A memorial plaque was installed at the site of a plane crash where five members of the Royal Canadian Air Force died during a training mission in 1944.

Plaque in wilderness memorializes fallen airmen

NANAIMO - Brass plaque commemorates Second World War loss of crewmen and aircraft in Nanaimo Lakes watershed.

The fate of an aircraft and the crewmen aboard it were memorialized with the placement of a brass plaque on the weekend.

During the Second World War, five Royal Canadian Air Force crew died when their North American B-25 “Mitchell” bomber hit a mountain and exploded during a training exercise on May 29, 1944.

On Sunday, more than 72 years after the crash, their tragedy was permanently commemorated when a party hiked to the site and installed a plaque among the debris of the aircraft bearing the names of the air crew who were buried near the wreckage of their plane.

The plaque installation and ceremony were attended by Rod Szasz, who lead the project to memorialize the site; Andrew Farrow, Royal Canadian Legion representative and co-project lead; Bill Derby, 808 Wing representative; William Taylor, a Ladysmith Secondary School teacher whose great uncle, Harold Manson, was among the B-25’s crew; Zhao Zhang, Fred Forester of project sponsor K2 Stone; Len Campbell, RCAF piper; Greg Sorensen, rock driller; and city representatives.

During the ceremony, Szasz spoke on the history of the crash and Taylor said a few words about his great uncle Harold Manson.

Farrow officiated and read the poem High Flight by RCAF pilot John Gillespie Magee Jr.

To preserve the site, the party is not revealing its location.

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