GRAHAM, Archie E. On Wednesday, August 3, 2016 at the Perley & Rideau Veteran's Health Centre at the age of 97 years. Archie Ernest Graham, husband of the late Helen Graham (nee Knight). Dear father of Peter Graham. Predeceased by his son Andy Graham. Archie was a proud firefighter with the RCAF and retired Fire Marshal from the Ottawa Civic Hospital. Friends are invited to visit at the Central Chapel of Hulse, Playfair and McGarry, 315 McLeod Street (at O'Connor), Ottawa on Tuesday, August 9, 2016 from 11 a.m. - 12:45 p.m. - Service in the Chapel at 1:00 p.m. A Reception will follow. Interment in the Auld Kirk Cemetery, Almonte. As an expression of sympathy donations to the Perley & Rideau Veteran's Health Centre. - Source

CAHS Ottawa Chapter remembers Archie Graham

Archie had shared several of his stories as an RCAF firefighter with the members in the Ottawa newsletter. One, from September 1997, stands out. Submitted by Timothy Dubé


The Air Force Fire Marshal Wing Commander (W/C) Bill MacCallum and I (at that time the Air Division Fire Marshal) had just completed an inspection of the four Air Division wings and Metz. It was then decided that the we would visit the Pyrene Company in England which was in the process of building the G-19 Foam Crash Tenders. It had been a busy week so the W/C decided that he would go to London on the Friday evening to get rested up. I would join him Monday for the visit to the plant.
Saturday morning (3 December 1955), I proceeded to 2 (F) Wing at Grostenquin to catch the Bristol Freighter to Langar. The aircraft had to make a stop at 1 (F) Wing Marville to pick up some freight and a couple of passengers. Because of the foggy conditions, the flight crew was making their approach into Marville by GCA. About 5 miles out, contact with the GCA was lost and the aircraft flew into the side of a heavily wooded hill about two miles short of the runway. The Bristol Freighter was ripped apart on contact. The fuel tanks were ruptured -- spraying gas over a large area -- and a fire had started.
My immediate concern was to get as far away from the crash site as possible. In addition to the crew of four, there had been thirteen passengers on board; 7 passengers died in the crash and 4 were seriously injured. I was fortunate, I only suffered two broken ribs and a bruised ankle. The Flight Attendant, LAC J. Novak, and I dragged the passengers -- some living, some dead -- several yards away. The pilot, co-pilot and navigator were some distance away in another part of the wreckage and were only slightly injured, but had trouble walking.
Because I was the least injured, it was decided that I should go for help. After a five minute walk, I encountered two Frenchmen cutting wood. They assisted me in getting to the village of Lre-le-Sec and a telephone. I called the base and requested a crash tender and ambulance, and then directed them to the edge of the woods and the route that I had covered. Unfortunately, I never did get to complete the journey to England and spent several weeks recuperating.

Archie Graham

Note: The full crash investigation report will be found amongst the records of the Department of National Defence (RG 24, 1989-90/322, Box 7, file 093-9696) at the National Archives of Canada. Access to this file is governed by the provisions of the Access to Information and Privacy Acts.