How Hurricane Irma Brought a Canadian Family Some Closure

Artifacts of Canadian navy pilot who vanished 60 years ago turned up on Florida shore
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 30, 2018 10:40 AM CDT
60 Years Later, Artifacts From a Missing Canadian Navy Pilot
The Royal Canadian Navy Ensign flies as the HMCS Kingston and HMCS Moncton sail behind during Fleet Week's "Parade of Ships" entering New York Harbor on May 25, 2016.   (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

When Dick Troy got the news last September, "I almost buckled my knees," he tells the CBC, noting the "eerie feeling" that overtook him. What he was told over the phone by a US reporter: that wreckage from a plane and a parachute harness with the words "Lt. (P) Troy" had washed ashore in Jacksonville, Fla.—artifacts of the plane crash that took the life of his 29-year-old brother, Royal Canadian Navy pilot Barry Troy, in 1958. Per CTV News, Barry's jet disappeared during a training exercise off the coast of Florida on a foggy February day that year; neither the plane nor his remains were ever found. The only remnants the US Navy recovered were a log book, a helmet, and some pieces of metal.

"For months, even years, I kept expecting we would hear he was on a desert island or something and he was fine," says Barry's sister, Sandra Berry. Dick Troy tells the CBC his family didn't hear much after the initial reports, and his parents died without ever getting any closure on their son. What brought these new artifacts to the surface: Hurricane Irma, which pounded the Sunshine State last September. They'll now be put on display at Nova Scotia's Shearwater Aviation Museum, except for a small metal piece of the wing of Barry Troy's jet. "We're going to bring it and bury it in with my mom and dad," Berry tells CTV. "So part of him will be with them." (Veteran crabbers, vanished like "dust in the wind.")

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