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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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602 Squadron Crest
15.07.1943 No. 602 Squadron Spitfire Vb BL971 Fl/Sgt. McKenzie

Operation: Ramrod 142

Date: 15th July 1943 (Thursday)

Unit: No. 602 Squadron 83 Group (motto: Cave leonem cruciatum - 'Beware the crossed lion')

Type: Spitfire Vb

Serial: BL971

Code: LO-?

Base: RAF Kingsnorth, Kent

Location: English Channel off Dieppe, France

Pilot: Fl/Sgt. Richard George James McKenzie NZ/41519 RNZAF Age 27. Killed


On a 'Roadstead' operation - escorting 12 Douglas Bostons from 107 squadron in the afternoon, that were to bomb Poix Airfield. Taking off at 16:00 hrs along with 12 others from the squadron. During the return trip they were jumped by 109's of JG26.

It is thought that after the tailplane was shot off the Spitfire crashed into the English Channel.

A bad day for the squadron, four aircraft shot down:

Fl/Sgt. Harry Hannah Flying Spitfire Vb AR426 PoW - injured repatriated.
Fl/Lt. Arthur Sidney Ronald Strudwick 127804 RAFVR Flying Spitfire EN840 PoW No: 1787 Stalag Luft Sagan. (Went on to fly the Meteor after the war. Reached the rank of Air Commodore before retiring in 1976.
Fl/Sgt. Albert John Tysowski R/106227 RCAF Flying Spitfire AD290 - PoW No: 43235 Camp: Stalag Luft Heydekrug.

Burial details:

Fl/Sgt. Richard George James McKenzie. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 199. Born on the 20th January 1916 at Oamaru, South Island, the son of George Isset and Evelyn Miriam McKenzie (née Marquet), of Nelson, New Zealand. Self employed clerk prior to enlisting on the 18th January 1941. Previous to his service with 602 Squadron attached to 3 Personnel Reception Centre in Bournemouth and 5 Air Observers School at Jurby, Isle of Man, flying various types as a staff pilot. Joining 602 Squadron on the 25th May 1943. A total of 1046 flying hours logged and on his 4th operational sortie.

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, Weekly News of New Zealand, other sources as quoted below:

KTY 09.12.2019

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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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