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Legendary Avro Lancaster set for return to the Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada

Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada Press Release | July 5, 2024

Estimated reading time 4 minutes, 28 seconds.

One of only two airworthy Lancasters in the world, the Mynarski Memorial Lancaster, will be at the Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada (RAMWC) on July 16 and 17 for viewing and tours, 35 years since its first visit.
The Lancaster is likely the most well-known Allied aircraft of the Second World War. It could carry immense payloads and earned much of its notoriety through the Dambusters Raid of 1943.
Thousands of Canadians served with the Royal Canadian Air Force and Royal Air Force’s Lancaster squadron in England. Thousands more worked at Victory Aircraft in Malton, Ont., which produced more than 400 Lancaster Mk. Xs.

Of the 7,377 aircraft manufactured, only two are airworthy today.
This Lancaster, nicknamed VeRA, was acquired by the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum (CWHM) in Hamilton, Ont., from the Royal Canadian Legion in Goderich, Ont., in 1977.

The museum’s restoration crew, consisting mostly of Second World War veterans, painstakingly restored the aircraft over 11 years. On Sept. 11, 1988, the restored Lancaster flew again and has flown consistently since then.

In June of 1989, nearly 3,000 people showed up to see the Lancaster on display during its one-day visit to RAMWC. The Lancaster also visited the museum in 1990, 2009, and 2010, drawing similar crowds.

Why the Mynarski Memorial Lancaster?

The CWHM’s Lancaster is dedicated to the memory of Pilot Officer Andrew Mynarski, originally from Winnipeg, Man. It bears the colours and markings of his aircraft, part of 419 Squadron.

On June 13, 1944, a night fighter attacked Mynarski’s Lancaster. Fighting through flames and without regard for his own safety, Mynarski attempted to free the trapped rear gunner.

Upon realizing he could not save him, Mynarski saluted, and then jumped. The gunner, in a twist of fate, survived the crash while Myarski, parachute aflame, fell to his death. Posthumously, he was awarded the Victoria Cross. 

About the Lancaster’s 2024 visit to RAMWC

During its two-day stop in Winnipeg, visitors will need advance, timed-entry tickets to get up close to the Avro Lancaster. On July 16, the museum will be open from 4 to 8 p.m. On July 17, the museum will be open from 1:30 to 8 p.m. The aircraft will be open for tours on July 17 between 1:30 pm and 7 p.m.
Media are invited to the museum on July 16 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. to see the Lancaster arrive, chat with crew members, and tour the aircraft.

The Lancaster visit is part of the museum’s 50th anniversary celebrations. Other special events include a visit from Second World War patrol bomber, the PBY-5A Consolidated Canso, on July 9, and a Second World War fighter jet, the P-51D Mustang, visiting August 9 to 11.

Later this year, the museum will unveil its newest restoration project, an F-86 Sabre fighter jet, to mark its 50th anniversary and the 100th anniversary of the Royal Canadian Air Force.

Learn more about Lancaster Days, July 16 – 17.

This press release was prepared and distributed by the Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada.

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