During a night drop on the 8th of May, 1968, seven troopers drowned in the Ottawa river during what was supposed to be a routine drop onto the Mattawa Plains at CFB Petawawa resulting in the largest single-day loss of life at the base.

If you are near Petawawa this weekend, the Canadian Airborne Association will mark the date with a commemoration service beginning this Sunday at 2:30 p.m. at the Wegner Point monument.

7 Responses to “40th Anniversary of the Wegner Point disaster”

  1. on 11 Jan 2009 at 5:34 pmmcpl pottery ppcli ret

    I was a young boy in school in Petawawa when this tragedy occurred. In my class a few of my schoolmates father’s died. This was very traumatic to me at the time and in recognition when I became of age, I received my paratrooper wings in CFB Edmonton. To all the jumpers that died that day, have a good one.

    God Speed, Airborne

    A proud Paratrooper

  2. on 11 May 2009 at 11:32 amJeannie Armstrong

    I had the honor to attend the Ceremony on the 10th of May 2009 at Wegner’s Point.
    My father was the RadOp who manned the rescue boat in the river and we found out yesterday was creditted with saving many lives that day. My son and I had the extreme honor of meeting some of the wonderful men who were rescued that night.
    I was born 3 months after the tragedy and have heard the circumstances surrounding it many times. My father never forgot his commrades from that night until his death in 1993.
    Thank you to Joe and Dennis for continuing to ensure that these brave men are remembered and that their families know that we will always be there for them.

  3. on 28 Jul 2009 at 8:18 pmMartin Brannon

    My father, Ralph Brannon, was one of the first rescued that night as he landed in the center of the river. Apparently the rescue boat reached him first from the other side of the river. I was 10 years old at the time and will never forget the phone call from him the next morning…..I didn’t recognize his voice on the phone….a result of the being in the cold water the night before. He didn’t attend the 40th Ceremony as he wasn’t aware of it.

    Do any of the remaining survivors remember my father? Would love to hear from you.


    Martin Brannon (martin.brannon@nbed.nb.ca)

  4. on 23 Jul 2011 at 2:12 pmSgt.Tom Cook Ret.

    I was the jumpmaster on that on that jump. And I still remember that night quit vividly.
    We lost a lot of good friends that night .
    No one has been able to explane to me why we were not issued life jackets.
    And why there was only one life boat .
    If I sound a bit bitter about what happend ,then you got it right.
    I am glad to see that theas Men have not been forgoten.
    AIRBOARN Tom Cook e-mail skyhawk65@shaw.ca

  5. on 28 Nov 2011 at 3:52 pmDawn Gallant

    My father too remembers the night quite vividly as he jumped this very evening landing in the cold Ottawa River. I was four years old at the time and remember the fear. His name was Alvin Gallant…2RCR and Airborne with a very proud family. He remembers staying alive until his rescue by using his helmet as a buoy. Today too our family finds itself remembering him though he survived that day he lost a battle to cancer this year. It is nice to know that this incident has not been forgotten as I know those that jumped that day have not forgotten, families that lost soldiers have not forgotten and families who soldiers survived have not forgotten

  6. on 28 Nov 2011 at 4:17 pmDawn Gallant


  7. on 17 Mar 2013 at 3:22 amDonald Comeau

    Earlier in my career I served with a gentelman in 1 RCR who was on that jump, he was so upset by what happened he took down his wings and never jumped again.

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