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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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13th January 1945 879 Squadron Seafire L.III NN124 Sub/Lt.(A) Macleod

Operation: Training

Date: 13th January 1945 (Saturday)

Unit: No. 879 Squadron (motto: Si vis defendere oppugna - 'Attack is the best defence'). 4th Naval Fighter Wing.

Type: Seafire L.III

Serial: NN124

Code: -

Base: HMS Grebe (Dekheila), Alexandria, Egypt

Location: Gianaclis No.5 bombing range, Alexandria, Egypt

Pilot: Sub/Lt.(A) Norman Ian Macleod RNZNVR Age 23. Killed


Based on HMS Attacker but moved to shore based HMS Grebe for four months and the time was spent training in preparation for their next period of operations.

During dive bomb practice he entered a high speed stall when pulling out of a bombing attack. He crashed at 11:00 hrs and was killed instantly.

A second death happened during a dive bombing exercise at Gianaclis on the 29th January when 20 year old, Sub/Lt. Kenneth Alfred Cain's aircraft, NF429, struck the ground and exploded. The third incident was on the 12th February when 19 year old, Sub/Lt. Donald Vincent Cross was flying in NN450 on a low level TacR and his aircraft hit the ground and exploded 4 miles West of Damanhur. (details shown below)

Burial and personal details:

Burial took place at 16:00 hrs on the 14th January.

Sub/Lt.(A) Norman Ian Macleod. Alexandria Chatby Military Cemetery. Grave O.122. Also remembered on family grave in Manaia Cemetery, New Zealand. Born on the 27th October 1921 at Manaia. Prior to service worked as a farmer. Joined the RNZN on the 02nd December 1942 at Auckland. Served at HMS Tamakii, HMS Philomell, HMS Achillies, HMS Drake, HMS Victory in Portsmouth and HMS Daedalus at Lee-on-Solent. Loaned to RN/FAA on the 05th September 1943. HMS Canada, Nova Scotia on the 10th November 1943 and embarked for Canada on the 23rd November 1943.

Further training at No. 13 Elementary Flying Training School on the 01st December 1943, Pilots badge awarded on the 19th May and commissioned. Embarked for England 16th June 1944. Attached to 718 squadron on the 25th November 1944.

Flew by Dakota to Egypt via Gibraltar and Libya on the 02nd January 1945. Finally joining 879 squadron. Son of Norman Kenneth Macleod (died Died 10th March 1975) and Adelaide Morphett Macleod (née Sutherland - Born 11th March 1898 - died 17th October 1992) of Manaia, Taranaki. Bother of Alister, Betty, Peggy and Thomas.

Others lost:

Sub/Lt. Kenneth Alfred Cain. Alexandria Chatby Military Cemetery. Grave O.158. Son of Alfred Victor and Edith Mary Cain, of Watford, Hertfordshire, England. Grave inscription: 'In The Shadows Of Thy Wings He Rests, Folded In Thine Arms Forever Blessed'.

Sub/Lt. Donald Vincent Cross. Alexandria Chatby Military Cemetery. Grave O.148. Son of John Vincent and Doris Muriel Cross, of Richmond, Surrey, England. Grave inscription: 'The Adventure Ends, What Cause Have I For Gloom'.

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

KTY 07-12-2021

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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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