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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Gander in Division No. 6 (Central Newfoundland), Newfoundland and Labrador — The Canadian Atlantic
 

Arrow Air Crash

The Silent Witness Memorial

 

—Cross of Sacrifice —

 
Arrow Air Crash Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, June 24, 2014
1. Arrow Air Crash Marker
Inscription. English:
On December 11th, 1985, Arrow Air Flight MF1285R. a Douglas DC-8-63, US registration N95OJW departed Cairo on an international charter flight to Fort Campbell, Kentucky, USA, via Cologne, Germany and Gander, Newfoundland. On board were 8 crew members and 248 passengers. The flight was the return portion of the second in a series of three planned troop rotation flights originating at McChord Air Force Base, Washington, USA and terminating in Fort Campbell. The flight had been chartered by the Multinational Force Observers (MFO) to transport troops, their personal effects and some military equipment to and from peacekeeping duties in the Sinai Desert. All 248 passengers who departed Cairo on the 11th of December 1985, were members of the 101st Airborne Division (United States Army) based in Fort Campbell.
The flight departed Cairo and arrived at Cologne on December 11th 1985 for a planned technical stop. A complete crew change took place following which the flight departed Cologne for Gander at 11:20 pm Gander time.
The flight arrived at Gander at 5:34 am where passengers were de-planed and the aircraft was refuelled and serviced. The flight departed Gander on runway 22 from the intersection of runway 13 at 6:45 am. The aircraft gained little altitude after rotation and began to descend crossing the
The Silent Witness Memorial Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, June 24, 2014
2. The Silent Witness Memorial Marker
Trans Canada Highway approximately 900 ft beyond the departure end of the runway 22. The aircraft continued to descend until it struck downsloping terrain approximately 3000 ft beyond the departure end of the runway.
The aircraft was destroyed by impact forces and severe fuel-fed fire. All 256 occupants on board sustained fatal injuries.
The accident occurred at 6:46 am during the hours of darkness at latitude 48º 54’ 40” N, long 54º 34’ 35” W at an elevation of 279 feet above sea level. The Arrow Air Crash was the worst air disaster ever on Canadian Soil.

French:
L’écrasement Arrow Air
Le 11 décembre 1985, Arrow Air vol HF1285R (un Douglas DC—8-63, enregistrement américain N95OJW) en partance de Caire en Egypte sur un vol en charter international vers Fort Campbell, Kentucky aux États-Unis, via Cologne, en Allemagne et Gander à Terre-Neuve. A bord, il y avait huit membres d’équipage et 248 passagers. Ce vol était l’un des vols planifiés ayant pour but la rotation des troupes originaires de la base McChord Air Force de Washington, aux États-Unis et se dirigeait pour son étape finale se terminant à Fort Campbell. Le vol avait été organisé par la Force de multinationale de Observateurs et avait été chargé de transporter les troupes, leurs effets personnels et l’equipement militaire pour l’aller-ratour au désert
Arrow Air Crash/ The Silent Witness Memorial Markers image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, June 24, 2014
3. Arrow Air Crash/ The Silent Witness Memorial Markers
du Sinai. Tous les 248 passagers qui sont partis de Caire, le 11 décembre 1985, étaient membres de la 101ième Division Aéropotée de Fort Campbell aux États-Unis.
Le vol en partance de Caire avait atterri à Cologne le 11 décembre 1985 pour un arrêtt technique planifié. Après un changement complet d’équipage, le vol s’est envolé vers Gander à 11:20 p.m. heure de Gander.
Le vol est arrive à Gander à 5:34 a.m. at les passengers sont débarqués. Après ravitaillement et entretien nécessaire, le vol est parti de Gander sur la piste 22 à l’intersection de la piste 13 à 6:45 a.m. L’avion a prise peu d’altitude après rotation et a commence à descendre, traversant l’autoroute Transcanadienne à environ 900 pieds plus loin que la fin de la piste 22. L’avion a continué à descendre jusqu’a ce qu’il heurte le terrain en pente à environ 3000 pieds de la fin de la piste de départ.
L’avion a été détruit par la force de l’impact et par le feu rageant, alimenté par le carburant. Tous les 256 occupants ont péri.
L’accident a eu lieu a 6:46 a.m., à la noirceur, à une latitude de 48º 54’ 40” N, une longitude de 54º 34’ 35” O en à une élévation de 279 pieds au-dessus du niveau de la mer. L’écrasement Arrow Air a été le plus grand désastre aérien en sol canadien.

The Silent Witness Memorial

English:
On June
The Silent Witness Memorial image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, June 24, 2014
4. The Silent Witness Memorial
24th, 1990, a dedication ceremony was held in memory of the 101st Airborne Division. This memorial depicts an unarmed American Soldier standing atop a massive rock holding the hands of two civilian children. The children, a boy and a girl, each hold an olive branch, indicative of the peace keeping mission of the 101st Airborne Division “Screaming Eagles” on the Sinai peninsula. Behind them rise three tall staff each bearing a flag. Canadian, American and Newfoundland. As the trio stands looking into the future, they are surrounded by the trees, hills and rocks of the actual Arrow Air Crash site, overlooking Gander Lake in the direction of Fort Campbell, Kentucky. These natural surroundings are the “Silent Witnesses” of the precise moment when 256 dreams ended and the heart and imaginations of an entire world were captured.
The memorial was designed by Lorne Rostotski of St. John’s, Newfoundland and sculpted by Stephen Shields fo Hopkinsville, Kentucky, USA.
In June 1990, the statue was dedicated with several hundred people in attendance including American family members and friends, local dignitaries as well as representatives of the Canadian and American Government and Military.
The aircraft came to a final rest in what was once a heavily wooded area - now a peaceful grassy field. On December 12th, 1995 - ten years after the disaster -
The Silent Witness Memorial image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, June 24, 2014
5. The Silent Witness Memorial
a memorial service was held with representatives of the Canadian and American military present, as well as local, provincial, and federal officials. At that time a cross was dedicated to the memory of the lives lost ten years earlier.

Cross of Sacrifice

Twenty-two feet in height stands the “Cross of Sacrifice” - paid for from donations by those who have visited the site. The inscription “Rendezvous with Destiny” - the motto of the 101st Airborne Division - was crafted from the remains of the of the emergency exit door of the ill fated DC-8. Surrounding the cross are planted 256 native trees - a tribute to each of the crash victims.

French:
Le monument Silent Witnesses
“Témoins Silencieux”

Le 24 juin 1990, une cérémonie s’est tenue à la memoire de la 101ième Divsion Aéroportée. Ce monument dépeint un soldat américain devout sur un rocher tenant deux enfants, un garçon et un fillette, tiennent chacun un rameau d’olivier, indiquant la mission pour la protection de la paix de la 101ième Divsion Aéroportée, “Screaming Eagles”, sur la péninsule du Sinai. Surplombant le lac Gander en direction de Fort Campbell au Kentucky, ils se tournent vers l’avenir. Ils sont entourés par les arbres, les collines et les roches du site actuel
Entrance to The Silent Witness Memorial site image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, June 24, 2014
6. Entrance to The Silent Witness Memorial site
de l’écrasement Arrow Air. Derrière eux, s’élèvent trois mats portant respectivement un drapeau américain, canadien, et terre-neuvien. Ces alentours naturels son les “témoins silencieux” du moment précis où 256 rêves se son terminés et que le coeur et l’imagination d’un monde entier ont été captures.
Ca monument a été esquisse par Lorne Rostotski de St. John’s, Terre-Neuve et a été sculpté par Stephen Shields de Hopkinsville, du Kentucky, États-Unis.
Eh juin 1990, le statue a été inaugurée en la présence de centaines de personnes incluant plusieurs familles et amis américains ainsi que de nombreux dignitaires locaux, représentants gouvernementaux canadiens et américains et représentants militaires.
La courte envolée de ce DC-8 s’est soudainement terminée sur un terrain boisé, maintenant devenu un champ paisible. Le 12 décembre 1995, dix ans après le désastre, un service commémoratif s’est tenu en la présence de représentants militaires des forces armées canadiennes et américaines, ainsi que les officies locaux, provinciaux et fédéraux. A cette occasion, un croix à été dédiée à la memoire de ceux qui ont perdu la vie, il y a de cela dix ans.

La Croix du Sacrifice

D’une hauteur de vingt-deux pieds, s’érige la Croix du Sacrifice. Ce monument est le résultat des dons de nombreux visiteurs. L’inscription
List of Names of the Victimes of the Arrow Air Crash image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, June 24, 2014
7. List of Names of the Victimes of the Arrow Air Crash
“Rendez-vous avec la Destinée”, la devise de la 101ième Divsion Aéroportée, a été façonnée avec la Porte de sortie d’urgence du DC-8. Les environs de la croix ont été plantés avec 256 arbres, pour rendre hommage à chacune des victimes de l’écrasement.
 
Location. 48° 54.697′ N, 54° 34.468′ W. Marker is in Gander, Newfoundland and Labrador, in Division No. 6 (Central Newfoundland). Marker is on unnamed dirt road just from Trans-Canada Highway (Route 1), on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Gander, Newfoundland and Labrador A1V, Canada.
 
More about this marker. The Silent Witness Memorial is on an unnamed, unpaved road heading south from the Trans-Canada Highway, about one mile east of Gander, Newfoundland. Directions to the memorial are well signed.
 
Also see . . .
1. Arrow Air Flight 1285 - Wikipedia. On the morning of Thursday, 12 December 1985, shortly after takeoff from Gander en route to Fort Campbell, the aircraft stalled, crashed, and burned about half a mile from the runway, killing all 248 passengers and 8 crew members on board. To date, it retains the highest death toll of any aviation accident on Canadian soil and the second-highest of any accident involving
List of Names of the Victimes of the Arrow Air Crash image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, June 24, 2014
8. List of Names of the Victimes of the Arrow Air Crash
Click on this image to enlarge it and read the names.
a DC-8,[1] behind the crash of Nigeria Airways Flight 2120 six years later.
(Submitted on December 6, 2014, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.) 

2. Gander, the untold story - Sandford.org. the crash of an Arrow Air DC-8 in Gander, Newfoundland on December 12th, 1985. The cause of this crash, which killed 256 people including 248 members of the U.S. Army's 101st Airborne Division, has been shrouded in controversy since that fateful day. (Submitted on December 6, 2014, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.) 
 
Categories. Disasters
 
The Cross of Sacrifice image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, June 24, 2014
9. The Cross of Sacrifice
"Rendezvous with Destiny" is vertical on the cross.
Silent Witness Memorial plaque image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, June 24, 2014
10. Silent Witness Memorial plaque
This memorial has been erected by the Freemason of Newfoundland and Labrador, in memory of the 256 men and women of the 101st Airborne Division and the crew of Arrow Air who lost their lives on this site, Dec. 12, 1985. They were returning home from peacekeeping duties in Egypt.

“At the going down of the sun & in the dawning we will remember them”
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on December 6, 2014, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 561 times since then and 88 times this year. Last updated on December 8, 2014, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. submitted on December 6, 2014, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.   10. submitted on December 8, 2014, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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