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1941: Sir Frederick Banting dies in plane crash

The Story


Following his work on insulin, Frederick Banting was desperate to find his second big break and dismiss rumours that he had struck it lucky the first time around. He researched silicosis and cancer before being appointed chairman of the National Research Council's Committee on Aviation Medical Research in 1939. On Feb. 21, 1941, Banting leaves Newfoundland for England when his plane crashes shortly after takeoff. The pilot, Captain Joseph Creighton Mackey, is the only survivor.

Medium: Television
Program: Here & Now
Broadcast Date: Feb. 21, 1991
Guest(s): Roland Abbott, Marge Brown
Reporter: David Zelcer
Duration: 2:05
Photo: Library and Archives Canada/PA-178289

Did You know?


• Navigator William Bird and radio operator William Snailham were also killed in the plane crash.

• The house where Banting brainstormed the idea for insulin, in London, Ontario, has been designated the Banting Museum and Education Centre. At the front of the house a small flame burns representing the hope for a cure to diabetes. The flame will be extinguished once a cure is found.


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