Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Remains of Four Second World War Airmen Recovered Seven Decades after B.C. Crash

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Remains of Four Second World War Airmen Recovered Seven Decades after B.C. Crash

Article excerpt

Second World War mystery solved in B.C.

--

VANCOUVER - On Oct. 30, 1942, an Avro Anson Second World War aircraft lifted off from Patricia Bay on Vancouver Island for a routine training mission carrying a Canadian sergeant and three British airmen.

The twin-propeller plane never returned. The aircraft remained lost and the four men were listed as missing in action for more than 70 years.

But British Columbia's coroners service has now recovered and identified the men's remains from wreckage that was discovered by chance in a remote area of Vancouver Island last fall -- solving a decades-old military mystery and finally giving the men's surviving relatives answers about what happened.

A trio of logging engineers happened upon the wreckage last October while working on a remote mountainside near Port Renfrew, B.C., on the west coast of Vancouver Island. The site is barely 50 kilometres west of where the aircraft took off.

"They came across some debris in the forest, and they figured it was a plane crash," said Michael Pegg of Teal-Jones Cedar Products Ltd., whose engineers made the discovery.

"There were wheels, the engine of the plane, mangled plane parts. There was a boot, shoes and a jacket."

After examining the wreckage, the engineers were able to determine it was an Avro Anson, a war-era aircraft that was used for commercial and military purposes. They also found out that an Avro Anson had disappeared in the area seven decades earlier.

As it turns out, the stepfather of one of the engineers flew Avro Ansons while in the air force, and they brought him to the site.

"Which was a bit of an ordeal, at 89 years old and you're going through forest," said Pegg.

"They got him out to the site along with a friend of his, and they were able to pull some identification numbers off one of the engines."

They passed along that information to the military, said Pegg

Department of National Defence went to the scene and also discovered human remains in the wreckage, which prompted a call to the BC Coroners Service. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.