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Finding the grave site of F/O Ed Welters On February 1, 2011, Glen Gaudet of the Wartime Heritage Association received a request (via the Air Force Association of Canada) from Craig Lees seeking to learn about the final resting place of his Uncle and Godfather Flight Officer Ed Welters: “I am trying to find any information on my Uncle, F/O Ed Welters who flew with the Skylancers in Europe and was killed on March 2, 1956, with 3 of his buddies flying their Sabres. His tail # is 23524 and flew Left Wing. I will be in Europe in July, 2011, and am trying to locate his grave site. I would really appreciate any help possible.” After some research, Gaudet was able to reply with details of the location and plot of the grave site at the Choloy War Cemetery in Meurthe-et-Moselle, France and more information from the Canadian Virtual War Memorial including the facts that he enlisted February 26, 1951 and served with 414 (Fighter) Squadron. Ed Welters was born on March 31, 1931 in Rutland, British Columbia. F/O Edward Welters was killed in a tragic accident while practising with four of the five 4 (F) Wing (Baden-Soellingen) 'Sky Lancers' aerobatic team members; they were practicing their intricate flight manoeuvres over Germany's Rhine Valley. At approx 2:20 pm the team of four F- 86 Sabres crashed simultaneously into the ground after pulling out of a loop in some low clouds near the Vosges Mountains southwest of Strasbourg. Because of illness, the fifth 'Sky Lancer' team member was unable to fly that day. The Choloy War Cemetery is the last resting place of casualties from the First and Second World Wars and is managed by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. As is the case for Welters, Choloy is also the final resting place for many Royal Canadian Air Force members and their families who died while serving in Europe as part of 1 Air Division between 1953 and 1967 and other Service Members serving with NATO in Germany following Canada's departure from France. Mr. Lees replied, “Thank you so much Mr. Gaudet. You were extremely helpful to me in my search. F/O Edward Welters is my Uncle and Godfather. I was too young to remember him but have always felt very close to him. I'm hoping that taking my family to see where Uncle Eddie is resting will help them appreciate more of our history”.
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Locating the Grave Site of F/O Ed Welters
Newspaper Clipping – From RCAF 4 (F) Wing Baden-Soellingen's "Schwarzwald-Flieger" magazine--the April 1956 issue. "Farewell to the Skylancers: This recent photograph is the "Flieger's" last tribute to a gallant team. Sadly missed by us all are (left to right): Flying Officers Ed Welters, Dale McLarty, Jake Adams and Freddy Axtell."
F/O Ed Welters