Three British Air Force pilots disappeared on a training flight during World War II will be given a formal full-honors burial after their crashed plane was discovered on a remote mountainside in Canada.
The twin engine fighter plane, Avro Anson, was reported missing on October 30, 1942. Archived reports said the plane failed to return from a navigation training flight off Vancouver Island.
Wreckage finally found
A logging crew found the Avro Anson wreckage in the fall, 71 years after it crashed. The remote crash site was on a mountain near Port Renfrew.
Coroner Matt Brown said the case is extremely unusual.
“In May of this year, members of the Coroner’s Service as well as a number of specialists from National Defense went into the area and performed a very, thorough recovery effort,” Brown said.
The coroner added that families of the victims were notified. Some of those relatives included siblings in Albert who are now in their 90s.
The four killed airman have been identified as Sergeant William Baird who was with the Royal Canadian Air Force, and three members of the British Royal Air Force – Pilot Officer Charles Fox, Pilot Officer Anthony William Lawrence and Sergeant Robert Ernest Luckock.
“Our Government makes every effort to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country, irrespective of the length of time that has passed. This recovery, and subsequent burial, will provide closure to the families and give these fallen service members the dignity and respect they deserve,” said the Honorable Rob Nicholson Canadian Minister of National Defense.
“We will never forget the sacrifice of those who came before us and the importance of recovering our fellow airmen cannot be understated. No matter how much time passes, doing the right thing for our people and for their families is an Air Force priority.” Said Lieutenant-General Yvan Blondin Commander, Royal Canadian Air Force.
Military officials said that although the World War II plane crash site was not discovered for over 70 years, history will always record their sacrifice for their country.