A Freak Accident?

We now know what happened on May 6th, 1944 over Bangor-is-y-Coed in Flintshire County in Wales.


Warrant Officer Second Class Wilbrod Nadeau was flying a Spitfire. The report says he was flying a Spitfire Mk V, but another source says it was a Spitfire Mk Ia.


Spitfire Mk Ia


Spitfire Mk V

Source of drawings

This is Chester Cemetery where Warrant Officer Second Class Wilbrod Nadeau has been resting in peace since 1944 far from his family in Quebec.


Courtesy Stanley Murphy

Wilbrod was 24 years-old. That’s much too young to die.


Wilbrod Nadeau (1919-1944)

Wilbrod Nadeau is another young man who history books written about World War Two forgot. Wilbrod was born in Weedon on September 25th, 1919. Weedon, in the province of Quebec, was the same little town where Tibé Gagnon was born.

Eugène Gagnon - portrait quand il était un cadet de l'air

Eugène Gagnon DFC (1921-1947)

Why have I been writing so much since 2009 about strangers who fought in World War Two? Maybe because others have written so much about some who did so little in the war and don’t deserve that much recognition after all.

Eugène Gagnon flew 33 night operations on a Mosquito over German airfields, and received a DFC in 1945.

Eugene Gagnon 1945

Eugene survived the war, but died in a plane crash on October 21st, 1947.

Eugene Gagnon crash

Joseph Irénée Wilbrod Alarie Nadeau never flew on an operation. He never had the chance to do so, but that’s beside the point isn’t?…

I found out that what happened to Wilbrod Nadeau got some people curious also.

May 6th 1944, “During the flying two aircraft from Montford Bridge, Spitfire R6602, pilot F/O Mare George Rivet (J25402) Royal Canadian Air Force, and Spitfire X4821, pilot R135189 W/O Joseph Irenee Wilbrod Nadeau, Royal Canadian Air Force, collided at 12,000ft while engaged in battle formation. F/O Rivet baled out successfully, but W/O Nadeau went down with his aircraft was killed.”

Alan Clark

Peak District Air Accident Research



I was researching J.W.Nadeau when I stumbled on this post. Recently came across some wreckage on the side of a small mountain in Quebec and subsequent investigation determined that it was the remains of a Harvard trainer that suffered Class A damage December 23,1942 while on a training flight out of St. Hubert. Nadeau was the Pupil Pilot, walked away without injury. Flying Officer J.R. Cronk, J13469 was the Instructor, slightly injured. I was curious about what happened to these two and this post has supplied me with part of the answer. I’ve found nothing on Cronk.



Without knowing it, I crossed path with Wilbrod Nadeau last October when I went to see Marcel Bergeron in Bromptonville. Marcel told me last Friday that he knew Wilbrod Nadeau and his brother Robert. Marcel even told me Robert was smaller than Wilbrod. To this I quicky answered back that Wilbrod was 5 foot 3…

If you are curious to learn more about Wilbrod Nadeau, then stay tuned. Being curious is what led me in 2009 to start writing this blog Souvenirs de guerre.

I will be seeing you next time with my 657th post. If you think I write too much about whom history forgot, then pay a little visit to this Website.


7 réflexions sur “A Freak Accident?

  1. Bonjour,

    Le Spitfire concerné dans le rapport (X4821) est effectivement un Spitfire Mk Ia construit probablement vers octobre / novembre 1940 dans l’usine d’ Eastleigh (il est prit en charge par la No.8 (RAF) Maintenance Unit, le 27 novembre 1940.
    Il est, par contre, effectivement convertis en version MkVa entre juillet et octobre 1941, suite à l’ajout d’un moteur Merlin 45.

    Source :
    MORGAN, Eric ; SHACKLADY Edward. Spitfire : The History. Key Publishing, 2000. 674 pp.

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