Francis Russell Cook signature
On this day in 1918 Frank (Francis) Russell Cook died in a fall from an aircraft near Napanee, while in training with 81 C.T.S. at Camp Rathbun. The RAF report notes that the aircraft was a Curtiss JN-4, number C189. The Court of Inquiry took evidence from an eyewitness, R. H. McCreer of Napanee:

R. H. McCreer's evidence

Detail from Attorney General’s 1918 file RG4-32/1755 at the Archives of Ontario

1st Witness

R.H.McCreer, Farmer, R.R.No. 5 Napanee, states:-

I saw an aeroplane manoeuvering over my farm about 7.20 a.m. today. I saw a man fall out of the machine and the machine then flew level for about a mile with the engine stopped and then crashed.

The Court of Inquiry found that Cook’s seatbelt had become unfastened during the flight, causing him to fall while manoeuvering at a height of between 3,000 and 4,000 feet.

Cook was born on September 17th, 1898 in Clanwilliam, Manitoba, the son of Andrew Cook and Elizabeth (née Rowat). He had been working as a drug store clerk in Minnedosa, Manitoba when he joined the Royal Flying Corps in Winnipeg on January 3rd, 1918. Four days later he was officially appointed to the Corps in Toronto with the regimental number 153929. He was described as five feet eight and a half inches tall, with a fair complexion, light brown hair and blue eyes.

Frank was buried in Clanwilliam United Church Cemetery.

Advertisements