29.09.1944 No 453 Squadron Spitfire IX MJ223 F/O. Ferguson
Operation: Armed Recce
Date: 29th September 1944 (Friday)
Unit: No. 453 Squadron RAAF (motto: 'Ready to strike')
Type: Spitfire IX
Base: ALG B.70 (Antwerp)
Location: Ostend area
Pilot: F/O. James Humphrey Ferguson AUS/403917 RAAF Age 23. PoW
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off from the advanced landing ground with 10 there from the squadron at 17:00 hrs. Some publications state that they were on an armed recce - Squadron records state that they were relocating to RAF Coltishall in Norfolk.
They were routed to cross the coast over Ostend and it was when they were flying over the City at between 1,000 - 1800 ft. they encountered light ant-aircraft fire. F/O. Leith noticed smoke coming from MJ223 which then turned inland. Flames were then observed from the Spitfire - seconds later a large explosion was seen in the area that F/O. Ferguson was flying at around 500 ft. No communications were made by the pilot and no parachute was seen to deploy.
The Squadron were so sure that he had been lost, the Commanding Officer, Sq/Ldr. Esau, wrote to his parents on the 01st October explaining that he was missing in action and believed killed, his personal effects had been collected in order to return them to his family.
None - survived the war as a PoW. Born on the 09th January 1921 at Rupanyup, Victoria, Australia. The son of Mr. Alexander Royston Ferguson of 107 Frederick Street, Merewether, New South Wales, Australia.
Photographs courtesy Paul Watts (Father served with 453 Squadron - many photographs received). For further details our thanks to the following sources shown below.