They made the Ultimate Sacrifice


William James Hutchinson


Lieutenant (Pilot), RCN


Born: 24 Apr 1923, Toronto, Ontario


Died: 18 Apr 1952 at sea


Book of Remembrance


HUTCHINSON, William James, Lieutenant (Pilot), RCN, MPK - 18 Apr 1952, 880 Anti-Submarine Squadron (HMCS SHEARWATER) - Son of Melvin and Agnes Hutchinson of Bowmanville, Ontario. Husband of Margaret Hutchinson. Father of Patricia, William, Melvin. Brother of John M., Ruth Bley, Margaret Cameron.


Lt Hutchinson was one of seven naval men who lost their lives, on the night of 17/18 April 1952, when two Avenger aircraft crashed into the sea off the southern coast of Nova Scotia. Based in Shearwater the aircraft were performing a search and strike exercise in poor visibility; it is believed the two Avengers collided before crashing. 


The seven seamen who perished in this accident were:

Lieutenant John Edward Peter ANDERSON

Lieutenant William James HUTCHINSON

Able Seaman William John Demy HUNTER

Lieutenant John Kingsford Herbert MASON

Able Seaman Douglas Sydney MOFFAT

Lieutenant John Sydney MURPHY

Sub-Lieutenant Phillip Joseph Albert PLOTKINS


Ships served in:

880 Anti-Submarine Squadron (HMCS SHEARWATER)



Articles on the deaths of the 7 aircrew



In Service of Canada - RCN Peacetime Casualty Index