Aviation History Newfoundland & Labrador

Marooned in the Wilderness

by Gary Hebbard, Journalist and Aviation Enthusiast

In December of 1942 the Second World War had been in progress for over three years and the United States had come in on the side of the allies a year earlier. Part of the contribution made by the country that would soon become known as the “arsenal of democracy” was a host of war planes of every description and their highly trained crews sent to Europe to engage the enemy.

Among them was the crew of a twin engine B-26 medium bomber making its way through the cold, cloudy skies of Labrador, bound for a landing at Goose Bay, a newly built military air base. But fate intervened when they had to make a forced landing near Saglek due to fuel starvation and the intrepid crew soon found themselves safe on the ground but marooned in the forbidding wilderness, fighting to survive. Their bodies were eventually found and eventually repatriated to the U.S. but it was soon discovered that supplies that could have sustained them until their eventual rescue were a matter of a few kilometres away at Hebron, unknown to the starving, freezing men. A truly tragic event in the long history of aviation in this province.