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.
This is some brief info that I found on Rooney Alexander Hodgins. Please see below.
April 3, 1923 Campbell’s Bay, Québec – June 11, 1948 in Ottawa, ON
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 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 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.”