Honouring Flying Officer Rooney Hodgins DFC with Bar

David Kluey commented once more…

As a result of this  unfortunate mishap, I was always intrigued with Vampires, leading to my flight in 2012 in UK with Matt Hampton of The Vampire Preservation Group. In 1948 many people were quite interested in viewing a propellor less aircraft actually fly. We watched in awe as F/O Hodgins aircraft slowly spiralled downward from a high altitude with no attempt to recover. Personally, I have always believed he was probably unconscious at the time. The original Vampires became known for oxygen system failures and were not fitted with ejection seat systems at that time.


Who remembers Flying Officer Rooney Hodgins?

Someone who commented on this original post.

As an 8 year old lad and my dad with 412 Transport Squadron in Rockcliffe, I sat on the hill overlooking the runways and witnessed the crash of Vampire jet #17037 on June 11, 1948, piloted by F/O Rooney Hodgins approx. 1/2 mile off the east end of the runway in the bush. Now in my mid 70’s, I never forgot that horrible site. Also, I finally flew in a Vampire T-11 in UK in 2012. What a memory.


Who remembers Flying Officer Rooney Hodgins?

Paul-Émile Piché’s  granddaughter sent me this message.

Hi Nicole and Pierre,

This is some brief info that I found on Rooney Alexander Hodgins. Please see below.


Find a Grave

April 3, 1923 Campbell’s Bay, Québec – June 11, 1948 in Ottawa, ON


Birth: 1922
Death: Jun. 11, 1948

Hodgins – As the result of an accident on Friday, June 11, 1948, Flying Officer Rooney Alexander Hodgins, DFC and Bar, beloved son of Mrs. Moletta Hodgins, of 123 Albert street and of the late Alexander E. Hodgins, in his 26th year.

Virtual War Memorial


Canada Veterans Hall of Valour


Hodgins modified picture

Hodgins was repatriated to Canada in December 1944. He retired from the RCAF in September 1945, but rejoined in May 1946. On June 11, 1948, Flight Lieutenant Hodgins was killed in a flying accident with a Vampire Jet which crashed


The Problems With Vampires: Air Force, Part 38


The first two fatalities involved very experienced pilots. They were Flying Officer Rooney Hodgins, killed June 11, 1948, and Squadron Leader Stanley Broadbent, killed June 18, 1948. Not surprisingly, pilots soon expressed misgivings. Wing Commander R.W. McNair, writing on Aug. 31, 1948, reported: “During recent flights at 25,000 feet for periods up to one and a half hours, I experienced serious deteriorations of vision due to frosting of the inside canopy and windscreen. In fact, during one flight the restriction became so great that I was totally unable to map read or see other aircraft in the formation.”