06.07.1944 No. 453 Squadron Spitfire IX MK260 FU-K F/O. Baker
Operation: Armed Recce
Date: 06th July 1944
Unit: No. 453 Squadron
Type: Spitfire IX
Base: B.11 Longues-sur-Mer
Location: La Morlandiere,France
Pilot: F/O. Norman Keith Baker AUS/410205 RAAF Age 24 Evaded
REASON FOR LOSS:
During the end of an armed recce with three others the pilot noticed a truck speeding down a road West of Briouze. He dived to attack and fired at close range with the vehicle exploding as he passed overhead - but his aircraft was damaged, oil pressure falling with the engine temperature dangerously high.
When the engine started to smoke he called on his radio that he has to force land his Spitfire. He made a successful landing in a field at La Morlandiere at around 20:30 hrs. His friend F/O. David Stuart Murray flew overhead and both gave OK gestures.
He returned to the aircraft to set off the demolition charge to destroy the radio identification instruments. With help from several French villagers he made his way back to allied hands within weeks and then back to the squadron.
In March 1944 whilst stationed at RAF Detling two Spitfires hit head on when one was landing, both pilots F/O. Norman Baker and P/O. Kenneth Kinross are understood to have received no injuries. But as far as cause/blame is concerned, we have not been able to obtain further information. Sadly 22 year old, P/O. Kenneth Charles Kinross AUS/409147 RAAF was killed on the 24th July 1944 whilst flying Spitfire IX. PL206 when shot down in a friendly fire incident with a USAAF P.47 Thunderbolt.
On the 04th October 1944 flying Spitfire NH254 he took off at 07:31 hrs on a scramble from RAF Coltishall in Norfolk to intercept unidentified aircraft flying at 15,000 ft. Shortly afterwards at 07:43 hrs I was recalled, then at about 1000 ft. the engine cut out and the fuel pressure warning light came on. He tried several times to cure the problem but then decided to attempt a wheels up, flaps down in a field - this he accomplished with only a slight cut to his temple. The pilot was cleared of any negligence as the accident was caused due to mechanical failure and that the pilot had attempted a landing at the airfield.
None, Fl/Lt. Baker MiD. Croix de Guerre. of 'Westmere', Nr. Lake Bolac, Victoria, Australia survived the war leaving the service on the 19th November 1948. Born on the 02nd September 1920 at Melbourne, Australia.
Others mentioned within this page:
P/O. Kenneth Charles Kinross. Bayeux War Cemetery. Grave IV.E.10. Born on the 25th September 1921 at Essendon, Victoria, Australia the son of Charles Osborne Kinross and Maggie Kinross, of Essendon, Victoria, Australia. Grave inscription reads: 'His Duty Fearlessly And Nobly Done. Loving Memories'.
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to Paul Watts for the many photographs and other sources as quoted below: