McDowell Sonoran Conservancy commemorates 75th anniversary of Royal Air Force plane crash in Scottsdale on January 21
WHAT: Members of the media are invited to join the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy on Sunday, January 21, as it commemorates the 75th anniversary of the crash of two Royal Air Force (RAF) planes into the Lost Dog Wash in Scottsdale, Ariz.
*** The event will include a flyover of an original World War II SNJ/T6 aircraft. ***
On January 18, 1943, two aircraft in a British RAF training exercise collided over the McDowell Mountains, resulting in the deaths of RAF cadet Robert Lawther and Robert C. Hammond, an American civilian instructor and Mesa resident.
January 2018 marks the 75th anniversary of this tragic event. Commemoration of this loss also reminds us that these mountains and the Scottsdale area served as a backdrop for the preparation of young men and women to defend our two nations, as well as the European continent, during the darkest hours of World War II.
“As members of the greatest generation who fought in World War Two leave us, it is important that we pause to remember their sacrifices, and equally those of American civilians and members of allied military units who trained in our Arizona deserts and in our skies. While their deaths occurred prior to engagement in combat, theirs was no less a sacrifice. Scottsdale has a tradition of honoring its veterans. In a sense, instructor Bob Hammond and RAF cadet Robert Lawther belong to us – at least in memory. They met their fate in service to their respective countries over a mountain range the citizens of Scottsdale have elected to preserve. In doing so, our citizens have also preserved the memory of their sacrifice,” commented Len Marcisz, former president of the Arizona Historical Society & McDowell Sonoran Conservancy PastFinder.
WHO: Dignitaries scheduled to participate in the ceremony include: Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane, McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Executive Director Justin Owen, former president of the Arizona Historical Society & McDowell Sonoran Conservancy PastFinder Len Marcisz, Air Base Leader at Falcon Field Dennis Fennessy.
WHERE: The commemoration ceremony will take place at the Chet Andrews Amphitheater, Lost Dog Wash Trailhead at the City of Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve. See directions below.
WHEN: The ceremony takes place on January 21, 2018, and will begin promptly at 10 a.m. Members of the media are asked to arrive 45 minutes before the ceremony for camera setup and interviews.
DIRECTIONS: Via Linda to 124th Street. Follow brown signs to the Lost Dog Wash trailhead. For GPS, the site address is 12601 North 124th Street, Scottsdale, Ariz., 85259. Note that it is an 8-10-minute walk from the parking area through the trailhead to the outdoor amphitheater.
Please access article for more information about the crash at:
INTERVIEW OPPORTUNITY: Len Marcisz, McDowell Sonoran Conservancy PastFinder, is available for advance interviews (480.703.1738 or firstname.lastname@example.org)
About McDowell Sonoran Conservancy
The McDowell Sonoran Conservancy is a non-profit organization that champions the sustainability of the largest urban preserve in North America. More than 30,500 protected acres, known as Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve, are enjoyed by 750,000 hikers, mountain bikers and equestrian riders each year. As stewards, we connect the community to the Preserve through education, research, advocacy, partnerships and respectful access. Learn more at: www.mcdowellsonoran.org.