“Flagship Erie” Plaque Unveiling near Lawrence Station

Article written by Ken Beecroft:

Lawrence Station, ON: On Sunday September 9th at 2 p.m. there was an unveiling of a commemorative plaque at the site of the area’s most serious air disaster. Although a cold, windy and blustery day, at least 200 people were on hand for this solemn occasion.

On October 30, 1941, while on route across southwestern Ontario from Buffalo to Detroit, American Airline’s DC-3 “Flagship Erie” suddenly fell from the skies just east of the rural Elgin County hamlet of Lawrence Station, on the Southwold Township farm of Thompson and Viola Howe. In all, twenty American citizens on board perished. Local citizens along with fire, police, military, and media respondents along with many more were remembered for their efforts. Inquiries by Canadian and American officials never determined the cause of the crash. In 1941, there was a designated landing strip in nearby Mosa Township at the corner of Longwood’s Road and Old Airport Road, southwest of Glencoe, that could have provided refuge. They never made it there. This awful disaster lead to the development of flight data recording technology.

To most people passing by, this has always been another farmer’s field, as time has eroded memories. We can now acknowledge that this place holds a significant place in Southwold Township history. The plaque recognition Project is a combined venture by Greenlane Community Trust, Southwold Township History Committee, S.S. #12 Southwold School Alumni, along with many others…..Well done Southwold !!!

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