WWII plane frame found in field near Estevan
NEAR ESTEVAN -- A World War Two aircraft has been grounded in a field near Estevan since the war ended.
The Avro Anson sits in Lester Hinzman's yard. The plane was used to train pilots for the Second World War.
The plane was found in a field near Estevan by Hinzman's friend that knew he would be interested in it.
"[He] phoned me and asked me if I want the propeller," Hinzman said. "I said, 'No, I'll take the plane'".
Hinzman said the plane was bought by a farmer after the war and used for parts.
"It was bought after the war for $50," Hinzman said. "There was a lot of them sold after the war because they weren't good for much after the war was over."
In October of 2020, with permission from the landowner, it took six men to get the plane out of the field.
The plane was moved from the field in Oct. 2020. The frame of the plane was covered in grass and had a tree growing through part of it that needed to be cut out.
The plane was then moved to Hinzman's yard where it sits displayed next to a chainsaw carving of a veteran who served in Afghanistan.
"Perfect learning tool for the young," Hinzman said. "To see what these young men went through, and it's no wonder that so many of them died age."
The plane was part of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan.
From 1940 to 1945, nearly 200 flying schools were built across Canada to train pilots from the Allied and Commonwealth Countries to fight in the war.
There were more than a dozen bases built in Saskatchewan including one near Estevan.
Saskatchewan was an ideal place to train pilots because of the spread-out population and wide-open sky.
"It was an economic boom for Saskatchewan and any place really in Canada that had a base," Joanna Munholland, a programming assistant at Government House, said.
Government House has created an exhibit about the training schools in the province with photos from the Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan.
A video featuring photographs from the exhibit will be available for the public to view online January 25 and it tells stories of the people who served in the war.
"Every number is a story is a person who had people that loved him or her," Munholland said. "They left people behind that were waiting for them."