No. 6 Elementary Flying Training School
Nine accidents killed five instructors and nine students at the No. 6 Elementary Flying School in Prince Albert during its operation from July 22, 1940 until it closed November 15, 1944.
June 21, 1941 — Sgt. Douglas E. Hall was killed instantly when the Tiger Moth aircraft he was in crashed after falling out of control at 7:45 p.m. at Round Lake, 16 miles northwest of Prince Albert. At the time, he was instructing leading aircraftman D. H. Read who was seriously injured, but survived. Hall, 29, was due to leave shortly for overseas service as a commissioned officer. Hall was the son of William and Margaret Hall of Danville, Que. He is interred at Danville Protestant Cemetery in Danville.
July 27, 1941 — Leading aircraftman Robert H. Hendrix lost his life in a drowning accident at Waskesiu Lake. He succumbed to a seizure while swimming with his twin brother, LAC Ralph M. Hendrix, and fellow American students LAC S. M. Benford of Florida and LAC W. Alsworth of Texas. Hendrix, 20, was the son of William and Mary Hendrix of Walsenburg, Colorado. He is interred at the Masonic Cemetery in Walsenburg.
August 15, 1942 — Leading aircraftman Philip Gordon Cameron was electrocuted when the aircraft he was flying with his instructor hit high-tension wires. They were attempting a night landing at 2:15 a.m. west of Melfort. Cameron, 23, was killed instantly. He was the son of Gordon and Delphine Cameron of Shamrock, Sask. He is interred in the St. Charles Cemetery in Coderre, Sask. Cameron Lake in northern Saskatchewan is named in his memory.
October 25, 1942 — Leading aircraftman Lloyd Reginald Alexander Burns was killed as the result of a mid-air collision during formation training northeast of White Star, north of Prince Albert. The 20-yearold student was solo at the time. The student pilot of the other aircraft parachuted to safety. Burns was the son of Thomas and Ethel Burns of Vancouver. He is interred at Ocean View Burial Park in Burnaby, B.C.
July 20, 1943 — Thirty-fouryearflying officer Harold Mathew Pettigrew and his 32-yearold student, leading aircraftman Charles McNaughton Miller, were killed in a crash six miles west of Prince Albert. Pettigrew had been instructing at the school since September, 1942. He was the son of Bernard and Annie Pettigrew of Hamilton, Ont. He is interred at Eastlawn Cemetery in Hamilton.
Miller was one week from graduating the EFTS course. He was the son of William and Mary Ann Miller, husband of Catherine Miller and father of a two-year-old son, all of St. Vital, Man. He is interred at Elmwood Cemetery in Winnipeg.
September 16, 1943 — Twenty-year-old leading aircraftman Vernon Russell Miller was on a solo training exercise when he crashed 20 miles northwest of Prince Albert. He was the son of Russell Duncan and Ena R. Miller of Smeaton. He is interred at Southill Cemetery in Prince Albert.
September 23, 1943 — Leading Aircraftman Leonard Raymond Meere was the solo pilot when his aircraft dived into the ground at high speed, five miles north of Prince Albert, killing him instantly. He was the 19-year-old son of Thomas and Edith Meere of Sarnia, Ont. He is interred at Lakeview Cemetery in Sarnia.
November 24, 1943 — A midair collision between two Tiger Moth aircraft took the lives of four airmen, including two instructors and two students.
Pilot Officer John Stanley Butler was the 26-year-old instructor of one aircraft and had been stationed in Prince Albert since March. He was the son of William John Butler of Orillia, Ontario and was husband to Etoile V. Butler of Detroit, Mich., who was residing in Prince Albert. Butler is interred at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Detroit.
The other instructor was 26year-old flying officer Ralph Nicolaus Grest. Seriously injured, Grest escaped the crash by parachute. However, he succumbed to his injuries 10 days later. He was the son of Nicolaus and Lydia Grest of Humboldt, and husband of Dorothy Grest of Maidstone. He is interred at the Watrous Cemetery. Grest Bay on Highrock Lake in northern Saskatchewan is named in his memory.
Leading aircraftman Paul Roger McLean was the 20-year-old student in one plane. He was the son of Martin and Greeta McLean of Toronto, Ont. He is interred at Mount Hope Cemetery in Toronto.
Leading Aircraftman Edward Guyon Henderson was the 19-yearold student in the other plane. He was the son of Roland and Euphemia Henderson of Windsor, Ont. He was a graduate of J. C. Patterson Collegiate in Windsor. Just months before his death, Henderson had been refused service in a downtown Windsor restaurant because they did not serve “coloured people.” He is interred at Grove Cemetery in Windsor.
June 17, 1944 — The last accident in the school’s history took the lives of an instructor and student. It occurred seven miles north of Prince Albert and was the result of an in-flight break up of their Fairchild Cornell airplane. The right wing separated from the aircraft during spin training.
The instructor was 28-year-old flight Lt. Douglas Harold “Hal” Burr. He was the son of Frederick and Mary Burr of Vancouver and husband of Euphemia Marquis Burr of Kelowna, B.C. He is interred at Kelowna Memorial Park Cemetery.
The student was 21-year-old leading aircraftman Elmer Stephen
Beingessner. He was the son of Frank and Mary Beingessner of Brant, Alta. He is interred at Highwood Cemetery in High River, Alta.
No. 6 Air Observer School
There was one accident at the No. 6 Air Observer School in the 18 months that the school operated at Prince Albert from March 17, 1941 to September 11, 1942. Four people lost their lives on the night of March 18, 1942. Avro Anson Mk. 1 R9740 crashed at 8:30 p.m., 40 miles southeast of Prince Albert (six miles south of Kinistino) during a night navigation exercise.
Glen Kenneth “Doc” Hyer was a 34-year-old civilian instructor who had been at the school since June, 1941. He was the son of Dr. Irving and Maude Hyer of Clarendon, Pa. He was living in Prince Albert with his wife, Helen Ann Hyer, and their children Craig and Dennis. He is interred at Oakland Cemetery in Warren, Pa.
Flying officer Olav Alfred Ness, 33, was the navigation instructor. He had been instructing at the school for several months and was residing in Prince Albert with his wife Pearl.
He was the son of John and Gunda Ness of Sturgis, Sask. He is interred at Woodlawn Cemetery in Saskatoon. The two student observers were: Leading aircraftman Harvey William Hurst, 20. He was the son of Alta. and Ida Hurst of Gravenhurst, Ont.
He is interred at Lakeview Cemetery in Gravenhurst.
Leading aircraftman Cyril Samuel Lapp, 27. He was the son of Samuel and Mary Lapp and husband of Mildred Lapp of Dunnville, Ont. He is interred at Riverside Cemetery in Dunnville.