February 26th, 1941

The Register,

Wednesday, February 26, 1941

His Death A National Tragedy

The war takes its toll of high and low, rich and poor, but in many instances only the individual friends and immediate communities are affected. There are, however, some losses which are national tragedies. Such is the death of Sir Frederick Banting in a plane crash in Newfoundland enroute to England.

Engaged in scientific research work in connection with war conditions with particular reference to aviation, Dr. Banting was anxious to return to England with the information he had obtained, before the threatened invasion of Britain. He was travelling in an American plane which was being ferried across the Atlantic. Two companions also met death.

His memory will be especially cherished by thousands of suffers from diabetes, who have benefitted so much by his discovery of insulin. None will ever know what greater blessings to mankind might have been forthcoming had he been spared. His name will have an honored place in medical history and upon the roll of great patriots.

(same page)


Ottawa, Feb. 24. – Death, striking on the lonely shores of Newfoundland, claimed Sir Frederick Banting, Canada’s key man in army medical science, it became known today. Two companions died with him in the crash of a military plane.

This information was given a solemn House of Commons late today by Defence Minister Ralston. Earlier Munitions Minister Howe had announced that the plane, bearing Sir Frederick on an undisclosed war mission, had been sighted after being missing since last Friday.

Prime Minister King said the 49-year-old Sir Frederick "was proceeding to Britain on a mission of high national and scientific importance."

Only one man, Capt. Joseph Creighton Mackey of Kansas City, pilot of the craft, survived. He wrote in the Newfoundland snows beside the wreckage the message that Sir Frederick and two others were dead.

They were: Navigator William Bird, Kidderminster, Eng., and William Snailham, Bedford, Nova Scotia.