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Commemorative activities marking tragic plane crash in Estevan

Banners for each of the airmen are hanging up around the city.

ESTEVAN - Activities are underway in Estevan to commemorate a plane crash on Sept. 15, 1946, that killed 21 members of the Royal Canadian Air Force.

Family members of many of the victims are in Estevan for the events. 

There was a tour Friday morning of Lester Hinzman's carved wooden monument and aviation collection. 

Craig Bird did a presentation at the Estevan branch of the Royal Canadian Legion. Bird, who is the founder of the South East Military Museums, will speak on the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan, the training site that was in Estevan and the plane crash.

A Cornell and Harvard aircraft from the Brandon Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum are at the Estevan Regional Airport. 

A memorial dedication will occur at the crash site at 10 a.m. on Saturday. It is located on the access road for the Woodlawn Regional Park's Boundary Dam site. 

There will also be a community social at the Estevan Regional Airport, with family and friends, plus the Estevan Flying Club's annual fly-in. Lunch will be available. 

Banners for each of the airmen are hanging up around the city, thanks to the support of Bird.

Meanwhile, 15 Wing Moose Jaw has announced two RCAF CT-156 Harvard II from 2 Canadian Forces Flying Training School at 15 Wing Moose Jaw will conduct a flypast over Estevan on Saturday between 10 and 10:30 a.m.

The aircraft will fly over the crash memorial cairn site at an altitude no lower than 500 feet above the highest obstacle on their route. Flypasts by RCAF aircraft are carefully planned and closely controlled for public safety, and are dependent upon weather and flying conditions.

The CT-156 Harvard II turboprop training aircraft is the primary aircraft used in the early stages of the NFTC program. It helps new pilots move from basic flight training to high-performance jet training.



The commemoration activities were to happen last year for the 75th anniversary of the tragedy, but plans had to be shelved due to the COVID-19 pandemic.