As Remembrance Day, November 11th, approaches, we honour those who served—and continue to serve—in the Royal Canadian Air Force, especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
Deep in the New Brunswick forest lie a few pieces of twisted metal wreckage, partly covered in dried pine needles. They have been there for 80 years.
Nearby stands a new granite monument honouring the two Canadian airmen who died at the site—the first to lose their lives on Canadian soil during the Second World War.
The loss of Delta 673
Although Canada declared war on Germany on September 10, 1939, planning and preparation for the conflict were well underway throughout the summer. High on the priority list was ensuring the protection of the East Coast from enemy action. Northrop Delta aircraft from 8 Squadron, a photographic survey unit located at Royal Canadian Air Force Station Rockcliffe, in Ottawa, were re-roled to reinforce anti-submarine patrols along the coast and over the Atlantic Ocean.
On August 27, six Deltas left Rockcliffe, headed to Sydney in Cape Breton to take on their new task. Delta No. 673 was piloted by Warrant Officer James Edgerton “Ted” Doan and his mechanic was Corporal Dave Rennie.
Delta 673 never reached Sydney. On September 14, after several delays due to mechanical issues, Warrant Officer Class 2 Doan (his promotion took effect that same day) and Corporal Rennie took off from Lac Mégantic, Quebec. Somewhere near Plaster Rock, New Brunswick, the aircraft…