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Thread: Crash date (and time?) of Dakota III FZ576 of 32 OTU in Canada

  1. #1

    Default Crash date (and time?) of Dakota III FZ576 of 32 OTU in Canada

    In April 1944, the Dakota III FZ576 of 32 OTU crashed near Port Hardy, British Columbia. The wreck is still in place.

    I have the following details:
    "On 19 April 1944 the Dakota III FZ576 of this unit took off from Patricia Bay airport in Sidney on a simple navigation exercise. A few hours later, in thick weather and low on fuel, it was destroyed when it flew into high ground 4 miles north of Port Hardy, British Columbia, as they were making a second final approach after overshooting at Port Hardy Airport. Both pilots, Plt Off James Merville Talbot and Plt Off Tom Story Wardlow, were killed while the wireless operator/air gunner, Sgt Thomas Robert Moss, survived. Despite being badly injured he was found the following day wandering through the forest. He died in 1997.

    Most of the aircraft is still on the crashsite. The aircraft is hard to find as it lies on a hillside covered by a dense forrest. On the other hand that seems to be the reason that the wreckage is still in very good condition."

    Sources used:

    But my problem is that about half of these sources put the crash on the 19th and the other half on the 20th. The latter included the CWGC and the RCAF serial sites by Mr Walker, so I would rather believe them. My guess is that the Dakota took off late in the 19th for a night navigation exercice and crashed in the early hours of the 20th, but I would like to have confirmation of this.

    Thanks in advance


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Prague, Czech Republic


    Hi Laurent,

    you can be right but I am afraid that without checking the FAC (if existing) you will be not able to find out the exact time.
    As the date of death for pilots is on CWGC site stated as 20.4.44 it might be that they took of for night navigational training on late 19th and crashed on early 20th... I have seen the same with one Czechoslovak bomber squadron which took off for raid on 15th and it is believed to be shot down on 16th so they date of death is recorded on CWGC site as 16th.

    One more link if you have not seen it before - not so many additional info but maybe could be useful them man mentioned there?

    Czechoslovak Airmen in the RAF 1940-1945

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Reading, Berkshire, UK


    Laurent/Pavel, Hi,
    It may be that the problem is the same that has made many NW Europe researches 'difficult' - i.e. 'in which time-zone were the events recorded'? I have rellies in Florida and Oregon. I have to make sure that I don't ring them up in the middle of their night(s) - regardless of when their Dayight Saving changes came/come into operation!!!!
    Just a thought.
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007

    Default Dakopta Prang

    Salut Laurent

    I have the accident record cards for Dakota FZ576.

    The crash happened at 00:57 hours on the 20th of April, 1944.

    To make a long story short, the crew became lost and finally picked up the Port Hardy Beacon at around mid-night. They were instructed to land at Port Hardy and the rest is as they say 'history'.

    I can type out the report and post it if you want.


  5. #5


    I was sure to have posted a "thanks you" message here, but apparently didn't. Sorry

    So a big thank you to all of you

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009


    Your posting appeared twice on the forum, for some reason. Some responses are on the first post, some on the second.

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