nose art. Not bad for 2 years old! (He also enjoyed the Disney nose art).

One also loved the “pretty lady” nose art. Not bad for 2 years old! (He also enjoyed the Disney nose art).

A cross-section of an engine. This was fascinating to see, and they hope to have it as part of the permanent exhibit soon. Photo by author.

A cross-section of an engine. This was fascinating to see, and they hope to have it as part of the permanent exhibit soon. Photo by author.

The Alberta Aviation Museum is located on the city airport property, which is now closed, in one of the hangars. This gives them a great deal of space to house a number of aircraft, plus space outside for some of their more modern features. The exhibits along the walls look at Alberta’s role in aviation and World War II. Such highlights include information about the first heavier than air flight in Canada, famous Albertan aviators such as Wilfried Reid “Wop” May, and Alberta’s role in Bomber Command. I’ll be honest, there was a lot of information, too much for one visit, so I’ll have to go back the next time I’m in Edmonton.

It was nice to see some of these aircraft whole. That certainly doesn't happen on my archaeological sites. Photo by author.

It was nice to see some of these aircraft whole. That certainly doesn’t happen on my archaeological sites. Photo by author.

De Havilland Tiger Moth

De Havilland Tiger Moth

Honestly, I had a great time in Edmonton, but this museum was a highlight. The staff were friendly and informative, and spent a little extra time with me when I told them what I do. It was wonderful to see the restoration area, especially the Ventura they are currently working on. Hopefully one day we’ll be able to restore the Ventura that crashed near Benton as they are restoring their Ventura. Some day it would be nice to open an aviation museum in St. John’s to compliment those scattered around Newfoundland and Labrador, and I certainly gathered a few ideas from my visit to the Alberta Aviation Museum. Can’t wait to get back!

The Ventura being restored. Photo by author.

The Ventura being restored. Photo by author.

 

 

 

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