LEST WE FORGET
Leading Aircraftman Colin Tolhurst ARTHUR
Service No: 407110
Born: Mount Gambier SA, 8 May 1916
Enlisted in the RAAF: 22 June 1940
Unit: No. 1 Service Flying Training School (RCAF)
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 1 Service Flying Training School Harvard aircraft 2704), Ontario, 4 February 1941, Aged 24 Years
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Garnet William and Ellen May Arthur, of Mount Gambier, South Australia.
Roll of Honour: Mount Gambier SA
Remembered: Panel 1, Column 3, Ottawa Memorial, Ontario, Canada
Remembered: Panel 133, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: World War II Honour Roll, National War Memorial of SA, North Terrace, Adelaide
Harvard 2704 of No. 1 Service Flying Training School, RCAF, crashed on a detached ice floe on 4 February 1941, 1.5 to 2 miles off-shore in Nottawasaga Bay, Ontario. Small parts of the aircraft apparently the wings, were spread over a large area, but the engine and main body of the aircraft appeared to have gone through the ice to the bottom of the lake.
The above was observed from the air and it was impossible to reach the spot on the surface. Due to bad weather and a heavy southerly gale the ice flow completely disappeared on 8 February 1941, and salvage operations were suspended until the spring. In mid May 1941 salvage operations located the wreckage approximately 5 kms north west from the Nottawasaga River in the Georgian Bay in approximately 20 metres of water. By mid June a major portion of the wreck was brought to the surface. Divers searched the lake bottom but no bodies were found in the water or in the wreck. The search was subsequently abandoned.
The crew members of 2704 were:
Leading Aircraftman Colin Tolhurst Arthur (407110) (Trainee Pilot)
Leading Aircraftman Claude Murray Ross (400156) (Trainee Pilot)
Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records (RAAF Casualty Information compiled by Alan Storr (409804))
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 32/4/62