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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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208 crest
15th June 1941 208 Squadron Hurricane I N2626 F/O. Holdsworth

Operation: reconnaissance

Date: 208 Squadron (motto: 'Vigilant') Palestine and Transjordan Comman

Unit: No. 15th June 1941 (Sunday)

Type: Hurricane I

Serial: N2626

Code: RG-?

Base: Gaza, Palestine

Location: Meraajoun, Southern Lebanon

Pilot: F/O. Cedric West Holdsworth 40913 RAF Age 25. Killed


Taking off at 15:45 hrs on a repeat reconnaissance undertaken earlier in the day over Quatana - Kissque - Damascus area searching for another that failed to return. Flying Hurricane I Z4628 21 year old F/O. Keith Macrostie that was hit by Allied anti-aircraft fire and forced landed.

After refuelling at Rosh Pinna took off again at 16:50 to continue the reconnaissance.

Whilst over the aircraft it seems that he was trying to drop a message when he suffered the same fate!

He forced landed his Hurricane and according to 'Dust Clouds in the Middle East' written by Christopher Shores, age pilot was shot dead whilst climbing out of Z4628 by French colonial troops.

Burial and personal details:

F/O. Cedric West Holdsworth. Damascus Commonwealth War Cemetery. Grave J.43. Born on the 16th April 1916 at Wellington. Worked as a collection clerk for Wilberfoss and Harden accountants prior to service. Selected for a short service commission with the RAFin April 1938. Embarked for England on the 07th April 1938. Pilots badge awarded on the 20th March 1939. Joined 208 squadron in Egypt on the 05th September 1939 flying the Lysander and Hurricane. Son of Frank and Winifred Jessie Holdsworth (née West), of Kelburn, Wellington City, New Zealand. A total of 516 flying hours logged and on his 25th operational sortie.

F/O. Keith Ernest Macrostie 41192 RAF. Damascus Commonwealth War Cemetery. Grave J.10. Promoted to P/O. on the 25th July 1939 and then F/O. on the 03rd September 1940. Son of W/Cdr. Reginald David Gorrie Macrostie MBE, MiD. and Eleanor Irene May Macrostie (née Williamson). Grave inscription: 'When Day Is Done And Shadows Fall We Think Of You'.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to Jenifer Lemaire and to the extensive research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland Library Heritage Collection, AWMM, Weekly News of New Zealand, other sources as quoted below:

KTY 07-04-2021

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', 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: 07 April 2021, 12:49

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