On Tuesday and Wednesday, July 16 and 17th, The Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada will be hosting a special event that features an incredibly special aircraft. 

Called Lancaster Days, this display will highlight the renowned Avro Lancaster bomber.  

Used by the Royal Air Force and the Royal Canadian Air Force during the Second World War the Lancaster Bomber became an icon of the commonwealth during the war, flying 156,000 sorties between 1942 and 1945. 

According to Bomber Command Museum figures, 3, 932 of the Lancasters produced did not make it home from their missions and many of these missions carried Canadian airmen. 

Today there are only 2 surviving Lancasters that are airworthy, one in England and one that is maintained and housed at the Canadian Warplane Museum in Hamilton, Ontario. It is that aircraft that will be here in Winnipeg on the 16th and 17th. 

Having this Lancaster here in Winipeg is special for many reasons. Terry Slobodian is the CEO for The Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada as he explains, “Our mission as a museum is to preserve and promote the stories of Western Canadian aviation. Many Canadians from Winnipeg trained and flew in the Lancaster either as pilots, or bombardiers etc., so it is part of us telling the story. It’s super exciting to host a special weekend or days where visitors can explore those aircraft.” 

There is a very definite Winnipeg connection to this Lancaster. It is named and dedicated to Andrew Mynarski. Mynarski was born in Winnipeg and served in the Second World War. He received the Victoria Cross for bravery after he chose to stay on board his heavily damaged Lancaster and rescue the tail gunner. He sustained severe burns to his body that would result in him eventually succumbing to his wounds. The Lancaster is now painted in the colors of Andrew Mynarski’s squadron that he served in during the war. 

One of the other highlights of Lancaster days is that the Museum will be showing the film Reunion of Giants on the 16th. “The film is a tribute to the airmen but also a reunion of the last two flying Lancasters in the world,” says Slobodian. The film tells the story of Canada’s Lancaster flying over seas to fly with the only surviving Lancaster in England. The two planes flew together and toured England, bringing memories and a bit of history to all those who saw the aircraft together. 

The Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada’s Lancaster Days is a marvelous opportunity to go inside the Lancaster and take in a piece of history. Slobodian encourages people to book a time online because space is limited, and the last time this Lancaster was here 14 years ago, thousands of people came to see this truly remarkable plane. 

Lancaster days happen on Tuesday, July16th and Wednesday, July 17th. For more details, and to book a time to explore and go inside the plane go to The Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada’s website.