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Old 19th April 2013, 10:19
Laurent Rizzotti Laurent Rizzotti is offline
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Crash date (and time?) of Dakota III FZ576 of 32 OTU in Canada

In April 1944, the Dakota III FZ576 of 32 OTU crashed near Port Hardy, British Columbia. The wreck is still in place.

I have the following details:
"On 19 April 1944 the Dakota III FZ576 of this unit took off from Patricia Bay airport in Sidney on a simple navigation exercise. A few hours later, in thick weather and low on fuel, it was destroyed when it flew into high ground 4 miles north of Port Hardy, British Columbia, as they were making a second final approach after overshooting at Port Hardy Airport. Both pilots, Plt Off James Merville Talbot and Plt Off Tom Story Wardlow, were killed while the wireless operator/air gunner, Sgt Thomas Robert Moss, survived. Despite being badly injured he was found the following day wandering through the forest. He died in 1997.

Most of the aircraft is still on the crashsite. The aircraft is hard to find as it lies on a hillside covered by a dense forest. On the other hand that seems to be the reason that the wreckage is still in very good condition."

Sources used:

But my problem is that about half of these sources put the crash on the 19th and the other half on the 20th. The latter included the CWGC and the RCAF serial sites by Mr Walker, so I would rather believe them. My guess is that the Dakota took off late in the 19th for a night navigation exercice and crashed in the early hours of the 20th, but I would like to have confirmation of this.

Thanks in advance

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