NEWS

WW II aviators to be buried after aircraft recovered from Vancouver Island

11/10/2014 05:00 EST | Updated 01/09/2015 05:59 EST
Four World War II aviators lost 70 years ago on Vancouver Island are being buried today.

A Second World War training aircraft and the remains of the four airmen who went missing in 1942  were recovered in May from a remote logging site on Vancouver Island.

- WATCH | WW II plane lost for 70 years being raised from Lake Muskoka

The Avro Anson aircraft went missing on Oct. 30, 1942, after it left the air force base at Patricia Bay in Sidney on a navigational training flight.

After the aircraft did not to return to the base as planned, searches failed to locate any wreckage.

In October 2013, a logging crew working for Teal-Jones Cedar Products on a remote mountainside on the west coast of Vancouver Island near Port Renfrew came upon the wreckage.

The Department of National Defence surveyed the site and discovered the remains of the four airmen, but conditions at the time made it too difficult to recover them.

In May, specialists from the B.C. Coroners Service returned to the site with DND personnel and were able to recover and eventually identify the remains.

The surviving family members were then contacted to let them know of the discovery.

Aircrew included 1 Canadian, 3 Brits

The four airmen included Sgt. William Baird from the Royal Canadian Air Force, and three members of the British Royal Air Force: Pilot Officer Charles Fox, Pilot Officer Anthony William Lawrence, and Sgt. Robert Ernest Luckock.

All four were members of the Royal Canadian Air Force 32 Operational Training Unit, and after they were presumed dead, their names were listed on the Ottawa memorial for the missing.

The Department of National Defence says more than 100 aircrew lost their lives while flying out of Patricia Bay during the Second World War.

The AvroAnson was a twin-engine aircraft used for training bomber crews throughout the Commonwealth during the war. They remained in use by the Canada military until 1952.

The four aviators will be buried today following a ceremony at Royal Oak Burial Park in Victoria.

Google Maps: Port Renfrew, B.C.

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