AR banner
Search Tips Advanced Search
Back to Top

• Kracker Archive
• Allied Losses
• Archiwum Polish
• Paradie Canadian
• Searchable Lists

Info LogoAdd to or correct this story with a few clicks.
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.
Check our Research databases: Database List


We seek additional information and photographs. Please contact us via the Helpdesk.

485 Squadron Crest
04.05.1942 No 485 Squadron Spitfire Vb BM196 W/O. David M. Russell

Operation: Rodeo 18

Date: 04th May 1942 (Monday)

Unit: No. 485 Squadron RNZAF

Type: Spitfire Vb

Serial: BM196 (Borough of Brentford and Chiswick)

Code: OU-?

Base: RAF Kenley, Surrey

Location: English Channel

Pilot: W/O. David Malyon Russell NZ/403553 RNZAF Age 25. Injured


Taking off from RAF Kenley in Surrey at 19:05 hrs and whilst still climbing were attacked by 4 enemy fighters. Having seen them off they continued to the area of Fort Du Boulogne where they were again intercepted by some 20 enemy aircraft. With damaged aircraft he tried to return back to base over the Channel.

Not being able to make it back he decided to bale out from his Spitfire. 30 year old, fellow New Zealander P/O. John Checketts also in the same trouble, baled out of his Spitfire Vb BM259. Both pilots landed without problems, P/O. Checketts was picked up from his dingy about an hour later. Sadly, W/O. Russell who was also picked up this time by a friendly trawler but after several hours in the Channel died of exposure later that night.

Burial details:

W/O. David Malyon Russell. Whyteleafe Churchyard (St. Luke) Row 1. Grave 30. Son of John and Beatrice Hawes Russell, of Pukekohe, Auckland, New Zealand and husband of Violet Ada Russell, of Manurewa, Auckland. 245 flying hours logged.

Note: The family also lost his older brother, 35 year old LAC John Wilfred Russel NZ/4210478 RNZAF was lost without trace on the 05th June 1943. He was one of 14 crew and passengers when a No. 6 Squadron RNZAF PHBY-5 Catalina NZ4006 was lost without trace on a Ferry flight between Fiji and New Zealand.

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 War Memorial Museum, Weekly News of New Zealand, JS, volunteer with Find A Grave for grave photograph. Other sources as quoted below:

KTY 17.11.2017

Pages of Outstanding Interest
History Airborne Forces •  Soviet Night Witches •  Bomber Command Memories •  Abbreviations •  Gardening Codenames
CWGC: Your Relative's Grave Explained •  USA Flygirls •  Axis Awards Descriptions •  'Lack Of Moral Fibre'
Concept of Colonial Discrimination  •  Unauthorised First Long Range Mustang Attack
RAAF Bomb Aimer Evades with Maquis •  SOE Heroine Nancy Wake •  Fane: Motor Racing PRU Legend
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.
Click any image to enlarge it

Click to add your info via ticket on Helpdesk •Click to let us know via ticket on Helpdesk• Click to buy research books from Amazon •Click to explore the entire site
If you would like to comment on this page, please do so via our Helpdesk. Use the Submit a Ticket option to send your comments. After review, our Editors will publish your comment below with your first name, but not your email address.

A word from the Editor: your contribution is important. We welcome your comments and information. Thanks in advance.

At the going down of the sun, and in the morning we will remember them. - Laurence Binyon
All site material (except as noted elsewhere) is owned or managed by Aircrew Remembered and should not be used without prior permission.
© Aircrew Remembered 2012 - 2024
Last Modified: 13 June 2023, 13:49

Monitor Additions/Changes?Click to be informed of changes to this page. Create account for first monitor only, thereafter very fast. Click to close without creating monitor