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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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401 Squadron Crest
16.03.1944 No. 401 Squadron Spitfire IX MJ119 F/O. Woodhouse

Operation: Ramrod 661

Date: 16th March 1944 (Thursday)

Unit: No. 401 Squadron (Mors celerrima hostibus - Very swift death for the enemy)

Type: Spitfire IX

Serial: MJ119

Code: YO-?

Base: RAF Biggin Hill

Location: South East Amiens, France

Pilot: F/O. Kenneth B. Woodhouse J/18080 RCAF Age ? Evaded

We are extremely grateful to François Dutil (438 Squadron Archivist) for supplying photographs and information to Aircrew Remembered in October 2017. All photographs shown within this page are available to relatives at a higher resolution (as are most of those named within this page) - courtesy of François.


During Ramrod 661 (Abbeville) in the afternoon of the 16th March the engine failed on the Spitfire flown by Ken Woodhouse. He baled out safely south-east of Amiens and prepared to evade capture and return to England.

Having travelled by various means with the assistance from the Shelburn Line he made his way via Paris to to Guingamp then in the early hours on the 24th March the group of thirty made their way down to the beach to be picked up by Motor Gun Boat 503, Operation Bonaparte V. 7 hours later they were in England.

The group included 5 RAF Airman, 21 USAAF, 2 Frenchmen from the active Plouha group. Amazing that it only took 8 days from the time he baled out of his Spitfire and to returning to Dartmouth, England.

Above: L-R: William Robert McLellan R/113865 - missing on a flight from Gibraltar on an Albemarle, Sgt, Benson and F/O. Ken Woodhouse.

The MHDOIF: Most Highly Derogatory Order of the Irremovable Finger award - above F/O. Ken Woodhouse receives his from Sgt. Chapin (also a holder of the MHDOIF) Further investigation continues as to what happened!

Burial details:

None - survived the war

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to Francois Dutil, WW2 Escape Lines Memorial Society, other sources as quoted below:

Right: MHDOIF award.

KTY - 11.11.2017

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: 01 April 2021, 18:38

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