Did you know that Skeleton Lake holds the remains of a Norwegian flier who was on a training flight flying out of what is now the Muskoka Airport during World War II? This witnessed crash site has been under investigation by the Department of Transport and the Norwegian government as time allows.
During the war, Norwegian fliers operated out of the “Little Norway” training camp near the Muskoka Airport from May 1942 to February 1945. The camp was established to train young Norwegian flyers who had enrolled in the Royal Norwegian Airforce. In 1942, the camp received an order of 50 Fairchild Cornell PT-26/PT-26B aircraft and we assume that one of these planes crashed into Skeleton lake.
Several other Norwegian trainers crashed in Muskoka area during this period. In 2012, a plane was retrieved from a 140 foot depth in Lake Muskoka with bodies of the airmen still inside the aircraft. No attempt has been made to recover the plane from our lake, perhaps made difficult by its depth.
This Fairchild PT-19, used at the Little Norway training camp, is on display at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum. Records for Camp Norway, that closed in 1945, have been lost.
You can visit the Muskoka Airport and the Little Norway Memorial to learn more.