Serial No:              KB994                  Mark:    X          Known Op's:  0

Current Location: Sandtoft Airfield, North Doncaster, Yorkshire, England

Current Status:     Rear Fuselage Under Restoration

Nickname:              None Traced

Service History:

To UK 6-45, 408 Sqn, RCAF EQ-K, Returned CDN 15-6-45, 664 (Heavy Bomber) Wing, Greenwood, Nova Scotia for Tiger Force, No. 2 Air Command del'd 6-45, Stored at Pearce, Alberta, Placed in to long term stroage at Claresholm, Alberta.

SOC at Penhold, Alberta, Purchase by Mr. Loenhardt, To Drumheller, To Pigeon Lake, Alberta. C.1960, Acquired by 408 Sqn, RCAF, Edmonton. Sold to Mr. Charles Church and shipped to UK. Sold to Mr. Kermit Weeks and shipped to Florida, USA to be restored to flying condition.

Comments:

 

22/1/1947: a/c was SOC at Claresholm, Alberta.  An advertisement in his local paper drew the attention of Drumheller area farmer Victor Leonhardt who read that the Canadian Government War Assets Corporation was selling Lancaster Bombers at Penhold, Alberta. Victor drove to Penhold, placed a bid of $350 and returned home the owner of a World War II bomber. He made plans to tow the aircraft along the ice of the Red Deer River to his farm near Drumheller. This idea and the ice proved to be somewhat unstable, so KB994 was taken apart and trucked to Drumheller where is was reportedly broken up for parts.

 

c.1963: Mr. Leonhardt sold his farm and moved to Pigeon Lake, Alberta, towing his Lancaster behind him. A decade later, and after having used many of the parts of the aircraft for other purposes, Leonhardt sold the aircraft to Neil Menzies of St. Albert, Alberta for $1500. Over the next ten years, Menzies searched for missing parts, locating two engines in Drumheller and two wings in Le Pas, Manitoba. Soon the price of the bomber began to rise as people from all over the world sought to buy the aircraft. Menzies turned down all offers until 1984.

 

07/1984, No. 408 Squadron, which had become a tactical helicopter squadron and was based at CFB Namao in Edmonton, Alberta held a reunion that was attended by over four hundred veterans. Under the leadership of Lt. Col. Murray Lee, a project had been started to acquire and restore a Lancaster in the markings of No. 408 Squadron. Neil Menzies had donated the fuselage of KB994 to the squadron, together with all the additional parts he had acquired. The Squadron arranging for the fuselage to be move to CFB Namao by helicopter. On 27 July, 1984 over four hundred men of No. 408 Squadron drank a toast next to the wingless, dilapidated KB994. One of the veterans was ex W/C N.W. Timmerman, who was first given command of the squadron at Lindholme, Yorkshire, England in June, 1941 and the man who gave the squadron the name "Goose" and the motto, "For Freedom." Unfortunately the next commanding officer that took over No. 408 Squadron lacked the enthusiasm for the project that Lt. Col. Lee had demonstrated and according to one ex-408 member, "strictly forbade" any effort towards the project. The fuselage, bomb-bay doors, and other parts languished around No. 408's hangar for a time until the late 1980's when the aircraft was returned to Neil Menzies.

 

c.1988-1990 Mr. Menzies subsequently sold the aircraft to Charles Church, a private collector in Manchester, England who was planning to make use of it as well as parts from Lancaster KB976 (G-BCOH) which he had previously acquired. Most of what remained of KB994 was shipped to England. For some reason the two bomb-bay doors remained. Later they were donated to the Calgary Aero Space Museum for the restoration of their Lancaster FM136. Charles Church was killed while flying a Spitfire. .

 

08/1990: but of the Charles Church Lancaster sold to Mr.  Doug Arnold, Warbirds of GB Ltd, Biggin Hill, for planned rebuild also using Lincoln RF342

 

c.1992: Parts of KB994 and KB976 sold to Mr. Kermit Week of the USA and parts of both aircraft were reportedly shipped in large containers at Kermit's "Fantasy of Flight" in Florida. But other parts of each aircraft appear to have remained in England.

 

04/08/1993: Sold to Aces High Ltd, North Weald, and registered as G-BVBP; stored dismantled, Bedford, Biggin Hill. Fuselage to be used in rebuild of KB976.

 

c.1997: Sold to Mr. David Copley, Imperial Aviation Group, North Coates, 1997 for restoration project.

 

10/2002: Report that the aircraft has been relocated to Sandtoft Airfield, North Doncaster, Yorkshire.

 

Production Data:

Part of the first production batch of 300 aircraft built by Victory Aircraft Limited, Malton, Ontario, Canada. KB700-KB999 (produced 'before' the FM-Serial batch). Packard built Rolls-Royce Merlin 38 engines in the first 75 aircraft; Merlin 224 engines in the subsequent aircraft. Deliveries commenced to Britain 9-43; completed 3-45 (average rate of production, approximately 4 aircraft per week). Victory Aircraft Construction Number 37295

Surviving Lancaster: KB994

 

Last Updated: July 2008