Hawker Hurricane lands at Shearwater Aviation Museum

News Article / May 26, 2017

By Captain Peter D. Ryan

One person’s passion plus a team of volunteers spearheaded by 111 Wing of the Royal Canadian Air Force Association (RCAFA) have turned a dream into reality, adding a significant historical Second World War aircraft to the Battle of Britain display at the Shearwater Aviation Museum in Nova Scotia.

It started four years ago when the curator of the museum approached 111 Wing, located in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, for support. They graciously offered to fully support the purchase of the plans and materials to complete the replica Hawker Hurricane from funds put aside for future capital projects.

Meanwhile, in 2012 an anonymous member of 111 Wing, who has since passed away, offered to pay for the fiberglass replica, donating $10,000. Other groups and individuals also stepped forward and the project took off on a shoe string budget.

Warrant Officer Dave Rowe, now retired from 406 Maritime Operational Training Squadron at 12 Wing Shearwater, is a very talented scale-aircraft modeller who embraced the project. He started building the replica in his garage. At first he didn’t know how big of a job he had undertaken. However, sheer determination and passion for history fueled four years of hard work and ultimately paid off. The museum now has a fitting tribute to Hawker Hurricanes that played such an important role in our history.

“The first Hurricanes arrived at Royal Canadian Air Force Station Dartmouth (now 12 Wing Shearwater) in November 1939 where they played an important role in the air defence of Canada’s Atlantic sea approaches during the Second World War. The aircraft was used onboard catapult-armed merchant ships to help protect convoys from long-range German aircraft”, said Warrant Officer (retired) Rowe.

During the Battle of Britain both the Supermarine Spitfire and the Hurricane were credited for their role in defending Britain against the Luftwaffe. It was the Hurricane that scored the higher number of victories, accounting for 55 percent of the 1,733 German losses in the Battles of Britain compared with 42 percent by Spitfires.

According to museum curator Ms. Christine Hines, building on the Battle of Britain display at the museum is very important.

“Our collection does not have many examples from the Second World War, and this project gives us the ability to better interpret RCAF Station Dartmouth’s role within the broader conflict”, she said.

The full scale Hurricane replicates serial number P3670, which was one of the ten Hurricanes known to have flown in No. 1 Squadron’s first encounter with the Luftwaffe in the Battle of Britain on August 26, 1940. It survived the epic battle.

Warrant Officer Rowe and the other volunteers were recently on hand for the official unveiling. They were recognized for their painstaking attention to detail in what can only be described as an amazing full-scale replica. It’s now proudly on display for all to see.Visitors can see the Hawker Hurricane at the Shearwater Aviation Museum from Monday to Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and on Saturday afternoons from 12 to 4 p.m. For more information, please call the museum at (902) 720-1083, or visit their website.

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