GUELPH, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Sept. 17, 2013) - Nearly 73 years after Nomad 3521 crashed in December 1940, Flight Lieutenant Peter Campbell of the Royal Air Force and Leading Aircraftsman Theodore (Ted) Bates of the Royal Canadian Air Force were laid to rest today with military honours at Woodlawn Memorial Park in Guelph, Ont.
"The courage and dedication of our Second World War heroes will never be forgotten," said the Honourable Rob Nicholson, Minister of National Defence. "After all these years, we recognize and lay to rest Flight Lieutenant Campbell and Leading Aircraftsman Bates with the honour and dignity they so greatly deserve."
Flight Lieutenant Campbell was born on March 29, 1916, in Quilon, South India. Leading Aircraftsman Bates was born on January 8, 1913, in Guelph, Ont. Both airmen were members of the No. 1 Service Flying Training School, stationed out of Camp Borden, as part of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan.
Veterans Affairs Canada has provided support to the family members of Leading Aircraftsman Bates and has also coordinated their participation in the interment ceremony. The Royal Air Force Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre has provided similar support to Flight Lieutenant Campbell's family in the United Kingdom.
"It is very gratifying that we can now properly lay to rest a Canadian who gave of himself for our country and our way of life," said the Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of Veterans Affairs. "The recovery of these airmen offers an important occasion for the families to have a sense of closure, and for Canadians everywhere to recall and honour the sacrifices made by those who serve."
On December 13, 1940, two Northrop A-17 Nomad aircraft departed from Camp Borden, an integrated Second World War training site that is now Canadian Forces Base Borden and the home of 16 Wing. The aircraft were involved in a mid-air collision while flying over the Lake Muskoka area. Shortly after the crash, local police were able to locate Nomad 3512 and its pilot and co-pilot onboard, by diving on the site. The other aircraft, Nomad 3521, and its pilot, Flight Lieutenant Peter Campbell, and observer, Leading Aircraftsman Theodore (Ted) Bates, remained missing.
In November 2007, the investigation was re-opened by the Ontario Provincial Police and a search for the aircraft resumed. On July 27, 2010, Nomad 3521 was found at the bottom of Lake Muskoka by divers from the Ontario Provincial Police Underwater Search and Recovery Unit. From October 10-18, 2012, divers from the Royal Canadian Navy's Fleet Diving Unit (Atlantic) searched the Nomad 3521 wreckage at the bottom of Lake Muskoka and recovered remains of the airmen.
NOTE TO EDITORS:
For information on the recovery of Flight Lieutenant Campbell and Leading Aircraftsman Bates, please see the Backgrounder on the Interment Ceremony for Flight Lieutenant Campbell and Leading Aircraftsman Bates