A couple of weeks ago Jen and I made the 2 1/2 hour drive out to Brandon for PrairieCon, where I played in the fun games put on by fellow Conscripts Greg and Dallas. Saturday evening we were joined by Kim, Byron, Anne and Chris at my favourite Brandon watering hole/restaurant, The Dock on Princess. Yum!
On Sunday, Jen and I went to the Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum, located by the Brandon airport. We'd been meaning to go for some time, and this was a great opportunity. During World War Two the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan trained 131,533 Allied pilots and aircrew at 231 locations all across Canada. Brandon was a major centre for this effort.
There are several dioramas at the museum depicting day to day operations...
...including prohibited activities such as stunt flying!
There were uniforms on display...
...including this heated flying suit that looks like teddy bear pajamas!
There were some exhibits regarding women's role in the war effort.
The heart of the collection are the many aircraft located in the hanger portion of the building, some of which are illustrated below.
The father of our friend Samantha trained as an air gunner in a Bristol Bolingbroke (a license built copy of the Blenheim bomber), but the war ended before he was posted overseas.
There were interesting exhibits such as CO2 based firefighting equipment...
...and war booty seized from the Japanese.
The museum is in the midst of restoring several aircraft, including a Hawker Hurricane.
The Fairey Battle in the workshop is interesting. There exist no plans, but the museum is working with a museum in Australia who are undertaking a similar project. Note both the R/C model (which the pile of junk behind it will eventually look like)...
...and the more detailed model fuselage covered in pencil marks.
The memorial of the fallen will be completed in the fall of 2014.
I urge anyone in the neighbourhood to drop by, and to consider making a donation to the Memorial Project.