Dakota Sept 15, 1946 Crash Memorial

Estevan, Saskatchewan, Canada

The artist Darren Jones, stands justly proud of his work
The artist Darren Jones, stands justly proud of his work, “Forever in the Clouds”

At 3:30 PM, Sept 17, 2017, This Memorial to the 20 Pilots, and 1 Groundman, that died at the Estevan Airport, Sept 15, 1946, was unveiled at the Estevan Airport, during the “Living Skies Airshow.

The Sculpture will be known as “Forever in the Clouds”

Lester Hinzman, the Visionary, and Main Drive for the construction of this Memorial, with the Chainsaw Carver, Artist, Darren Jones, from Rimbey Alberta, attended the Official Unveiling.

Also attending the Ceremony, was the Wing Commander of the Air Base at Moose Jaw, who had also arranged a missing man fly over, especially for the unveiling ceremony.

The Local Air Cadets were out in force, including an Air Cadet Band from Oxbow.

Lester was the driving force behind the start of the Soldier's Tree in Estevan, and now with Darren the carver have basically financed this project on their own. I hope you either give Lester a personal donation, or look for the “Go Fund Me” page, that has supposedly been started for this project.

Lester told me the Air Cadet's will receive any amount over the cost of this Memorial. He is a man that can be trusted, totally.

Enjoy these early construction photos, and soon the completed memorial photos.

Note- Lester has sent the photos to my wife's cell phone and as soon as she transfers them to me, I will add them here.

Note- all photos of these men have been found now, along with families of each of the men have been contacted.

The 75th Anniversary of this tragic event, is scheduled for July 15, 2021, in Estevan and 16th in Moose Jaw, to precede the MJ air show.

Darren Jones also carved the Estevan Soldier's Tree, another Great Estevan Memorial, dedicated to all Military Personnel that have served.

Lester told me Baxter's Transport in Estevan have been great supporters for the Project, so a big THANK YOU to them! Lester used one of their big trucks to haul the completed memorial from Rimbey AB to Estevan, and stored it at their yard.

The Memorial consists of 4 Cedar Posts, with the Pilot's Faces carved in them. The horseshoe shaped base is a 500 year old Fir Tree. On top of the whole thing is a replica of a Lancaster Bomber, carved from fir, that all of these decorated pilots would have flown during WWII. Base Size is approx 10 x 14 ft.

I feel ashamed that it has taken 70 years + to honour these men with a memorial in Estevan. But proud it finally has been done properly.

These Men shall never be forgotten again!

Hopefully Estevan City Council gives this Memorial the place of honour in the City, that it justly deserves. It is a beautiful work of art, a future Tourist, War Memorabilia draw, and a Memorial to these men, all rolled into one. Lester is hoping they will place it in the East side of the Court House yard. The Funeral parade for these men came up from the valley, and would have turned on that corner. It would be near the Miner's memorial on the corner if all goes according to Lester's Plan.


Latest news- Feb 2018- I have heard is the Saskatchewan Government has refused to allow this Memorial on the Court House grounds because it is made out of wood! And could deteriorate and cause damage to visitors. We have these carved cedar trees all over BC, and never heard one complaint! The natives have carved Cedar totem poles for centuries, and tourists crowd around them every day to take pictures. Every town has wood signs, that could rot and blow over, but they are allowed. I don't get the argument, and I don't understand why Regina can decide the placement of a piece of art in Estevan. Should it not be the people in Estevan deciding this? I can't send a letter to the Editor in Estevan, since I would be that weird BC'er telling the Estevan folks what to do. But sometimes people need a wake up call. This will draw in people to the city, mark my word. The Soldier's tree was built, and is a beautiful piece of art. Mother Nature's Art! It is worth the drive from Regina to see just that in my mind. this would make it a must see on that list. People all over the world, travel to see the Easter Egg at Vegreville. A big Egg!!! Give this work of art a prominent place in Estevan, honour these great pilots. Give their families one place to visit.
Oh yes, better get out the chainsaw Regina, and cut those beautiful trees on the Court House lawn, because they can rot, and cause terrible damage to visitors!! End of my tirade!

June 2021 Update- This carving spent some time at the Estevan Airport, but has been moved back down to Lester Hinzman's Farm, and will be part of the what I call “The Hinzman Memorial Park”. Lots of wood carvings down there now, and remnants of old training planes from the WWII Training Station at the Estevan Airport. Lester has salvaged some of the old planes and added them to this collection. Sept 2021 Update- Lester has now decided this carving will be sent up and left on display at the Air Force base in Moose Jaw.

1946 Dakota Crash
1946 Dakota Crash Memorial
Soldier's Tree
[[sask:towns:estevan:returnsoldier:start|]Return Soldier]


  • Last modified: 2021/09/23 12:05
  • by dlgent