Avro Lancaster Mk.X KB882, production number 37183, rolled out of Victory Aircraft Limited in Malton, Ontario, Canada on November 3, 1944. This WW2 Bomber is a National Treasure - an example of Canadian engineering, manufacturing and determination to do whatever it took for “King and Country”. One of 430 Mk.X models built in Canada, and 1 of 7,377 produced during the war years, it is now 1 of only 17 known complete Avro Lancaster's to survive Worldwide.
KB882 will shine again!
Within this exclusive club of survivors, KB882 is 1 of only 4 remaining Lancaster Bombers that crossed the English Channel in the dark of night taking part in operational service over Occupied Europe. "NA-R" and her crew of young men from 428 "Ghost" Squadron flew eleven operational sorties, “because they had a job to do” for Freedom, Liberation and Victory In Europe. KB882's crews served with RCAF Group 6 Bomber Command, RAF Station Middleton St. George.
The only known photograph of KB882 "NA-R" while in England during WW2
The personnel of the Squadron knew the war in Europe was almost over and they would soon be going home. This happened in early June 1945 when the aircrew of 428 Squadron started flying back to Canada, taking two lucky ground-crew with them in each aircraft. The route was to the Azores, and after a day of rest, on to Gander. From there they flew to Yarmouth. Before they could fly back, aircraft had to be selected. As the aircraft used by the RCAF in Europe did not belong to the RCAF, the Lancaster’s that were to be flown back to Canada had to be transferred to Canadian ownership. These aircraft were to be used for “Tiger Force”, Canada’s contribution to the planned bombing campaign against Japan. For this purpose, those aircraft with the fewest flying hours were chosen. KB882 was transferred to Canada on 1 June. Fittingly, it was F/L Ross (standing, second from the right) and his crew with two passengers who flew KB882 back to Canada, arriving in Yarmouth on June 10, 1945.
The war was not over, however, for the members of 428 Squadron and KB882. They were selected as one of eight bomber squadrons to become part of Tiger Force. After a month’s leave in Canada, the personnel of 428 Squadron returned to Yarmouth to begin their training for the anticipated Japanese campaign. Training started in mid-July and had hardly gotten into full swing when the two atomic bombs were dropped and the war ended. Most of 428 Squadron’s personnel were demobilized, returning to civilian life, while KB882 was placed in storage at MacLeod, Alberta.
KB882's 428 Squadron crew upon return to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada. June 10, 1945
After World War II, the KB882 was heavily involved in a lot of operations: photo mapping the north, Arctic Sovereignty missions, post-Cuban Missile Crisis surveillance and was one of the longest serving RCAF Avro Lancaster's. KB882 was transferred to No. 6 Repair Depot on March 19, 1964 and placed into stored reserve. KB882 has stood on guard at the Edmundston airport for over 51 years. But time and the elements have taken their toll on this old Lancaster.
Let's get KB882 out of the cold!
You can support. Please donate to help with this important historic project. More information and donations at: www.albertaaviationmuseum.com/donations/online-donations