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Archive Report: Allied Forces

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1 Central Navigation School Anson I DG872 Sgt. Plate

Operation: Navigation exercise

Date: 05/06th March 1943 (Tuesday/Wednesday)

Unit: No. 1 Central Navigation School. No. 2 Training Command

Type: Anson I

Serial: DG872

Code: -

Base: RCAF Rivers, Manitoba, Canada

Location: As shown

Pilot: Sgt. Leroy Edgar Plate R/168250 RCAF Age 21. Killed

Nav: P/O. David Renfrew Petrie C/26583 RCAF Age 20. Killed

Nav: P/O. Thomas Westcott Nixon C/26582 RCAF Age 22. Killed

Nav: P/O. William Harry Earl C/24354 RCAF Age 34. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Alfred Laurence Capon NZ/426881 RNZAF Age 20. Killed


During a navigation exercise on final approach at 500 ft with a failed engine the aircraft collided with another Anson from the school (6642) at 23:40 hrs.

Both aircraft crashed a mile north of the airfield. By the time the rescue parties arrived all 9 aircrew from both aircraft were found to be dead.

Burial details:

Sgt. Leroy Edgar Plate. Kitchener Cemetery (Mount Hope). Lot 1566. Born on the 18th of August 1922. Educated at K-W Institute. Enlisted in March 1941. Son of Edgar (died 23rd April 1985, age 84) married on 25th November 1920 and Hilda Marion Plate (née Boyd - died 12th November 1979, age 74), of 234 Waterloo Street, Kitchener. Ontario. Canada.

P/O. David Renfrew Petrie. Winnipeg St. James Cemetery. Lot 4. Block 219. Grave A. Born on the 26th of November 1922. Educated at St. James College. Son of Archibald (died 1960, age 68) and Sophie Irene Petrie, of 241 Berry Street, St. James, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

P/O. Thomas Westcott Nixon. Toronto Cemetery (Park Lawn). Sec. T. Lot 421. Grave 3. Born on the 02nd December 1920. Educated at University of Toronto. Son of Charles M. Nixon (died 17th October 1951, age 64) and Winifred Nixon (née Westcott - died 05th November 1975, age 88), of 7 Elora Road, Toronto, Canada.

P/O. William Harry Earl. Saskatoon Cemetery (Woodlawn). Block J. Lot 401. Grave 81. Born on the 22nd of March 1909. Educated at the University of Saskatchewan, obtained B.e. Worked as a teacher. Enlisted on the 02nd March 194 at Regina. Son of Henry Richard and Frances Mary Earl (née Garner), of Montrose Court, Saskatoon and husband of Adeline Mary Thelma Earl (née Myrfield), married on the 01st July 1937 of 800 Queen Street, Saskatoon, Canada.

Sgt. Alfred Laarence Capon. Rivers Cemetery, Manitoba. Plot 2, Block 29, Section 25, Range 21. Born on the 07th April 1905 in Auckland. Educated at the Correspondence School Son of Alfred Leonard (died 27th October 1939) and Katharine Clarissa Anne Capon (died 26th May 1985, age 81 - née Johnson, later Patterson), of Frankton Junction, Auckland, New Zealand. (Note: birth certificate states Alfred Lawrence Johnson).

Anson 6642 crew:

Sgt. John Allenby Cummer. R/171888 RCAF Age 19. Calgary Union Cemetery. Born on 23rd May 1924. Lot 4. Sec. W. Family Plot. Son of Capt. John Wellington Cummer (died 26th October 1968, age 78) and Laurine Leila Cummer (née Jackson - died 21st February 1929, age 38), of 707, 18th Avenue, Camrose, Alberta, Canada.

LAC. Royston Graham George Smith. 1602873 RAFVR Age 19. Rivers Cemetery, Manitoba. Plot 1, Block 32, Section 25, Range 21. Son of Graham George and Gertrude Smith, of 15 Regent Street, Kingswood, Bristol, England.

LAC. Alexander MacArthur. 1553554 RAFVR ge 22.Rivers Cemetery, Manitoba. Plot 1, Block 32, Section 25, Range 21. Son of Jonathan (died 07th December 1936 age 61) and Marion MacArthur (née MacCrimon - died 10th April 1965, age 80), of Greenock, Renfrewshire, Scotland.

Sgt. Lucien Pierre Guay. R/177647 RCAF Age 21. St. Boniface Cemetery. Sec. F. Block 5. Grave 8. Born on the 18th of October 1921. Enlisted in August 1941Son of Phillippe (died 1957, age 68) and Alexandrine Guay (née Dupuis - died 1976, age 89), of Winnipeg, Canada. Brother of F/O. Gerard Jean Guay J/47530 RCAF killed 19th February 1945 at age 24, (husband of Helen Edith Guay, of 1 Hollywood Apartment, Williams Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba). Their other brother, Joseph-Philippe Guay later became a member of Parliament and the Senate (died 30th July 2001).

Guay Hill, southeast of Craik Lake was named after F/O. Gerard Jean Guay in 1995.

Guay Lake southeast of Sherridon was named after Sgt. Lucien Pierre Guay in 1970.

Petrie Lake, east of Nejanilini was renamed after P/O. David Renfrew Petrie in 1974.

Earl Bay, Saskatchewan, in Cratty Lake northeast of Stanley Mission was renamed for P/O. William Harry Earl.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to Jenifer Lemaire and to the extensive research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland Library Heritage Collection, Weekly News of New Zealand, Veteran Affairs, Canada, other sources as quoted below:

KTY 25-06-2022

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