31.12.1944 No 247 Squadron Typhoon Ib MN399 ZY-M W/O. McGregor
Date: 31st December 1944 (Sunday)
Unit: No. 247 Squadron
Type: Typhoon Ib
Base: ADL B.78 Eindhoven
Location: Kattenvenner Moor, Germany
Pilot: W/O. Ronald Gregor McGregor NZ/413869 RNZAF Age 23. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off from the Advanced Landing Ground at Eindhoven with eight others from the Squadron at 11:20 hrs.
Errol Martyn has researched this and most if not all RNZAF losses of the war and post war. He wrote that after an uneventful journey two returned to base, one that was unable to jettison his long range tanks and the other escorting him. The others decided to attack a small locomotive and some military transport. whilst attacking these MN399 and another became separated and were later bounced by three fighters. MN399 was shot down and crashed in a wooded area, where it exploded on impact. His victor survived only momentarily, being shot down in turn by the other Typhoon.
The squadron lost another pilot during this operation, Typhoon Ib PD612 ZY-K Flown by W/O. W.H.A. Lye - hit by flak, crashing south of Münster, taken PoW. Understood to have survived the war.
Postwar the pilot’s body was exhumed from a German cemetery at Ladbergen by an American graves registration unit and temporarily transferred to one of their Belgian cemeteries, near Liège at Neuville-en-Condroz. His final place of interment is further south, at the beautifully maintained CWGC Hotton War Cemetery.
W/O. Ronald Gregor McGregor. Hotton War Cemetery. Grave VIII.C.6. Born on the 31st July 19211, the son of James and Jeanie Strachan McGregor (née Kinnear), of New Lynn, Auckland, New Zealand. 631 Flying hours logged and on his 40th operation.
Researched for Isabel Nicol and family - relative of the pilot and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to Errol Martyn for his great research work. Publications include For Your Tomorrow Vol’s 1-3. Thanks also to Des Philippet for grave photo. Other sources as quoted below: