Tales of the Avro Lancaster


Bullets in Avro Lancaster rear turret

As a kid, I dreamed of, made models of and read about WWII aircraft. When we left South Africa, my all-too-distant-family gave me a book on the history of airplanes that I still have to this day.

One of my all-time favorites was the Avro Lancaster.

The different Lancaster models

One of two still-in-service-Lancasters is on display as I write this at Winnipeg’s aviation museum. It’s a rare treat because you can line up to get inside the historic aircraft and have a look-see.

On a trip there today, hundreds of people were snaked in a line around the museum’s interior to do just that. I didn’t have the time to wait, so I paid my $10 and got a chance to touch history.

People lined up in droves Friday to see — and feel — the historic plane

It was a dream come true for me. I took a few pictures, but you can see better on the Winnipeg Free Press website, which, to the FP’s credit, is doing a full-court press on this short-term exhibit.

Even better, I got 20 minutes of face time with Frank Creamer, a London, Ont. police officer who’s volunteering his time to talk with people who have come to see the plane.

I’ll let officer Creamer, an RCAF brat whose knowledge of aviation was astounding, tell you two awesome stories of Lancaster heroics in his own voice.

The first story is about Lt. William Reid, who braved harrowing conditions to bring his Lancaster home in wartime. Runs: 5:14

Frank Creamer on William Reid

The second is about the use of a Lancaster in the search and rescue of a boy in Canada in 1950. Runs 2:17

Creamer on Canadian rescue mission

The third is just some general stuff from Creamer about why he feels this aircraft was so awesome. Runs 2:39

Creamer on Lancasters in general

Imagine having to shoot enemy aircraft down with these.

A few more pictures are also presented below, but you should really go and see it for yourself, or check the FP website. [PS- Tania Kohut is doing an awesome job for the Freepy in their new online reporter position].

[I have a feeling the museum is gonna make a mint off this one…]

The bombardier sat in the nose of the plane and opened the doors when ordered.

Looking down on targets

The Lancaster's specs

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