• Expedition members board an R.C.A.F. Hercules transport aircraft at Canadian Forces Base Namao, Alta. for air lift to the central Arctic. (Photo: William C. Wonders)

More than 100 years after the Franklin Expedition vanished, the fate of Sir John Franklin and the crew members on his ships was still shrouded in mystery. However, the more than 40 search missions looking for Franklin's lost ships were not wasted efforts. Rather, they resulted in great strides to increase geographical knowledge about Canada's North.

Writer William C. Wonders captured the significance of the searches, looking back at the history of the expedition and the searches in his April 1968 story.