Marwood Francis Lucier P2389

February 1, 1915 - May 26, 1946

Marwood Lucier Marwood Lucier

Camping Holiday Drowning in Labrador

Marwood Francis Lucier was born in Amherstburg, Ontario to Louis Alfred and Emma Reva Lucier. Marwood had three sisters. The family was Roman Catholic.

He attended St. Angela School, then Essex High School, until June 1931, and had two years of general studies behind him. He enjoyed softball and football occasionally.

He worked as a farm hand, drove trucks, and did carpentry work, as well as operated electrical pumps throughout the 1930s. When he enlisted with the RCAF in mid-January 1938, he felt he was qualified to be a painter or a carpenter and was prepared to join as soon as he heard from the RCAF. At the beginning of June 1938, he was accepted at London, Ontario.

He stood 5’10 ½” tall, weighed 175 pounds at his medical examination. He had a florid complexion, blue eyes and dark brown hair. There was evidence of tuberculosis of the lungs from the past.

Marwood became an airframe mechanic in March 1939 through to April 1940.

On Valentine’s Day 1942, Marwood married Norma Phyllis Dunn of Montreal at St. James United Church in Montreal. Their engagement had been announced in the Ottawa Journal early in February. Shirley Ann Lucier was born on August 12, 1942 in Ottawa and Judith Lynn Lucier was born on July 15, 1944. Marwood took out a $1000 life insurance policy for both of his daughters.

From May 7, 1945 to August 31, 1945, Marwood was at No. 8 Operational Training Unit, Greenwood, Nova Scotia for an advanced Airframe mechanics course. “No written final examination. Final mark obtained from Phase examination. An interested and willing Warrant Officer who has show initiative and leadership during the course.” He was 8th out of 13 in the class, receiving 80.1%.

On May 26, 1946, Marwood Lucien while on a camping holiday with some of his fellow airmen went missing. He did not return.

An investigation took place. F/O S. A. Prud’homme, Investigating Officer, RCAF Station Goose Bay, Labrador reported: "Marwood F. Lucier left the M. T. cabin at Goose River, sometime between 3 and 5 am on the morning of May 26, 1946. He proceeded down stream in a motorboat, operated by ½ HP. The boat was seen at the mouth of Goose River endeavouring to proceed to the main wharf. It was seen to return in the direction of the mouth, owing to the ice pack in the bay. The boat was eventually seen by Mrs. Elizabeth Groves and her daughter, Ethel, at approximately 0500 hours station time. It was seen by the above witnesses turning about in the direction of the mouth of the Goose River. The Indian Nabishish established the fact that the boat proceeded up the Goose by the sound of the one in the party was aware of the time WO2 Lucier actually left the cottage as he was still with the part when WO2 Graham and F/S Hughes retired for the evening. Charles Groves noticed the boat stuck on the sand bar at approximately 1000 hours. The boat was found empty when sighted from the aircraft at approximately 0730 hours. The boat was picked up by the American Search and Rescue party at approximately 1930 hours and found to contain a double barreled shotgun, lying across the rear seat. Both barrels of the shotgun had been loaded and the right barrel discharge with the empty shell still in the breach. One man could not operate the boat upstream. It was established by the searching party that there were no signs of the boat having been breached nor were there signs of anyone going ashore on the banks anywhere along the river from the mouth of the river for a distance of about 3.5 miles. There was an occupant in the bat when it turned towards the mouth of the Goose River out of the Bay. The banks on both sides of the river were over-hanging with brush. The current of the river was considered exceptionally swift and the waters high for that time of year. It would have been very easy for the occupant of the boat to have been thrown overboard by the slightest jar if he were standing up."

"It is felt that Lucier met his death by accidental drowning somewhere between 0500 and 1000 hours May 26, 1946 in the Goose River by being accidentally thrown from the boat which he was endeavouring to take up stream. Lucier was a member of a camping party of service personnel who were spending the holiday weekend of May 24th at the M. T. cabin on Goose River. At the time of the accident, Lucier was not on duty, nor was he due back on the station prior to 0800 hours, May 27, 1946."

Prud’homme recommended that all boats used on the waters at Goose Bay base be inspected and passed by the Marine Section before being launched. He also said that all parties proceeding on boat trips or picnics using water transportation advise Marine Section and that such party be accompanied by an authorized operator approved by the NCO in charge of the Marine Section. He also recommended that suitable facilities be left available throughout the year for conducting organized searches of the streams in the vicinity of the base. Outboard motors of sufficient horsepower to combat the swift currents be kept available and serviceable at all ties during the navigation season.

Norma was to have received his medals, but they were returned, undelivered. Many different addresses were noted in Montreal. One address, Ridgevale Street did not exist. There is a Ridgewood Avenue about five kilometres from Madison Avenue, the first address noted. She had also lived on Saint Roch Street and Mansfield Street.

By January 9, 1956, Norma was living at St. Andrew Avenue in Beaurepaire, Quebec, about 30 kilometres west of Montreal. She received a letter from Wing Commander Gunn telling her that since her late husband had no known grave, his name would appear on the Ottawa Memorial.