The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. I A C Grant
Ian Allan Charles Grant was born in Woodville, New Zealand on 21st November 1915 and educated in Auckland. He was then employed as a sheet-metal worker. After volunteering for aircrew duties in September 1939 he attended the Ground Training School, Weraroa on 19th November. He was posted to 2 EFTS, New Plymouth on 18th December and then to 2 FTS, Woodbourne on 11th March 1940. With training completed, Grant left for the UK in the RMS Rangitane on 12th July.
He went to 6 OTU, Aston Down on 9th September to convert to Hurricanes and then joined 151 Squadron at Digby on the 28th. Grant was posted to 7 BGS, Stormy Down on 23rd November as a staff pilot.
He was commissioned in October 1941 and on 12th July 1942 was posted to 52 OTU, Debden for conversion to Spitfires. In October Grant joined 501 Squadron at Middle Wallop and on 19th November was posted to 485 Squadron at Kingscliffe, then commanded by his older brother, Reginald.
On 13th February 1943 the squadron went on a sweep. After crossing the French coast they were directed to a force of Fw190’s. A further twenty enemy fighters attacked out of the sun and three Spitfires were shot down, including Grant in Vb BM482. An aircraft crashed in the vicinity of Cucq and buried itself deeply in marshy ground. Attempts were made after the war to recover the pilot's body but without result so it is not known whether it was Grant or another airman.
He is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial, Panel 197.