Lochbroom Folk

Lochbroom's Sacrifice in the Second World War

Page 23


Leading Aircraftman Roderick George Lyall Mackenzie 1104259
Sergeant Douglas Macdonald 1118837
Aircraftman 2nd Class Ian Mackenzie 1361427
Flying Officer John Douglas Wallace 130163
Sergeant Robert William Fraser 616009

Leading Aircraftman (Pilot U/T) 1104259
Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Died on 12th December 1940 aged nearly 18

Roderick was the son of Kenneth and Mary Mackenzie (née McDonald), of Ullapool who had married at the Crown Hotel Tillicoultry, Clackmannanshire on 17th November 1922,  Kenneth (21),Tailor, bachelor, usual residence Crown Hotel, Tillicoultry - hotel proprietor.
Mary Jessie McDonald (24), domestic servant, spinster, of West Terrace, Ullapool.
Roderick George Lyall was born in 1923 at Tillicoultry, Clackmannanshire (Ref. 468/18)
The family lived in Custom House Street, Ullapool during WW2.

On 12 December 1940 Roderick was flying in Audax I K7445 of No. 9 Flying Training School, based at RAF Hullavington, near Chippenham in Wiltshire.  It crashed at Longbridge, Birmingham, and burnt out after hitting a balloon cable while lost.

The Pilot and crew were all killed:
BALDRY, KENNETH ALDRED, Sergeant, 741301, 23, RAFVR
CLATWORTHY, EDWARD ROBERT JOHN, Leading Aircraftman, 923468, 21, RAFVR
COLLINS, GILBERT ALAN, Sergeant, 742684, 23, RAFVR
MACKENZIE, RODERICK GEORGE LYALL, Leading Aircraftman, 1104259,  17, RAFVR
MARSTON, KENNETH JOHN, Pilot Officer, 83715, 22, RAFVR
PHILLIPS, STANLEY RICHARD, Leading Aircraftman, 1161590, 12/12/1940, RAFVR

Roderick is buried in Ullapool in West Argyle Street Cemetery.

Photo:  Roddie Macpherson

Sergeant 1118837
No. 42 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Died on 11th May 1942 aged 28

Douglas’s parents married on 16th July 1901 at Oban, - Hugh a labourer, and Catherine née MacColl.  Douglas was born on 23rd October 1913 at 12 Nevis Road, Kinlochleven. It is suggested that Hugh and Catherine were living in Ullapool during WW2 but moved away afterwards to Ardchattan. 

Douglas is not commemorated on the Ullapool War Memorial but information below indicates that he was resident in this area, as is also confirmed by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

A few notes regarding Douglas’s death have been found on a website www.rafcommands.com with the following messages.

“I know one of the crew was a chap called Douglas MacDonald, 1118837, and in a letter he sent home a week before he died he stated one of his crew was Australian.”

“I have a photo of MacDonald along with a letter home written a matter of days before he was killed. He talks about his crew and how great they are, and how he can't wait for his next leave to bring them all back.  He was from the Ullapool area so not a million miles from home.  He also talks about being stuck in Wick after engine problems after an op but not being able to go and see a family friend up there.”

Douglas was flying in a Beaufort when he was killed.  Beaufort AW 366 was engaged on 11th May 1942, in a non-operational training day formation flight on light torpedo attacks, when it collided with AW310.  AW366 crashed into the sea in flames after breaking in two in the Firth of Forth, Scotland.  Two of the crew were killed and 2 were missing.  The aircraft were formatting on a navex when they collided.  AW310 'P' was badly damaged but returned to belly-land at Leuchars.

RAF Sergeant B F J Page, Captain (Pilot)
RAAF 407899 Sergeant J L Jones, (Observer)
RAF Sergeant S Counsell, (Wireless Air Gunner)
RAF Sergeant D MacDonald,(Wireless Air Gunner)

Sergeants Page and Jones are buried in the Leuchars Cemetery, Fifeshire, Scotland.
Sergeant’s Counsell and MacDonald have no known grave and their names are commemorated on the Memorial to the Missing, Runnymede, Surrey, UK on Panel 88.

The family gravestone is situated at Ardchattan Churchyard Argyll and Bute.  Hugh died on 21st August 1951 aged 77 and Catherine 25th June 1935 aged 55.  There were three other children Robert, Mary and Catherine who died in infancy.  Also mentioned on the gravestone is Douglas.  He is not listed on Ardchattan War Memorial in the church.

Aircraftman 2nd Class 1361427
Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
281 Squadron
Died on 8th November 1942 aged 21


No.281 Squadron was formed on 29th March 1942 at RAF Ouston as an air-sea rescue squadron that served all around the British coast in a large number of detachments.  It was equipped with Boulton Paul Defiants, then being phased out as night fighters.  The squadron was intended to provide short range cover for fighter command aircraft operating close to the British coast, and as such was part of Fighter Command.

Ian died of Pulmonary Tuberculosis and Tuberculous Meningitis in Bangour Hospital, Broxburn. West Lothian and is buried in Lochbroom Churchyard at Clachan.

Lochbroom Church.  Photo:  Clare Church
Flying Officer 130163
Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, No. 57 Squadron
Died on 13th May 1943 aged 21

Photo courtesy of Ullapool Museum Trust.

John was the younger son of Dr and Mrs Wallace, Ullapool, and was educated at Ullapool HG School and Inverness Royal Academy, where he gained the Leaving Certificate in 1939. Always keen on flying, he applied at the age of 17½ years for enlistment in the RAF.  He was passed by the Selection Board but failed in his medical test.  On the outbreak of war he again volunteered for an air crew, was eventually passed in grade 2 and was accepted as a fitter, in which capacity he served for 9 months.  Again volunteering for an air crew, he passed fit and went to Florida for training and became a navigator.  On returning to the UK he received a commission and after a brief spell in the Coastal Command was transferred to a Lancaster Bomber.

No.57 Squadron began the Second World War as a Blenheim squadron, and in September 1939 was one of the first RAF squadrons to move to France, where it operated as a strategic reconnaissance unit.  On 13 January 1941 the squadron flew its first night bombing mission, the role it would continue to perform for the rest of the war.  The Lancasters arrived in September 1942, by which time the squadron was part of No.5 Group.  The squadron operated as part of Bomber Command's main force from then until the end of the war.

John was flying in an Avro Lancaster Mk I REG ED3297 Target: Duisburg.  Call Sign: DX- Departure airport RAF Scampton.  Take-off time: 2359, Crashed 0244. at Maasneil, behind the brickworks factory, at Limburg, Netherlands.  7 occupants, 6 fatalities, one taken prisoner.  Aircraft written off, damaged beyond repair. 

Pilot F/O. V.A. Wilson 126985 RAF
Flight engineer Sgt. S. Laughlin 980462 RAF
Navigator F/O. J.D. Wallace 130163 RAF
Bomb aimer W/O P.G. Kehl 1335521 RAF Survived pow
Wireless Op/Air Gunner Sgt. R.B. Loverseed 1198322 RAF
Air gunner F/Sgt. C.L. Gerding R/115979 RCAF
Air gunner Sgt. A. Steel 1409336 RAF

Shot down by night fighter pilot Major Walter Ehle of the Stab II./NJG 1, flying a Bf 110 G-4 from St Trond airfield, Belgium

John is buried in Jonkerbos War Cemetery in Grave 24 D 4.

Continued in page 24

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