Friday, November 12, 2010

VICTORY AIRCRAFT of CANADA Ltd

IF YOU LOOK CAREFULLY at the women in this photo you'll see them saluting using Churchill's V for Victory sign. So the sign has double meaning for staff atop the Lanc!

OUR FREEDOM today in Canada was purchased with Canadian blood spilled all over the world in the two great wars, the War of 1812, UN peacekeeping, the Korean War, and Canadian NATO or participation all over the globe, during the Cold War years right up to the present.

Lest we forget.

But freedom is a joint effort between the airman, the seaman, the soldier…and the factory worker.

The ABOVE pictures an Avro Lancaster Mark X being rolled out of the Victory factory in Malton, Ontario, Canada that was ONCE located at the northeast tip of the YYZ property. Pictured here is a Lancaster being rolled out sometime in late1944.

By war's end a Lancaster a day was being turned out of the Victory Aircraft factory.

Today, the former Victory Aircraft of Canada Limited manufacturing facility spread across land that is partly in Toronto, AND partly in Mississauga. The Mississauga land portion is now barren.

Victory Aircraft, a federal government venture was closed down after the war.

The factory soon thereafter was purchased by A.V. Roe and became Avro Aircraft of Canada Limited.

But, back to the war.

World War II was a different sort of war for the nations involved. It was the first time superior technological power (Germany, Italy, Japan) would lose to superior industrial (the Allies) might! For instance, German tanks were way better than the lowly Sherman and Stuart tanks the Allies had in number, but we overwhelmed the Axis powers by producing so many of them.

Same with the jet fighters and V-1 rockets the Nazis produced.

They had better.

We had more.

As I was in a motorbike accident almost a month ago, getting around has not been easy with my leg in a leg brace.

Especially, on my motorbike!

Still, I went to the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum on Remembrance Day as any true Canadian would. As I was walking through the museum's displays, after the ceremonies, I came across this famous VICTORY AIRCRAFT of CANADA Limited photo that I had only ever seen in very low-rez.

I always hoped I'd see the large version one day, and today was that day.

The historic photo was stuck in a display case, encased at an angle…and it was large…about 3 feet long. There, dream come true. WOW!

So, as I was flopping about the floor, screaming in agony from knee pain, while contorting my body ridiculously trying to beat the reflected light that was blowing out parts of the photo…an alarmed woman approached me, and said first in French, then, in English,

"Before you hurt yourself further, why don't you ask someone if they'll just remove it from the display for you, so you can take a better pic?"

Oui.

Somehow, that felt like I was being scolded by my mom…even at my age…but soon enough I was being assisted by Caillin Kowalczyk, the Interim Curator of the CANADIAN WARPLANE HERITAGE MUSEUM, who allowed me to photograph their original photo, with the museum's kind permission, of course! Out of the display case. Did I mention Caillin's dutifully going through several key rings, to find the "one" that held the missing key?

Great guy.

While this retouched photo will suffice for now, I intend to redo the photo to get an even better, and more detailed result.

Thanks, Caillin!

AND REMEMBER, the original photo, and much other historical warplane related stuff can be found at the CANADIAN WARPLANE HERITAGE MUSEUM in Hamilton. CWH is home of North America's only flying Lancaster and Lysander!

1 comment:

Hannah Scansaroli said...

Thank you for this. We found out my grandmother is in this photo. How special!!