website is a work in progress and
corrections, additions, and comments
Last updated 24th November 2018
- now showing 684 images, around 500
of which are not available elsewhere.
for this website are given on a separate
page and many people have contributed,
all of whom I am extremely grateful to.
resources and input provided by Dick
Richardson have been enormous.
website is dedicated to him in thanks
and recognition of all his help, as well
as his involvement with KB976.
Of the 7377
Lancasters built, only 17 complete air
frames remain in existence. Of these 17,
the story of Lancaster KB976 is one of
the most confusing, complicated and
consistently mis-represented. This website attempts
to join all the established facts
together in one place.
Whilst this could not have been done
without a great deal of co-operation and
time from other people, any errors
remaining are those of this author and
you are welcome to provide corrections
or additions via the email link.
A great deal of trouble has gone into
ensuring correct permissions to utilise
photographs displayed. However, should a
picture be without the correct
permission or credit, please email the
author so that this can be corrected or
removed as appropriate.
More than anything this site owes it
value to the photographs displayed.
Grateful thanks to those who have
allowed their photographs to be used
This site is of no commercial value and
is simply a piece of aviation history.
Hopefully it is useful in understanding
and correcting the frequently misunderstood
story of Lancaster KB976.
|Since the interest in
the Lancaster aircraft comes from its
part in the Second World War,
we should remember the many that
lost their lives during those times.
1944/45 The aircraft
was built at Victory Aircraft Works,
Malton, Ontario, Canada as a Lancaster B
Mk. X. All Canadian built Lancasters were
Mk Xs, of which 430 were built. KB976 was
part of the first production batch of 300
aircraft (KB700-KB999) built by Victory
Aircraft Limited, Malton and was fitted
with Packard built, Rolls-Royce Merlin 224
engines. Her Victory Aircraft Construction
Number is 37277.
24th May 1945 Flown to St. Athan, United
Kingdom to join Royal Canadian Airforce
405 Sqn , No. 32 Maintenance Unit, as
17th June 1945 Returned to Canada to join
664 (Heavy Bomber) Wing, Greenwood, Nova
Scotia for Tiger Force, No. 2 Air Command.
(Tiger Force was the name given to a
World War II British Commonwealth
long-range heavy bomber force, formed in
1945, from squadrons serving with RAF
Bomber Command in Europe, for proposed
use against targets in Japan. The unit
was scheduled to be deployed to the
Pacific theatre in the lead-up to the
Allies' proposed invasion of Japan. The
unit was disbanded after the bombing of
Hiroshima and Nagasaki ended the war on
2nd September 1945. See this
link for further
information on Tiger Force)
28th June 1945 placed back on RCAF
August 1945 Following VJ Day on 15th
August, allocated to storage with other
Lancasters in Alberta.
June 1948 Back in service with RCAF as
Search and Rescue aircraft. Re-certified
in air tests at Avro Works, Malton,
Circa 1953 KB976 and 2 other RCAF
Lancasters were modified to long nose Mk
10 AR (Area Reconnaissance) variant and
assigned to RCAF 408 Sqn(P) with
registration MN-976. (The other 2 AR
Lancasters were KB839 and KB882. All 3 of
the Mk10 AR air frames survive to this
day.) Used also for Arctic
Reconnaissance, patrolling the polar ice
caps photographing and recording Soviet
9th April 1964 Part of Official ceremony
of the last RCAF Lancaster flights.
23rd April 1964 Lynn Garrison bought KB976
for $1500 from Crown Assets Disposal
Corporation for the Alberta Aviation
Museum, later incorporated as the Air
Museum Of Canada, Calgary, Alberta.
May 26th 1964 retired from RCAF service.
July 4th 1964 KB976 made the last Official
Flight of Lancaster type in RCAF service.
(This was just one month ahead of the
last ever Lancaster flights on military
service in August 1964, which were made
by the French Navy Lancasters. The final
flight honour belongs to NX611 "Just
Jane" of the Lincolnshire Aviation
1967 The Air Museum of Canada moved to
acquire a Certificate of Airworthiness for
Lancaster KB976 and obtained registration
CF-AMD. Dr. Ernie Johnson, one of the
AMC’s Board of Governors held a Lien
against the title of KB976, and sold the
aircraft in 1969.
Interestingly, during this time and
just to confuse things further, sister
AR Lancaster KB839 was displayed at RCAF
Greenwood with the registration numbers
1969 Sold to Northwestern Air Lease, St.
Albert, Alberta and registered as CF-TQC.
Conversion to fire tanker started but did
not complete. At this time an original
length nose was re-fitted using the nose
from KB994. The long AR nose was stored at
North Western Aviation until around 1984.
24th September 1974 Bought for $100,000
Canadian / £45,000 by Sir William J.D.
Roberts, private owner of the Strathallan
Collection, Auchterarder, Perthshire,
Scotland. At this point the aircraft had
flown just 19 hours in the previous 10
years since RCAF retirement.
May 1975 Registered as G-BCOH and flown to
Strathallan from St. Albert, Alberta. (This
was the last Lancaster flight across
the Atlantic for 39
years, until the Canadian Warplane
Heritage Museum's "Mynarski Lancaster"
FM213 flew to visit the UK and back to
Canada, in August 2014.)
11th June 1975 Arrives at Strathallan
1986 Bought for circa £150,000 by Charles
April 1987 Transported by road to British
Aerospace, Woodford for planned
restoration to airworthiness.
12th August 1987 Badly damaged by hangar
collapse at British Aerospace, Woodford.
Following unsuccessful attempts of
legal action against British Aerospace
and the tragic death of Charles Church
in a Spitfire crash in July 1989, the
re-build was abandoned. Various parts
spent time at Sandtoft, Lincolnshire and
North Weald Airfield, Epping, Essex, UK.
Bought by Doug Arnold of Warbirds, Great
Britain. Arrived dismantled at Bedford
with sections of Lancaster KB994 and Avro
Lincoln RF342. Stored at Cranfield
Institute of Technology.
1992 Moved to Biggin Hill, still owned by
Doug Arnold of Warbirds, Great Britain.
1993 Sold and shipped to Kermit Weeks at
the Fantasy of Flight, Florida, USA.
1. A complete set of
components for a Lancaster mostly sourced
from KB976, including the original cockpit
from KB976, a repaired wing centre-section
(including covered wagon), with the
mid/rear fuselage and tail fuselage from
2. The damaged rear-most section of the
KB976 original fuselage is on display at
Aeroventure, Doncaster, UK.
3. The Australian Avro Lincoln project has
the mid/rear fuselage section from
Lancaster KB976 with damage from the
hangar collapse. This is for future
restoration of a complete Lincoln aircraft
for static display at the Australian
National Aviation Museum at Moorabbin,
4. The original AR nose section, removed
in Canada around 1969, has been build up
into a highly authentic replica of a
Lancaster AR front fuselage and cockpit by
Jeremy Hall, and is currently located at
the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre.