Summerville World War II Plane Crash
A brief explanation of this plane crash, on June 25th, 1943 five light Ventura Mk II bombers left the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan aerodrome at Pennfield Ridge, New Brunswick on a low-flying cross-country navigation exercise. While two were flying over the Avon River in the Falmouth, Windsor, Summerville area of Hants County, Nova Scotia, one of the planes – AJ186 – developed engine trouble. When one engine malfunctioned, then failed and the other either shut off or failed, this plane turned inland. However, it quickly lost altitude, struck a large pine tree, somersaulted and crashed near Musgrove Road, Summerville. All four airmen aboard perished in the crash.
The four airmen were:
1. PO George Wellington Cowie, pilot, Wellington, New Zealand
2. PO Clifford Avery Griffiths, navigator, Auckland, New Zealand
3. PO John Clarke Loucks, air gunner, Bracebridge, Ontario, and
4. Sgt. Arthur Cornelius Mulcahy, wireless air gunner, Sydney, Australia.
The two New Zealanders are interred in Maplewood Cemetery, Windsor and the Australian in St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Cemetery, Windsor. The Canadian was buried in his
hometown of Bracebridge, Ontario.
It was about mid-morning on the last day of school when the crash occurred. As such, it was witnessed by a number of students on their way home as well as other residents of Summerville.
Although each grave of the fallen airmen is marked, there is not anything to commemorate this tragedy until now. West Hants Historical Society has arranged for a suitable Memorial of black
granite approximately four feet in length through the generous donation of Heritage Memorials Limited, Windsor. With the valuable assistance of Royal Canadian Legion, Branch No.9 and
Summerville & District Volunteer Fire Department, an unveiling/dedication ceremony is planned for Sunday, June 25th, 2023 – the 80th anniversary of the crash – at Musgrove Road Cemetery, Summerville.
This cemetery is within site of the crash site.