Intelligencer report of 1917 Nov 17 on James Power's death

Intelligencer report of November 17th, 1917 on James Power’s death, courtesy of Belleville Public Library

Aviator Killed
Fell From Train
James Powers, From Deseronto Camp Killed in Michigan

CHELSEA, Mich., Nov. 17. – The body of James Powers, of Deseronto, Ont., a member of the Royal Flying Corps, was found on the railroad tracks near here. It is believed that he fell from a passenger train. According to papers of the dead man, his wife, Mrs. Cathian Powers, lives at 418 Heim place, Chicago.

The special trains with the aviators of Mohawk and Rathbun training camps, left of Thursday for Fort Worth, Texas, where the winter training camp is located.

In November 1917 the Royal Flying Corps pilot training camps in Canada relocated to Texas to take advantage of the milder climate. This involved transporting men and equipment by railway from Ontario to Fort Worth, some 1,600 miles or 2,500 kilometres. It took three days to make the journey. The photograph below shows the size of the trains used in this exercise.


From the collection of Sergeant C.P. Devos (2009.20(36), courtesy of Denzil Devos

Cadet James Powers somehow fell from the train on the way. The Royal Flying Corps casualty card states “Believed to have fallen from train window”.  In 1914 Powers had married Kathleen Buckley in Chicago and the couple’s home was in that city. It is possible that he had been trying to get back home to Kathleen when he died.

James Powers signature

Powers was born in 1885. He had joined the Royal Flying Corps in Toronto on September 10th, 1917 with the regimental number 150021. He was five feet six and a quarter inches tall and had been attached to 80 Canadian Training Squadron.

He was buried at the Elmwood Cemetery at River Grove, Illinois.