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New Langford park will honour pilots of crashed water bomber

Flying Firemen Park named after Alexander Davidson and Robert (Paddy) Moore
The front page of the Highway News-Review, now the Goldstream Gazette, with a photo showing a Canso fire bomber like the one flown by Davidson and Moore. (Goldstream Gazette archives)

A new Langford park will be named Flying Firemen Park in honour of Alexander Davidson and Robert (Paddy) Moore, who died flying a water bomber above Skirt Mountain in the summer of 1967.

The park, located at 1851 Bear Mountain Pkwy., is currently under construction and is the nearest park to the crash site of Davidson’s and Moore’s plane. This year marks the 55th anniversary of the crash.

The pair started their flying careers in the Second World War with the Royal Air Force pilots, and in mid-1960s Davidson recruited Moore to fly water bombers with the BC Forest Service. They flew out of the Patricia Bay airport, collecting water from the Saanich Inlet and dumping it on wildfires in the area. In the summer of 1967, the pair spent hours fighting a wildfire on Skirt Mountain. During that mission, the wing of their plane clipped a tree sending them into a fatal crash on the side of the mountain.

Coun. Lanny Seaton thanked city administration for researching the idea and getting the approval of the family.

“When I was fighting fires … boy we were really glad when (water bombers) took time to save us.”

The park will have an open grassy area, outdoor fitness equipment, a fenced off-leash area, a walking path, and other features. The city is going to recognize the pilots with a historical board highlighting their contribution to Langford’s history and culture.

A grand opening for the park will be held in the future, with family members of Davidson and Moore invited.

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