Remembering the “Buffalo Nine”

A black and white composite image of the faces of nine men in military uniforms
The “Buffalo Nine” (from the top, left to right): Captain George Garry Foster, Captain Keith Bradley Mirau, Corporal Morris Harry Trevor Kennington, Corporal Michael William Simpson, Master Warrant Officer Gaston Landry, Master Warrant Officer Cyril Bogdan Korejwo, Master Corporal Ronald Clifford Spencer, Corporal Bruce Kenneth Stringer and Captain Robert Barr Wicks. PHOTO COMPOSITE: Adapted from Vintage Wings of Canada

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August 9 is “Peacekeeping Day” in Canada. The day was selected to commemorate the contributions and sacrifices of Canadian peacekeepers because, on that day in 1974, a Canadian Buffalo aircraft serving on United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF) II was shot down, with the loss of all nine lives.

It was a typically hot sunny day with light winds over the eastern Mediterranean on the early afternoon of August 9, 1974. United Nations Flight 51 chugged its way along the centre line of airway R-14, maintaining an altitude of 11,000 feet at a sedate speed of 205 knots. It was enroute from Ismailia, Egypt, to Damascus, Syria, via Beirut, Lebanon.

The cargo aircraft was an unarmed Canadian Armed Forces’ de Havilland Canada (DHC) Buffalo, tail number C-115461, painted in the unmistakable, distinctive United Nations livery of blue and white. Read the rest of the article . . .

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