Museum History

The Greenwood Military Aviation Museum was officially opened on the May 27th, 1995 to preserve the story of Greenwood as a tribute to those men and women who served there. Located in the former Base Library just outside the main gate, the 1100 square feet of display space was divided into two halves: one of which traced the development of Greenwood from 1942 to the present while;  the other half depicted the Base squadrons and units unique histories. It was not long before the display space was filled to capacity. During first year of operation the Museum had 587 visitors. In 1997 they had over 2,000 visitors and in 2014 there were over 23,000 visitors.

By 1997, display space was at a premium and the Museum began to look for options to expand.  In 1998, notice was given that part of the CANEX building would become surplus and in 1999, 11,000 square feet of the Canex building was vacated and made available for new Museum spaces. After months of renovations the new Museum facility was officially opened by Colonel Brian Handley, the then Wing Commander.  The new Museum officially opened in October, 2000, and promptly won the Attractions Canada "Best New Tourist Attraction in Nova Scotia award". 

On October 2nd, 1998, while returning from a search and rescue (SAR) operation, Labrador helicopter 305 exploded in mid-air in the vicinity of Marsui, PQ. In the aftermath of this tragic accident, that claimed the lives of the six aircrew, the outpouring of support throughout the Annapolis Valley was truly heartwarming.  It manifested itself in many ways, including an offer from the Central Annapolis Valley Chamber of Commerce to construct a Memorial Garden as a living tribute to the sacrifice of these airmen.  The garden was officially dedicated by His Excellency, the Governor General of Canada, Romeo LeBlanc on June 4th, 1999.  Most of the material and labour was donated by local businesses, organizations and individuals as a tribute to the crew of Labrador 305.  

The Museum Society, which had originally suggested the creation of a Memorial Garden to honour members who had served Greenwood and its units and lost their lives, made plans in 1999 to place Commemorative/Memorial stones, with inscriptions paid for by individuals wanting stones,  along the Garden pathways.   In 2003, the Society solicited a major extension to the Garden, and construction was overseen by the Society and paid for by local contractors.  The lower Garden was completed in 2004.

 Since then the Museum has grown into a world class facility. Here are some of the highlights over the years:

  • 2001 ­ Greenwood Art Association established.
  • 2002 ­ Flight Education program starts.
    • Aircrew Memorial Statue unveiled by the Governor General of Canada
  • 2003 ­ The Argus Tactical Procedures Trainer (TCPT) was refurbished and an annex was built to house it.
    • Anson aircraft restoration begins.
  • 2004 ­ Commemorative Garden extension built.
  • 2005 ­ T33 Jet Trainer added to the Air Park.
  • 2007 ­ C47 Dakota aircraft restoration started.
    • Commemorative Garden expanded.
  • 2008 ­ Bolingbroke restoration started.
    • ZENAIR aircraft restored by 517 Squadron Air Cadets.
  • 2009 ­ Anson aircraft restoration completed.
    • Many Centennial of Flight in Canada celebrations including the dedication of a memorial stone in the Air Park.
  • 2010 ­ Labrador put on display.
    • Consolidation of all WW II overseas displays into one area.
  • 2011 ­ Redesign of Museum to a chronology began. ­
    • Many new indoor exhibits put in place.
  • 2012 ­ New Museum annex completed.  ­
    • Lancaster restoration to a 405 Pathfinder aircraft began.
  • 2013 ­ Restored Anson aircraft was placed in the new Museum annex. ­
    • Willys Jeep restored.
  • 2014  ­ Restored C47 Dakota aircraft was placed in the Air Park.
    • Sperwer UAV placed on display inside the Museum.
    • H44 Helicopter restoration started.
    • Air Traffic Control radar added to the Air Park
  • 2020  H44 Helicopter restoration completed
  • ???  Challenger, Arcturus and Hercules moved into Air park