05/06.12.1942 No. 488 Squadron Beaufighter IIF VI862 Fl/lt. McKinnon
Operation: GCI Interception
Date: 05/06th December 1942 (Saturday/Sunday)
Unit: No. 488 Squadron (RNZAF 13 Group)
Type: Beaufighter IIF
Base: RAF Ayr, Scotland
Location: Near Largs in Scotland
Pilot: Fl/Lt. Athol Charles McKinnon NZ/40772 RNZAF Age 25. Killed
Nav: Fl/Lt. Robert Ian McChesney NZ/40194 RNZAF Age 29. Killed
Pilot: F/O. Raleigh John Brandon Peacocke NZ/403049 RNZAF Age 26. Killed
Nav: P/O. Ian Phillips Spence 131661 RAFVR Age 21. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Both aircraft taking part in a Ground Controlled Interception Exercise and on return from this at 00:10 hrs at 8,000 ft the two aircraft collided.
Both aircraft caught fire prior to crashing near Largs in Scotland. Very little information on this and we welcome any further information or details on the crew members.
Fl/Lt. Athol Charles McKinnon. Ayr Cemetery. Sec. R. 1931 Div. Grave 2713. Son of Hugh Alexander and Elizabeth McKinnon, of Cambridge, Auckland, New Zealand and husband of Mavis McKinnon, of Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand. Total of 671 flying hours logged - 584 solo, with 165 hours on this type. Thought to have completed 15 operational sorties.
Fl/Lt. Robert Ian McChesney. Ayr Cemetery. Sec. R. 1931 Div. Grave 2714. Son of Hugh Henry Robert McChesney and of Ethel Maud McChesney (née Brown), of St. Heliers, Auckland, New Zealand.Total of 602 flying hours logged - Thought to have completed 94 operational sorties.
F/O. Raleigh John Brandon Peacocke. Ayr Cemetery. Sec. R. 1931 Div. Grave 2715. Total of 508 flying hours logged - Thought to have completed 5 operational sorties. Son of Raleigh Tottenham Francis Egerton Peacocke and of Ethel May Peacocke (nee Morrison), of Epsom, Auckland, New Zealand.
P/O. Ian Phillips Spence. Ayr Cemetery. Sec. R. 1931 Div. Grave 2715A. Son of Wilfred Phillipson Spence and Elsie Spence, of Gosforth, Newcastle-on-Tyne, England. Grave inscription reads: "Only Son Of Elsie And W. Phillipson Spence Gosforth, Newcastle-On-Tyne".
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to the research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland Cenotaph, Weekly News of New Zealand, with many thanks to Louise Richardson for grave photographs. Other sources as quoted below: