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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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08th December 1944 126 Squadron Spitfire LF.IX NH409 P/O. Loe

Operation: Returning to base

Date: 08th December 1944 (Friday)

Unit: No. 126 (Persian Gulf) Squadron (motto: 'Foremost in attack'). 11 Group

Type: Spitfire LF.IX

Serial: NH409

Code: 5J-H

Base: RAF Bradwell Bay, Essex

Location: Nothing further known

Pilot: P/O. Kevin Charles Loe NZ/417072 RNZAF Age 23. Missing - believed killed


After taking part on 'Ramrod 1398' escorting Lancasters on a raid to Duisburg landed to refuel at B58 airfield at Melsbrook with the rest of the squadron.

took off again at 15:00 hrs to return to Bradwell Bay via Calais in bad weather. After climbing through rain clouds the pilot radioed to advise he had become separated from the squadron. Although he was advised a course to steer by the leader nothing further was heard from the New Zealand pilot.

Another pilot from the squadron was also lost:

Spitfire MK418 5J-A flown by 24 year old, P/O. James Joseph Alexander Aus/416688 RAAF was shot down by enemy anti-aircraft fire near Dunkirk. It appears that the pilot tried to force land his aircraft, but it crashed in a wood near Veurne at about 15:30 hrs.

Burial and personal details:

P/O. Kevin Charles Loe. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 263. Also remembered on his mothers grave at Ward Flaxbourne Cemetery. Born on the 25th April 1921 at Blenheim. Worked as a silversmith for Levin and Company, Blenheim prior to service. Enlisted on the 21st December 1941 after serving in the territorial army for 2 years. Attached to No. 3 Elementary Flying Training School on the 08th February 1942, involved in a landing accident on the 03rd March 1942, no injuries. Embarked for Canada on the 11th april 1942. Further training with No. 2 Service Flying Training School . Awarded his pilots badge on the 28th August 1942 and promoted to sergeant. 28th October 1942 embarked for England.

Attached to 53 Operational Training Unit on the 09th February 1942. After serving with various units joined 126 squadron on the 25th November 1943. Awarded his commission on the 15th September 1944.

Son of Alfred Frederick (died 10th July 1975, age 93) and Annie Christine Loe(née Murray - died 09th December 1961, age 77) both buried at Ward Flaxbourne Cemetery, of Ward, Marlborough, New Zealand. A total of 651 flying hours logged and completed 92 operational sorties. Three brothers also served. 22 year old Trooper Albert Gilbert Francis Loe 17265 of the New Zealand Armoured Corp, was killed on the 02nd November 1942 during the battle of El Alamain. Following the death of the second son the family insisted that navigator James Lawrence Rivers Loe NZ/438938 RNZAF be returned home following his training in Canada. He now honours his brothers every Anzac day.


Buried on the 11th December 1944 at 14:30 hrs.

P/O. James Joseph Alexander. Veurne Communal Cemetery Extension. Grave: G. 7. Born 17th May 1920 at Adelaide, Australia. A boring contractor prior to service. Enlisted on the 16th August 1941. Attached to No. 1 Elementary Flying Training School on the 11th December 1942. Pilot badge awarded on the 11th September 1942. Attached to 53 Operational Training Unit on the 15th December 1942.

Attached to 66 squadron on the 13th April 1943. Joined 126 squadron on the 25th November 1943. Son of James Alexander Ignatius McFadyen (died 19th May 1931, age 43) and Merle Agnes McFadyen (née Slater - died 15th November 1964, age 75) of Marleston, Adelaide, South Australia. Brother of Lorna Mary, Merle Dawn, Elizabeth and Christina. Grave inscription: 'His Duty Nobly Done'.

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”, Stuff NZ, Auckland Library Heritage Collection, Weekly News of New Zealand, Sandra Allan for grave photograph, National Archives Australia, other sources as quoted below:

KTY 10-09-2021

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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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