Search billions of records on Ancestry.com

Pennfield Ridge Air Station
Accident and/or Mishap Reports
RCAF Station (May 20, 1944-October 1, 1945)
~Operational Training Squadron (July 1, 1944-August 18, 1945)~
~Transport Conversion Unit (July 1, 1944-August 31, 1945)~
Transcribed by G. Christian Larsen

11 November 1944

11-11-45: "W/Cdr. Ross injured in car accident."

SOURCE: O.T.S. Daily Dairy/ Library and Archives Canada/ Copy Number C-12368.

6 December 1944

Ventura III GRV 2149 attached to RCAF Station, Pennfield Ridge - 12 miles South of the field @ 2050 - Category "A"

CREW
SURNAME/ Rank/ Initials Service Number Position in Aircraft Status
WHITE, F/L A.S., DFC J/23795 Pilot Missing
REYNOLDS, F/O H.C.B. J/16971 Pilot Missing

Nature of duty on which engaged at time of accident: Routine Training Flight./ Local night flying practice (2 hours).

Nature and short description of accident: Witness: explosion + fire in the air. Crash into water + remained burning.

Cause of Accident: 19. Out of control. 

Secondary Cause or Contributing Factors: 25. Petrol shortage.

Court of Inquiry or Investigating Officer's Report : 

Cause: No evidence to show how the accident occurred.

Remarks of O.C. Training Group: Concur.

Conclusion of A.I.B.: Cause of accident obscure but apparently due to fire in the air.

SOURCE: Accident Report Card (copy in archive holdings of "Pennfield Parish Military Historical Society").

Station ORBs

6-12-44: "...apparently exploded in mid-air.."

7-12-44: "F/L Calvert, F/O Carter and F/O Watkins took off at 0930 to search for wreckage of 2149. The A.S.R. vessel from Blacks Harbour also searched the area and picked up three kit bags which were identified as being part of the emergency kit of 2149. An eye-witness of the accident, James Mitchell of Letete, was located. He stated that he saw the aircraft go overhead and when it was about six miles from him, burst into flames and go into the sea."

8-12-44: "The search took off again and combed the sea around Grand Manan Is. and the Wolves. Nothing found by the air search, but local fisherman brought in considerable qualities of wreckage."

SOURCE: O.T.S. Daily Dairy/ Library and Archives Canada/ Copy Number C-12368.

6-12-44: "A/C lost from O.T.S. with two instructors on board."

7-12-44: "All available a/c on search for Ventura. Search called off in P.M. with definite indication a/c exploded in air and went into Bay of Fundy."

SOURCE: T.C.S. Daily Dairy/ Library and Archives Canada/ Copy Number C-12368.

10 December 1944

10-12-44: "One a/c (Sgt. Shaw #5 Course) diverted to Yarmouth because of snow."

SOURCE: O.T.S. Daily Dairy/ Library and Archives Canada/ Copy Number C-12368.

1 January 1945

1-01-45: "Crash boat M208 slightly damaged in Blacks Harbour by the high winds and resulting waves."

SOURCE: O.T.S. Daily Dairy/ Library and Archives Canada/ Copy Number C-12368.

11 January 1945

Ventura Mk.II FD733 attached to Operational Training Squadron - Pennfield Ridge aerodrome @ 1603 hours -Category "C"

CREW
SURNAME/ Rank/ Initials Service Number Position in Aircraft Status
SHAW, Sgt. W.A. R/209150 Pilot Uninjured
BASH, P/O M. J/47978 Navigator Uninjured
MERRITT, P/O A.T. J/48197 Wireless Air Gunner Uninjured

Nature of duty on which engaged at time of accident: Bombing Exercise.

Nature and short description of accident: Stbd. engine oil pressure fell off during ex. Pilot returned to base and, when on final approach, the stbd. engine failed completely. Pilot cont'd on approach and when levelling-off u/c warning horn blew, after touching down stbd. oleo leg collapsed, and a/c swung off runway.

Cause of Accident: U/C Failure.

Secondary Cause of Accident: Engine Trouble - Accident.

Technical Officer's Report : Condensation and ice formation in tank vent during flight causing tank to fail at the seam and bulge out into the u/c retracting mechanism recess.

SOURCE: Accident Report Card (copy in archive holdings of "Pennfield Parish Military Historical Society").

Station ORBs

11-01-45: "Sgt. Shaw crashed in Ventura 733, following a complete engine failure, and partial U/C failure. The accident was attributed to freezing of the oil tank vent causing expansion, and consequent bursting of the oil tank which failed the U/C lock. There were no injuries to any of the crew members the crash being assessed as category 'C'"

SOURCE: O.T.S. Daily Dairy/ Library and Archives Canada/ Copy Number C-12368.

20 February 1945

Ventura Mk.II FD713 attached to Operational Training Squadron - Pennfield Ridge aerodrome @ 2055 hours -Category "C"

CREW
SURNAME/ Rank/ Initials Service Number Position in Aircraft Status
ASTLE, P/O W.J. J/43795 Pilot Uninjured
WILSON, P/O T.H. J/47975 Navigator Uninjured
HAY, P/O A.J. J/48151 Wireless Air Gunner Uninjured
COX, P/O F.C. J/48154 Wireless Air Gunner Uninjured
SILLS, Sgt. G.A. R/276488 Wireless Air Gunner Uninjured

Nature of duty on which engaged at time of accident: Night circuits and landings.

Nature and short description of accident: Swing occurred after landing. Pilot failed to correct and struck snow bank at edge of runway. Slippery condition of runway being a contributory factor.

Cause of Accident: Swung.

SOURCE: Accident Report Card (copy in archive holdings of "Pennfield Parish Military Historical Society").

Station ORBs

20-02-45: "P/O Astle crashed in Ventura 713 on runway 03 at 2130 hours. Crash caused mainly pilot inexperience, aggravated by ice patches on runway. Crash assessed as 'C' category, no personnel injured."

SOURCE: O.T.S. Daily Dairy/ Library and Archives Canada/ Copy Number C-12368.

5 March 1945

Ventura 2235 attached to RCAF Station, Pennfield Ridge - Runway 27, Pennfield Ridge aerodrome @1930 hours - Category "E"

CREW
SURNAME/ Rank/ Initials Service Number Position in Aircraft Status
CARTER, F/O W. J/10270 Pilot Uninjured
ARNOLD, F/O R.L. J/19045 O.C. Uninjured
McKINNON, LAC R.B. R/221515 O.C. Uninjured

Purpose of Flight: Local Test.

Nature of accident: Landing. Tail of A/C dragged, due to failure of tail wheel, causing damage to belly in vicinity of under gun position.

Classification: 5. U/C Failure.

Secondary or Contributory Factors: 38. Tail Wheel.

Technical Officer's Report : Failure of hydraulic line elbow at tail wheel retracting cylinder, causing loss of hydraulic fluid in main system. 

SOURCE:  Accident Report Card (copy in archive holdings of "Pennfield Parish Military Historical Society").

5 March 1945

Beech C-45 Expeditor HB268 attached to RCAF Station, Pennfield Ridge - Runway 27, Pennfield Ridge aerodrome @1940 hours - Category "B"

CREW
SURNAME/ Rank/ Initials Service Number Position in Aircraft Status
SULLIVAN, F/L P.J. C/22660 Flying Instructor Uninjured
RICE, F/O R.O. J/13739 Pupil Pilot Uninjured

Nature of duty on which engaged at time of accident: Flying Instruction.

Nature and short description of accident: A/C swung to port on icy runway, striking snowbank and damaging u/c and wing.

Cause of Accident: Icy conditions on the runway and gusty cross wind blowing caused a/c to swing on icy patch near completion o landing run.

SOURCE:  Accident Report Card (copy in archive holdings of "Pennfield Parish Military Historical Society").

14 March 1945

Ventura IIA FD714 attached to RCAF Station, Pennfield Ridge - Pennfield Ridge aerodrome @ 1757 hours - Category "B"

CREW
SURNAME/ Rank/ Initials Service Number Position in Aircraft Status
AITKEN, F/L G.P. J/5222 Pilot Uninjured
COFFIN, P/O E.L. J/47084 Navigator Uninjured
DOAN, P/O A.B. J/47616 Wireless Air Gunner Uninjured
MAILLOUX, P/O E.E. J/47618 Wireless Air Gunner Uninjured
PIZZEY, P/O G.H. J/47812 Wireless Air Gunner Uninjured

Nature of duty on which engaged at time of accident: Bombing Exercise.

Nature and short description of accident: Speed of 60-70  m.p.h. on take-off, Pilot felt violent swing to stbd. Checked tachometers, r.p.m. on stbd. engine dropped to approx. 2200. Cut throttles immediately and applied brake. Braking action not sufficient to stop a/c and it plowed through the snow bank at the South end of runway. U/C was torn off, and a/c came to rest on its belly.

Primary Cause of Accident: Swung.

Secondary Cause of Accident: Engine trouble - accident.

SOURCE:  Accident Report Card (copy in archive holdings of "Pennfield Parish Military Historical Society").

21 March 1944

M.T. Vehicle 32-518  involved in an accident - near Pennfield Corner, NB @ 0100 hours

OCCUPANTS
SURNAME/ Rank/ Initials Service Number Position in Motor Vehicle Status
LEVESQUE, LAC R.E. R/84634 Unknown Died From Injuries
DURAND, LAC J.M.R.D.   Unknown Uninjured
LeCLAIR, LAC E.   Unknown Sprained Ankle

21-03-1944: At approximately 0100 hours on the morning of the 21st March, R.C.A.F. M.T. vehicle 32-518 in which LAC Levesque was a passenger, failed to make a turn at Pennfield Corner. The truck left the highway, jumped a ditch and stopped in an apple orchard. When the truck came to a stop, LAC Levesque was found laying under it and injuries were probably sustained in his fall from the truck before it came to a stand-still. A tourniquet was applied to his injured right leg by an airmen shortly after the accident occurred and the airmen was rushed to the station hospital at Pennfield where complete medical care was given him (as stated in Investigating Officer's Report in evidence of S/L Boyd (SMO) and F/L Norris). At 0845 hrs. on the 21st, the airmen died, cause of death in S.M.O.'s opinion being traumatic shock due to extensive injuries of the right leg."

SOURCE: Service Personnel file of LAC R.E. Levesque (copy in archive holdings of "Pennfield Parish Military Historical Society").

27 March 1945

20-02-45: "Flying Officer Friedman injured in car accident. He is expected to in {?} for at least three weeks."

SOURCE: O.T.S. Daily Dairy/ Library and Archives Canada/ Copy Number C-12368.

23 April 1945

Beech C-45 Expeditor 1383 attached to RCAF Station, Pennfield Ridge - Runway 33 S.E., Pennfield Ridge aerodrome @ 2010 hours - Category "C"

CREW
SURNAME/ Rank/ Initials Service Number Position in Aircraft Status
WARING, F/L R.C. J/8398 Pilot Uninjured
ERNST, F/O R.W. J/5479 Pupil Pilot Uninjured

Nature of duty on which engaged at time of accident: Check type day.

Nature and short description of accident: A/C made normal circuit and approach and landing. Normal landing was made on runways and during landing run, the stbd. wheel collapsed, allowing a/c to swing off runway damaging wing tip and propellors..

Cause of Accident: Failure of the upper drag strut attachment lugs on the slide assembly.

SOURCE:  Accident Report Card (copy in archive holdings of "Pennfield Parish Military Historical Society").

3 June 1945

Ventura 2144 attached to RCAF Station, Pennfield Ridge - missing 100 miles east of Halifax, NS (Vicinity of Sable Island) @ 0130 hours - Cat. "A"

CREW
SURNAME/ Rank/ Initials Service Number Position in Aircraft Status
HARJU, P/O S.M. J/46723 Pilot Missing
BOUCH, Sgt. R.L. R/270058 Navigator Missing
BOUGH, Sgt. R.E. R/180547 Wireless Air Gunner Missing
DAVIDSON, F/S W. G. R/221311 Wireless Air Gunner Missing

Nature of duty on which engaged at time of accident: Night Operational Training Flight.

Nature and short description of accident: A/C missing from night O.T.F. Weather conditions good. Ceiling 4,800'. Vis. 15 to 20 miles. No distress signal received.

Cause of Accident: Not Known.

Court of Inquiry or Investigating Officer's Report

Cause: Obscure.

Recommendations: None.

Conclusions of A.I.E.: A/C and crew are missing for an unknown reason.

SOURCE:  Accident Report Card (copy in archive holdings of "Pennfield Parish Military Historical Society").

Station ORBs

2-06-45: "P/O Harju, Sgt. Bouch, Sgt. Bough and Sgt. Davidson missing after an O.T.F. Searches organized. Nothing found."

3-06-45: "Searching for missing A/C - no trace. Believed down in sea."

SOURCE: O.T.S. Daily Dairy/ Library and Archives Canada/ Copy Number C-12368.

3-06-45: "Two A/C searching all day for missing Ventura from O.T.S."

4-06-45: "Four A/C on search for Ventura."

SOURCE: T.C.S. Daily Dairy/ Library and Archives Canada/ Copy Number C-12368.

22 June 1945

Ventura GRV. 2199 attached to Operational Training Squadron, Pennfield Ridge - 2.5 miles NE of the aerodrome - 0425 hours - Category "A"

CREW
SURNAME/ Rank/ Initials Service Number Position in Aircraft Status
GRAVEL, F/O L.P. J/25273 Pilot Killed
MacNEILL, Sgt. D.H. R/271794 Navigator/ Bomber Killed
BALDERSTON, F/S E.A. R/257476 Wireless Air Gunner Killed
McQUARRIE, WO2 J.P. R/219160 Wireless Air Gunner Killed

Nature of duty on which engaged at time of accident: Operational Training Flight #1.

Nature and short description of accident: Crashed on approaching aerodrome and exploded.

Cause of Accident: Out of Control

Court of Inquiry or Investigating Officer's Report :  

Findings (Summary No.2574)

   Cause: Pilot error together with inexperience in a situation aggravated by the factors mentioned in para. 15 above.

   Recommendations: When met. forecast indicates serious weather deterioration, alla/c on CFR nav. training flights should be recalled or diverted at least one hour before the forecast indicates weather below limits at Base unless written permission to the contrary had been given by C.O., C.I., or C.F.I.

   Conclusions: Agree with findings.

SOURCE: Accident Report Card (copy in archive holdings of "Pennfield Parish Military Historical Society").

Station ORBs

21-6-45: "One O.T.S. crew crashed on landing last night. All the crew killed..."

SOURCE: O.T.S. Daily Dairy/ Library and Archives Canada/ Copy Number C-12368.

21-06-45: "O.T.S. lost two aircraft and four men."

SOURCE: T.C.S. Daily Dairy/ Library and Archives Canada/ Copy Number C-12368.

22 June 1945

Ventura GRV. 2235 attached to Operational Training Squadron, Pennfield Ridge - Pennfield Ridge aerodrome - 0435 hours - Category "A"

CREW
SURNAME/ Rank/ Initials Service Number Position in Aircraft Status
CLOSE, F/O T..E. J/37593 Pilot Uninjured
CHARTERS, Sgt. J.F.G. K273336 Navigator Uninjured
BELANGER, Sgt. A.E.J. R/283118 Wireless Air Gunner Uninjured
BARRETT, Sgt. W.E. R/171217 Wireless Air Gunner Uninjured
COUTURE, Sgt. J.J.P. R/194182 Wireless Air Gunner Uninjured

Nature of duty on which engaged at time of accident: Operational Training Flight Night #1.

Nature and short description of accident: Overshot on landing, ploughing through soft ground and ending up on main highway.

Cause of Accident: Overshot.

Technical Officer's Report : Nil.

SOURCE: Accident Report Card (copy in archive holdings of "Pennfield Parish Military Historical Society").

Station ORBs

21-6-45: "F/O Close and crew went off of end of runway on landing. No one hurt. A/C damaged. One crew landed at Greenwood."

SOURCE: O.T.S. Daily Dairy/ Library and Archives Canada/ Copy Number C-12368.

~click on photograph~

25 June 1945

Bristol Bolingbroke Mk. IV 9190 attached to RCAF Station, Pennfield Ridge - Pennfield Ridge aerodrome @ 1412 hours  - Category "A"

CREW
SURNAME/ Rank/ Initials Service Number Position in Aircraft Status
GOSTNELL, WO1 H.I. R/159098 Pilot Unijured
LeCLAIR, LAC J.E. R/111397 Drogue Operator Slightly Injured
CADLOFF, LAC S.P. R/273259 Drogue Operator Slightly Injured

Nature of duty on which engaged at time of accident: Air Firing Exercise.

Nature and short description of accident: Stbe. engine failure. Pilot just managed to reach the aerodrome and due to lack of height was obliged to land downwind. Ran into pile of rocks which wiped out u/c.

Primary Cause of Accident: Forced landing.

Secondary Cause of Accident: Engine trouble - accident.

Technical Officer's Report: A small bit of metal was found in the carb., which fouled the needle valve in such a manner that the engine flooded and subsequently quit.

SOURCE: Accident Report Card (copy in archive holdings of "Pennfield Parish Military Historical Society").

~click on photographs~

Terms and Abbreviations
Category "A" "The aircraft is destroyed, declared missing or damaged beyond economical repair."
Category "B" "The aircraft must be shipped, not flown under its own power, to a contractor or depot level facility for repair."
Category "C" "The aircraft sustains damage to a major component requiring repair beyond field level resources including those occurrences where:

(1) The aircraft must be flown to a contractor or depot level facility for repair;
(2) The damaged major component is shipped to a contractor or depot level facility for repair;
(3) The repair is carried out by a mobile repair party from a depot level or contractor; or
(4) The major component is damaged beyond economical repair."
Category "D" "Damage to any component that can be repaired within field level resources."
SOURCE: "Canadian Military Aircraft Serial Numbers" website.

Return to Pennfield Ridge Air Station Page
Return to Pennfield Parish Home Page