The Windsor Star: September, 2007
Lancaster: Another important step
The restoration of Windsor’s Lancaster Bomber FM212 took another welcome
step forward on the weekend when the historic airplane was given a new home in
a temporary hangar at the airport. It's been a long, and sometimes troubled,
voyage to get to this point, but there’s now real optimism
that the Second World Warera plane will be preserved for future
And there’s no more fitting symbol of this community than the Lancaster.
It speaks for Windsor’s proud war history and the selfless
sacrifice of thousands of local residents who were willing
to put their lives on the line to preserve freedom and democracy.
During the war, 7,377 Lancasters were built, and about half
were lost. The planes flew on 156,000 operations, and while
the Lancaster was the most famous and successful heavy bomber,
it was also used for thousands of sorties to drop food to starving
Dutch citizens living under Nazi occupation near the end of
the war. The first Lancaster
to deliver food — Bad Penny — was piloted by Windsor’s
Bob Upcott, and it’s more than fitting that FM212 has
been renamed Bad Penny to honour the late Upcott and his crew.
Just a few years ago, Windsor’s Lancaster — one of only a handful
left in the world — was deteriorating atop a pedestal
in Jackson Park. Now thanks to a $40,000 donation from Ottawa
aircraft enthusiast Michael Potter, restoration volunteers
can carry out their work in the protected environment of the
The Canadian Historical Aircraft Association is also trying
to raise $1 million to $2 million to fully restore the Lancaster
over the next 10 years, and that goal will hopefully be attained
given the strong support the restoration project has already
received from community groups, businesses and individuals.
Hopefully, by the time the Lancaster’s engines roar again, and the plane
is restored to taxiing condition, another project will be well underway — the
creation of a permanent museum to house the Lancaster. A place
where both the plane and our wartime history will get the prominent
display they deserve.