The Airmen's Stories - P/O J C Kirkpatrick
James Charles Kirkpatrick was, despite his name, Belgian and was born in the St. Gilles area of Brussels on 5th September 1915 to Robert Closeburn and Yvonne Kirkpatrick.
His father, awarded the Military Cross in 1919 '..for distinguished service in connection with military operations in France and Flanders' was from a branch of the Scottish Kirkpatricks from Closeburn near Dumfries.
JC Kirkpatrick was serving in the Belgian Air Force when the German attack came on 10th May 1940. He escaped to England in June 1940 and was commissioned in the RAF in July, then being posted to 235 Squadron with Blenheims.
He was posted 'Missing' on 9th October when his Blenheim N3530, operating from Thorney Island, was lost over the Channel (report below).
Above image courtesy of the National Archives.
The bodies of the other crew members, P/O RC Thomas and Sgt. GE Keel, were recovered.
Kirkpatrick is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial and, in accordance with Belgian practice, by a memorial grave at the Pelouse d'Honneur in Brussels.
Runnymede image courtesy of Dean Sumner