Sig. Elwood Haagenson

Elwood Haagenson gravestone

Riverview Cemetery, New Westminster, B.C

Elwood Haagenson and I enlisted at the same time and were both posted to Hay River the same time (Mid August 1946). Both Elwood and I were graduates of the Institute of Technology at Calgary, Alberta. This was a ten-month course in Radio Telegraphy - primarily for employment as Radio Officer aboard a sea-going ship. Unfortunately, by the summer of 1946, the Canadian merchant ships were sold off with little or no jobs left for graduate radio telegraphers. Fortunately for us the Signals officer at Western Command got our names and addresses and we were invited to serve in the NWT&Y Radio System. This was an opportunity to practice our trade. Service with the RC Sigs in Hay River is imprinted in my life experience, even after all these years. Elwood died by drowning in the Hay River im 1948, the sad story of which appears elsewhere on this website.

--- Alex Meroniuk, Surry, BC. March 5, 2005

Hay River was the scene of the System's third tragic death when, in November 1948, Sig. Elwood Haagenson was drowned after breaking through the ice on Hay River. He had been visiting the Hudson Bay Company's post manager across the river during the evening of 2nd November and was skating home at approximately 2 a.m. 3rd November when he crashed through the ice in mid river, and was unable to extricate himself from the freezing waters. The ice was considered safe and the townspeople had been skating for several days. In fact Haagenson safely crossed the river for his visit, but apparently returned by a slightly different route and unfortunately struck a weak spot. His body was recovered at 9:50 a.m.

--- Excerpt from the Official History of the NWT&Y Radio System

Velox Versutus Vigilans