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Archive Report: Allied Forces

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440 (City of Ottawa) Squadron
24.12.1944 440 (City of Ottawa) Squadron, RCAF Typhoon Ib PD462 Fg Off. William T. Dunkeld

Operation: Armed Recce, Malmedy to Houffalize area, Belgium

Date: 24th December 1944 (Sunday)

Unit No: 440 (City of Ottawa) Squadron, RCAF, 143 Wing, 2nd Tactical Air Force

Type: Typhoon Ib

Serial: PD462

Code: I8:K

Base: ALG B-78 Eindhoven, Netherlands

Location: Raadbroek about 14½ km (9 ml) SE of Eindhoven, Netherlands

Pilot: Fg Off. William Thomas Dunkeld J25085 RCAF Age 23 KiA

Above Fg Off. Dunkeld from his Service Record


On the 24th December 1944 Fg Off. Cumming took off from B-78 Eindhoven at 12:20 hrs for the third mission of the day for the Sqn. Fg Off. Dunkeld and Fg Off. Cumming were the escort for six other Typhoons on an Armed Recce in the Malmedy to Houffalize area, Belgium.

An R/T call was heard to “Break” just before Fg Off. Dunkeld and Fg Off. Cumming were shot down, when a third aircraft, later identified as an Fw190, was seen following them.

Plt Off. Edward Theodore Flanagan J89136, RCAF reported his perspective on the loss of Fg Off. Dunkeld and Fg Off. Cumming:

“I was flying Yellow Four on an armed recce in the St. Vith area. We had just left the circuit and formed up I noticed our fighter cover under attack by an aircraft which I was unable to identify. The two fighter cover, Fg Off. Dunkeld and Fg Off. Cumming were flying line astern, with attack aircraft flying line astern on them. The enemy aircraft was using self-destroying ammunition, which was bursting all around our fighter cover. The three aircraft then peeled off to port and disappeared behind my tail. I didn’t see them again”.

Fg Off. Duncan Herbert Cumming J25086 was flying Typhoon Ib MN665 I8:X from 440 Sqn.

PD462 and MN665 were claimed by Staffelkapitän Hptm. Wolfgang Kosse, from 13./JG 3, his 27th and 28th Abschuss at about 12:45 hrs, flying Fw190 A-9 (Wk No. 295265) White 6. (The Oberkommando der Luftwaffe (OKL) (German Air Force High Command) fighter claims for the Reich, West & Südfront)

Note: Sqn Ldr. Evan Dall Mackie DSO, DFC and Bar, 41520 RNZAF, flying Tempest V, EJ688 from 274 Sqn seeing the Typhoons being shot down, broke off and engaged Hptm. Kosse’s Fw190, which was then seen go down in a spin and blow up SE of Eindhoven. Hptm. Kosse’s body was never found.

The Combat report by Sqn Ldr. Mackie:

“I was flying No.2 to Talbot Leader in Red Section on a patrol Julich – Mamedy and while we were returning to base approaching Eindhoven, I noticed approx. 8 Typhoon aircraft flying in the opposite direction at about 4000ft. They were in open formation. When almost abreast of these a/c at about 6000ft, I noticed of one the Typhoons suddenly break formation and dive into the ground on fire and I did not see anybody bale out. I then noticed the machine which had been flying behind that one move behind another Typhoon, which was shedding large pieces and losing height. Although we were not close enough to these aircraft to identify one as an enemy, I realised that this particular one must have been, so I immediately jettisoned my long range fuel tanks and gave chase.

There was no R/T communications between myself and the other members of the section, as I had not heard the order to change to channel ‘A’. the e/a lost some height then pulled vertically upwards. I identified it as a short nosed Fw190 and opened fire with four cannons at a range of about 250 yds closing to 50 yds. I then broke off the attack as I was then rolling over on my back. I gave about a 2½ sec. burst and numerous strikes were seen on the wings and centre section of the Fw190 by myself and Flt Lt. Malloy who was flying Red 3.

After I broke away, Sqn Ldr. Baird stated that the Fw190 levelled out, going very slowly, dropped a wing and then spun into the ground approx. 4 miles SE of Eindhoven, where it blew up”.

Note: The claim was confirmed by ground sources.

Fg Off. Dunkeld’s Typhoon crashed at Raadbroek about 14½ km (9 ml) SE of Eindhoven in, what at that time, was Allied territory. His remains were recovered from the aircraft wreckage by an RAF recovery unit on the 28th November 1946 and buried as the scene of the crash.

Burial details:

Above: Grave marker for Fg Off. Dunkeld (Courtesy of Wouter van Dijken – FindAGrave)

Fg Off. William Thomas Dunkeld. Recovered and laid to rest at the Jonkerbos War Cemetery, 8.D.3 on the 9th July 1945. Inscription: ‘TILL THE RESURRECTION MORN’. Born on the 10th September 1921in Palmerston, Ontario.Son of William Leonard and Lila Maud (née Cameron) Dunkeld, of Pontiac, Michigan, USA.

Researched by Ralph Snape and dedicated to this pilot and his family.

Other sources as quoted below:

RS 16.05.2023 - Initial upload

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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', Stan D. Bishop, John A. Hey MBE, Gerrie Franken and Maco Cillessen - Losses of the US 8th and 9th Air Forces, Vols 1-6, Dr. Theo E.W. Boiton - Nachtjagd Combat Archives, Vols 1-13. 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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