24.08.1942 No. 402 Squadron Spitfire IX BS122 P/O. MacKay
Date: 24th August 1942 (Monday)
Unit: No. 402 Squadron (R.C.A.F.)
Type: Spitfire IX
Base: R.A.F. Kenley, Surrey, England.
Location: Nr. Bolbec, France.
Pilot: P/O. Gerald Peabody MacKay J/15208 R.C.A.F. Age 23. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
During the afternoon of the 24th August 402 squadron were escortIng United States Air Force B-17’s on a bombing operation to the Le Trait shipyards.
During this circus they jumped 8 x Fw190’s and during this combat they were then attacked by 40 x Fw190’s from JG 26 and shot down near Bolbec. 402 Squadron also lost 3 other aircraft on the same operation:
Spitfire IX BS136 Flown by 21 year old Fl/Sgt Victor Miller, killed.
Spitfire IX BS198 Flown by Fl/Lt. Bland, managed to return to Kenley, wounded.
Spitfire IX BS202 Flown by Fl/Lt. I.G. Keltie , managed to return to Kenley, wounded. Also survived another incident on the 13th April 1944.
Note: Spitfire BS122 was built on the 20th July 1942 at the Eastleigh factory and delivered to 402 on the 28th July. Fitted with the Merlin 61 engine.
Above and left: St. Valery-en-Caux Franco-British Cemetery as photographed by our Kate Tame during her visit during 2012. Any relative who would like a copy of the grave photograph please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Fl/Sgt. Victor Howard Miller. St. Valery-en-Caux Franco-British Cemetery. Grave A.15. Son of Dr. Donald Russell MacKay and Alice Maude MacKay; husband of Edith Joyce MacKay, of Upwell, Cambridgeshire, England.
Researched for relatives of the pilot. With thanks to the following for further information supplied Les Allison and Harry Hayward – ‘They Shall Grow Not Old’, Norman L.R. Franks ‘Fighter Command Losses’ Vol. 2, Commonwealth War Graves Commission. To our specialist genealogist Kate Tame for grave photographs.