Robert George Brown 12029A

September 27, 1907 - August 14, 1940

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On a routine flight to Patricia Bay, Northrop Delta 670 diverted to take a closer look at a boat. On its second circle at a lower altitude, the plane dove into the ocean, crashing in an area with dangerous currents. Two crew and three passengers perished.

Crew: *Robert George Brown, 12029A, Corporal -- Aeroengine Mechanic, born: September 28, 1913. *Joseph Georges Hector Desbiens, C1572, Flying Officer -- Pilot, born September 12, 1906. Passengers: *Hugh Lockart Gordon, C1864, Flying Officer, born September 27, 1907. *Richard Campbell Procter, C180, Squadron Leader, born April 11, 1911. *Capt John Henry Bourne, RCOC seconded to RCAF, born March 9, 1885. [His name appears on the Halifax Memorial.]

From BCAM’s files: “On 14 August 1940, Northrop Delta 670 was en route from Alliford Bay and Bella Bella on a routine flight back to Patricia Bay on Vancouver Island. Around 3 o’clock the plane diverted to take a closer look at a vessel in Discovery Passage, East of Vancouver Island. According to the account in the Victoria Daily Times, a witness described the crash: ‘The plane made a big circle over the yacht as if inspecting it. Then it made a second circle at a lower altitude. After this, it headed south again; it hadn’t gone more than 1,000 feet when it seemed to dive right into the ocean. It struck with a terrific crash and spray flew up 60 feet.’ The plane had crashed in an area of dangerous currents near Seymour Narrows and the notorious Ripple Rock, which was blasted in 1958.”

For more information, please visit the links below, courtesy of the British Columbia Aviation Museum.

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