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Thread: Sergeant Duncan MacKay-MIA since 1940

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    Default Sergeant Duncan MacKay-MIA since 1940

    Hello all of you.

    I was hoping that somebody might be of some help regarding the airman mentioned above.He was an airgunner on a Hampden of 144 squadron which crashed August 10 , 1940 in the Zuyderzee in the Netherlands.The pilot of the Hampden,P/O Thudhope DFC, washed ashore a week later and is buried at Kampern cemetery near my hometown but the other three crewmembers and their plane where ever found.
    Unfortunately the entry of Sgt.MacKay (servicenumber 551045) at the CWGC site gives only the name of his parents, Duncan and Jessie Jane MacKay, and not the hometown.
    I hope to make sure that this young man of twenty years is more than just a name here in the Netherlands so I am trying to find out more about him.
    Is there somebody who can point me in the right direction?

    Thanks

    Mike

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    Doing a quick search on this site:
    freebmd.org.uk would indicate no one of that name was born in England or Wales dueing 1919-1921, note his age is 20 in 1940.

    Doing the same search in scotlandspeople.gov.uk shows up to two people named Duncan MacKay born in 1919-1921.

    One was born in Stoer district, Sutherland,

    the other

    was born in Govan district, Lanarkshire.

    if you pop into that site, purchase a few credits and check out the detail on the birth records.

    I should stress this is only a suggestion, he could have been born in India for all we know.
    Last edited by dennis_burke; 30th October 2009 at 12:23.
    Dennis Burke
    - Dublin

    Foreign Aircrew and Aircraft Ireland 1939-1945
    www.ww2irishaviation.com

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    Thanks a lot Dennis for your quick respond.It's worth a while to look further in it.One of them could be 'my man '.


    Mike

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    Mike,

    His service number tells me he was 'Boy Entrant' Royal Air Force.
    I have the details of 550925 W/O A.R COX D.F.M (WOP/AG) Enlisted 5-1936
    551203 Sgt R.G St JAMES-SMITH Air Gunner Enlisted 21-9-1936

    Mark

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    Mark,

    Thanks for your respond.
    Maybe a silly question but could you please explain what a 'Boy Entrant' Royal Air Force does mean?

    Mike

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    Hi, Mike and admire your efforts to ensure that Duncan does not remain just a Name.
    I can't add much to what you have already.
    You know of the crew, but only ask of MacKay, does that mean you have sufficient information for the other crew members of P4368?
    P/O W.F.Tudhope, DFC KIA
    Sgt S.L.S.Belton, DFM KIA
    Sgt D.MacKay KIA
    Sgt A.J.Griffiths KIA
    Belton came from Foulness Island which is a pretty remote part of Essex, probably not too dissimilar from parts of the Netherlands, faced with inundation from the sea. Much of it is restricted access due to artillery firing ranges nearby. It's not far from Southend where I was born.
    I note that both he and P/O Tudhope had been decorated, so there is probably more of a story about what these medals were awarded for, so early in the War.
    Was any wreckage discovered when part of the ZuyderZee was drained?

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    Mike, Here are Tudhope's and Belton's citation, ex LG:
    Air Ministry,
    6th August, 1940.
    ROYAL AIR FORCE.
    The KING has been graciously pleased to approve the undermentioned appointment and awards, in recognition of gallantry displayed in flying operations against the enemy:
    Awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.
    Pilot Officer William Frank TUDHOPE (41224).
    Awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal.
    581261 Sergeant Lewis Smith BELTON.
    One night in July, 1940, Pilot Officer Tudhope was captain of an aircraft which delivered an attack on enemy warships in Wilhelmshaven harbour from an altitude of only 50 feet. The aircraft was subjected to terrific anti-aircraft fire and was badly hit by a high explosive shell. In spite of this, a second attack was attempted, but owing to the extreme density of the gunfire, one engine was badly damaged and the navigator's cabin was riddled with holes. In spite of this ordeal, Sergeant Belton, the navigator and bomb aimer, with great coolness and courage continued his duties, and enabled Pilot Officer Tudhope to bring the damaged aircraft safely home. This officer and non-commissioned officer have shown conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty on many previous occasions.
    Regards, Terry

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    Hi All,

    Some background on P4368, and crew here:

    http://isle-of-wight-memorials.org.uk/people-ryd/tudhope_wf.pdf

    Be patient, takes a little while to load.

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 31st October 2009 at 01:50. Reason: minor correction

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    Hi guys,

    Thanks a lot for the responses after my last post in this thread.Sorry for the late response I completely overlooked your comments.
    To answer the question from Kevin yes there were wreckage discovered when the Zuydersea was drained.In fact many planes were discovered after the draining.In what now is called the Ijsselmeer many more planes should be at the bottom of that lake including the Hampden of P/O Thudhope.
    The reason why I only asked about McKay is that I didn't know where he came from which I do know from the others so I have a starting point to research on these three men.
    I still have not found anything on Sgt.MacKay by the way but will continue to try.

    Mike

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    Default Tudhope details

    TUDHOPE, P/O William Frank (41224) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.144 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 6 August 1940. Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, 4 March 1919, the son of J.H. Tudhope. Educated in Ottawa and Ryde School (Isle of Wight). Appointed Acting Pilot Officer on Probation, RAF, 17 September 1938. With No.44 Squadron at outbreak of war; with No.76 Squadron, 30 September to 11 October 1939; with No.144 Squadron, 11 October 1939 to 10 August 1940 (killed in action). Air Ministry Bulletin 1275 refers. Public Record Office Air 2/9447 has the original recommendation dated 22 July 1940, drafted by the Officer Commanding, RAF Station Hemswell:

    "This officer was captain of an aircraft which was detailed to attack warships in Wilhelmshaven harbour from a very low level on the night of July 20th. He delivered his attack from 50 feet in the face of terrific anti-aircraft fire from all the defences of the town, during which his aircraft was badly hit by gunfire.

    "In spite of this damage he attempted to make a second attack, but owing to the extreme density of the fire, his aircraft received a great many more hits, and one engine was badly damaged. With great skill and courage he brought his damaged aircraft back across the North Sea and landed it at the aerodrome.

    "This officer has shown conspicuous gallantly and devotion to duty on many previous occasions, and has always pressed home his attacks in the same fearless manner."

    On 22 July 1940 Air Vice-Marshal A.T. Harris, Air Officer Commanding No.5 Group, minuted the document as "Strongly recommended". The recommendation was approved by the Commander-in-Chief, Bomber Command on 24 July 1940 and forwarded that day to Air Ministry. A draft citation at Air Ministry gave the date of the action - 20 July 1940 - but otherwise did not differ from that published in the London Gazette (below):

    "One night in July 1940, Pilot Officer Tudhope was captain of an aircraft which delivered an attack on enemy warships in Wilhelmshaven harbour from an altitude of only 50 feet. The aircraft was subjected to terrific anti-aircraft fire and was badly hit by a high explosive shell. In spite of this, a second attack was attempted, but owing to the extreme density of the gunfire, one engine was badly damaged and the navigator's cabin was riddled with holes. In spite of this ordeal, Sergeant Belton, the navigator and bomb aimer, with great coolness and courage continued his duties, and enabled Pilot Officer Tudhope to bring the badly damaged aircraft safely home. This officer and Non-Commissioned Officer have shown conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty on many previous occasions." [Cited with Sergeant L.S. Belton, DFM].

    NOTE: Cards compiled by W/C F.H. Hitchins (held by Directorate of History and Heritage, Canadian Forces Headquarters) detail the following sorties:

    14 December 1939 - Search - 2nd pilot of aircraft; 11 machines looking for enemy fleet in North Sea; not found. Captain was F/O Meyer.
    20/21 April 1940 - GARDENING - 2nd pilot in crew of four laying mines off Scharnhorn Island. Captain was F/O Meyer.
    23/24 Aprril 1940 - GARDENING - Warnemunde, 700 feet. Captain was F/O Meyer.
    25/26 April 1940 - GARDENING - 6 hours, 500 feet, Schlieswig. Captain was F/O Meyer.
    9/10 May 1940 - GARDENING - Navigating with F/O Meyer, Kiel Fiord, 500 feet.
    11/12 May 1940 - Rhine Valley - with F/O Meyer; bombed target (not further identified), 11,500 feet.
    13/14 May 1940 - Aachen - With S/L Rebleck; bombed at 10,000 feet.
    18/19 May 1940 - Battle area - With S/L Rebleck; bombed bridge between Namur and Dinant; hits observed.
    25/26 May 1940 - Ruhr - With F/O Meyer; bombed Remschied-Ruhr (bombs short)
    26/27 May 1940 - Battle area - With F/O Meyer; incendiaries in woods, St.Vith area; also bombed roads and bridges.
    27/28 May 1940 - Bremen -With F/O Meyer; bombed aerodrome southeast of Bremen; followed by five aircraft.
    31 May/1 June 1940 - target not stated - With F/O Meyer; unable to locate target.
    3/4 June 1940 - Emmerich - With F/O Meyer; bombed alternative; two large fires.
    5/6 June 1940 - GARDENING - With F/O Meyer; planted vegetables [mines] near Kielsnor Light; fired on a tug.
    8/9 June 1940 - GARDENING - With F/O Meyer; intense electrical storm and rain; dropped vegetables in Battin (Kolding ?) area.
    11/12 June 1940 - Not stated - With F/O Meyer; target obscured by haze; anti-aircraft fire accurate; did not bomb.
    12/13 June 1940 - Lille
    18/19 June 1940 - GARDENING - Dutch coast.
    21/22 June 1940 - Celle - 7 hours.
    23/24 June 1940 - target not stated - Bombed and machine-gunned a train south of Ringen.
    7/8 July 1940 - GARDENING - Captain for first time; to German coast; dropped vegetables at 650 feet; airborne 7 hours.
    11/12 July 1940 - Ruhr - Could not locate target due to storm and did not bomb.
    14/15 July 1940 - Hamburg - Target obscured; did not bomb.
    20 July 1940 - GARDENING - Dropped special mine. Trip was to Wilhelmshaven and was the subject of his DFC action, yet it is not described in unit diary.
    7/8 Aug 1940 - GARDENING - Langeland; dropped vegetables at 600 feet; light flak.
    10 Aug 1940 - target not stated - Possibly Hamburg; in Hampden P4365; failed to return; P/O Tudhope, Sergeant S.L.S. Belton, Sergeant D. McKay, Sergeant A.J. Griffiths.

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