CA$ 16,545
pledged of CA$ 88,244pledged of CA$ 88,244 goal
147
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Thu, December 10 2015 4:55 PM UTC +00:00

Avro Lancaster KB882 Restoration

The Alberta Aviation Museum needs your help to relocate & restore Avro Lancaster KB882 to fully operational condition. KB882 Needs YOU!

Avro Lancaster KB882 Restoration

The Alberta Aviation Museum needs your help to relocate & restore Avro Lancaster KB882 to fully operational condition. KB882 Needs YOU!

CA$ 16,545
pledged of CA$ 88,244pledged of CA$ 88,244 goal
147
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Thu, December 10 2015 4:55 PM UTC +00:00

About

Avro Lancaster Mk.X KB882, production number 37183, rolled out of Victory Aircraft Limited in Malton, Ontario, Canada on November 3, 1944.

Our target funding amount of $88,244.00 symbolizes KB882's construction date in 1944. These funds will be used by the Alberta Aviation Museum to relocate our Avro Lancaster from New Brunswick to Alberta - a distance of over 4,200 kilometers or 2,600+ miles!

KB882 is a National Treasure - an example of Canadian engineering, manufacturing and determination to do whatever it took for “King and Country”.

One of 430 Mk.X models built in Canada, and 1 of 7,377 produced during the war years, it is now 1 of only 17 known complete Avro Lancaster's to survive Worldwide.

Victory Aircraft Ltd. production objective: KB882 noted 3rd "bomb" from the left - November 3, 1944.
Victory Aircraft Ltd. production objective: KB882 noted 3rd "bomb" from the left - November 3, 1944.

Within this exclusive club of survivors, KB882 is 1 of only 4 remaining Lancaster Bombers that crossed the English Channel in the dark of night taking part in operational service over Occupied Europe. "NA-R" and her crew of young men from 428 "Ghost" Squadron flew eleven operational sorties, “because they had a job to do” for Freedom, Liberation and Victory In Europe. KB882's crews served with RCAF Group 6 Bomber Command, RAF Station Middleton St. George.

The only known photograph of KB882 "NA-R" while in England during WW2.
The only known photograph of KB882 "NA-R" while in England during WW2.

The personnel of the Squadron knew the war in Europe was almost over and they would soon be going home. This happened in early June 1945 when the aircrew of 428 Squadron started flying back to Canada, taking two lucky ground-crew with them in each aircraft. The route was to the Azores, and after a day of rest, on to Gander. From there they flew to Yarmouth. Before they could fly back, aircraft had to be selected. As the aircraft used by the RCAF in Europe did not belong to the RCAF, the Lancaster’s that were to be flown back to Canada had to be transferred to Canadian ownership. These aircraft were to be used for “Tiger Force”, Canada’s contribution to the planned bombing campaign against Japan. For this purpose, those aircraft with the fewest flying hours were chosen. KB882 was transferred to Canada on 1 June. Fittingly, it was F/L Ross (standing, second from the right) and his crew with two passengers who flew KB882 back to Canada, arriving in Yarmouth on  June 10, 1945.

The war was not over, however, for the members of 428 Squadron and KB882. They were selected as one of eight bomber squadrons to become part of Tiger Force. After a month’s leave in Canada, the personnel of 428 Squadron returned to Yarmouth to begin their training for the anticipated Japanese campaign. Training started in mid-July and had hardly gotten into full swing when the two atomic bombs were dropped and the war ended. Most of 428 Squadron’s personnel were demobilized, returning to civilian life, while KB882 was placed in storage at MacLeod, Alberta.

KB882's 428 Squadron crew upon return to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada. June 10, 1945.
KB882's 428 Squadron crew upon return to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada. June 10, 1945.

428 Squadron Veteran's family supports KB882 Restoration:

"Our family is very pleased to see the contribution of Lancaster KB882 to Canadian aviation history preserved for future generations. My father was very proud to fly a “Canadian made” Mark X version of the Lancaster during WWII. The Canadian war effort marked a significant advancement in the maturity of our nation. Younger generations of Canadians should be grateful for KB882’s further contribution of post WWII mapping and surveillance of the Canadian north during the Cold War. KB882 deserves to be restored and honoured for her lengthy contribution to our national defense. Thank you to the KB882 restoration crew for undertaking the preservation of this important piece of Canadian aviation history."

From: Gordon Ross, Son of pilot F/L A.L. "Red" Ross.

KB882 Mk10 AR 408 Squadron, circa 1964
KB882 Mk10 AR 408 Squadron, circa 1964

During the Cold War KB882 was assigned to 408 "Goose" Squadron, RCAF Station Rockcliffe, Ontario, Canada. From 1952-1964, KB882 photo mapped our northern territory and conducted several secret reconnaissance missions observing Soviet Ice Stations to protect Canadian Arctic Sovereignty.

In 1961 and 1962 the aircraft was heavily involved in operations, with most flights being Arctic recces and ice recces of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. In 1962 alone, KB882 conducted seven of the squadron’s Arctic recces, or half of the Squadron’s total. For the Arctic missions, the main staging bases were Goose Bay, Resolute Bay, Frobisher Bay and Thule in Greenland. These missions could last up to one week.

Perhaps the most interesting and least known of the aircraft’s missions occurred from 1 to 11 November 1962. Flight Lieutenant C.O. Huntley flew what the operations record book indicates as a “special maritime exercise” to Greenwood, later operating from Torbay, Goose Bay and Frobisher Bay. This was the period shortly after the Cuban Missile Crisis. The RCAF’s maritime patrol Lancaster’s had been heavily involved in searching for, detecting and maintaining contact with Soviet submarines in the northwest Atlantic Ocean. In the period after the Crisis had subsided, American and Canadian forces maintained a high state of vigilance to ensure that the Soviet Union would not renege on its agreement to withdraw its missiles from Cuba. While KB882 was not equipped to detect submarines, the RCAF did conduct aerial patrols of the waters off Newfoundland, Labrador and into the Davis Strait not only to monitor the movements of Soviet “trawlers”, but also as insurance against the possible moves of Soviet submarines through these waters. During the Crisis, a large Soviet fishing fleet was located off the northern peninsula of Newfoundland in international waters. The location of certain trawlers within the fleet was a concern to American and Canadian military authorities.

KB882, Resolute Bay 1963/4. Photo: William Stadnyk
KB882, Resolute Bay 1963/4. Photo: William Stadnyk

KB882 was transferred to No. 6 Repair Depot on March 19, 1964 and placed into stored reserve. Her final mission was to fly to RCAF Station Downsview, Ontario where she participated in the Lancaster retirement ceremony on 9 April, along with FM104, KB839 and KB976.

On May 1st, 1964, the Crown Assets Disposal Corporation accepted a monetary offer of $1,500.00 from the City of Edmundston, New Brunswick, Canada for the purchase of the aircraft and on May 26th, she was officially sold. Shortly after it was flown from DND 6 Repair Depot, Trenton, Ontario to Fredericton, New Brunswick where it waited for the Edmundston site to be completed. On July 14, 1964, Captain Joseph (Pepi) DiGiacinto, pilot; Flight Sgt Derek Miller, co-pilot; Gerry Flemming, radio operator; Captain Keith Wyatt, navigator and flight Engineer, Jim Cochrane brought KB882 in from her final flight.

Enroute from Fredericton, NB to Edmundston, NB July 14, 1964.
Enroute from Fredericton, NB to Edmundston, NB July 14, 1964.
KB882's final flight crew. Edmundston, NB July 14, 1965.
KB882's final flight crew. Edmundston, NB July 14, 1965.

KB882 has stood on guard at the Edmundston airport for over 51 years. But time and the elements have taken their toll on this old Lancaster.

Let's get KB882 out of the cold!
Let's get KB882 out of the cold!

On March 17th, 2015 the City of Edmundston, NB graciously awarded ownership of their Lancaster to the Alberta Aviation Museum Association so that we can move her to Edmonton, Alberta for a complete restoration in her postwar RCAF livery circa 1964.

KB882 will shine again!
KB882 will shine again!

Donate today. Join the ‪KB882 Crew‬. Please help us restore "The Last Lancaster".

Per ardua ad astra - "Through adversity to the stars".

Risks and challenges

A restoration of this scale is challenging. The Alberta Aviation Museum has contracted the initial phase of moving KB882 from Edmundston, New Brunswick to Edmonton, Alberta to a team of qualified AME's to ensure the utmost care and correct procedures are observed and documented.

The Alberta Aviation Museum plans to fully restore KB882 to her post war RCAF 408 Sqn livery circa 1964. Her WW2 history is an integral part of the story. However, KB882 actively participated in the Cold War, photo mapping the north, Arctic Sovereignty missions, post-Cuban Missile Crisis surveillance and was one of the longest serving RCAF Avro Lancaster's. All of the aircrew, ground crew and citizens connected to KB882 will be honoured and included in our interpretive plans. She is one of a kind because of her unique contributions to Commonwealth and Canadian history.

Projected restoration completion: 5-8 years.

Phase 1: Funding to relocate KB882 from New Brunswick to Alberta.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 25 or more About $19

    Receive print quality PDF of postwar 408 Squadron RCAF Lancaster KB882 artwork and charitable donation tax receipt from the Alberta Aviation Museum.

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    Pledge CA$ 100 or more About $76

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    Pledge CA$ 1,000 or more About $755

    Receive postwar 408 Squadron RCAF Lancaster KB882 printed artwork, KB882 collector pin, T-shirt, coffee mug, baseball hat PLUS Lifetime Membership to the Alberta Aviation Museum Association and charitable donation tax receipt.

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    Pledge CA$ 5,000 or more About $3,773

    Receive postwar 408 Squadron RCAF Lancaster KB882 printed artwork, KB882 collector pin, T-shirt, coffee mug, baseball hat PLUS Lifetime Membership to the Alberta Aviation Museum Association and charitable donation tax receipt.

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    Pledge CA$ 8,000 or more About $6,037

    Receive postwar 408 Squadron RCAF Lancaster KB882 printed artwork, KB882 collector pin, T-shirt, coffee mug, baseball hat PLUS Lifetime Membership to the Alberta Aviation Museum Association and charitable donation tax receipt.

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Funding period

- (30 days)