Remains of missing airmen found in B.C. 70 years after their plane vanished

Remains found at the scene of a plane crash over seventy years old may be the key to unlocking one of several lost-persons mysteries which were in high abundance during the Second World War. British and Canadian airmen crashed near British Columbia in 1942, and now it appears that all four of them make up the grouping of remains found in that same area this year.

They were out on a routine training exercise at the time their plane disappeared, and it was uncertain at the time what had happened to it. It was common that when an aircraft went missing during the Second World War, the passengers were presumed dead after a time. With no remains found, however, it could not be ascertained whether or not their disappearance was due to inclement weather or enemy fire. As with all missing airmen from WWII, the four passengers were memorialized, but that did not settle the matter of what precise fate had befallen them.

The plane was an Avro Anson L7056. It carried three British airmen including the pilot, and one from Calgary. All but one of the men were under thirty years of age, and the one exception was just thirty-one. Remains found at the site of their crash have revealed little in the way of information so far. While many of their personal belongings were found alongside the bodies, there is nothing as of yet to indicate the cause of the wreck, the Calgary Sun reports.

It is suspected that weather conditions may have caused the skies to be unclear at the time of the crash. All that is known so far revolves around what was known at the time. Communications failed on their final flight, but nothing in the remains found suggests whether this happened before or after the plane went down. For the families who survive them, there is at least some closure in the finding of the bodies.

The remains found at the site of the crash will be interred and buried, given a proper show of respect after more than seven decades lying in wreckage which claimed their lives. The family of Calgary airmen Sergeant William Baird has issued a statement detailing the depth of their gratitude at the finding and burial of his body. Families attached to the other remains found have not issued such statements, but it can be presumed that their sentiments are along the same lines.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE