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Archive Report: Allied Forces

Compiled from official National Archive and Service sources, contemporary press reports, personal logbooks, diaries and correspondence, reference books, other sources, and interviews.

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54 squadron crest
17.07.1941 No. 54 Squadron Spitfire Va W3216 Sgt. Laing

Operation: Fighter Sweep.

Date: 17th July 1941.

Unit: 54 Squadron 

Type: Spitfire Va

Serial: W3216

Coded: KL-?

Location: Hawkinge, Kent.

Pilot: Sgt. Francis Mackay Laing NZ/401392  RNZAF Age 29. Killed.                        


Crashed near Hawkinge on return from fighter sweep.




Spitfire W3216 was the Maidenhead and District (Spitfire Fund) presentation aircraft. 

Left: Hornchurch Cemetery

Burial Details:

Sgt. Francis Mackay Laing. Hornchurch Cemetery, Sec. A. Grave 1358. Son of James Storer Laing and of Helen May Laing (nee Anderson), of Karori, Wellington, New Zealand.

With thanks to the following: The CWGC, 'Fighter Command Losses Vol. 1' - Norman Franks.

Acknowledgements: Sources used by us in compiling Archive Reports include: Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vols. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vols. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Tom Kracker - Kracker Luftwaffe Archives and Fred Paradie - Paradie Archive (both on this site), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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Last Modified: 28 November 2014, 15:48