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A ‘miracle’ landing on Hudson Bay

The Story

After running out of fuel, an RCAF plane goes down over Hudson Bay. But on Jan. 21, 1949, there's some good news - all 12 men aboard have survived! The RCAF is set to rescue them the next morning. This radio clip retells the remarkable story. "It was when our own aircraft began nosing out over Hudson Bay that we realized that only a miracle had prevented the 12 men from plunging into the icy waters of the bay," recalls the CBC's Charles Gunning a few days later.

Medium: Radio
Program: CBC Radio News
Broadcast Date: Jan. 24, 1949
Guest(s): Charles Gunning, Alan Walmsley
Announcer: Bill Reid
Reporter: Thom Benson
Duration: 3:02
Photo: Aerial photo of Hudson Bay from Liam Gumley, Space Science and Engineering Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Did You know?

• RCAF stands for Royal Canadian Air Force.

• The plane, a Dakota aircraft, was forced to land on the ice of Hudson Bay because of insufficient fuel. It had been returning from a "4,000-mile mercy flight north of the Arctic Circle," according to the Globe and Mail, after going to pick up a radio operator on Baffin Island who was suffering from a stomach ailment.

• A Jan. 25, 1949 Globe and Mail editorial offered its take on the significance of the event: "The dramatic rescue of the twelve men forced down on the bleak ice of Hudson Bay has captured the imagination of the Canadian public. This was, indeed, adventure at its highest, and so typically Canadian. It is a victory of modern man against the elements: not a complete victory, for the battle is without end, but one of considerable encouragement."




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