BANTING CRASH PROBED
Planes Rushed to Scene of Wreck on Newfoundland Coast
Lone Survivor Of Crash
Captain Joseph Creighton Mackey, 31-yeaer-old pilot of Kansas City, who was the only survivor of the military plane crash on the east coast of Newfoundland which claimed the lives of Sir Frederick Banting, Navigator William Bird and Radio Operator William Snailham. It was Pilot Mackey who wrote letter in the snow beside the wreckage which told aerial searchers of the tragedy.
Secret Anti-Gas Formula
Being Rushed To Britain
When Banting Met Death
Invasion Defense Discovered by Famed Savant Not
Lost With His Death - Planes Sent to New-
foundland Crash Scene to Bring Out Bodies
- Pilot Saved by Parachute
Royal Canadian Air Force planes are on their way to
Newfoundland to bring back to Canada the body "of Sir
Frederick Banting, killed on war service, while Canadian
and British authorities are preparing a full investigation
into the plane crash which took his life.
Two others died with Sir Frederick, Canada's out-
standing scientist, when the plane bearing him to Eng-
land on a mission of high national and scientific
importance" crashed near Musgrave Harbor, on Newfound-
land's desolate east coast, about 145 miles northwest of
They were Navigator William Bird, of Kidderminster
England, and William Snailham, of Bedford, N.S.
The only survivor is Captain Joseph Creighton Mackey,
of Kansas City, the pilot. Trappers brought him to shelter
last night. He was not injured. To-day the pilot returned
with a search party to the scene of the crash.
It was Sir Frederick's first attempted flight to England.
He was flying for a double reason
-first, because of the importance of
quick arrival in Britain; second, be-
cause it was felt that a plane would
be safer than crossing the ocean by ship.
ASKED FOK COURSE
When the plane was about 150 miles
from Botwood. the Newfoundland
airport, the first intimation of
trouble was given.
Its iolot wirelessed back tot he
airport, asking that a return course
him over the airwaves.
Nothing more was heard of the
plane until news came of the finding
of its wreckage.
Captain mackey, the pilot, is
quoted as saying that he lost his bearings
in a snowstorm. He flew around for
hours looking for the Newfoundland
airport. The engine trouble developed
and the plane plummetted from a great height, to earth.
Captain ^Mackey" is' reported to
have been wearing a parachute, but
no news has come as to whether the
three who were killed werelikewise
equipped. Bird, the radio man, was
also a pilot.
Plans for the official investigation
are being advanced by Dominion and
British authorities. The fact that
the crash occurred in Newfoundland,
and that the plane (a large type U.S.
war-plane being "ferried" to the Old
country under the direction of a
Monteal organization acting for the British Air Ministry)
Has raised the question as to whether the Department
of Transport has authority to
Order an investigation.
Questions have already been asked
By friends of Sir Frederick as to
whether there was any possibility of
sabotage, in view of Sir Frederick's
importance as a world-renowned
scientist and the urgency of his mis-
sion. No previous warplanes have
been lost in the ocean flight.
The plane, it has been learned, had
Been at Botwood airport for several
Days before it finally took off on the
fatal flight. 'The first leg of its flight
had been from Montreal to Newfoundland.
New that Sir Frederick and his
two companions had been killed was
brought to an anxious Canada last
night, after hopes had been raised
earlier that they might have been
safe. The plane, missing since Fri-
day, had been the object of a wide-
spread air search.
It was one of the searching planes
which located its wreck on the rock-
bound snow and ice-covered shore of
On the snow the lone survivor had written
A brief, stark message that
Sir Frederick Banting and two
of the plane's crew were dead. The
searching plane wheeled in the sky
dropped some supplies, and turned
back for Musgrave Harbor, about
five miles away. Unable to land
there, its pilot dropped instructions
for the rescue party to set out, and so
the news of the tragedy was learned
PLANES EN ROUTE
At dawn to-day two small Moth
Planes, the only ones available at St.
John's Newfoundland, took off for
The 80-mile flight to the scene of
The crash. Four other larger machines
of the RCAF left Ottawa late
yesterday and are now winging their way along
the rugged north shore of
the St. Lawrence to Newfoundland
airport. It is anticipated at Montreal,
although the authorities are ex-
tremely reticent, that the two small
Moths will bring Captain Mackey,
the survivor, and the bodies of his
three companions to Newfoundland
airport, which is 50 miles from Botwood,
the seaplane trans-Atlantic
base.' From Newfoundland" airport
they would be returned to their
homes in Canada in the larger RCAF
machines. Just what their destin-
ation in Canada will be, Quebec City.
Montreal .or Ottawa, no one as yet
seems to know.
.Prime Minister Mackenzie King,
in the House of Commons, said that
Sir Frederick Banting .was proceeding to Britain on a mission of high
national and scientific importance.
Import "was lent to the statement by
Another made later by Dean C.
J. MacKenzie, acting president of the National
research Council, that Sir Frederick was
engaged in work as great, if not as spectacular, as
His discovery of insulin.
Sir Frederick was known to have
been doing research in poison gas
as well as in problem's connected
with air fighting, such as the pre-
vention of air sickness, overcoming
the spells of unconsciousness that
pilots suffer in bringing their planes
out of power dives, and use of heart palliative for high altitude flying
Government circles in Ottawa understood that
Sir Frederick has found a way virtually to nullify any
use of poison gas by Germans In
their expected spring attack on the
British Isles, and that he was speeding there
To put it into practice. IT
was assumed that his formula was
known to others, and was not lost with his death.
Dean Mackenzie said British re-
searchers had visited Canada recent
ly in connection with Sir Frederick's work and that many
valuable ideas" had been exchanged.
Mackenzie said Sir Frederick's
trip was to have been "a quick one-
a month or six weeks."
The story cannot be told now, but it will be a great story after the war,
Dean MacKenzie is quoted as saying.
Sir Frederick, who served in the
last war and was awarded the Mili-
tary Cross, rejoined in this war as a
major in the Royal Canadian Army
Medical Corps. He had insisted on
Being sent to Britain with the new
medical knowledge he had gained by
his research in Canada, and had
voiced his determination to be there
it Germany launches an invasion
Yesterday , in announcing to the House of Commons
The loss of Canada's leading scientist, the Minister
of National Defense, Col. Ralston,
said, "He has been rendering in-
valuable professional services to
Canada, and he has also been serv-
ing the country by devoting his out-
standing abilities in research, not
merely abstract research but research of a practical kind.
In fact, the trip he was making had been necessitated thereby.
Prime Minister King described Sir
Frederick as a "great benefactor of
Mankind. His discovery of insulin
which brought him the Noble "prize)
had brought "new hope to the suf-
fering, and the promise of like to
many who were doomed to early
death before his researches were
crowned with success."
Since the war began he had organized a
branch of medical research," dedi-
cating himself to solution of the new
medical problems associated with
aviation, and the speed, height, and
low temperatures involved In the
operation of modern aircraft.
"Already his work had proved of
inestimable value, the Prime Minister said