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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.
Alaska Highway House
10201 - 10th Street
Dawson Creek, BC
250-782-4714
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Discover
the story
behind the monumental
Alaska Highway.
30,000 US Army soldiers and
civilians
completed this astounding
engineering feat in just nine months.
Find out how.
Follow the soldiers through the
ice and
mud
as they forge their way through
the wilderness.
Discover how life changed for
local
communities
with the building of the
Alaska Highway.
Admire a model replica of the
Kiskatinaw Bridge
- the longest wood
curved bridge in North America.
Record a video postcard
& email to friends and family
from our very own RV.
Watch the PBS documentary
"the building of the Alaska
Highway".
DAWS O N C R E E K ' S N E W E S T AT T R AC T I O N
The Charlie Lake Monument