The Charlie Lake Monument
Shortly after 8 am on May 14, 1942, 17 men boarded a pontoon boat which left the 341st Engineer Regiment landing at the south end of Charlie Lake to deliver equipment, supplies and personnel to Company E's bivouac site at the north end of the lake.
By 11:15 am, the boat had reached the middle of the lake through increasingly rough waters and strong headwinds. It was then discovered that a plug had come out of the gas line of one of the motors and fuel was draining out. The boat was ordered to the west shore and as it started to turn, two waves hit it in succession, flooding the right pontoon, which went under and tipped the raft in a precarious angle. It then settled and went under, all in less than two minutes.
Gustaf Hedin, a homesteader and trapper, who had been watching the boat's progress, arrived quickly at the accident scene, finding nine men afloat. In all, five men were saved.
Today, the Charlie Lake Monument stands to honour the lives lost that tragic day in 1942. The stainless steel monument stands 12 feet high, six feet wide and one foot thick. Viewers can look through an opening in the monument that looks to the north end of Charlie Lake where the accident occurred. The monument stands within a 12-foot circle surrounded by 12 posts: one for each of the soldiers who lost their lives. There is a kiosk nearby with a photo of the barge and details of what happened that tragic day on Charlie Lake, May 14, 1942.
Northern Rockies Alaska Highway Tourism Association
Box 6850, Suite 300, 9523-100th Street, Fort St. John, BC V1J 4J3 CANADA
Tel: (250) 785-2544 Fax: (250) 785-4424
Toll Free: (within North America) 1-888-785-2544
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