Harold Sherman Peabody

Harold Sherman Peabody

Fiddick, Peabody, Doe

Whatever Happened to Sherman Peabody?  Bishop’s, Nazis and a Strange Disappearance

Sherman Peabody of Sherbrooke was on the Bishop’s golf and hockey teams and a popular man on campus when World War II broke out.  Leaving the school without finishing his degree, he became a RCAF Flying Officer and the pilot of a Lancaster heavy bomber.

On July 28, 1944, while taking part in a raid on Stuttgart, his plane was shot down over eastern France by a German night fighter.  Two managed to parachute out, and three bodies were recovered at the crash site.  That leaves two unaccounted for…

In 2016 the family of Sherman Peabody commissioned the History Department to find out the truth about his fate and that of his fellow crew member Flying Officer Doe.  Over the past academic year, three of our intrepid students have followed the trail of Sherman Peabody from the Old Library in McGreer, to National Archives in Ottawa, to the Public Record Office in London, to Cirey (pop. 48) in the Vosges Mountains of France.  Their story connects a Bishop’s University student to Bomber Command, the French Resistance, SAS, the Gestapo’s war crimes…   and to a small French village where the wartime crash of a RCAF plane still reverberates today.

On Tuesday, April 11 at 2.15 in Cleghorn Room Megan Whitworth and Sean Summerfield, two graduating History students, will be presenting their findings on the mystery of Sherman Peabody’s disappearance through a slide show and talk.  ALL are welcome to attend.

Over 100 attended including Dr. Michael Childs and Principal Michael Goldbloom.

Bishop’s University Remembers Sherman Peabody

Bishop’s University students shed new light on 73-year family mystery

Harold Sherman Peabody, a pilot during WW II, left Eastern Townships in 1941 and never returned home.

Harold Sherman Peabody
Harold Sherman Peabody

Harold Sherman Peabody, a pilot during WW II, was not on the plane when it was shot down by a German night-figher in 1944. It’s believed he was captured and brought to a concentration camp in France. (National Archives Canada)

After 76 years since Harold Sherman Peabody left the Eastern Townships to join the military, his family members are starting to get some answers as to what may have happened to him.

Peabody, a science student at Bishop’s University in the late 1930s, joined the ranks of the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1941.

The pilot never returned home to Sherbrooke, Que., and until recently, his family never knew what happened to him as they to all went to their graves.

“This was one of those mysteries in our family that we never really pursued,” said Robert Peck, whose mother was Peabody’s second cousin.

“As young boys, we used to visit the home of Sherman’s parents, and it was like a shrine,” said Peck. “His mother and father would say, ‘Maybe he’ll come home one day.’…And I think they kept that hope alive.”

Robert Peck and his brother, Jonathan Peck, enlisted the help of a group of students at Bishop’s University and funded the research to find out what actually happened to their late family member.

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