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Wegner Point, Sunday, May 10, 2009.


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Author Topic: Wegner Point, Sunday, May 10, 2009.  (Read 586 times)
Mike Blais CD
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« on: April 19, 2009, 11:16:11 am »


Wegner Point

Posted By SEAN CHASE

   

schase@thedailyobserver.ca

An annual memorial service remembering the seven paratroopers who drowned in the Ottawa River 41 years ago will be held in early May.

The Airborne Regiment Association of Canada will hold the observance on Sunday, May 10 at Wegner Point, the scene of the worst training disaster in Base Petawawa's history. Services begin at 2:30 p. m.

"It was an unprecedented loss of life," says Dennis Stow, a retired soldier who was a drop zone control on the night of May 8, 1968 when 22 paratroopers landed in the frigid waters of the Ottawa River off the shores of Wegner Point. "We can never forget those seven fallen jumpers."

Master Warrant Officer Reginald Riddell, Warrant Officer Michael McDonnell, Cpl. Hugh Fields, Cpl. Bob Knight, Cpl. Dennis Clements, Cpl. Jim Misner and Cpl. Bruce Chiswell died that evening.

The men had served in the 1st Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment and the 2nd Signals Squadron.

This year, family members of the fallen soldiers will include Stephen Fields, son of Cpl. Fields, and the four daughters of Cpl. Knight.

His widow, Marion Knight, may attend the ceremony, added Mr. Stow.

Survivors Ray Clowes and Kenneth Fynn have also confirmed their attendance, however, many more are expected to make the pilgrimage to the memorial cairn which stands on a bluff overlooking the scene of the tragedy.

Retired Brig.-Gen. Donnie Banks, a former commanding officer of the Canadian Airborne Regiment, will be this year's reviewing officer.

A reception will be held at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 517 following the service.

Mr. Stow said last year's benchmark 40th anniversary saw one of the largest attendances to a service.

He expects many this year noting the story of Wegner Point is becoming more wide-known, especially on the Internet.

Sean Chase is a Daily Observer reporter.
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1977-1RCR  Italy PL, B Coy, Mortars
                   Pioneers, Delta Coy
                   CFB London

1979-3RCR  M Coy 12C,  Sigs, Pipes&Drums
                   Mortars
                   CFB Baden WG

1982 1RCR  Mortars 51B, Dukes, BBC (Cyp)
                   Mortars, WO-Sgts Mess,
                   CFB London

2008            President. Niagara Branch
                   The Royal Canadian Regiment
                           Association

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Mike Blais CD
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« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2009, 05:14:48 pm »






ARAC will be conducting a Memorial Service at Wegner Point, CFB Petawawa on Sunday the 10 May 2009 in commemoration of the fatal drowning that occurred in 1968 when seven of the members of the then newly formed Airborne Regiment met their untimely death by drowning in the Ottawa River during a parachute drop.

We are expecting a good number of relatives present at the memorial service. Needless to say, numerous past members of the Regiment who were on that drop will also be in attendance. During the ceremony, it is our intention to dedicate a number of wreaths in memory of our departed paratroopers. Present and former members of the Royal Canadian Regiment and former members of the Royal Canadian Corps of Signals will be laying wreaths.

[ TBA ], will be our honoured guest and [ TBA ] will be conducting the memorial service. [ TBA ] will be the Parade Commander. The service will begin at 1430 hrs.

We encourage you to invite your family and friends to attend the ceremony.

Please forward this invitation to all those who may be interested.

41st ANNIVERSARY FOR FALLEN PARATROOPERS

(Wegner Point, CFB PETAWAWA) � The Airborne Regiment Association of Canada (ARAC) will hold a memorial service at the Memorial Cairn, Wegner Point, CFB Petawawa, at 1430 hrs, Sunday May 10th 2009, to honour the seven paratroopers who drowned during a Para drop exercise on May 8, 1968.

Family and friends will attend the service in memory of:

Master Warrant Officer R.J. Riddell, Warrant Officer P.M. McDonnell,

Corporals D.W. Clements, D.H. Fields, R.J.G. Knight, B.N. Chriswell, and P.J. Mesener.

For further information contact:

Joe Drouin

ARAC
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1977-1RCR  Italy PL, B Coy, Mortars
                   Pioneers, Delta Coy
                   CFB London

1979-3RCR  M Coy 12C,  Sigs, Pipes&Drums
                   Mortars
                   CFB Baden WG

1982 1RCR  Mortars 51B, Dukes, BBC (Cyp)
                   Mortars, WO-Sgts Mess,
                   CFB London

2008            President. Niagara Branch
                   The Royal Canadian Regiment
                           Association

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