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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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402
18th October 1941 402 Squadron Magister N3934 Sgt. McClusky MiD

Operation: Transit flight

Date: 18th October 1941 (Saturday)

Unit: No. 402 Squadron (motto: We stand on guard 'We stand on guard')

Type: Miles Magister I

Serial: N3934

Code: AE-?

Base: RAF Kenley, south London

Location: Friston, East Sussex

Pilot: Sgt. George McClusky MiD. R/71726 RCAF Age 22. Critically injured

PX: Captain Donald Robert McNabb Canadian Army Dental Corps Age 31. Critically injured

REASON FOR LOSS:

Sgt. McClusky was authorised to pilot Captain McNabb to Friston and return on the 17th October. The reason for the trip was to pick up belongings of Captain McNabb who had recently been posted the 402 squadron.

The return flight could not be made the same day due to weather conditions and Kenley were advised.

The following day the pilot requested permission from Kenley for permission to take off after he had assured them that weather was OK (Despite a 50 mph gale).

N3934 took off into the wind at 09:25 hrs. Several eye witnesses state they saw the aircraft rose to about 150 ft when the pilot began a turn the aircraft immediately flipped over and dived in as it commenced to spin.

The aircraft crashed about 30 yards outside the perimeter of the airfield.

Both were rushed to Princess Alice hospital in Eastbourne, but sadly Captain McNabb died at 09:55 hrs with Sgt. McClusky dying of his injuries at 14:00 hrs.

The inquest held at Eastbourne on the 22nd October 1941 recorded a verdict of accidental death.

Burial details:

Sgt. George McClusky. MiD. Southend-On-Sea Cemetery (Sutton Road). Plot R. Grave 12136. Born on the 07th June 1919 at Bracebridge, Ontario. Enlisted on the 20th August 1940 Toronto, Ontario. Son of John A. McClusky and of Jessie McClusky (nee Terry) brother of Carl and John, of 56 Prospect Street, Kirkland Lake, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Credited with an Me109 on the 18th September 1941.

Captain Donald Robert McNabb. Brookwood Military Cemetery. 31. J. 5. Born on the 17th February 1910 in Medicine Hat, Alberta. Enlisted 20th October 1939 at Edmonton. Graduate of the University of Alberta School of Dentistry. Arrived in England on the 20th June 1940. Son of Robert John and Christina McNabb, of 1276th Avenue, South Lethbridgc, Alberta, Canada. (Doctor of Dental Surgery degree).

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to, Sussex History Forum, Operation Picture Me, other sources as quoted below:

KTY 16-06-2021

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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, Michel Beckers, Major Fred Paradie (RCAF) and MWO François Dutil (RCAF) - Paradie Archive (on this site), Jean Schadskaje, Major Jack O'Connor USAF (Retd.), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Archiwum - Polish Air Force Archive (on this site), Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of CWGC, UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, New Zealand National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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Last Modified: 16 June 2021, 18:51

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