08th February 1944 3 Squadron Typhoon Ib JP684 Fl/Sgt. McCook
Date: 08th February 1944 (Tuesday)
Unit: No. 3 Squadron (motto: Tertius primus erit - 'The third shall be the first') 12 Group
Type: Typhoon Ib
Base: RAF Swanton Morley, Norfolk
Location: North Sea
Pilot: Fl/Sgt. Neil James McCook NZ/413948 RNZAF Age 23. Missing - believed killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off at 16:00 hrs. to attack shipping at Den Helder in the Netherlands.
On return and when around 30 miles from Lowestoft he called his flight commander stating that he was very low on fuel and that he was going to have to bale out.
The flight commander circled the area when he lost site of him in the rainstorm. Two minutes later hewn at 2,000 ft he saw JP684 spin down from above him hitting the sea where it was seen to burn for 15 seconds. He continued circle the area for twenty minutes until relieved by an Anson. No trace of the young New Zealand pilot was found.
Fl/Sgt. Neil James McCook. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 264. Born on the 13th January 1921 in Greenlane, Auckland. A motor engineer for V.S. Crocombe Motors prior to service. Enlisted at Levin on the 06th July 1941. Awarded his pilots badge and promoted to sergeant on the 20th December 1941. Joined 3 squadron from 59 Operational Training Unit on the 12th May 1942. Son of John George and Alice Mary McCook (née Atkins) of 10 Tawera Road , Green Lane, Auckland, New Zealand. Fl/Sgt. McCook had 469 flying hours logged and completed 57 operational sorties. 9 of these on the Hurricane 48 on the Typhoon.
His brothers also served:
F/O. Eric Claude McCook NZ/40133 RNZAF. Born 21st September 1915 - Died 22nd April 1971 Age just 55.
Keith Watts McCook NZ/ 433746 RNZAF Born 10 August 1924. Passed away on the 21st October 2015 Age 91
Lt/Col. Alan Frederick McCook 4342 New Zealand Army Service Corps. Killed in an accident whilst serving with British Commonwealth Occupation Force in Tokyo on the 1st January 1947.
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to Robyn McCook, Jenifer Lemaire and to the extensive research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland Library Heritage Collection, AWMM, Weekly News of New Zealand, other sources as quoted below: