Nomad 3521 Casualty Identification

Leading Aircraftman Theodore Bates

Leading Aircraftman Theodore Bates, Royal Canadian Air Force.
Leading Aircraftman Theodore Bates, Royal Canadian Air Force.
(Photo: Used with the permission of the Bates Family)

Theodore Scribner Bates was born in January 1913 in Guelph Ontario. Prior to enlistment, he was a musician and salesman. He was married to Ruth Schultis

In October 1937, he joined the Dufferin and Haldimand Rifles of Canada. Bates had a private pilot’s licence prior to the outbreak of the Second World War, and as a result he was recommended for enlistment in the RCAF, which he joined in November 1939.

Theodore Bates’ RCAF wings found near the crash site in Lake Muskoka.
Theodore Bates’ RCAF wings found
near the crash site in Lake Muskoka.

The day before his fatal accident, Leading Aircraftman Bates had graduated from his pilot course and received his wings.

While participating in a search for a missing fellow trainee airman, his plane, Nomad 3521, collided with another and crashed into Lake Muskoka on 13 December 1940.

When the Ontario Provincial Police’s dive unit surveyed the lakebed surrounding the crash site, they found the personal effects of Leading Aircraftman Bates and Flight Lieutenant Peter Campbell. Among these items were Bates’ ring, RCAF buttons, and RCAF wings.

Leading Aircraftman Bates was buried in September 2013 at Woodlawn Memorial Park Cemetery alongside Flight Lieutenant Campbell.

For further information on Leading Aircraftman Bates you can consult his personnel file at Library and Archives Canada.

Theodore Bates’ ring with his initials.
Theodore Bates’ ring with his
initials found at the crash site
in Lake Muskoka.
Theodore Bates RCAF button found at the crash site in Lake Muskoka.
Theodore Bates’ RCAF button
found at the crash site in
Lake Muskoka.