George Anderson Morton signature

On this day in 1917, George Anderson Morton, a grain merchant, died at Camp Mohawk near Deseronto as the result of a flying accident. George was born in Winnipeg on September 20th, 1895, the son of Thomas Morton and Mary (née Anderson). Mary died in 1904. Morton joined the Royal Flying Corps in Toronto on June 26th, 1917 with the regimental number 74036. He gave his home address as Grande Pointe, Manitoba. He was five feet five and a half inches tall.

The accident in which he was killed was reported in Belleville’s Intelligencer newspaper in the following way:

Intelligencer report of G. A. Morton's death

BELLEVILLE, ONTARIO, MONDAY AUGUST 13, 1917
Aviator Killed at Deseronto
On Saturday at the local Aviation Camp another fatal accident occurred, resulting in the death of Flight Cadet Morton, of Winnipeg. The young aviator was up at a height estimated at about 2,000 feet, when from some unknown cause the plane plunged to the ground and was totally wrecked. It is surmised that Morton fainted while in the air and in this manner lost control of the machine. The unfortunate victim was dead when taken from his seat and his body was badly mangled. Many bones of the body were broken. The body was prepared for burial and shipped to Winnipeg.

This is the official casualty record from the Royal Flying Corps, which notes that Morton was in 84 Canadian Training Squadron.:

George Anderson Morton RFC casualty card

Casualty Card for George Anderson Morton, courtesy of the Royal Air Force Museum

…Date of Casualty: 11.8.17
Where occurred: Camp Mohawk aero. Canada
Type of Machine: Curtiss J.N.4a.
Nature and Cause of Accident: Machine nosedived vertically & continued in this position until it hit the ground completely wrecking the machine
Result of Accident: Killed
Name of other Occupant of Machine: Nil
Remarks: Cadet Morton had shut of[f] his engine preparatory to making a landing at a height of 2000 ft. A Court of Inquiry found no constructional fault in the machine

This photograph shows what remained of the aircraft after the accident:

George Anderson Morton's crash

From Sergeant Devos’s photographic collection, 2009.09(45), courtesy of Denzil Devos

George Anderson Morton was buried in Elmwood Cemetery, Winnipeg.

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