50th annual Fallen Paratrooper Memorial May 13

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Posted on May 10, 2018


GARRISON PETAWAWA - Master Warrant Officer Reginald Riddell, Warrant Officer Michael McDonnell, Corporal (Cpl) Bruce Chiswell, Cpl Hugh Fields, Cpl Bob Knight, Cpl Dennis Clements, and Cpl Jim Misener will once again be remembered at a special service at Garrison Petawawa on Sunday, May 13, a half-century after the Ottawa River claimed the lives of the seven paratroopers.

The tragic nighttime parachute drop on May 8, 1968 marked the largest peacetime training accident in Canadian military history.

On that fateful evening 50 years ago, members of The Royal Canadian Regiment and 2 Signal Squadron participated in a night parachute jump. Those who exited the Buffalo aircraft in the first pass were caught by a strong crosswind and 22 of the 26 jumpers were carried into the river. Despite the efforts of those who tried to rescue them, seven soldiers were lost.

The annual service will begin at 11 a.m. at the Wegner Point Memorial Cairn. Members of the public are welcome to attend.

The route to Wegner Point, located behind the 427 Special Operations Aviation Squadron Heliport off Passchendaele Road, will be well marked. Visitors are asked to arrive no later than 10:30 a.m. A small reception will follow at Reichwald Warrant Officers’ and Sergeants’ Mess.

For more information about the ceremonies, contact Dennis Stow at 613-732-4477, or email dennis_stow@hotmail.com. Donations are also gratefully accepted to cover the cost of service programs and lunch.