Ste. Therese De Blainville, QB Airliner Crashes, Nov 1963

Shattered Airliner Quebec CAN plane crash site 11-29-1963.jpg



Ste. Therese De Blainville, Que. (CP) -- Scores of mud-caked police and others worked tirelessly amid death and destruction as a rainy, grey dawn broke Saturday over the Laurentian countryside where a Trans-Canada Air Lines DC-8F jet dived into the ground and carried 118 persons to a fiery death.
Hastily erected lights disclosed an eerie scene, pieces of human bodies, half-buried personal belongings and shattered bits of what had been a sleek airliner.
There were no survivors of TCA's ill-fated flight No. 831, which took off from Montreal's Dorval airport for Toronto at 6:28 p.m. Friday and four minutes later plowed into a virtual quagmire near this town 20 miles north of Montreal.
The dead numbered 111 passengers and seven crew members.
There were 70 from the Toronto area, five from Western Canada, one from New Brunswick, one from Brooklyn, N.Y., one believed from Port Washington, N.Y., and one whose next of kin address was listed as Bombay, India.
The crash was the worst in Canadian aviation history and the second worst single-plane disaster in civilian world flying.
Pieces of bodies were gathered up and placed in rubber sheets and blankets to await transportation to a morgue set up in a barracks builring at nearby Camp Bouchard.
In the glare of the floodlights, arms, legs and torsos could be seen in trees through which the giant liner tore to the ground. A human hand, a ring on a finger, could be seen a few yards from the plane wreckage, sticking out of the mud.
But, as dawn came, there was little that could be recognized as a plane -- only shattered pieces and twisted metal. One appeared to be the nose of the plane.
In its death dive the plane dug a huge crater in the soggy ground. From the top of the crater part of a uniformed body could be seen in one section of the half buried piece of wreckage.
Investigators were under way but there was no immediate indication of what caused the sudden crash.
At dawn Rev. ARTHUR GAREAU, Roman Catholic Chaplain of the Montreal General Hospital, stood beside the crater and said last rites. A single tongue of fire still rose from the wreckage.
A guard of about 500 RCMP officers stood around the crater.
Workmen dug a ditch about the perimeter of the crater to allow surface water to drain off, pending installation of a pump to remove water from the crater itself.
Swarms of spectators, drawn to the town by news of the crash, thinned out during the night.



TCA Flight 831 - The "workers/searchers"

Dear Mr. Dick,

I recall this horrid incident, and my sympathies went to all of the poor grieving families who lost loved-ones in this awful disaster. But, in a way, I sort-of lost my dad, David Harry ("Archie") ARCHIBALD. Let me explain. Dad worked for TCA as an aircraft mechanic at Dorval, and he was on the 4 to 12 shift that day. They asked for volunteers to go up to Ste. Therese by busload, to assist in trying to locate bodies and personal effects, etc., for the purposes of the investigation. Dad volunteered with the others and was never quite the same "inside" afterwards. It was the most ungodly job he had ever done in his life, and the nightmares of what he saw and what he felt stayed with him for decades afterwards. The first time he volunteered, was back in the late 30's - when while working as an aircraft mechanic at TCA he volunteered to do the maintenance and the overhauls on the incoming bombers from the US, while my mother was part of the voluntary painting crew of women who had to strip off the US insignia from the bombers and then re-paint them with the British Roundel, in time for the overhaul and maintenance and re-fitting for the ferrying over the north Atlantic to Britain. - But the impact of what he did then did not hold a candle to the damage that searching in that swamp in Ste. Therese did to him many years later. He was a big, tall, very strong and kind-hearted man; however, the human destruction of the crash of TCA Flight 831was capable of dropping even the bravest right in their tracks. Dad and mum are now at peace; however, I will never forget the look of desolation in his eyes as he tried to speak of it, but never could. God bless all the souls who passed away on that fateful day. Thanks for "listening". My dad was (and still is to this very day inside my heart) my hero. Val Frost (nee ARCHIBALD) and her Newfoundland Service Dog, "Bubbles"

pics of Harry J Dyck

Good day,
I'm the son of Harry J Dyck who lost his life on the TCA crash November 29, 1963. I would appreciate any phots you have.
I'm actually going to visit the cemetery in Ste. Therese in May.

Thank you,

Harold Dyck
Mississauga, ON

I remember this, as one of

I remember this, as one of our neighbours was on the flight: CECIL S. FINKLER. The family lived across the street, on Baycrest Avenue in Toronto.

The list of victims includes an "L. FINKLER," which may refer to Cecil's wife, Louisa. However, she was definitely NOT on the flight. Could there have been a related or unrelated Finkler on the same flight?

D Turner

Hi Richard,

I think I may be your long lost relative!! My name is Jennifer Turner, and I live in Ontario. Don and Mary Turner are my nana and grampa.

They have 3 children: Jane, Peter and Andy.
All of which now have children of their own. I'm Peters only child.

I've also heard stories of these nude painting around the house, funny how these things travel!! I guess my great grandfather was quite a character!!

Unfortunately, this plane crash was well before I was born (or even an idea) and I never got to meet Don. I've heard that he was an avid photographer, and my nana had some of their old home movies converted from when they moved to Canada so I've had the pleasure of watching them.

After Don was killed, she re-married a man named "Kip" in 1973 (who I also never got to meet). My nana Mary was a sweet lady with a huge heart who worked as a nurse. Unfortunately, she passed away in December of 2009.

My Dad, Peter Turner, worked as a computer system network architech. Unfortuanately, he passed away in January of this year. He was very interested in music and motorcycles. He had a great sense of humour, and had a gift for connecting with people.

Around 1960, Eve came to visit my Dad's family when they were living in Edmonton. They went on a big camping trip through the mountains. I recently came across pictures of them from this trip, and it looks like they're having a great time!!

I hope you get this message, and I'm very exciting to have found you. If you get the chance, please tell me more about your family in England!


My grandfather was one of

My grandfather was one of the listed victims....Grant Stevenson of Toronto. I was the next born in the family (after the disaster) and would have been his first grandchild. I was born on November 29, 1981...exactly 18 years later to the day. My Mum always says I was born on Nov 29th to bring happiness back to such a tragic day for our family. She was just 7 years old when she lost her father. My Nana was widowed at 37 years old, with 3 children under the age of 10. I like to think my Mum was right :-)

D Turner

Just found out a few days ago that a relative was killed on this flight. Don Turner (Donny) was married to Mary and had about 6 children. I knew his father (Don) and Mother (Eve) as a very young child. His father was a painter and had covered his house with murals of semi naked women! Quite an eye opener to a young 8 year old. Eve his mother was my Nan's(Daisy) sister.

Hallo Ernest J. Dick!! I

Hallo Ernest J. Dick!! I have one photo of HARRY J. DYCK and alot of photos of Dycks family.Are you belong to this family?
please answer!

TCA Flight 831

Called From Home For Flight 831: My aunt Lorna was writing a letter to her family in Calgary on Friday, November 29, 1963 when she was called at her apartment near Malton, ON. A livewire known to her friends as "Sam", she put aside her letter - and called to her two room mates (both stewardesses) "They're sending me to Montreal, I have to get my hair done." Lorna-Jean Wallington was one of three Stewardesess that was killed in the horrific TCA Flight 831 crash, she was only 21. Unfortunately, my siblings and I did not meet her. I was born in 1965 and my two older brothers were very young when she died, so all we have are photos, newspaper clippings and a copy of the Star Weekly - dated May 23, 1964. Both my mother and grandmother rarely spoke of the crash, her death was a devastation and a great loss to her family. My aunt had a beautiful smile, she was a natural athlete and had attended the Art Institute in Calgary (I have one of her paintings) prior to becoming a Stewardes. My mom always said how much we were alike. My grandmother said Lorna loved to fly. She was a member of the Calgary Ski Club. She had planned to take holidays in Innsbruck, Austria in January - two months after her death.

My mother passed away 6 months ago, so I am piecing together some of her family history, and photos for my 11 year-old daughter (also known to her friends as "Sam"). I have come across some interesting facts from my mother's belongings and the internet about Flight 831. I had no idea there was a monument for the crash victims - I hope to visit it someday. Flight 831 was a tragic loss to so many people. May you live in our hearts forever.

My grandfather Captain

My grandfather Captain Joseph Scott died on this flight. His hometown was actually Kingsville. I still miss him.

8 people missed this flight

My father John MacArthur and his boss Mr. McVeigh missed this flight due to a traffic jam in downtown Montreal. I was a the airport with my mother and brothers to pick him up when we were told the plane had crashed and everyone had died. We drove home and my aunt greeted us with the news that my father had called and he was alright and had in fact missed the plane.
I am so sorry for those who lost family members and friends - but I am grateful my father missed that plane.