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Mon, Aug 10, 2009

PBY That Foundered And Sank In 1942 Found Off Quebec Coast

Five Airmen Lost Their Lives In The Incident

A WWII era U.S. PBY Catalina which foundered and sank during a takeoff attempt in 1942 has been discovered by divers off the coast of Quebec. Five of the nine crewmen on board at the time of the incident lost their lives.

File Photo

The aircraft was attempting to take off in choppy seas when the fuselage started to fill with water. Local fishermen were able to rescue 4 of the crew members, but the remaining airmen were unable to get out before the aircraft sank.

According to CanWest News Service, the PBY was part of a squadron which linked North America to Europe during the war. Underwater Archaeologists from Parks Canada found the wreckage in the course of a three-year survey of shipwrecks near the Mingan peninsula lighthouse in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Environment Minister Jim Prentice, who oversees Parks Canada, said it is "of utmost importance for the site to remain undisturbed." "(T)he plane will be protected with the full extent of applicable laws," he said.

File Photo

In a joint statement, Canadian ministers said the site will be managed "with the respect and dignity owed to lost American soldiers" and that the two countries "will explore the possibility of eventually recovering the remains of the missing crew members" from the submerged plane. "The United States government was extremely interested to learn of the discovery of the wreckage, and we look forward to working with our Canadian friends to verify the identity of the aircraft," U.S. consul general David Fetter said in the statement.

No plans for recovery of the aircraft were discussed.

FMI: www.pc.gc.ca

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