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Armoured Vehicle Recovered from Ottawa Area Swamp?

DirtyDog

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For years the old timers in the area around the Winchester Bog south of Ottawa talked about the old "tank" that had been mired and abandoned in the swamp years ago.  Some say 50-60 years ago, others 40.  They also talk about how the tract of land was once used for military training in it's somewhat drier days.  Stories range from it being a straffing/bombing run for planes to an actual training area where formations of troops would go on exercise before finally shutting down sometime in the '70s.  They always talked about how the tank would sink further and further into the bog every year until finally coupled with the overgrowth, it's location could only be pinpointed by a few.

Personally I've spent a fair bit of time tooling around in the bog, but as you can imagine it's unhospitable place and finding a buried vehicle was like a needle in the haystack.  As kids we would spend days trying to find the mythical tank.

Anyway, got the word yesterday from some people who work for a large construction company that they had been contracted to go extract it on behalf of the military.  A bunch of friends decided to take the day off and with the ATVs newly outfitted with tracks for the winter, thought it make a good excursion for the day.  By the time we got there however, they were long gone as they had made a lot shorter work of it than we had figured they would given the terrain.

It seems between a couple of large excavators providing mutual support, they were able to quickly dig and carry it out.  Talking to one of the operators he said it came out in a few pieces, presumably the turret and hull.  He also mentioned it appeared to be in excellent shape still and that he thought it was a wheeled vehicle of some sort weighing in around 15 ton.  I didn't talk to him directly but the story he mentioned to friends was that it was historically significant because it had been one of few vehicles to survive battle in Europe (WWII, specifically Holland was mentioned) and to make it back to Canada.  He said the military were looking at restoring it.

Can anyone shed some light on this story or the history of training in this area in particular?  The story of the buried tank and the mysterious military history of the bog has been something I grew up with and would love to here some facts about it.
 

psionic0

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The vehicle in question is a staghound. It was dug out week after last with the help of a crane, a front end loader, and a troop of Dragoons from A Sqn. It was recovered in at least 3 pieces. Turret, hull, and one of the wheel assemblies. It was delivered to the Dragoon lines in Petawawa, where personnel are deciding either to restore it or use it as a parts source for the other staghound already there.
 

DirtyDog

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They forgot a cam pole in the swamp.

Why remove it after all these years?  who knew it was there?
 

Haggis

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DirtyDog said:
Why remove it after all these years?  who knew it was there?

The driver ;D  (and a happy birthday to the Dragoons).
 

George Wallace

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I have known of this vehicle for some time.  This Staghound was pinpointed back in the 1990's by a Dragoon, Gordie Pringle, who was able to locate the "Legendary" vehicle in the swamp and took pictures of it.  The pictures showed a really disintergrated vehicle that at the time was decided to be of no value and not restoreable.  The CWM also knew of this vehicle.  If I remember correctly most of the vehicle was already gone, due to time, rust and what looked like wpns destruction; only one side of the vehicle still resembled an armoured vehicle, the other side was completely blown away.  I can not see the CF recovering this vehicle, nor the RCD Association, as the expense of such an endeavor must be well beyond any reasonable budget.  The CF is also not in the Vehicle Restoration business. 

As for Staghounds being in running condition, there has been one used at RCD parades over the years that a private collector has brought in.  I believe that it was also used in Ottawa a few years back in the parade for the Vets, along with many other restored vehicles.  There are also rumours of Staghounds still available in South America, where they had been sold off to after WW II by the Canadian Gov't.
 
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The complete Staghound at CFB Petawawa came out of CFB Borden. I saw it at both locations. The Staghound at Canadian War Museum was one I helped them to get in a trade with the late Jacques Littlefield in California. As I recall it may have come from Australia. RCA Museum in Shilo has a Staghound with a rare turret and an ex-Sherman 75mm gun tube fitted by the late Dr. Bill Gregg and a SKINK unfinished turret came with the collection.\. I did the appraisal on that collection in 1985. There is a restored Staghound in Edmonton in a private collection which I have seen - a gorgeous one! I went with the owner as he checked out a Staghound in a farmer's yard (it was winter!) near Edmonton. Farmer told us he drove it down the highway and passed an army convoy going the other way! Later a child was injured by the rotating turret so he scrapped the turret. He chopped the armour off above the wheels and rigged a steering position high ovee top of the rear engines.

Back in the 1970s I was shown a photo of Staghounds loaded on a train and later spoke with an eyewitness. The were surplus and were sold to a firm in Burnaby, BC which used them for parts to build logging vehicles. By the time I visited the firm in the 1980s they were all gone except for stacks of wheels and reports are they do not like to talk about the Staghounds. I located one old newspaper photo showing some of the staff at the yard playing around in the Staghounds. A friend obtained a deactivated 37mm cannon from one (it is now mounted on a UC tank hunter version at CMEC in Chilliwack on a home made US 37mm A/T style mount and gun-shield made by Vince Hands.) Another friend saw some of the Staghounds before they were scrapped. There are several stories about what happened to the hulls, turrets and guns. We found a couple of Staghound turrets at Vernon but they turned out to be unfinished SKINK (quad 20mm) turrets (like the Bill Gregg one now at Shilo)and I heard these were later salvaged by LdSH in Edmonton.

A collector in the USA who was restoring a Staghound a few years ago had obtained several container loads of Staghound parts.

A neat though heavy vehicle!

:warstory:
 

kkwd

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Seaforth Highlander said:
The Staghound at Canadian War Museum was one I helped them to get in a trade with the late Jacques Littlefield in California.

Speaking of Mr. Littlefield, a portion of his collection is up for sale. Here is the link to the auction company. Here is a link to the catalog.

You can find a couple of Lynx available there for a estimated value of $10,000 to $15,000.
 

MilEME09

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kkwd said:
Speaking of Mr. Littlefield, a portion of his collection is up for sale. Here is the link to the auction company. Here is a link to the catalog.

You can find a couple of Lynx available there for a estimated value of $10,000 to $15,000.

Maybe VAC will listen if veterans groups grab up that Scud launcher  >:D
 

GnyHwy

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A corpse of a 2Lt that appeared to be trying to push it out was also found.  ;D
 
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