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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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488 Squadron Crest
05/06.12.1942 No. 488 Squadron Beaufighter IIF VI862 Fl/lt. McKinnon

Operation: GCI Interception

Date: 05/06th December 1942 (Saturday/Sunday)

Unit: No. 488 Squadron (RNZAF 13 Group)

Type: Beaufighter IIF

Serial: V8162

Serial: T3385

Code: ME-?

Base: RAF Ayr, Scotland

Location: Near Largs in Scotland


Pilot: Fl/Lt. Athol Charles McKinnon NZ/40772 RNZAF Age 25. Killed

Nav: Fl/Lt. Robert Ian McChesney NZ/40194 RNZAF Age 29. Killed


Pilot: F/O. Raleigh John Brandon Peacocke NZ/403049 RNZAF Age 26. Killed

Nav: P/O. Ian Phillips Spence 131661 RAFVR Age 21. Killed


Both aircraft taking part in a Ground Controlled Interception Exercise and on return from this at 00:10 hrs at 8,000 ft the two aircraft collided.

Both aircraft caught fire prior to crashing near Largs in Scotland. Very little information on this and we welcome any further information or details on the crew members.

Burial details:

Fl/Lt. Athol Charles McKinnon. Ayr Cemetery. Sec. R. 1931 Div. Grave 2713. Son of Hugh Alexander and Elizabeth McKinnon, of Cambridge, Auckland, New Zealand and husband of Mavis McKinnon, of Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand. Total of 671 flying hours logged - 584 solo, with 165 hours on this type. Thought to have completed 15 operational sorties.

Fl/Lt. Robert Ian McChesney. Ayr Cemetery. Sec. R. 1931 Div. Grave 2714. Son of Hugh Henry Robert McChesney and of Ethel Maud McChesney (née Brown), of St. Heliers, Auckland, New Zealand.Total of 602 flying hours logged - Thought to have completed 94 operational sorties.

F/O. Raleigh John Brandon Peacocke. Ayr Cemetery. Sec. R. 1931 Div. Grave 2715. Total of 508 flying hours logged - Thought to have completed 5 operational sorties. Son of Raleigh Tottenham Francis Egerton Peacocke and of Ethel May Peacocke (nee Morrison), of Epsom, Auckland, New Zealand.

P/O. Ian Phillips Spence. Ayr Cemetery. Sec. R. 1931 Div. Grave 2715A. Son of Wilfred Phillipson Spence and Elsie Spence, of Gosforth, Newcastle-on-Tyne, England. Grave inscription reads: "Only Son Of Elsie And W. Phillipson Spence Gosforth, Newcastle-On-Tyne".

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to the research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland Cenotaph, Weekly News of New Zealand, with many thanks to Louise Richardson for grave photographs. Other sources as quoted below:

KTY - 17.11.2017

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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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