Aircraft investigations were far more difficult in the olden days, but apparently the mystery of a missing twin-propeller aircraft used during the World War II era was solved after seven decades.
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 plane never made it back from the mission. The twin-propeller aircraft had remained lost to this day and the men were listed as ‘missing in action’ for over 70 years. But, it took a routine logging expedition to discover the remains of the plane as well as human remains and several artifacts. Finally, the descendants of the deceased have answers about what exactly happened.
Though planes were routinely lost along with their pilots during the WWII era, there used to be visual confirmations and records that indicated what happened. However, this plane disappeared without a trace. Though a routine search was organized, according to record books, nothing conclusive was unearthed and the plane as well as the men was listed as missing in action.
But 70 years later, a trio of logging engineers happened upon the wreckage. “They came across some debris in the forest, and they figured it was a plane crash. There were wheels, the engine of the plane, mangled plane parts. There was a boot, shoes and a jacket.” said Michael Pegg of Teal-Jones Cedar Products Ltd., whose engineers made the discovery, reported Metro News.
But what is bizarre is the location where the plane was discovered. The engineers were working on a remote mountainside near Port Renfrew, B.C., on the west coast of Vancouver Island. Apart from the fact that training missions rarely occur over such a terrain, especially on Vancouver Island, where the weather is severe, the location where the plane was discovered was barely 50 kilometers from where it had taken off.
Since the wreckage was discovered first, the Department of National Defense was alerted. They found human remains and hence BC Coroners Service was informed. After waiting for the brutal winter to subside, it took a coroner and a forensic anthropologist to carefully recover and identify remains as the four men listed on the flight’s manifest, reported Daily Mail.
Royal Canadian Air Force Sgt. William Baird was among the victims, The other three airmen from the British air force were Pilot Officer Charles Fox, Pilot Officer Anthony Lawrence, and Sgt. Robert Luckock. All four had been listed on the Ottawa Memorial as missing, along with nearly 800 people who died in service.
At least four of the families can now be at peace knowing what had happened to their brave elders.
[Image Credit | Avro, The Province]