A Neat Coincidence..

Discussion in 'Stories' started by toadrobot, Jan 17, 2011.

  1. toadrobot

    toadrobot New Member

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    This story starts when I was a kid - my dad found some pieces of a lend - lease fighter that had crashed by our house on the way to Russia. My dad did some research, and became aquainted with a guy who well call Blake, who wreckhunts and has wrote a couple books about it. He stopped by our house in B.C. on his way to the Yukon to chase down more leads back in the summer of '92, and took a look at our stuff. Around that time, I became interested in crashed warbirds.
    Flash forwards to almost 12 years later, in a small town in Alberta: A small, local newspaper had an article in it about a crashed ww2 fighter near a neighboring rural community. A crashed fighter?? This was right up my alley! I got the directions to the crash site, and partly due to them, partly due to luck, visited the crash site. It became obvious after a few minutes that this was no fighter. Due to the size and amount of the pieces, the two radial engines poking out of the water filled crater, and the bomber sized wing that had been flattened from near vertical impact with the ground.. that it was a bomber, or at least a transport!!
    I conferred with my dad, and he suspected it might have been a B-25 that was known to have crashed west of Edmonton. This was sort of confirmed with local stories of a farmer who had re-discovered the crash in the 1950's, and had removed a substantial number of guns from the crash site. Another interesting tidbit is that the local R.C.M.P. (our national police force) had confiscated the guns upon hearing about them.
    I moved to a different town after this, and was searching for some adventure approximately two years later, and had an idea: I would ask my dad how to get ahold of Blake, and then see if he, being the bible of knowledge that he is, knew of any wrecks in my new area I could visit. My dad had lost touch, so I found Blake through his publisher.
    When I got the chance to speak with Blake, I offered him a tidbit of information, about the crashed (B-25?), in the hopes that he would trade some info.
    As it turns out, the son of the pilot who died in that plane, B-25J 42-29193, who lives in the southern states, had heard of Blake, who lives in Canada, and contacted him in the hopes of any knowledge of the whereabouts of his fathers plane wreck. And of course, with there being a horde of crashed (and many still undiscovered) warbirds in the bush up here, Blake couldnt help him. So when I told Blake the details of this plane, he began to get excited. We put two and two together, and came to the conclusion that there was a good chance this was the same plane.
    Blake put me in touch with the son, who well call Mike, and we compared notes. He had a copy of the accident report from 1944, which he sent me, and it was obvious right away that it was the aircraft in question. We arranged to meet that summer and travel into the plane wreck.
    We met and traveled into the wreck. We all had a good look around, Blake showed me something I hadnt noticed before, that the insignia was in fact a russian red star (painted over the U.S. star), on a white circle. Something was strange however, the plane appeared to be black on the bottom, and had some sort of camoflage that involved a blue-grey. It didnt look like the usual olive drab scheme, but due to the nature of the crash and fire, we thought the paint might have burnt? (I came across a B-25 on the front of a Warbirds International magazine with the exact paint scheme - apparently some B-25s sent to Russia had a camoflage scheme)
    Before we left, Mike placed a plaque on the more prominent engine. It reads, and I quote: 'IN MEMORY OF FREDERICK W. REARDON, ROBERT J. ARMBRUST, WW11 PILOTS, WHO GAVE THE ULTIMATE SACRIFICE FOR OUR FREEDOM, 15 SEPT 1944'
    It was a great honor (and adventure) to be involved in this, and a great coincidence..
     
  2. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    Excellent story! Thanks for sharing! Any pics?
     
  3. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    Good story.
     
  4. P40NUT

    P40NUT Member

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    Great story. Would love to see any photos.
     
  5. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Interesting story, thanks for sharing!
     
  6. Aaron Brooks Wolters

    Aaron Brooks Wolters Well-Known Member

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    Excellent story TR. Thank you for sharing.:thumbright: It is always a good feeling when you can bring piece of mind to some one.
     
  7. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    Where abouts in the Wild Rose Province my dad did a few years on the North West Staging Route
     
  8. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    I'd be curious too but I wonder if wreck hunters stay pretty tight-lipped about locations unless you bring your wallet!
     
  9. bobbysocks

    bobbysocks Well-Known Member

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    i know i would be tight lipped until i had a chance to check the place out myself and document it..Then i would share.

    cool story i wish i could devote time to wreck hunting....
     
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