Kathleen Flanagan Photography
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North Mountain Airplane Crash in 1953

In Canada, airborne search and rescue missions are the responsibility of the Royal Canadian Air Force in collaboration with the Canadian Coast Guard. 

On April 20, 1953, six members of the Royal Canadian Air Force were killed when their airplane crashed and burned on North Mountain near Centreville in the Annapolis Valley.  A seventh member survived the crash. 

The plane was returning to its base at Greenwood after seven hours of searching for a twin-engine private plane that went missing on a flight from Gander, Newfoundland to Ottawa with four people onboard.  

The RCAF listed the victims as:

Flight Officer Erle T. Lewis from Ottawa;
Flight Officer Douglas A. Hamilton from Yarmouth;
Flight Officer John D. Curzon from Toronto;
Sergeant Neil McCarrol from Toronto;
Leading Aircraftman W.D. Fifield from Halifax;
Aircraftman 1st Class G. Shoul.

Flight Officer Kenneth Benson of Brantford, Ontario was seriously injured in the crash. 


 Six members of Royal Canadian Air Force Squadron 404 – Erle Lewis, Douglas Hamilton, John Curzon, Neil McCarrol, William Fifield, and G. Shoul – were killed on April 20, 1953, when their Lancaster plane, crashed near Centreville, in Kings County, Nova Scotia.  A monument is located 300 metres from the crash site, on Brow of Mountain Road.