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Archive Report: Allied Forces

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440 (City of Ottawa) Squadron
18.03.1944 440 (City of Ottawa) Squadron, RCAF Typhoon Ib JR439 Plt Off. Kenneth O. Mitchell

Operation: Ferry flight to new base

Date: 18th March 1944 (Saturday)

Unit No: 440 (City of Ottawa) Squadron, RCAF, 143 Airfield, 2nd Tactical Air Force

Type: Typhoon Ib

Serial: JR439

Code: I8:?

Base: RAF Ayr, Scotland

Location: Little Water of Fleet, Kirkcudbright, Scotland

Pilot: Plt Off. Kenneth Osborne Mitchell J19123 RCAF Age 22. Killed


On the 18th March 1944 Squadrons from 124 Airfield were detailed to relocate from RAF Ayr [RAF Heathfield], Ayrshire to RAF Hurn in Dorset via RAF Woodvale.

RAF Woodvale is some 232 km (144 mls) SE of RAF Ayr on a direct route.

A flight of five Typhoons from 440 Sqn, with the callsign Jujube Blue Section, were airborne between 10:30 and 10:45 hrs on a coastal route to RAF Woodvale. The flight was lead by Fg Off. Milne in a Loose Vic formation.

Relative positions of Jujube Blue Section:

#4 MM961: Fg Off. Leonard Ralph Allman J13588 RCAF.

#2 JR439: Plt Off. Kenneth Osborne Mitchell J19123 RCAF.

#1 Fg Off. Ramsey Herbert Milne J16142 RCAF.

#3 Fg Off. James Hughes Beatty J14471 RCAF.

#5 Fg Off. Albert Allen Watkins J26919 RCAF.

Note: Fg Off. Leonard Ralph Allman J13588 RCAF was KiA on the 6th June 1944 over France.

They climbed up to 4500 ft and flew between two layers of cloud. About 8 km (5 ml) south of New Galloway, approximately 60 km (37 ml) SE of RAF Ayr, the flight ran into thick cloud and became separated.

After they became separated Fg Off. Milne called on the R/T and gave instructions to steer 210o for 10 mins and then let down over the sea. Fg Off. Milne broke cloud after a few mins and let down to ground level and continued onto RAF Woodvale. On breaking cloud he called the rest of the flight and received acknowledgments at the time of the call that they were all OK.

Fg Offs. Milne and Allman landed at RAF Woodvale and Fg Off. Milne later found out later that Fg Offs. Beatty and Watkins had landed at RAF Great Orton. He was not aware that Plt Off. Mitchell was missing until he arrived at RAF Hurn.

The subsequent investigation determined that the aircraft had crashed at Little Water of Fleet at Kirkcudbright, adjacent to the Viaduct on Big Water of Fleet. The location is some 7½ km (4¾ ml) SW of the flight’s last known position south of New Galloway.

The area of the crash site is about 400 ft above sea level and the aircraft struck a rock 8 ft high and disintegrated.

The prevailing weather conditions at the time of the crash had mist down to between 50 ft and 100 ft above ground, and the visibility at about 600-800 yards.

Burial details:

Above Courtesy of The Montreal Star, dated 7th April 1944

Plt Off. Kenneth Osborne Mitchell. Interred at the Ayr Cemetery, Ayrshire Sec. R. 1931 Div. Grave 2720 on the 22nd March 1944 at 15:00 hrs. Inscription: UNTIL THE DAY BREAK AND THE SHADOWS FLEE AWAY’. Born on the 23rd January 1922 in Montreal, Quebec. Son of Theodore Osborne and Ethel Lucy (née Wilson) Mitchell, of Greenfield Park, Province of Quebec, Canada.

Researched by Ralph Snape and dedicated to this pilot and his family.

Other sources as quoted below:

RS 19.05.2023 - Initial upload

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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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