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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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401 Squadron Crest
16.03.1944 401 Squadron Spitfire IX MJ119 Fg Off. Woodhouse

Operation: Ramrod 661

Date: 16th March 1944 (Thursday)

Unit: 401 Squadron (Mors celerrima hostibus - Very swift death for the enemy)

Type: Spitfire IX

Serial: MJ119

Code: YO:?

Base: RAF Biggin Hill

Location: South East Amiens, France

Pilot: Fg Off. Kenneth Bernard Woodhouse J18080 RCAF Age 20. Evaded

We are extremely grateful to François Dutil (438 Squadron Archivist) for supplying photographs and information to Aircrew Remembered in October 2017. All photographs shown within this page are available to relatives at a higher resolution (as are most of those named within this page) - courtesy of François.


During Ramrod 661 (Abbeville) in the afternoon of the 16th March the engine failed on the Spitfire flown by Fg Off. Ken Woodhouse. He baled out safely SE of Amiens and prepared to evade capture and return to England.

Having travelled by various means with the assistance from the Shelburne Line he made his way via Paris to Guingamp then in the early hours on the 24th March the group of thirty made their way down to the beach at Sous-Kéruzeau to be picked up by Motor Gun Boat 503, as part of Operation Bonaparte V. Just seven hours later they were in England.

The group included 5 Commonwealth Airmen, 21 from the US Army Air Force (US AAF) and two French agents, Le Bourhis and Jean Tréhiou who were Resistance workers for the Shelburne Line.

The other four Commonwealth aircrew were:

Fg Off. Russell Edward Barnlund J27284 RCAF and Sgt. Kenneth Edward Lussier R204124 RCAF from 408 (Goose) Sqn, RCAF Lancaster II DS845 lost on the 25th February 1944;

Fg Off. Graham Callaghan Brickwood 55021 RAF, 2 Sqn Mustang I AM188 force landed on the 29th April 1944;

Plt Off. Ronald William Daniel 413833 RAAF, 35 Sqn Halifax II HR985 shot down on the 11th November 1943.

Amazing that it only took 8 days from the time he baled out of his Spitfire and to returning to Dartmouth, England.

Above: L-R: Flt Sgt. William Robert McLellan R113865 - missing on a flight from Gibraltar on an Albemarle, Sgt. Benson and Fg Off. Ken Woodhouse.

Above Fg Off. Ken Woodhouse receives the Most Highly Derogatory Order of the Irremovable Finger award (MHDOIF) from Sgt. Chapin also a holder of the MHDOIF. Further investigation continues as to what happened!

Burial details:

None - survived the war

The Granddaughter of Kenneth Bernard Woodhouse informs us that Kenneth passed away on the 29th January 2021.

(Credit: The Saskatoon Star Phoenix, dated Tuesday February 2nd, 2021)

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to Francois Dutil, WW2 Escape Lines Memorial Society. Thanks to Kathleen Berg for contacting us about her Grandfather (Oct 2021). Narrative updated by Aircrew Remembered (Oct 2021). Other sources as quoted below:

RS 31.10.2021 - Update to narrative and inclusion of Obituary for Kenneth Bernard Woodhouse

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CWGC: Your Relative's Grave Explained •  USA Flygirls •  Axis Awards Descriptions •  'Lack Of Moral Fibre'
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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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Last Modified: 31 October 2021, 11:33

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