400 Squadron Spitfire PR.XI PL829 F/O. Angus Alexander Mckiggan
Operation: Practice flight
Date: 28th July 1944 (Friday)
Unit: No. 400 Squadron (motto: Percussuri vigiles - 'On the watch to strike'). Second Tactical Air Force
Type: Spitfire PR.XI
Base: RAF Odiham, Hampshire
Location: At base
Pilot: F/O. Angus Alexander Mckiggan J/23376 (R/90726) RCAF Age 25. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
His previous operational sortie was on the 17th of July 1944. On a photo reconnaissance operation over Honfleur which was listed as successful. Taking off at 18:55 hrs and returning at 21:11 hrs. At 20:35 hrs he reported a formation of 6 fortresses was attacked by FW. 190s, he also reported that 1 FW was damaged. No enemy aircraft and no flak were encountered during his flight.
Previously on the 20th February 1944, he was uninjured whilst flying Mustang I AM158 SP-L on a 'Nobel' (1) operation. The aircraft was damaged after hitting a tree.
He was flying a non-operational local cloud practice flight. On approach to landing the Merlin 70 in his Spitfire caught fire. At 11:45 hrs the Spitfire crashed and the aircraft and engine were totally wrecked having burnt out.
The aircraft had only flown a total of 34.30 hrs and the engine was installed on the 29th of April 1944.
The report states: 'that the pilot was authorised to make this flight. On return to base, there was an attempt to land. However, it seems that and changed his mind and made another circuit. Just before turning across wind upon completing the downwind leg of the second circuit. witnesses on the ground observed black smoke coming from the aircraft, then flames. The aircraft went into a dive, crashed and burnt out. Approximately a half mile from the end of the runway. The pilot was killed instantly'.
There was no communication from the pilot upon returning to base and it was therefore not known if he was experiencing trouble, or that his radio was unserviceable.
(1) 'Noball' - the codename for an operation against German V1 launch sites in France.
F/O. Angus Alexander Mckiggan. Buried on the 02nd August 1944 at Wrexham Cemetery (Private funeral and not in the CWGC section of the cemetery). Sec. C. Grave 8116. Also remembered on parents' grave in Maple Ridge Cemetery, Ontario. Born on the 06th July 1919 in Sault Ste. Marie. A bank teller for 4 years. A total of 839 flying hours were logged with 66 on the Spitfire.
Son of John Angus (died in 1955, age 69) and Margaret McKiggan (née Crockford - died 1948, age 54), of 24 Dufferin Street, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada and husband of Doris McKiggan (née Wilding), of 33 Bertie Road, Smithfield, Wrexham, North Wales. Married on the 22nd February 1944.
Epitaph: 'Beloved Husband Of Doris. Son Of J. And M. Mckiggan Of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario We Shall Meet Again'.
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot, thanks to Robert Williams, great nephew of the pilot who contacted us in August 2022, National Archives AIR-27-1770-47/48, Paradie Archive, other sources as quoted below: