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 • Swan River Census Division
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Corp Freeman Archibald McKay
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Birth: Mar. 31, 1919
Dauphin Census Division
Manitoba, Canada
Death: Nov. 24, 1952
Comox Valley Regional District
British Columbia, Canada

On Monday, 24 November 1952 RCAF Lancaster KB 940 crashed in a swampy area south of the Comox air base. The aircraft was conducting an instrument landing procedure in marginal weather conditions when the accident occurred.

Background: A group of Canadian Airmen, in Vancouver either on duty or on short leave, were scheduled to return to Comox on a Canso aircraft on Monday. When the Canso experienced engine problems, it was replaced by the Lancaster 940. The Lancaster had a maximum capacity of 10 people, so with a crew of 4 only 6 passengers could be accommodated. Seven other RCAF personnel returned to Comox, on Vancouver Island, by boat. The six who were assigned places on the Lancaster and two crew members perished in the crash.

Cpl F.A. McKAY was a WW II veteran and had been awarded the 1939-45 Star, Africa Star & Clasp, Italy Star, Defence Medal and the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal & Clasp. He was a member of 407 Squadron.

The Lancaster's pilot, F/O RF (Ruff) Johnson, and the co-pilot, F/O MJ (Monte) Wright, survived the crash. Their rescue from the wreckage resulted in two civilians--Robert Waters and Albert DeCuyper, being awarded the George medal.

On 1 June 2008, a Memorial Cairn, commemorating the 24 Nov 1952 crash of the Lancaster KB 940 bomber in the local area was officially unveiled at the Heritage Air Park in Comox.

The casualties of this aircraft accident are also remembered and honoured in the VP International Book Of Remembrance which is maintained at the Greenwood Military Aviation Museum at 14 Wing Greenwood, Nova Scotia, Canada.

From the Canadian Virtual War Memorial-
Military Service:-
Rank: Corporal
Service Number: 14741
Age: 33
Force: Royal Canadian Air Force
Unit: 407 (Maritime Reconnaissance) Squadron

Citation: 1939-1945 Star, Africa Star and Clasp, Italy Star, Defence Medal, Canadian Volunteer Service Medal and Clasp

Additional Information:-
Date and Place of Enlistment: July 13, 1949 Brandon, Manitoba, Canada.
Son of the late Freeman and Margaret (nee Lawrence) McKay of Birch River, Manitoba, Canada; husband of Mary (née Townsend) McKay of Birch River.

Commemorated on Page 111 of the 'In the Service of Canada' Book of Remembrance.

The six casualties of this aircraft accident were:-
Flying Officer Joseph Frederick DOUCETTE,
Corporal George Stanley FLETCHER,
Flight Sergeant Joseph Leo Laurier MAYNARD,
Aircraftman 1st Class Vernon Joseph McINTYRE,
Corporal Freeman Archibald McKAY,
Aircraftman 1st Class Wayne Frederick SMITH,
Aircraftman Roy Howard WALSH.
Crandell Cemetery
Birch River
Swan River Census Division
Manitoba, Canada
Plot: S.W. Corner, Section 14-39-26, Plot 3, Row 4
Created by: SJ Hearn
Record added: Apr 09, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 108101342
Corp Freeman Archibald McKay
Added by: McKinn
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Remembering Corporal Freeman Archibald McKAY who died on this day, 63 years ago.
- SJ Hearn
 Added: Nov. 24, 2015
For Corporal Freeman Archibald McKAY, with gratitude.
- SJ Hearn
 Added: Dec. 14, 2014

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