|32 Otu||G'day Chaps
The following might help answer some questions. It was extracted from the O.R.B.'s, crash cards and aircraft record cards.
No. 32 (RAF) Operational Training Unit
Known Codes: HA, HM, RD, DK, LB, OP
No. 32 (RAF) Operational Training Unit was located at Patricia Bay, British Columbia and had formed at West Kirby, Cheshire, England on 7 August 1941. The OTU moved to Patricia Bay as of 22 August 1941 and became operational as of 10 December 1941. No. 32 (RAF) OTU was formed to train torpedo bombing crews.
Immediately after the Pearl Harbour attack by the Japanese, the OTU was temporarily designated as No. 32 (Torpedo-Bomber) Squadron RCAF. No. 32 (RAF) OTU was part of No. 4 Training Command. The Squadron reverted back to OTU status within a very short period of time. The OTU was later reactivated as No. 32 (TB) Squadron for a short time when the Japanese invaded the Aleutians. On 10 December 1943 the OTU converted to training Dakota crews and on 25 May 1944 moved to RCAF Station Comox, British Columbia. No. 32 (RAF) OTU was part of No. 4 Training Command.
No. 32 (RAF) OTU was turned over to the RCAF and redesignated as No. 6 (RCAF) Operational Training Unit on 1 June 1944. As No. 6 (RCAF) OTU they moved to RCAF Station Greenwood, Nova Scotia on 15 January 1946 and were then disbanded on 31 March of that year.
Beaufort Mk. I - L9967 RD*K later OP*K, L9968 RD*L later OP*L (Swung off the runway on landing at Patricia Bay on 4 February 1942 and ran into a three foot trench. The aircraft was repaired), N1005 RD*A later OP*A also DK*R (Swung to first to port then to starboard while taxing at Patricia Bay on 31 December 1941, went off the runway into a bank of earth and collapsed the starboard landing gear damaging the starboard wing, engine and propeller. The aircraft was repaired), N1006 RD*B (Glided to a landing at sea 8 miles south-east of Patricia Bay on 16 February 1942 after the starboard engine failed. The aircraft was written off), N1007 RD*C later OP*C, N1021 RD*D later OP*D, N1026 RD*O (Nosed over and struck the water after the port engine caught fire shortly after take-off from Patricia Bay on 29 May 1942. The aircraft was destroyed), N1027 RD*P later OP*N (Was struck by taxying Hampden AN107, same Unit, while parked at Patricia Bay on 26 October 1943. The aircraft was repaired), N1029 RD*E later OP*E, N1030 RD*F later OP*F, N1045 RD*G later OP*G, N1078 RD*H later OP*H (Jumped the chocks and the propellers struck wooden trestles while on an engine run-up at Patricia Bay on 7 November 1941. The aircraft was repaired), N1107 RD*J (The starboard landing gear struck an open drainage ditch after swinging to starboard on landing at Patricia Bay on 14 January 1942. The aircraft was repaired), W6473 RD*M (Made a force landing on rough ground Rodeo, New Mexico on 27 March 1942 after the port engine failed then fell from the aircraft. The aircraft was written off), W6484 RD*N later OP ....Read More.||Dakota on 4th February 2008 02:50:16|
This via researcher Jerry Vernon here on the BC coast:
The story is that the aircraft was one of several Stranraers being ferried out to the West Coast in late 1941/early 1942, after they had been replaced by Cansos on the East Coast. They had to land at various lakes and rivers and those that came out later in the Winter had to go via the U. S. to find open water, ie: via Fort Worth Reservoir, El Paso, Oklahoma, Phoenix, Hoover Dam, San Diego, etc. In Canada, they landed at places like Lac du Bonnet, Cooking Lake, Nelson, Osoyoos, Penticton, etc. until these locations froze over.
946 was piloted by Sgt. Jack Bliss (one of two Bliss brothers who were flying Stranraers) and his last stop was at Penticton. Flying from there to the Coast, they ran into a snowstorm and got lost, hitting a hilltop up at the end of Indian Arm, between Indian Arm and Squamish.
They searched on Vancouver Island, etc. but never found the aircraft until somebody stumbled upon in it 1947.
The late Andy Craig had photos of the crash site and I have seen these photos of the wreckage, as I was working with Andy on his Stranraer book project a couple of decades ago. Unfortunately, he lost all of his photos when his garage roof leaked and they got wet, but I do have xerox copies, and perhaps the museum has copy negs that were made of them.
Just looking at the photos....not much to be seen, but some items like hatch covers, rear gunner's position, etc. were intact. He describes the photographer as R. A. (Bob) Dick, BC Forest Service, Squamish.
Bob Dick was in to the crash site at least twice and some of the photos are taken from a helicopter. I understood that any logging roads into the site were washed out long ago.
The location is described by Andy as Mount Baldwin, on Timber Licence No. 3286, 10 miles SE of Squamish, East of Sky Pilot Mtn. and South of Mt. Alpen, at the 4876 ft. level on or near the Raffuse Creek Road. Near the headwaters of Raffuse Creek, off the Indian River. Somewhere else it says "4400 ft. level"(??)
The aircraft just caught the top of the ridge, otherwise they would have been over the top and looking at Howe Sound in the distance. There was a wooden cross at the crash site with names of the crew, but vandals had partially burned it.
Reading some of the detail on 946.....it had left RCAF Stn. Rockcliffe on 07 Oct 41. There was a change of pilot at Regina on 18 Oct 41, when F/O Coburn came down with acute appendicitis. Sgt. Jack Bliss took over as pilot. They landed at Brooks, Alberta, on 21 Oct 41 and bought gas from the Brooks Garage. One wingtip was damaged on the end of the CPR pier at Penticton on 23 Oct 41, and this took 12 days to repair. The aircraft departed from Okanagan Lake in poor weather on 04 Nov 41.
At 1300 hrs, the aircraft reported that they were "SE of Vancouver in the North Sector of the Princeton Range, flying blind and descending to try and make contact with the ground ....Read More.||robstitt on 9th June 2011 10:53:47|