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Retired Second World War bomber moved to new home | CBC News

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A retired bomber aircraft from the Second World War has a new temporary home at a museum in Prince Edward County.

The National Air Force Museum of Canada (NAFMC) in Trenton, Ont., transported the Lancaster KB 882 this week. 

The journey took the aircraft about 50 kilometres south from the museum to a hangar at Base 31, a former air training base in Picton, Ont.

Base 31 is currently home to a concert venue and several artists’ studios and galleries, and will soon house a new museum celebrating Canadian military artifacts.

According to museum officials, the plan is to restore the aircraft as much as possible before they hold an unveiling ceremony at Base 31 in June.

The restoration work will then continue until the Base 31 museum officially opens to the public, which is expected to take place some time in 2025.

Honouring historical significance

The aircraft was one of 430 Lancaster bombers built in Canada during the Second World War, according to the NAFMC.

It flew in about a dozen combat missions before the end of the war. The Lancaster is also the largest aircraft the NAFMC has restored since the Halifax NA337.

“These are two very significant heavy bombers that were flown by Canadians during the Second World War,” said the museum’s curator, Laura Imrie, in a press release.

“Seeing the size and scale of these aircraft is incredible, but their stories represent the service of tens of thousands of Canadian airmen and airwomen.”

The bomber is one of the most well-known aircraft of its time, according to museum curators. Representatives of the museum said they want to focus on showcasing the aircraft’s postwar history.

This photo shows what was left of the interior of Lancaster KB 882, which had previously been on display at the Quebec-New Brunswick border, in 2018. (Submitted by Brad Denoon)

Was displayed at Quebec-New Brunswick border

The Lancaster KB 882 was used in arctic photo reconnaissance for most of its time in service before its retirement in 1964.

It had been displayed at the Quebec-New Brunswick border in Edmunston, N.B., for decades until the city moved it, as its condition had deteriorated due to weather and vandalism. 

The aircraft was disassembled in 2017 for transport to Trenton.

“The Lancaster KB 882 is not only an important national [artifact], but a vital symbol and reminder that the fight for freedom and democracy continues to this day,” said Tim Jones, CEO of Base 31, in a press release.

“We are so pleased to be partnering with the NAFMC  to showcase this remarkable part of our collective history.”

The plan is for the museum at Base 31 to hold the aircraft for up to five years while the National Air Force Museum undergoes renovation.

It will then be returned to the NAFMC’s permanent collection.

 

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