11.08.1942 No. 501 Squadron Spitfire Vb EP128 SD-J P/O. Brannigan
Operation: Shipping Reconnaissance
Date: 11th August 1942 (Tuesday)
Unit: No. 501 Squadron (10 Group)
Type: Spitfire Vb
Base: RAF Ibsley, Hampshire
Location: English Channel
Pilot: P/O. Stewart Gordon Brannigan NZ/404885 RNZAF Age 23. Missing - believed killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
With the great research carried out by Errol Martyn on the Royal New Zealand Airforce losses we have been able to compile this page. If you have further information and or photographs we would welcome contact from you.
The Squadron took off at 07:25 hrs on a Shipping Reconnaissance over Cherbourg in France.
During the return they were bounced at 15,000 ft by 4 Fw190's over the English Channel. P/O. Brannigan called on the radio that he had been hit and was going to bale out of his Spitfire. Most of the others never saw him bale out as they were taking evasive action. However his No 2 witnessed that glycol was pouring out of EP128 during a gentle glide and then at about 5,000 ft the aircraft inverted and then spun into the sea. A search was made later in the day but sadly no trace of the pilot or aircraft was found.
P/O. Stewart Gordon Brannigan. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 115. Born on the 22nd August at Carterton, New Zealand, the son of Ernest Cattle Brannigan and Kathleen Stewart Brannigan, of Kaponga, Taranaki, New Zealand. A total of 352 flying hours logged.
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to the research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland War Memorial Museum, Weekly News of New Zealand, other sources as quoted below: