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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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416 Squadron Spitfire IX BR626 Fl/Sgt. Charles Wilson McKim

Operation: Ramrod 71

Date: 13th May 1943 (Thursday)

Unit: No. 416 Squadron (motto: Ad Saltum paratus - 'Ready for the leap')

Type: Spitfire IX

Serial: BR626

Code: DN-?

Base: RAF Kenley, Croydon

Location: English Channel off France

Pilot: Fl/Sgt. Charles Wilson McKim R/88380 RCAF Age 21. Missing - believed killed


Taking off at 15:40 hrs led bt Sq/Ldr. Foss Henry Boulton (1) flying Spitfire IX BS430, to escort 80 USAAF B-17 Flying Fortresses that were detailed to bomb the Potez aircraft factory at Meaulte. They met the formation at 25,000 ft.

Shortly after crossing the French coast they were attacked by 50 Fw190's attacked from many angles. The attacks continued all the way to the target. Three B-17's were shot down despite the efforts from the Spitfires.

It is believed that Sq/Ldr Boulton and Fl/Sgt. McKim were hit over Doullens, Sq/Ldr Boulton bailed out and taken PoW He was treated for injuries to his left arm, back and head, held at Stalag Luft Sagan before being repatriated to England on the 28th May 1944.

Above: Fl/Sgt. McKim on left with Sq/Ldr Boulton

Fl/Sgt. McKim continued on the return trip but then called saying that his aircraft had been badly damaged and that he wass attempting to ditch his Spitfire. He called again at 16:345 hrs stating that this was not going to be possible and he baled out some 20 miles west of Le Touquet.

The remainder of the squadron returned safely to RAF Kenley at 17:20 hrs. At least two returned suffering category 'B' damage..

At 20:15 hrs 8 Spitfires took off under the command of Fl/Lt. Roy Henry Walker J/9425 in Spitfire IX BS129 to search for Fl/Sgt. McKim in the area he was last seen. They observed wreckage and an empty dingy. They returned at 21:20 hrs.

Above: 416 Squadron Pilots at Kenley, April 1943 - L-R rear: Charles Williston McKim, Norman F. Houghton, H.A. Terries, Livingston "Cap" Foster, Roy Henry "Kelly" Walker, John Freemont Richardson, Robert Andrew "Bobby" Buckham, B.S. Siddall. Front: John Clair McLeod, Robert "Dagwood" Phillip, D.B. Rogers. Karl "Lucky" Linton, Norman A. Keene, Blair Dalzel Dal Russel, Roy Frederick Breen, Leslie Gordon Drummond Pow.

Burial details:

Fl/Sgt. Charles Wilson McKim. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 184. Born on the 03rd January 1922 in Saint John, New Brunswick. Educated at the Halifax Academy and one year of pre-medical at Dalhousie University. .Enlisted on the 02nd May 1941 in Halifax. Trained at No. 3 Initial Training School and No. 53 Operational Training Unit. Awarded his pilot wings on the 19th June, 1942. Joined 416 squadron on the 11th March, 1943/

Son of Reverend Robert Taylor McKim and Mary Annetta Renfrew McKim (née Gilchrist), of Westfield, New Brunswick, Canada.

(1) Later W/Cdr. Foss Henry Boulton DFC. - Born 08th January 1919 in Coleman, Alberta. Timekeeper for Alberta government, 1937-1938.Aapprentice aiir engineer, Vancouver, 1938-39. Steel worker 1939. Enlisted in Vancouver as Pilot Officer, 09th September 19'39. Repatriated to England on the 28th May 1944. Distinguished Flying Cross - No.416 Squadron - Award effective 22nd May 1943 - London Gazette dated 04th June 1943 and AFRO 1187/43 dated 25 June 1943. Husband of Sheila Dolores (née Devine). Died in Seattle, Washington, 12th October 1996. Buried at Holyrood Cemetery, Washington. USA.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to the Paradie RCAF Archives, National Archives, Kew AIR-27-1815-31/32 World War Two Canada Archives.

Other pages that may interest you:

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Pages detailing RCAF losses

Other sources as quoted below:

KTY 14-11-2023

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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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