Halifax 57 Rescue (Canada)
RCAF HALIFAX LW170 Recovery
LW170 Recovery Phase I
Halifax 57 Rescue
Progress Report No.35
August 10, 2010
Registered Charity 84586 5740 RR0001
There are over 20,000 aircrew of the Commonwealth Air Forces who are missing-in-action and have no known grave. These are the young British, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, American, and Irish aircrew who fought for England as part of the Royal Air Force in Allied Victory. The most significant efforts were in the campaigns of Bomber Command in the skies over Europe.
Halifax 57 Rescue (Canada) is pleased and proud to be partners with the Bomber Command Museum of Canada in Nanton, Alberta in giving tribute to all the aircrew and personnel of our air forces who fought for us and gave us our Freedom. This tribute is in the form of aircraft and displays including the only National memorial ever raised to all the Canadians who were killed-in-action in Bomber Command, THE WALL, in Nanton, Alberta.
There are over 10,000 names engraved on this wall and when you see the immensity of the sacrifice you begin to perceive, to see, why we will continue to work to honour all of them.
The job of Halifax 57 Rescue is to search the world for the Bomber Command Museum of Canada to find the rarest and most prominent bomber in our nation’s air combat history, the Handley Page Halifax, and bring her home.
They say if you put your best foot forward, remain resolute in an honourable task, and show determination to see this task through to success that you will be rewarded in the end for all these efforts.
As the Project manager I need you to know that we are on the right course and that you see the beginnings of the rewards for our efforts. RCAF Halifax LW170 is our primary goal and we are making progress to finding her as I will explain below. The exciting discovery and purchase of 10 tons of Halifax-Hastings wings, landing gear, and engines this past spring is another big step and I will give more details on getting these rare parts home to Canada.
Soon there will be more that I can report to you on another project (confidential for now) which could be a great and important new adventure of discovery and honour of missing aircrew and their Halifax. More on this in the next report.
Remember our motto, “We leave no Halifax behind”
On to business - these are the Hali-facts
Recent emails and reports from Deep Ocean Research in Halifax, Nova Scotia say that they are in the final stages of preparing for a commercial contract to do deep water sonar in European waters and are planning to include the sonar survey to look for RCAF Halifax LW170.
These ships and sonar are very expensive to operate and I have been quoted by some companies in the recent past in the order of ($50,000. per DAY) to do the LW170 survey. This does not include the transit costs to get there and back, nor any of the start up costs involved for a sonar survey. We are definitely getting a good deal for our money by the opportune piggy-backing of our historic survey on Deep Ocean’s commercial work.
I will be contacted by Mike Stephens later this month to talk about the timing and scheduling of the sonar survey based on their commercial schedule which is to be determined in the coming days. We are hopeful to see this commercial work start soon so that our Halifax survey can be included in their commercial plans. More in the coming weeks on these developments.
Our last 2 reports (No. 33 and No. 34) tell of the exciting news of the discovery, purchase, and recovery of over 10 tons of Halifax-Hastings wings, 4 main landing gears, and 2 Bristol Hercules engines from a scrapyard in Europe. They are now awaiting final preparation and shipment from a warehouse back to Canada. (See below the diagram of the Halifax wings sections that shows you all that was recovered –crossed hatched and in red. See also one of the Bristol Hercules engines saved).
In fact , we have enough center section pieces ( the heart of the Halifax airframe) that we have the luxury and option of being able to start the rebuild of ( 2 ) Halifax airframes. Considering the rarity of these Handley Page airframe sections (including 4 – count ‘em – 4 main landing gears with all the gear attachments inside the nacelles!) we have come up with a new idea for these 2 center sections.
We think that there would be several museums in the world that would love to acquire the beginnings of a Halifax for their collection. Remember the good work done by the Yorkshire Air Museum in building up their Halifax, Friday the 13th, over several years. They started exactly as we are by utilizing an existing Halifax-Hastings center section and building outwards till they now have the only complete and finished Halifax in all of England. ( This museum is where I got my start in 1984 and where I caught the Halifax “bug” which, to this day, I cannot seem to shake !).
I will be contacting museums world wide soon to promote the possibilities of a partner in the beginning rebuild of these Halifax wing sections. Remember, it is just as easy to build up 2 Halifax airframes, side by each, as it is to begin rebuilding just one on its own. We are definitely thinking beyond our needs and trying to maximize the Halifax opportunity for a progressive museum that is out there.
I urge all museums and members of said organizations to contact us with their ideas and input to build a “Halifax cooperative” around this unique Halifax-Hastings discovery. All museums certainly know how rare these airframes are and this chance may not come again !
With regard to shipping of all our Halifax goodies back to Canada we have made very good progress in the logistics of shipping such unusual items. We have the solution now (after I made another trip to the storage site in July at my own expense) of how to ship without cutting up the wings sections and landing gear, beyond their present state, so as not to damage them any further. (Please see the photo below of the size and condition of the wing sections and landing gear we are working on).
(note: the main wing attachment points to the outer wing panels on the wing rib are still intact and undamaged.)
Thanks to the hard work of George, Mario, Malcolm, and Justin we have nearly finished with the disassembly and detaching of firewalls, leading edges, trailing edges, and landing gears from the 4 wings sections we acquired. All of these components must fit in 40 foot shipping containers and the maximum height we have to work with is (8 feet-6 inches). We now know that if done carefully the disassembly will allow us to put these large wing sections in the container with about 5 inches to spare !!
Many hours have gone into this preparation and Halifax 57 Rescue has had to pay for this labour for the shipping prep. work out of the money which was originally set aside for the shipping costs.
Charles, the shipping company manager, came out to see the sections in July and is trying to help us on efficient logistics to get the wings and components in containers back to Canada as cheaply as possible.
Not only this but we have had great news from the offices of Canadian Pacific Railway and Mullen Trucking of Alberta.
Through a series of contacts we were able to approach Fred Green, the CEO of CPR, and he generously agreed to our request that CPR, when the Halifax parts shipping container arrives in the port of Montreal, would ship our container by rail out to Calgary free of charge as a donation to our Halifax parts project. This was great news and I am working with Mr. Green’s staff at this time as we prepare for our containers to be loaded and launched to Canada’s shore. Talk about support.
But it gets even better as I was able to visit the headquarters of Mullen Trucking near Nanton and described the Halifax parts project with Operations Manager Ed Scherbinski and Dale Kaiser. I was very pleased when they readily agreed to providing free round-trip trailer transport of our containers from the CPR Calgary yards to the Bomber Command Museum of Canada in Nanton.
It is indeed heart warming to know that even in the busy corporate world we are able to acquire the vital support we need to be successful in our Halifax and museum aims. Hearty thanks to CPR and Mullen for stepping up when we needed them.
So, as you see, we now have the initial solutions of technology and logistics in the form of shipping prep. and services-in-kind to get our Halifax parts home to Canada. It is now time to talk money and finances with all of you who support us or would like to support these worthy activities to bring a Halifax to the Bomber Command Museum of Canada.
Our recent appeal for funds to pay for the shipping costs from all our supporters was fairly successful as we raised about $7000. dollars in June and July. Thanks to all of you who sent in donations for the Halifax parts shipments. There are still responsibilities to pay bills for the parts project in addition to the stated shipping charges ($12,000 to $15,000) once we are ready to launch the shipping containers.
Halifax 57 Rescue only has about $8000. left in all our accounts so I must explain this shortfall to all our friends and supporters.
It is important that you know, after all the extra and unexpected costs of special cranes (see the crane lift photo below) to save the Halifax parts (over $3000.) and on-going labour costs ($2500. to July) to disassemble the wings so they will finally fit the containers for return to Canada, we are short several thousand dollars to pay for the hard costs of container shipping fees.
(note the 30 years growth of tree branches through the center section that were cut with chain saw to get this section out by special crane!)
You can see that I have, as your project manager, tried to find ways to keep our costs down (thanks to CPR and Mullen ) and I have not charged Halifax 57 Rescue for the 3 rounds trips to Europe I have personally paid for, to organize the parts.
I have also made a command decision, on your behalf, for provisions for a back-up financial plan, (using my own personal banking credit-line with the Royal Bank) to make sure that when the parts are ready to be shipped (early to mid-Sept ) that we will not be short the money to pay the shipping charges. I will not let this parts project be delayed even if we do not get enough donations at this critical time. These parts must come home now and not later as they are vital to the Halifax Project.
It is indeed worrisome and lengthy, from my perspective, for the process to save these parts but I hope you will see the needs of our group when I make this continued appeal to think of us in our hour of need. Send in your donations as soon as you can so that we can move forward with our parts shipping project so that we will not be delayed nor financially weakened.
These are our immediate needs as we move forward in our ultimate goals to honour the warriors of Bomber Command who gave their lives in service to us and preserving our Freedom.
“Press on regardless, whatever the cost”
Halifax 57 Rescue (Canada)
Registered Charity : 84586 5740 RR 0001
Halifax 57 Rescue (Canada) Halifax 57 Rescue (Canada)
P.O. Box 606 Unit 31C – 174 Colonnade Road
Nanton, AB Ottawa, ON
T0L 1R0 K2E 7J5
Phone 403 - 603 - 8592 Phone 613 – 863 – 1942
Or 613 – 226 – 4884