Ramsayville, ON Ambassador Dies In Plane Crash, Mar 1950



Ramsayville, Ont., March 29 -- (AP) -- The U.S. Air Force's top safety officer began an investigation today into the explosion and crash of the U.S. Embassy plane in which American Ambassador LAURENCE A STEINHARDT and four others were killed yesterday.
Maj. Gen. VICTOR E. BERTRANDIAS, director of flying safety for the air force, took a leading role in the inquiry started by Canadian police and Royal Canadian Air Force officers shortly after the tragedy.
The chief witness is the sole survivor of the crash, M/Sgt. GWYNNE A. LONG of Vannoy, N.C., who parachuted from the flaming plane just before it blew up and plowing into a snow-covered field near here.
Suffering from shock and leg injuries, Sgt. LONG told investigators last night that all aboard the plane strapped on parachutes after the right engine caught fire, but that the other passengers "got panicky and would not bail out." Newsmen have not been permitted to question him at the hospital where he is confined.
Among the four other victims was ALAN C. HARRINGTON, 20, son of JULIAN HARRINGTON, the U.S. minister to Ottawa.
Preliminary investigations tended to discount early rumors that the plane may have been sabotaged. The rumors started in view of the fact that the weather was clear and the light good.
The R. C. A. F. investigators said there was no indication of sabotage. They explained that a fire in the engine could have touched off an explosion in the plane's wing gasoline tanks.
Sgt. LONG said the plane was flying at 2,000 feet when the fire broke out.
"I knew we were going in," he said. "I knew we had to jump or die."
He said the rest of the passengers declared they would stay with the plane in hopes the pilot would be able to land it safely, despite the pilot's orders to bail out. Sgt. LONG tried to push them out of the door, he said, but when they refused he jumped alone from 700 feet.
The body of the 57-year-old STEINHARDT, his clothing still smoldering, was dragged from the shattered tail section of the plane.
The crash occurred a few minutes after STEINHARDT and his party left Rockcliffe airport at Ottawa on a business trip to New York.
STEINHARDT, veteran diplomat on both sides of the Iron Curtain and wealthy lawyer and director of numerous corporations, had been ambassador to Canada since 1948. He began his diplomatic career in 1933 and served as chief of diplomatic missions in Sweden, Peru, Russia, Turkey and Czechoslovakia at critical periods before, during and after the war.
The others who died were:
CAPT. THOMAS G. ARCHIBALD, 34, of Union Springs, Ala., pilot of the plane and assistant air attache at the Ottawa embassy.
LT. COL. WAYNE F. TRUEBLOOD, 35, Kansas City, Kan., attached to the R.C.A.F. as an exchange officer.
LT. MARCEL (MARK) BELANGER, 29, New Bedford, Mass., an exchange officer attached to the R.C.A.F.

The News Palladium Benton Harbor Michigan 1950-03-29


Ramsayville Crash 1950

I have been able to track down what happened to the young Harrington boy that was killed in the crash, and have been able to get in touch with most of the families involved, however, I have not been able to get in touch with the Trueblood family, or the Archibald Family.
If anyone can help me out with this, I would appreciate it. I can be contacted by phone at 613-795-2637...this is in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, and my email is [email protected]
I have also found out that the pilot, Marcel Belanger, had a girl friend in Ottawa at the time of the Crash by the name of Anny Andras. She was originally from the East Block Countries, and I would very much like to contact her family as well, if possible.

Sir, I would be most

I would be most interested to read any observations you've made relative to the crash at Ramsayville in 1950. I am the nephew of Lt Marcel Belanger and was 6 years old at the time of his death. I have audio tapes from his fiancée (Anna Andras, 1920-2003) which recount her travel from Ottawa to DC to New Bedford, MA immediately after his death.
Best Regards,
Michael Belanger


I am a nephew of Ambassador Steinhardt, a former Army and Air Force pilot, who flew in to Uplands the day after the crash on orders from the US Gov..I became involved in some strange events while helping investigate the crash. I am writing about this in my memoires. I would appreciate any information you might have that is not available to the public.
Since there were a number of people involved, I want to be sure my facts are straight.

video of crash

I asked the us ambassador to canada to help me contact the relatives of the folks that perished. He sent me to another group that looks into the tracking of this type of thing. I was contacted by Michael Belanger, however, am still trying to contact the relatives of the rest of the crew that perished, as well, as the relatives of the one lone survivor. I can be contacted at [email protected] if anyone has any more information. I would prefer to send a copy of the video to the relatives in the mail, so that they don't see it on you tube, or the six oclock news....the video shows the bodies being loaded onto my grand dads sleighs....being pulled by horses....and my dad as well....so I wanted to ensure that I made the effort to contact these folks before I made the video in remembrance of my dad....mark scharfe Ottawa, Ontario, Canada 613-795-2637 ....ps I have been in contact with the ambassadors grand daughter, and will take the time to ensure everyone is contacted that can be found...

Laurene, Thanks for that

Thanks for that note. Interestingly, I don't know where the name 'Mark' originated. I never heard anyone in the family use that name. In fact, his nickname was 'Mibs'.

Best Regards
Michael Belanger

Film of Ramsayville crash site.

I encourage you to proceed with the release and presentation of the film. I would very much like to see it. Could you post it on YouTube?
Thank you.

I'm Ambassador Steinhardt's

I'm Ambassador Steinhardt's granddaughter and I recall my mother speaking highly of Mark Belanger. My grandfather had enormous faith in his piloting ability proven over many years as my grandfathers pilot.

I'm Ambassador Steinhardt's

I'm Ambassador Steinhardt's granddaughter and see no reason not to proceed with your project.

plane crash

My grandpa Clem and my dad Russell were at the crash site, and the film of the crash site is now made public. I have a copy, and would like to show some of it on television, however, I am trying to get in touch with the relatives of the people in the crash before I do. My email is [email protected] please contact me if you are a relative of the folks that were in this crash....thx...mark

Marcel Belanger, the

Marcel Belanger, the co-pilot, was my uncle. I still remember coming home from school at age 6 and getting the news.
His death devistated my father who never really recovered from the loss.