Mount Strachan Crash Site and Memorial in West Vancouver, British Columbia

Memorial plaque for the pilots.

It’s truly remarkable that for over half a century, the remains of a tragic military jet crash still resides at this location despite the many visitors.

Out of respect for the pilots that perished, the memorial reminds hikers “do not take anything.” The humid, short summers in Canada’s coastal rain forest, combined with the copious amounts of winter snow in the region are the perfect recipe for corrosion.

The debris stands as a true testament to the resiliency of aircraft aluminum as moss, mushrooms, and decaying leaf litter engulfs the still shining, decimated pieces of the jet. The painted badging is still readable on parts of the wing and fuselage. The jagged scars where the trees and rocks tore into the plane are still visible. A walk through the area is like a scavenger hunt, as pieces of the wreckage are peppered throughout the sloped, dense woods.

It was the day after the devastating news of President John. F. Kennedy’s assassination in 1963 that inclement weather on British Columbia’s North Shore Mountains. This caused the T-33’s training mission to fail, killing both pilots. The site is a fitting tribute and is a moment frozen in time. There is also a memorial plaque dedicated to the pilots near the site.

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