WWII Plane wreck on north Vancouver Island - ClubTread Community
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post #1 of (permalink) Old 10-12-2008, 09:52 PM Thread Starter
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WWII Plane wreck on north Vancouver Island

I heard a rumor that there was a fairly large WWII plane wreck somewhere on the north of the island. Does anyone know anything about this?

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post #2 of (permalink) Old 10-13-2008, 08:32 AM
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There's one on Mt. Bolduc. Check a back roads map book, but a couple of years ago I was able to drive (SUV) right to the short (a few hundred meters) trail.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 10-13-2008, 11:17 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks - Mt Bolduc is South Island though isn't it? I had heard about something quite far north.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 10-13-2008, 05:59 PM
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I believe there is still a bomber off the end of the runway in Tofino that went down just after take off due to a fuel leak in one engine.There are wrecks all over this island and around the Sidney area from WWII.Some under water and many in the bush.I once recieved a list of just military crashes from that era that took about 40 pages to list.All with co-ordinates and some details about crew and payloads.Many seem to have gone down around Sidney as that airstrip was in heavy use during the war.Mt.Tuam or Maxwell on Saltspring isl. have many listed but I bet most were cleaned up readily.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 10-13-2008, 06:25 PM
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How's these for a "geocache"!
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 10-13-2008, 07:03 PM
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There is a WWII plane up here in Hardy, just opposite the BC ferry terminal. The walk is a short one, and I think that it is written up in Gil Parkers revised hiking trails III book, just out. I can forward you the copy of the article if you wish. Well worth going to, very short but pleasant hike (30 mins).

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quote:Originally posted by wbaker

I heard a rumor that there was a fairly large WWII plane wreck somewhere on the north of the island. Does anyone know anything about this?

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post #7 of (permalink) Old 10-13-2008, 07:06 PM
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WW11 Aircraft Crash Site 1.5 Km

In April 1944 a C47 Dakota over shot the runway at the Port Hardy airport. While coming around for another try it ran out of fuel and crashed just North of Bear Cove across the bay from Port Hardy, killing two of the three crewmen. This is now a National Heritage Site and is protected by law. Everything of use was salvaged by the army.

Park at the rest area just before the B.C.Ferries terminal. About 50 meters down the road on the right is a narrow logging road heading up the hill. It is paved to the top of the hill and has a barricade at the gate.
The road follows the South side of a narrow valley then doubles back on the other side. About 150 meters up this road is a stump with survey tape around it. The trail is very crude but has survey tape marking the route.
There are a few steep slopes and many wet stretches but this part of the trail is only about 500 meters long.
This is more of a route to a site than a hiking trail but at the top of the hill is a good view of Hardy Bay.

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quote:Originally posted by wbaker

I heard a rumor that there was a fairly large WWII plane wreck somewhere on the north of the island. Does anyone know anything about this?

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post #8 of (permalink) Old 10-13-2008, 10:25 PM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by monkeyboy

I believe there is still a bomber off the end of the runway in Tofino that went down just after take off due to a fuel leak in one engine.
Yup, its a short (and muddy) walk just by the Radar Hill campsite.
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 10-13-2008, 10:33 PM
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Mt Kitchener in the Prince of Wales Range was the site of a US Navy P2V Neptune wreck, prior to 1951. This was a patrol craft capable of dropping bombs or torpedos, but saw no action in WW II.

There have been plenty of crashed aircraft on Vancouver Island, but holy grail of plane wrecks is the US fighter jet that went down near Mt Albert Edward. It is rumored that the US government was allowed to come in and clean up all the debris and that if inquired about, the US Govt will not admit to the accident happening and that there is no record of the crash.

Find proof of the jet and you win a kewpie doll.. or maybe a one way vacation to a Caribbean, US held “resort”.
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 04-08-2009, 11:10 PM
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I've forgotten when the jet went down near Mount Albert Edward – sometime in the early ‘80s, I think -- but I was working for the Comox Valley Record in 1991 or 92 when a helicopter pilot spotted the tail of a California Air National Guard fighter (I think a T33) sticking out of the snow. The chopper pilot landed, walked around, and found a partial skeleton in a flight suit still strapped into the pilot's seat. The name tag on the flight suit read "Mendez". I got the original crash story from the Campbell River Mirror and confirmed that the plane was flying out of CFB Comox when it crashed and that it belonged to the California Air Guard and the pilot's name was Mendez.
The Mirror story had a detail that creeped me out; it said Capt. Mendez’s remains were returned to his family in California. You see the problem; if Mendez was sent back to California, who is the guy in the flight suit on Mount Albert Edward? Conversely, if Mendez is on the mountain, who was sent back to California? I confirmed that the airplane was a two-seater and wondered if there might have been a clandestine hitchhiker aboard. However, a guy at CFB Comox said the truth was probably simpler, but more gruesome. People who die in that kind of airplane crash are generally pretty badly mauled in the impact. Searchers often don’t find all of them, but send back whatever remains they can find. I think that is likely what happened here; according to Canadian Department of Transport photos, the airplane was kind of smeared down the mountain.
I didn't contact the Americans about the crash, so I have no idea whether or not they cleaned up any wreckage or were secretive about reports, but I recall getting the Canadian DOT report which was very thorough and included a lot of photos. I doubt if the U.S. did much cleaning up because the body wasn't found 1991 or 92.
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