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Not yet born when the plane in which his Nike Windrunner Fleece dad was a passenger pancaked into a John Street hillside in Barre, Peter Gay remarked at the good fortune of his father, Earl Gay.
Brian Lindner, an aviation disaster historian in Vermont who has helped Peter Gay retrace his father tracks, said flight conditions were far from ideal.
And on a clear summer day last week, that little boy now a 62 year old resident of Kitchener, Ontario surveyed for the first time the scene of his father crash.
Earl Gay, a sergeant in the Royal Canadian Air Force, was unconscious even before he boarded the ill fated flight into Nike Blue Tracksuits
Barre. The plane was originally bound for Montreal, where Gay was to be flown to receive treatment for the head injury he suffered in a prior plane crash on an airfield in New Brunswick. The wrecks occurred fewer than 14 hours apart.
all unfinished business for our family, Gay says. stuff I learned down here, it more pieces of the puzzle.
whole thing for me has filled in so much understanding of who my dad was, Gay says. dad could never run, because one leg was shorter than the other from the first crash. He never played catch. He didn teach me how to ride a bike. And I not mad about it. But you think about it, you know? How you never had those experiences. And now I just know it because he couldn who has taken other people to the sites of plane crashes in which family members died, says Peter Gay experience isn unique.
Gay, who grew up in Niagara Falls, Ontario, and was the youngest of three boys, says his father was never the same.
with him until his death.
Two or three times a year, he says, his father would suffer from seizures. The events, Gay says, haunt him to this day.
might not even be here talking to you, Peter Gay says.
Luck for the Gay family, however, was accompanied by lifelong hardship, as the injuries suffered by Earl Gay over a 24 hour period in 1942 would stay Nike Coat Black And White
ever a guy had nine lives, it was my dad, Peter Gay says.
But this odd and unlikely occurrence would have longer lasting repercussions for a little boy in Canada than it would for any of the people who witnessed the twin engine bomber descent.
had a hard time working. He basically lost his speech, he got very frustrated, Gay says.
A pilot before World War II began, Earl Gay skills were put to use as a trainer of future airmen. It was in that capacity that he found himself on June 2, 1942, trying to pull out of a nosedive initiated by the student he was trying to instruct.
Gay says visiting the site of the wreck in Barre a raised ranch now sits on the ground where the plane most likely crashed has softened the edges around some hard childhood memories.
weather forecast is not good between New Brunswick and Montreal, Lindner said. it looks marginally like they can fly it. pilot accompanied by a navigator, medical officer and the unconscious Gay tried to navigate visually by following the St. Lawrence River below. He quickly lost his bearings. By the time everyone realized how far off course they strayed, the situation had grown dire.
Photos of the wreckage dominated the front page of afternoon editions of the Barre Daily Times the predecessor to the Barre Montpelier Times Argus and the event has since been chronicled in histories of the Granite City.
very emotional for them to be at the site, Lindner says. think it answers a lot of questions that you can verbalize. They want to be there. They want to see the wreckage. says he looking forward to bringing news of his finds from Vermont clippings from old newspapers, copies of write ups in history books to his brothers in Niagara Falls.
notoriously in the middle of the night would go into our little bathroom and have a seizure, Gay says. my dad was 6 feet, 200 pounds, and the only guy who was Nike Dri Fit T Shirt Full Sleeve
Flares did little to help the crew spot a favorable landing site. Knapp Airport in Berlin existed then, but at that late hour had its lights down and was unmanned. According to an article in the Barre Daily Times recounting the event, plane struck a heavy tree between the right wing motor and the fuselage and the ship was pivoted by the impact. hit the ground on the lower side of the nose, the story said, then swung around headed back almost exactly in the direction from which it had come. pilot, navigator and medical officer walked away virtually unscathed. Gay was found crumpled behind the pilot seat, and the impact, Peter Gay suspects, certainly didn aid in his recovery from the brain injury.
After stabilizing him at the nearby Miramichi Airport in New Brunswick, medical personnel put him aboard an emergency flight to the Queen Elizabeth Neurological Institute in Montreal.
just got goosebumps, Peter Gay says.
small enough to go in there and be with him, that was me. isn that Gay memories of his father aren fond: He was a fun guy, loved to have a good time and fool around. he just had a really tough time, Gay says.
BARRE On June 3, 1942, Barre residents awoke to news of a dramatic early morning plane crash on the outskirts of their downtown.
they get into the Barre Montpelier area, they realize they low on fuel, they gotta put that thing down, it 3 o in the morning, and it pitch dark, Lindner said.
Gay fared well enough to make the crash a survivable one the student, Peter Gay has been told, walked away mostly unhurt. But Earl Gay suffered a crushed skull, five broken ribs and a host of other traumas.
1942 plane crash victim
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