Air Patrol Pilot Dead; Plane Dives
Rising to Start Regular Flight in Search For Forest Fires
CALGARY, Aug. 1.—Capt. Will Shields
, pilot of the Dominion air patrol at High River, Alta., was almost instantly killed about 8 o'clock this morning when starting on an inspection flight over the forests in the Clearwater district, west of Red Deer. His machine had risen only about 50
feet when it made a nose dive and Capt. Shields was so badly injured in the crash that he lived only a few minutes.
He came from Portage La Prairie, Man., had a splendid overseas record and was only married a month ago. His observer escaped unhurt. Capt. Shields had been with the High River patrol, whose duty is was to fly over the forests of the foothills and eastern Rockies and locate fires since the aerodrome was opened some months ago.
CALGARY, Aug. 1.—Capt. W. E. Shields, acting sub-station, superintendent of the Dominion air patrol at High River, was almost instantly killed at 7:37 this morning, when through some cause yet unexplained, bis machine side-slipped and fell a distance of 50 [feet], alighting on one of the wings. Accompanied by G. H. Harding, a wireless operator loaned to the air board by the department of naval survey branch, who was acting as observer, Capt. Shields was preparing for a flight over the forests in the Clearwater district, west of Red Deer. The machine had just taken off and had risen to about 50 feet, when it was seen to side slip and fall. Capt. Shields received a heavy blow on the back of the head which crushed his skull. Mr. Harding crawled out of the machine, having received but a slight cut on the nose and a shaking up.
Capt. Shields was still breathing when removed from the wreckage but died on the way to the aerodrome.
The death of Capt. Shields came as a blow to the residents of the district where he had made many friends. He was married on June 22 last to Miss Nicholson of Andover. N.B., and had just recently taken up his home in High River.
A board of inquiry will be held to investigate the cause of the fatality. Shields' home was in Portage La Prairie, Man. He had a splendid overseas record.
The Lethbridge Herald (Lethbridge, Alberta) - Monday, August 01, 1921