Issoudun, QB Jetliner Crashes, Aug 1957



Issoudun, Que. (CP) -- Seventy-nine persons died Sunday in Canada's worst plane crash when a big DC-4 dug deep into a swamp and tore apart, leaving flame-singed wreckage scattered over a wide area near this community 15 miles southwest of Quebec.
While available evidence pointed to lightning as one possible cause of the mid-afternoon tragedy, investigators set about an inquiry. The crash eclipsed the TCA accident last December when 62 persons died against a peak in B.C.
There was no official word available on what might have doomed the Maritime Central Airways plane, inbound for Torondo from London. Aboard were homing vacationers, including many former British servicemen. The plane had been chartered by an Ontario veterans association and was on course.
All but two of the passengers -- a Charlottetown father and his five-year-old son -- were from Ontario.
The aircraft was piloted by NORMAN RAMSAY of Montreal who had been with MCA two years.
The 37 year old pilot's licence was suspended for six months late in 1954 after a transport department board of inquiry blamed him for "negligence" in the crash of a TCA Super-Constellation near Brampton, Ont.
However, MCA described him as a 'good, well trained pilot.'
Wreckage of the plane is slowly sinking into water-soaked muskeg, deputy transport minister J. A. BALDWIN said in Ottawa.
He said a major pumping operation may be necessary to reach the wreckage for use in an investigation launched by the department. Craters containing plane sections were filling with water.
MR. BALDWIN said orders have gone to Quebec district officials to do whatever is necessary to bring out the wreckage, regardless of expense.
The worst commercial air accident in world history occurred June 30, 1956. A trans-World Airliner and United Airlines plane collided over the Grand Canyon and all 128 persons aboard the two craft were killed.
Eighty persons died in March 1950, as a chartered plane carrying soccer fans from a match in Dublin crashed at Cardiff, Wales.
The highest toll in any air disaster occurred near Tokyo June 18, 1953, when 129 homebound U.S. servicemen died in the crash of a U.S. Air Force plane.
Farmer ALFRED MARTEL, on whose land the plane crashed, saw and heard nothing. But his son, JEAN-GUY, 12, and hired man FERDINAND OLIVIER, 31, were in a field on a tractor and reported watching the stricken aircraft plunge "straight down." Their vehicle's roar drowned out the impact.



Memorial/Gravesite for Victims of Issoudun

Hi. My Aunt and Uncle, Vera and Lloyd Tompkins, were on that terrible flight. The gravesite is not in Issoudun but in Toronto. Mount Pleasant Cemetery is where all the remains were interred and a monument raised to those unfortunates. If you would like to share your email with me I can send you a copy of the map of the cemetery showing where the gravesite is. I have visited several times since relocating to the US from England. It is beautifully maintained and is a very peaceful place.

There is a monument close to

There is a monument close to the sight of the crash in the community of Issoudun, however the remains of the crash victims were buried in a mass grave in Toronto where there is another monument. This is in Prospect Cemetery, near the front gate off of St Clair Avenue. I have been to Issoudun, but not Prospect Cemetery - however there is a picture of that monument online. My Grandmother Annie Watts died in the crash.


The monument is beside the church - a bit of distance from where the plane went down in a marsh. My grandmother Annie Watts was on the flight and my father, Ronnie Watts was at the airport waiting for her. Apprarently they kept announcing the flight 'delayed' for a long time, before they announced that there had been a crash.

Maritime Central Airways Flight 315 - Heathrow to Toronto

In 1957 when this unfortunate air crash occurred, I was a little boy of seven.

At that time, my Grandmother (Mary Stokes) lived with us, and I vaguely recall her having received news from Canada, that her Sister, Mrs Annie Watts, was on this aircraft and had unfortunately perished with all souls on board!

An horrendous end to all their lives, but if following investigations are to be accepted, then thankfully, none would have had too much time to consider their end!

Amazing that nigh on sixty years hence, an aircraft will fly through such clouds and not be troubled......

air crash

My uncle was on the flight dad had talked to me about the crash and his therorythere was a documentry done by diasters of the century, if you need any information I will try and help.

Kevin Worts

Lucy Baikie

Lucy also visited my grandmother - Emily Margaret Smith (Peet). I think I have a photo from the visit

The family name is actually

The family name is actually spelled Thomlinson. Gordon and his son Michael lived in Cambridge (Galt), Ontario. Gordon's son Eric has a son Michael that now lives in Hamilton, Ontario

Your grandfather and young uncle

I find it extremely coincidental that your grandfather Gordon Thomlinson and your uncle Michael Thomlinson were killed in this airplane crash. Because my grandfather Albert Kersley and grandmother Jessie Kersley were also killed in this crash. I am an uncle to a Michael Tomlinson.
I would like to discuss your ancestry if you would get in touch with me.
Gordon Tomlinson

Issoudun Traggic Flight Crash Aug 1957

My husbands Grandmother was on this flight, Mrs Sarah Shaver and her Aunt both from Galt ON returning from their visit to Scotland. I remember my mother in law talking about being at the airport waiting for the flight to arrive picking up her mother and aunt. Does anyone know where the gravesite is in Issoudun, PQ ?

Hello, I am writing on behalf

I am writing on behalf of my grandmother. Her brother, Robert; father, John Francis and her uncle, William were on this flight. We are always looking for more information regarding this accident. If you know of anything else or would like to exchange knowledge, this would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you!