Halifax 57 Rescue (Canada)

 

 

RCAF HALIFAX LW170 Recovery

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Progress Report No.40

Novemner 5, 2011

Registered Charity  84586 5740 RR0001

 

 

This will be our 6th Remembrance Day report since the inspired birth of Halifax 57 Rescue (Canada) in 2005.

Since the inception of our determined group, formed from the core group who recovered RAF Halifax NA337 and RCAF Halifax LW682, we have not wavered in our objective and goal to find and recover RCAF Halifax LW170. This will be our ultimate tribute to those young and valiant aircrews of Bomber Command like these smiling young warriors and their “aluminium” sword of Freedom that you see above.

You may recognize that sword standing proudly behind them but if you do not - you are not alone, especially here in Canada.

It is the Handley Page Halifax.

Over 70% of all the Canadian Bomber Command casualties were on this aircraft and for this reason alone we must remember this aircraft as one of the great symbols of the sacrifice, excellence, and honour of our aircrews. I remember the days, from 1985 onwards, when I would go to many Bomber Command reunions and talk with these veterans of the 1939-1945 campaigns when they were young crews of the RCAF and RAF.

As the years passed, while becoming immersed in my quest to know all about them and their great battles in the skies over war-torn Europe I realized that soon the Bomber Command veterans would fade away “going west” to their reward.

I also realized this was no ordinary time for these young warriors in bombers and it was up to us to carry their torch when they were gone, for the whole world was free because of them and their sacrifice.

If these warriors would be no more, and this time could surely come soon, what could we do to remember the gift of Freedom they have given us and remember the price they dearly paid for us for that gift? We could honour these warriors by finding, recovering, restoring, and spotlighting their sword of Freedom they used to defeat tyranny.

So our core group of Halifax 57 Rescue (Canada) and our partners in Remembrance and tribute, the Bomber Command Museum of Canada, have embarked on the vital quest to find a Halifax, and all things thereof, to go alongside the venerated Lancaster of our fine museum collection.

A Bomber Command Memorial becomes complete when you have a Halifax and a Lancaster within that Memorial. For all these reasons we will persevere and there will be no missing swords of Freedom from our collection that will pay fitting tribute to these young patriots and warriors.

We hope you will come with us and support us in the Halifax Project as we continue our efforts unabated and in tribute to all these RCAF and RAF crews.

WE WILL REMEMBER THEM
 

ON TO BUSINESS – These are the HALI-facts:
 

 

See above the stunning discovery in September in Terrace, B.C. of 4 Bristol Hercules and 3 tons of spare parts in a World War 2 bunker! Thanks to the generousity and cooperation of Hawkair yours truly was able to make a deal with Hawkair executives for these valuable engines, with many new parts, which were acquired in September this year. (for the full report on this discovery and recovery of the engines and parts go to www.57rescuecanada.com and click on “SPECIAL REPORTS”).

We had just settled down at the Bomber Command Museum of Canada after the exciting arrival of the Halifax-Hastings parts which had just arrived from Malta (see also “SPECIAL REPORTS” on our website on the Malta discovery and recovery) when the “Bristol Bunker” adventure was dropped on us.

I was in full scrounger mode looking for all things Halifax to supplement our new Halifax-Malta goodies arrival and decided to contact Hawkair who had previously used the Bristol Freighter aircraft with Hercules engines. We were in dire need of special Brit wrenches to work on our 2 Bristol Hercules engines recovered from Malta and I was hopeful Hawkair might still have some of these even though they had retired their Freighter aircraft years ago.

When I spoke to Hawkair Manager Rod Hayward and enquired about these special Brit wrenches he said “Yes we can give you some of these but would you be interested in these 4 Bristol Hercules engines and parts we have stored here?” Well, let me tell you I was up to Terrace as soon as I could and a deal was made for Halifax 57 Rescue to process, load, and ship all these great rare engines with parts to the Bomber Command Museum of Canada in Nanton, Alberta for our HALIFAX PROJECT.

After conferring with the Directors of Halifax 57 Rescue and the Bomber Command Museum of Canada we realized that the costs of the engines and parts to be shipped to Nanton would be over ($1500.) for the processing and loading with the truck shipping charges of ($2500.)!

I was indeed worried that due to the state of finances of Halifax 57 Rescue (after the many costly charges of shipping the container of the Malta parts to Ottawa and Nanton) that there was no way we could cover all these costs of acquiring these rare engines and parts from Hawkair. Halifax 57 Rescue has had very few donations in the last few weeks and we could not, after the Malta Project, pay the costs of the shipping charges to get these engines and parts home to our parent museum!
Talk about being between a rock and a hard place!

A speedily called September meeting of the Directors of the Bomber Command Museum of Canada had some positive results. It was agreed that Halifax 57 Rescue would pay the logistical costs of the shipment (processing, packing, and boxing of the 4 engines and all the parts in Terrace). This ultimately cost ($1700.) and was paid by Halifax 57 Rescue. We are now, as of the date of this report, down to our emergency funds and the lowest level we have been in years!

I must point out that honourable mention must go at this time to John Phillips, one of the Directors of the Bomber Command Museum of Canada, for he realized the value of these Hercules engines and timely nature to acquire them, and stepped forward to pay for the entire truck shipping charges ($2500.) on his own!! John is to be complimented to the max for his help in our time of need!

By now, after all the logistical and financial hardships we endured to save these engines and parts on your behalf, you must be curious to see the photos and videos of the recovery of the treasure from the “Bristol Bunker” in Terrace. You can view all of this adventure at:

Go to our website www.57rescuecanada.com and click on the “Halifax 57 Rescue Internet Television Show”

All BRISTOL BUNKER Videos – courtesy of Jim Blondeau and Dunrobincastle Entertainment.com

There are 3 separate videos of Discovery, Loading, and Unloading at the Bomber Command Museum of Canada.


If you wish to see photos of the unloading in Nanton, Alberta of all the engines and parts just follow the directions below:

The photos of the unloading on Oct. 14 at the Bomber Command Museum of Canada are listed
at www.archerphotoworks.ca/museum and just click on the “Bristol engines” title line.

Thanks to Doug Bowman for all his expertise to capture these photos of special events and display them for the Bomber Command Museum of Canada and Halifax 57 Rescue.
 

 

 

See above the 4th Hercules engine being loaded into the trailer in Terrace on Oct. 8 with Paul Hawkins and Rod Hayward of Hawkair, and Tom Hallock of Williams Moving.

So now that we have the wings, landing gear, and 2 Hercules engines from Malta along with the 4 engines and all the new parts from the “Bristol Bunker” in Terrace we have the potential to begin restoring and rebuilding the core components of a Halifax for our parent museum. We are aware we cannot finish a Halifax with what we have now (unless we build parts from scratch using blueprints) but there are several more key original sections and parts we have located in the UK and are willing to acquire in our Halifax quest. This will take even more additional funding in the immediate future.

In this immediate future the Directors of Halifax 57 Rescue and the Bomber Command Museum of Canada will be meeting and conferring on a plan for rebuilding those parts and engines we have acquired. This will require a master plan for fundraising that will include both our organizations and memberships.

I believe this will be a transition time for all of us when we will not only need funding to find more vital components for our Halifax Project (in the field) but also find funding for the refurbishment of our parts here at home (Nanton).

Do not forget we have large wing sections and brand new main spars waiting to be rebuilt in Ottawa that will be worked on by George Rosskopf, Halifax 57 Rescue rebuild manager. If we do not set aside funds for George to rebuild the wing sections on a full time basis we could be waiting for these vital Halifax center-section parts for 10 years or more. The time is now to address our financial needs through the gathering of corporate support, government grants, and dedicated fundraisers.

My colleagues and I are working on all these things but we need your help with continued donations so we can press on at this time without completely halting our projects.

BUT for the time being, as a precaution, I have told Director George Rosskopf to stop the construction of Halifax replica propeller blades project and also told Director James Blondeau to stop production of the videos and promotion of the Halifax 57 Rescue internet programs we had planned. We are just too short of funding to continue until we hear from you, our members and supporters.

This is the degree of financial pinch we are feeling at this time and I needed you to know this. We hope you will consider donating to this honourable cause and keep us going forward without going into a holding pattern.

To acquire all this Halifax “treasure” and not be able to begin and continue on refurbishment of these items until we get renewed financial support is frustrating for all of us.

And if you think that we have become side-tracked from the search for our RCAF Halifax LW170 in the deep, think again. For yours truly as Project Manager will, at my own expense, be travelling to Boston, Massachusetts on Nov.13th as I have been invited to attend a meeting with a committee of deep sea exploration experts who are proposing the formation of an official Canada/USA sonar expedition in 2012 to locate our Halifax LW170!

It seems the Halifax 57 Rescue story we told of the unknown 8000+ Americans who served in the RCAF in World War 2 has really struck home to these deep sea explorers and they want to take a shot at locating our Halifax for all the right historical, scientific, and Remembrance reasons. They now know that the majority of Americans killed-in-action in the RCAF on bombers were in the Halifax. I sense a fresh and strong will from our friends in the USA to make this historic mission a reality. Standby for an exciting new report after this special meeting in Boston.

Halifax 57 Rescue (Canada) has not disappointed in the past and 2011 has been a banner year for us in our continued efforts for the Halifax Project. We will not disappoint you in the future.

Allow us to continue without delay or holding back. Now, even more than in all the previous years since we started our Halifax quest, we need your donations to keep us going!

WE LEAVE NO HALIFAX BEHIND
 

 

 

And remember,

WE LEAVE NO HALIFAX BEHIND

 

 

Sincerely,

Karl Kjarsgaard

Project Manager

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

 

            www.57rescuecanada.com

email: 57rescuecanada@rogers.com