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Discovery in the St. Lawrence

Parks Canada Unearths New Twitter Feed

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NEW! Parks Canada is launching a new national Twitter feed that will focus on the work done by the Agency’s underwater and terrestrial archaeological teams. The new Twitter feed (@PCArchaeology) will bring forward interesting and little-known facts about the work done by Parks Canada archaeologists.

The launch of the new Twitter feed coincides with the 70th anniversary of Second World War American PBY-5A Catalina foundering in the St. Lawrence. Parks Canada underwater archaeologists discovered the wreckage of the aircraft while conducting a research survey in May 2009, near the Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve of Canada.

As part of the launch, Parks Canada is unveiling this short documentary about the discovery of the aircraft by Parks Canada archaeologists. This video features Parks Canada underwater archaeologists and members of the U.S. Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) as well as first-hand testimonies from local residents who witnessed the actual plane crash.

Follow the new Parks Canada Archaeology feed at @PCArchaeology and in French at @PCArcheologie.


The Government of Canada Welcomes the Arrival of a U.S. Team Sent to Recover the Remains of U.S. Soldiers from the Wreckage of a WW II Plane


Marc-André Bernier, Chief of the Underwater Archaeological Service at Parks Canada, studies the wreck of a "Catalina" American World War II Plane which went down in November 1942 off the coast of Longue-Pointe-de-Mingan, on the north shore of the St. Lawrence River in Quebec.

Longue-Pointe de Mingan, Québec, July 11, 2012 - The Honourable Michel Rivard, Senator, on behalf of the Honourable Peter Kent, Canada’s Minister of the Environment and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, today welcomed the arrival of the U.S. Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) in Longue-Pointe-de-Mingan, Québec.



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A remotely operated vehicle (ROV) is used to view a downed World War II aircraft deep in the waters of the St. Lawrence. The video shows the nose of the aircraft, the front wheel well, diagonal struts supporting the wings, wheel of side landing gear and the cockpit seen from the co-pilot’s side. The video also features Parks Canada underwater archaeologists approaching the nose of the aircraft and examining the side of the aircraft.

Ottawa, August 21, 2009 - The Honourable Jim Prentice, Canada's Environment Minister and Minister responsible for Parks Canada confirmed that the plane discovered by Parks Canada underwater archaeologists off the coast of the village of Longue-Pointe-de-Mingan in Quebec is the wreckage of a U.S. Army Air Force plane lost in 1942. No human remains were seen during the operation this week, which was conducted principally on the exterior of the sunken aircraft.

August 6, 2009: Underwater Archaeologists to Confirm Possible Discovery of American World War II Plane

Consolidated OA-10 Catalina at the National Museum of the United States Air Force.
The plane discovered in the St. Lawrence near Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve is believed to be very similar to the Consolidated OA-10 Catalina featured in this picture.
© National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

For other photos of the aircraft, see the National Museum of the US AF website

Overview

Parks Canada’s underwater archaeologists, who regularly carry out surveys related to national historic sites and national parks, discovered the wreck of a plane while conducting work in an area adjacent to the Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve of Canada. They believe it is a US Army Air Force PBY 5A airplane, sunk off the coast near the village of Longue-Pointe-de-Mingan in 1942.

There were nine persons on board when the aircraft foundered. Four of the crew escaped the flooding plane and were rescued by local fishermen rowing out from shore in open boats in rough seas. The five others perished, trapped in the aircraft by the swift flooding of the fuselage. Side-scan sonar data indicates that the plane appears to be in very good condition, and there is a possibility of finding human remains.

Map of Mingan Area
Map of the area where the plane was discovered.
© Parks Canada

For more information

Press Release
Historical Overview
Details about Aircraft PBY-5A Catalina/OA-10

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