30.10.1942 32 OTU Avro Anson Mk.I L7056 Sgt. William Baird
Operation: Training (triangular navigational exercise)
Date: 30th October 1942 (Friday)
Unit: No. 32 OTU (Operational Training Unit RAF)
Type: Avro Anson Mk.I
Base: RCAF Pat Bay, Nr. SIdney, Vancouver Island, Canada
Location: Port Renfrew, Vancouver Island, Canada
U/T: Sgt. William Baird R/131545 RCAF Age ? Missing/Killed
U/T: P/O. Charles George Fox 129395 RAFVR Age 31. Missing/Killed
U/T: P/O. Anthony William Lawrence 129408 RAFVR Age 21. Missing/Killed
U/T: Sgt Robert Ernest Luckock 1332144 RAFVR Age 21. Missing/Killed
(U/T - Under training)
Documentary celebrating WWII Commonwealth airmen lost on Vancouver Island, notably this Anson crew discovered 71 years after going missing. The team are trying to raise funds for this by way of pledging support from interested parties. We would appreciate readers contacting them to offer support, no matter how small. Nick Versteeg, Robert Stitt, Allan Scott, Tom Burdge and D.V. Media team.
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off in the morning of the 30th October on a navigation exercise that would take them on the route marked on map.
During the exercise the weather closed in and a recall message was sent to the crews taking part.
Left: Sgt. William Baird of the RCAF (courtesy Baird family)
L7056 was not heard of again. Several searches were made at the time but sign of the aircraft.
Nearly 71 years later, Mr. Walter Van Hell, Dennis Cronin and Tom Weston forestry engineers working in the area with Teal-Jones Cedar Logging Company were surveying land north west of Port Renfrew when Dennis Cronin came across the wreckage.
Personal items were found including remains of clothing, personalised cigarette lighters and other items. As they also noticed the tail section of what appeared to be a bomb, they called the RCMP to investigate.
RCMP at the crash site - May 2014 (RCMP press release)
Video documentary planned.
The engineers, together with Mr. Tom Burdge (an experience pilot during WW2) of the Vancouver Island Aircrew Association traced various records and established the aircraft type and crew details.
The Company in the meantime, as a matter of respect left wreaths at the crash site - the area has been classed as ‘protected’ and the next of kin have been informed.
Initially none - commemorated on the Ottawa Memorial. It is expected that the remains once recovered, will be buried at a CWGC cemetery in due course.
Sgt. William Baird. Ottawa Memorial. Panel 1. Column 5. Son of Francis and James Baird, from Brooks, Alberta, Canada.
Right: The respect shown to the four boys by the Teal-Jones Cedar Logging Company - wreaths and messages.
U/T: P/O. Charles George Fox. Ottawa Memorial. Panel 1. Column 3. Son of George Charles and Rhoda Fox, husband of Marion Elizabeth Fox, of South Bermondsey, London, England.
U/T: P/O. Anthony William Lawrence. Ottawa Memorial. Panel 1. Column 3. Son of William and Florence Alberta Lawrence, of Worthing, Sussex, England.
U/T: Sgt Robert Ernest Luckock. Ottawa Memorial. Panel 1. Column 4. Son of Edmund John and Edith Grace Luckock, of Brentwood, Essex, England.
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to the Forestry Engineers of Teal-Jones Cedar Logging Company, Mr Mark Carter, Mr. Tom Burdge of the Vancouver Island Aircrew Association, Ms. Laurel Clegg - Casualty Identification Coordinator of The Directorate of History and Heritage, in Ottawa, RCAF, RCMP, Calgary News, Commonwealth War Graves Commission.