13.02.1943 No. 485 Squadron Spitfire Vb BM482 UO-W F/O. Grant
Operation: Rodeo 168
Date: 13th February 1943 (Saturday)
Unit: No. 485 Squadron RNZAF
Type: Spitfire Vb
Base: RAF Weshampnett, Sussex
Location: English Channel off France
Pilot: F/O. Ian Allan Charles Grant NZ/391351 RNZAF Age 27. Missing - believed killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off from RAF Weshampnett in Sussex at 11:40 hrs the squadron were to carry out a sweep over Le Touquet, Northern France. In the Hardelot area they engaged some 15 enemy fighters at 12:15 hrs. They were in turn bounced by another larger group of enemy fighters and heavy combat took place.
The squadron commanding officer, Sq/Ldr. Reg Grant (his brother) saw that F/O. Ian Grant was being followed by a Fw190 and tried to warn him of the danger over the radio. He received no response, and F/O. Grant was hit and went down. Sq/Ldr. Reg Grant immediately engaged the enemy and shot him down.
He then turned to try and see where his brother came down but sadly could find no trace.
The Squadron lost two other Spitfires during this operation, the others:
Spitfire Vb EP115 Flown by 23 year old, Sgt. Revell Jackson Steed NZ/414354 RNZAF was also shot down and killed.
Spitfire Vb EP107 Flown by 27 year old F/O. Anthony Ridley Robson DFM NZ/403990 RNZAF taken PoW after being hit and crash landing near Bolougne.
610 Squadron who was also on this operation and under the command of Sq/Ldr. Reg Grant lost one of their Spitfires:
Spitfire Vb EN896 DW-W Flown by 24 year old, F/O. Jerzy Tadeusz Skibiński 784805 PAF missing - believed killed.
Notes: Their older brother, William Edward Grant died from an illness whilst serving with the RAF on the 02nd February 1932. On the 28th February 1944, 29 year old W/Cdr. Reginald Joseph Cowan Grant lost his life prior to an attack on a V1 site when his engine failed and he baled out with insufficient height for his parachute to deploy.
F/O. Anthony Ridley Robson DFM survived the war as a PoW number: 201, held at Stalag Luft Sagan and Belaria. Born on the 10th August 1916 at Hastings, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand. Passed away on the 04th April 1991 aged 74.
F/O. Ian Allan Charles Grant. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 197. Born on the 21st November 1915, the son of William Edward and Gertrude Isabella Grant, of Mission Bay, Auckland, New Zealand. 875 Flying hours logged and on his 22nd operational sortie.
Others mentioned within this report:
Sgt. Revell Jackson Steed. Abbeville Communal Cemetery. Plot 6, Row L. Grave 19. Son of Lynn Arthur Steed and of Olive Steed (née Jackson), of Gisborne, Auckland, New Zealand. A total of 320 flying hours logged and on his 21st operational sortie.
F/O. Jerzy Tadeusz Skibiński. Polish War Memorial, Northolt. Born on the 15th November 1919 in Bielow, Russia, no further details - are you able to assist?
W/Cdr. Reginald Joseph Cowan Grant. DFM. DFC and bar. Brookwood Military Cemetery. Grave 2.K.6. Born on the 03rd June 1914. A total of 673 flying hours logged and on his 205th operational sortie. Details as F/O. Ian Grant.
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 Cenotaph, Weekly News of New Zealand, other sources as quoted below: