Ste. Therese De Blainville, QB Airliner Crashes, Nov 1963

Shattered Airliner Quebec CAN plane crash site 11-29-1963.jpg

Right fell heavily.
Police organized their forces before dawn to keep spectators away.
Highway road blocks were set up five miles each way from the crash area. Motorists who could not show identification that would permit them passing the blocks were directed to by-passing routes.
The airliner dived into the field -- already a mass of mire from Friday's heavy rain -- about halfway between Highway 11 and an expressway and 800 feet from a row of houses that line the highway.
One of the first tasks was to get a solid roadway to the crash scene through the deep mud. During the night bulldozers, tractors and trucks loaded with gravel were brought in.

The crater made by the plane was about 30 yards square and at least six feet deep.
Trees near the crater that were not directly hit bore few scars. They leaned outward from the crater, as if bent by the explosion, but eyewitnesses could not agree whether the aircraft exploded in the air or on impact.
One of them described the explosion as "like an atomic bomb." A huge red ball of fire burst into the air.
MRS. AIME BERTHIAUME, whose house is along Highway 11 near the crash scene, said she was in her kitchen "when I heard a terrible explosion and saw a high ball of fire in the air."
"The plane crashed just about right away after that," she said.
But her son ALLAN, 21, said he heard the "swooshing" sound of the jet before "it hit the ground and exploded, sending a huge ball of fire into the air."
President GORDON R. McGREGOR of TCA said it would be difficult to determine the cause of the crash.

Investigators normally can piece together what happened by picking up a limited amount of wreckage, he said, but "I am not cheerful about the possibilities of getting information from these parts because the breakup is so severe."
Another TCA official said there was no question of sabotage in the disaster nor was there any confirmation of an explosion before the ill-fated plane hit the ground.
At least 300 soldiers were stationed around the still smouldering wreckage to ensure that everything was left intact.
This followed removal of some wreckage by the curious who tied up traffic along three-lane Highway 11 for at least five miles in either direction.
A search of houses in the area brought out some pieces of wreckage taken as souvenirs.

Continued

Comments

TCA Flight 831 - The "workers/searchers"

Dear Mr. Dick,

I recall this horrid incident, and my sympathies went to all of the poor grieving families who lost loved-ones in this awful disaster. But, in a way, I sort-of lost my dad, David Harry ("Archie") ARCHIBALD. Let me explain. Dad worked for TCA as an aircraft mechanic at Dorval, and he was on the 4 to 12 shift that day. They asked for volunteers to go up to Ste. Therese by busload, to assist in trying to locate bodies and personal effects, etc., for the purposes of the investigation. Dad volunteered with the others and was never quite the same "inside" afterwards. It was the most ungodly job he had ever done in his life, and the nightmares of what he saw and what he felt stayed with him for decades afterwards. The first time he volunteered, was back in the late 30's - when while working as an aircraft mechanic at TCA he volunteered to do the maintenance and the overhauls on the incoming bombers from the US, while my mother was part of the voluntary painting crew of women who had to strip off the US insignia from the bombers and then re-paint them with the British Roundel, in time for the overhaul and maintenance and re-fitting for the ferrying over the north Atlantic to Britain. - But the impact of what he did then did not hold a candle to the damage that searching in that swamp in Ste. Therese did to him many years later. He was a big, tall, very strong and kind-hearted man; however, the human destruction of the crash of TCA Flight 831was capable of dropping even the bravest right in their tracks. Dad and mum are now at peace; however, I will never forget the look of desolation in his eyes as he tried to speak of it, but never could. God bless all the souls who passed away on that fateful day. Thanks for "listening". My dad was (and still is to this very day inside my heart) my hero. Val Frost (nee ARCHIBALD) and her Newfoundland Service Dog, "Bubbles"

pics of Harry J Dyck

Good day,
I'm the son of Harry J Dyck who lost his life on the TCA crash November 29, 1963. I would appreciate any phots you have.
I'm actually going to visit the cemetery in Ste. Therese in May.

Thank you,

Harold Dyck
Mississauga, ON
hj.dyck@gmail.com

I remember this, as one of

I remember this, as one of our neighbours was on the flight: CECIL S. FINKLER. The family lived across the street, on Baycrest Avenue in Toronto.

The list of victims includes an "L. FINKLER," which may refer to Cecil's wife, Louisa. However, she was definitely NOT on the flight. Could there have been a related or unrelated Finkler on the same flight?

D Turner

Hi Richard,

I think I may be your long lost relative!! My name is Jennifer Turner, and I live in Ontario. Don and Mary Turner are my nana and grampa.

They have 3 children: Jane, Peter and Andy.
All of which now have children of their own. I'm Peters only child.

I've also heard stories of these nude painting around the house, funny how these things travel!! I guess my great grandfather was quite a character!!

Unfortunately, this plane crash was well before I was born (or even an idea) and I never got to meet Don. I've heard that he was an avid photographer, and my nana had some of their old home movies converted from when they moved to Canada so I've had the pleasure of watching them.

After Don was killed, she re-married a man named "Kip" in 1973 (who I also never got to meet). My nana Mary was a sweet lady with a huge heart who worked as a nurse. Unfortunately, she passed away in December of 2009.

My Dad, Peter Turner, worked as a computer system network architech. Unfortuanately, he passed away in January of this year. He was very interested in music and motorcycles. He had a great sense of humour, and had a gift for connecting with people.

Around 1960, Eve came to visit my Dad's family when they were living in Edmonton. They went on a big camping trip through the mountains. I recently came across pictures of them from this trip, and it looks like they're having a great time!!

I hope you get this message, and I'm very exciting to have found you. If you get the chance, please tell me more about your family in England!

Love:
Jen

My grandfather was one of

My grandfather was one of the listed victims....Grant Stevenson of Toronto. I was the next born in the family (after the disaster) and would have been his first grandchild. I was born on November 29, 1981...exactly 18 years later to the day. My Mum always says I was born on Nov 29th to bring happiness back to such a tragic day for our family. She was just 7 years old when she lost her father. My Nana was widowed at 37 years old, with 3 children under the age of 10. I like to think my Mum was right :-)

D Turner

Just found out a few days ago that a relative was killed on this flight. Don Turner (Donny) was married to Mary and had about 6 children. I knew his father (Don) and Mother (Eve) as a very young child. His father was a painter and had covered his house with murals of semi naked women! Quite an eye opener to a young 8 year old. Eve his mother was my Nan's(Daisy) sister.

Hallo Ernest J. Dick!! I

Hallo Ernest J. Dick!! I have one photo of HARRY J. DYCK and alot of photos of Dycks family.Are you belong to this family?
please answer!

TCA Flight 831

Called From Home For Flight 831: My aunt Lorna was writing a letter to her family in Calgary on Friday, November 29, 1963 when she was called at her apartment near Malton, ON. A livewire known to her friends as "Sam", she put aside her letter - and called to her two room mates (both stewardesses) "They're sending me to Montreal, I have to get my hair done." Lorna-Jean Wallington was one of three Stewardesess that was killed in the horrific TCA Flight 831 crash, she was only 21. Unfortunately, my siblings and I did not meet her. I was born in 1965 and my two older brothers were very young when she died, so all we have are photos, newspaper clippings and a copy of the Star Weekly - dated May 23, 1964. Both my mother and grandmother rarely spoke of the crash, her death was a devastation and a great loss to her family. My aunt had a beautiful smile, she was a natural athlete and had attended the Art Institute in Calgary (I have one of her paintings) prior to becoming a Stewardes. My mom always said how much we were alike. My grandmother said Lorna loved to fly. She was a member of the Calgary Ski Club. She had planned to take holidays in Innsbruck, Austria in January - two months after her death.

My mother passed away 6 months ago, so I am piecing together some of her family history, and photos for my 11 year-old daughter (also known to her friends as "Sam"). I have come across some interesting facts from my mother's belongings and the internet about Flight 831. I had no idea there was a monument for the crash victims - I hope to visit it someday. Flight 831 was a tragic loss to so many people. May you live in our hearts forever.

My grandfather Captain

My grandfather Captain Joseph Scott died on this flight. His hometown was actually Kingsville. I still miss him.

8 people missed this flight

My father John MacArthur and his boss Mr. McVeigh missed this flight due to a traffic jam in downtown Montreal. I was a the airport with my mother and brothers to pick him up when we were told the plane had crashed and everyone had died. We drove home and my aunt greeted us with the news that my father had called and he was alright and had in fact missed the plane.
I am so sorry for those who lost family members and friends - but I am grateful my father missed that plane.