02.12.1942 No. 122 Squadron Spitfire IX BS350 F/O. R.L. King
Operation: Rodeo (see abbreviations)
Date: 02nd December 1942 (Wednesday)
Unit: No. 122 Squadron
Type: Spitfire IX
Serial: BS350 (note)
Code: MT-Not known
Base: RAF Fairlop, Ilford, Essex
Location: Not known - believed to be over the Celtic Sea when lost
Pilot: F/O. Richard Lander King 119570 RAFVR Age 20. Missing - believed killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Understood to have been hit by a long range fuel tank from another aircraft during a Rodeo (see abbreviations) over Ushant during the afternoon. He was seen to bale out of the Spitfire but unable to be rescued.
Does anyone recognise the others he is with? Taken during training (courtesy Pete Long)
Course 22A 58 Operational Training Unit, Grangemouth, Scotland. Front row: P/O. Smith K.J., P/O. Draper G.C., Fl/Lt. McCarthy-Jones C.C., P/O. Draper J.W.P., P/O. Hawkins J.B., P/O. Dunn P.H. Centre Row: P/O. King R.L.(1), P/O. Stevenson A.G., P/O. Winchester A.G., P/O. Ernst J.D.(2), P/O. Glenwright G.E.(3), P/O. Spretzel J.R. Rear Row: F/O. Strozak R.P.(4), P/O. Ellington P.M.A. P/O. Holmes H.C.H. P/O. Butler W.M., P/O. Falls T.M.(5), P/O. Peppler G.E., P/O. Chandler R.J., P/O. Podobinski S.(6)
(1) We are now fairly sure that this is F/O. Richard Lander King RAFVR of 122 Squadron, missing on the 2nd December 1942, (2) Fairly sure that this is P/O. Jack Douglas Ernst RCAF of 276 Squadron killed on 24th August 1942, (3) This could be F/O. George Edward Glenwright RCAF of 152 Squadron, killed 28th December 1942, (4) F/O. Strozak PAF. killed on the 20th November 1942 whilst serving with 65 Squadron, (5) Fairly sure that this is F/O. Tom Montgue Falls RCAF killed on 17th January 1943 whilst with 111 Squadron, (6) P/O. Podobinski PAF. killed on the 12th December 1943 serving with 303 Squadron. Research continues....but if you are able to add further information we would be pleased to hear from you.
(note) Built at Rolls Royce in Hucknall, fitted with the Merlin 61 engine and first flew on the 27th September 1942.
F/O. Richard Lander King. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 67. Son of Harry Sydney and Frances Gwendoline King, of Sutton, Surrey, England.
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot, with thanks to Pete Long who contacted Aircrew Remembered in November 2016 with his photo. His late partner was the niece of the pilot. Other sources as quoted below: