Born: Quilmes, Argentina, 28th February 1920. Died: La Massana, 3rd June 1982
Kenneth Charney was born in Argentina and lived prior to attending Aldenham School in Elstree, Hertfordshire. (1934 - 1936)
Mr Claudio Meunier the leading Argentinian aviation researcher, has spent some 11 years working towards having the remains of Ken Charney returned to Argentina. He had been buried at the La Massana Cemetery, Andorra.
Finally on May 9th 2015 his work will be rewarded with a funeral service taking place with full military honours. This will be held at the British Cemetery in Buenos Aires. His second wife, June Cherry now living in England, fully endorsed the repatriation to his homeland.
A journalist from the area, Andrés Luengo and a friend of Ken’s, Michael Leonard also greatly assisted Claudio.
Although unable to attend, Aircrew Remembered are proud to have been invited to this event and as a mark of respect for this great airman and for the tremendous work that Claudio has accomplished - we dedicate this page to him and his friends not least to this great Argentinian fighter ace who gave so much of his life for freedom.
Claudio is still trying to trace his daughters from his first marriage, (possibly to a Pamela Forster?) indeed anyone who knew Ken are welcome to contact us with any further information!
We welcome any stories from our friends in Argentina on Aircrew losses from both WW2 and the more recent Malvinas/Falklands conflict.
RAF Career (courtesy Aces High Vols 1 and 2, Christoper Shores and Clive Williams):
Joined the RAF on outbreak of war - joined 91 Squadron as a Sergeant in June 1941. Later, commissioned he was posted to Malta in May 1942.
Joined 185 Squadron in June. Crash landed twice after combat damage, on one of these occasioned he suffered slight injuries. Awarded the DFC in the early part of 1943. Returned to England being posted as an instructor with 58 OTU.
Joining 122 Squadron in August 1943. Joined 602 Squadron in November 1943 as flight commander remaining with the squadron until after the Normandy landings.
In July 1944 took command of 132 Squadron, receiving a bar to his DFC . Remaining with the squadron until April 1946. He remained in the RAF, moving to the Far East. Returned to UK, then moved to Germanyfrom May 1947 - February 1948.
Served in various postings in Germany and France. In 1960 he moved to Christmas Island for the Nuclear bomb tests becoming a Group Captain in 1968. Retired in 1970.
After he left the service settled in Andorra, but suffered from cancer (his wife believed that it was caused by exposure to radiation during his tour on Christmas Island) he died in June 1982.
Left: Painting by Aviation artist Pablo Patricio Albornoz who sent it to us to place on this page. Commissioned for the coming repatriation ceremony to W/Cdr. Charney.
Another page describing one of his many claims whilst with 132 Squadron can be read here.
With 182 Squadron: 01st July 1942 MC202 Damaged - over Malta. (Flying Spitfire BR380) 06th July 1942 Bf109 Probable - over Malta. (Flying Spitfire BR380) 12th July 1942 MC202 Destroyed - over Malta (Flying Spitfire BR368) 27th August 1942 Ju88 Probable - over Comiso airfield, Sicily (Flying Spitfire BR112) 27th August 1942 Ju88 Damaged - over Comiso airfield, Sicily (Flying Spitfire BR112) 05th September 1942 MC202 Destroyed - 20 miles wast of Zonqor, Malta (Flying Spitfire BR375) 13th October 1942 Bf109 Probable - between Malta and Sicily (Flying Spitfire BR375) 15th October 1942 MC202 Destroyed - 35 miles north east Malta (Flying Spitfire AB532) 17th October 1942 MC202 Damaged - over Kalafrana Bay, Malta (Flying Spitfire AB532) 17th October 1942 Ju88 Damaged - over St. Pauls Bay, Comino, Malta (Flying Spitfire EP467) 23rd October 1942 Bf109 Damaged - over Dingli, Malta (Flying Spitfire EP471)
With 602 Squadron: 14th January 1944 Fw190 Destroyed - over St. Pol, France (Flying Spitfire IX MJ147) 23rd June 1944 Bf109 Probable - over Caen, France (Flying Spitfire MK624) 02nd July 1944 Fw190 Destroyed - 5 miles south of Cabourg, France (Flying Spitfire MJ286)
With 132 Squadron: 13th July 1944 Bf109 Damaged - 10 miles south east Cyborg, France (Flying Spitfire B) 13th July 1944 Bf109 Damaged- 10 miles south east of Lisieux, France (Flying Spitfire B) 14th July 1944 Fw190 Destroyed - Lisieux area, France (Flying Spitfire B)
Reburial ceremony Buenos Aires, Argentina May 9 2015
Final resting place for an Argentinian Fighter Ace hero 2015 (courtesy Claudio Meunier)