Sunday, March 17, 2013

Parks Canada Announces Launch of Twitter Feed on 70th Anniversary of Loss of WWII Pilot Jack Zimmerman and His PBY-Catalina

Parks Canada launched a national Twitter feed focusing on the work done by the Agency’s underwater and terrestrial archaeological teams. The new Twitter feed (

The launch of the new Twitter feed coincided with the 70th anniversary of Second World War American PBY-5A Catalina foundering in the St. Lawrence. The PBY was piloted by Fremont, Ohio native Lt. Col. Jack Zimmerman, legendary TWA pilot, who joined the Army Air Force early in WWII. He headed the North Atlantic Wing Air Transport Ferry Command.

After conducting inspections of the air field at Mingan, Ontario, Zimmerman and eight crew members departed for the return flight to Presque Isle, Maine. Facing strong headwinds and swells of five to six feet, the PBY failed to lift off. Hitting the top of the waves, the cockpit filled with seawater that entered behind the wheel well. In a matter of minutes, the entire cockpit filled with water, causing the nose to submerge. Four of the crew escaped. Lt.Col. Zimmerman and four others were lost as the plane sunk into the waters

Parks Canada underwater archaeologists discovered the wreckage of the aircraft while conducting a research survey in May 2009, near the Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve of Canada.

Lt. Col. Jack Zimmerman

Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center

As part of the launch, Parks Canada unveiled a short documentary about the discovery of the aircraft by Parks Canada archaeologists. This video features Parks Canada underwater archaeologists and members of the U.S. Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) as well as first-hand testimonies from local residents who witnessed the actual plane crash. You can check out the documentary with a picture of Lt. Col. Zimmerman supplied by the  Hayes Presidential Center.  Follow the You Tube link below.

For updates follow the Parks Canada Archaeology Twitter feed at @PCArchaeology and in French at @PCArcheologie

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