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Thread: Avro Anson wreckage found

  1. #1
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    Default Avro Anson wreckage found

    Remains of Second World War aircraft found
    Four young men were presumed dead in 1942 disappearance of training aircraft

    By Sarah Petrescu
    Victoria Times Colonist

    January 13, 2014

    The wreckage of a military plane that disappeared after taking off from an air force base near Victoria in 1942 has been discovered near Lake Cowichan.

    "It's still early in the investigation, but we have identified the plane," said Laurel Clegg, a forensic anthropologist with the Department of National Defence. She and her team are working to piece together what happened to the plane and the four young men aboard.

    The plane wreckage was found by Teal-Jones Group loggers working in the remote woods southwest of Mesachie Lake and north of Port Renfrew on Oct. 25.

    "Our ultimate goal is to bring the families peace," Clegg said.

    The Avro Anson took off from RCAF station Patricia Bay on the morning of Oct. 30, 1942 with several other aircraft on a routine training exercise. The Anson, a plane known as the "faithful Annie" and a workhorse of military training aircraft, was primarily used to train crews for later transition to the big bombers used in Europe.

    "We know that heavy fog rolled in quickly and the planes were called back," said Clegg, who visited the crash site in December and plans to go back when the seasonal wet weather clears.

    Clegg said the radio on the Anson was not working, so the pilot likely didn't get the recall message. Whether the crew knew the radio was not working before they took off is not known. "My guess is they discovered it in flight," said Chris Charland, an associate RCAF historian. "It was such a heavy air traffic corridor between B.C. and Alaska at that time, they wouldn't have taken off without a radio."

    The crew included one Canadian, wireless operator Sgt. William Baird from Brooks, Alta., and three Britons, pilot officers Charlie George Fox and Anthony William Lawrence, and pilot Sgt. Robert Ernest Luckock. The men were in their 20s and 30s.

    "Finding this aircraft solves just one of many long-standing mysteries involving missing RCAF aircraft from the Second World War in Canada," Charland said.

    There are still about 800 missing persons from the huge flying training program, which ran between 1939 and 1945. Another 28,000 Canadian service personnel remain missing abroad.

    A search was made for the missing plane, but ended after a few days. A story in the Victoria Daily Times on Nov. 9, 1942 said the missing men were presumed dead, their relatives already notified.


    In the wreckage, Clegg was able to identify the plane and found a few bits of leather clothing, but she has not yet identified any remains of the crew.

    "That will be our priority," she said.

    The remnants are in steep, rough terrain that the logging company has agreed to secure until Clegg and other researchers can return.

    If they recover the soldiers' remains, it will be up to the families to decide if they would like a military burial. The men would be interred in a Commonwealth war grave in Canada.

  2. #2
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    Default Anson Prang

    G'day Norm

    When she interviewed me, I said please do not call them soldiers, as they were airmen. Lotta good that did )-:

    Cheers...Chris

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    Default

    Norman - thanks for posting interesting article!
    Chris - it is same here. It is never ending story explaining to our journalists that there were not only "pilots" in the air force:-)

    Pavel
    Czechoslovak Airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
    http://cz-raf.webnode.cz

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    Congrats Chris; good job

    Regards
    Steve
    41 (F) Squadron RAF at War and Peace, April 1916-March 1946
    http://brew.clients.ch/41sqnraf.htm

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    Default

    Hello All,

    There was another thread on this early in Dec 13 (Wartime Wreck Found On Vancouver Island, Started by Ian M Macdonald, 10th December 2013 00:15). The Mods might conveniently combine them.
    The earlier thread gave the (rough) crash location as 10 km NW of Port Renfrew. This ‘new’ location is 3.5 nm bearing 105T from that earlier location – so it’s basically the same place, with the actual crash location being ‘hidden’ to dissuade the souvenir hunters.
    Assuming they were flying a reasonably straight track they must have been above 3500 ft ASL with 13 nm to go to impact – or they would have hit intervening high ground.
    Be interesting what transpires!
    HTH
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Default

    I expect the "military training aircraft " made the reporter think the crew were soldiers ?
    Anne

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