The Airmen's Stories - P/O D C Mackenzie
Donald Carr MacKenzie was born in Wellington, New Zealand on 21st August 1921, the son of John Gretton MacKenzie and Jeannie MacKenzie.
He was educated at Wellington College. After graduating he worked for an insurance company. He served as a gunner in the 22nd Anti-Aircraft Territorial Battery.
In late July 1939 Mackenzie applied for a short service commission in the RNZAF and was accepted, beginning his ground training at Rongotai on 20th September. He was posted to No.1 EFTS Taieri on 21st October and then to No.1 FTS Wigram on 16th December.
Awarded his wings on 13th February 1940, Mackenzie completed his training and sailed for the UK on 26th April in the RMS Rangitiki.
Mackenzie was posted to 4 Ferry Pilots Pool at Kemble on 17th June, flying Wellingtons for further air experience. On 18th July he went to 12 OTU Benson to convert to Battles. He then joined 142 Squadron at Eastchurch and flew one operation over enemy territory before volunteering for Fighter Command.
Mackenzie joined 56 Squadron at Boscombe Down on 5th September. Before being posted away to CFS Upavon on 1st January 1941, Mackenzie had taken part in twenty-three operational sorties and was credited with one Me109 destroyed.
After completing his instructors course Mackenzie went to 2 FTS Brize Norton. In March 1942 he was posted to RAF Hucknall as a test pilot for Rolls Royce. In preparation for a return to operations Mackenzie went to 1654 Conversion Unit at Wigsley, to crew-up and convert to Wellingtons. He then joined 467 (RAAF) Squadron, being formed at Scampton.
In early April 1943 Mackenzie was promoted and appointed a Flight Commander. In the late evening of 11th June he took off from Bottesford to attack Dusseldorf. His Lancaster W4983 PO-Z was hit by flak from Battery 1./514 and crashed at Frenz, 5 km ENE of Eschweiler. The whole crew were killed.
Mackenzie was awarded the DFC (gazetted 20th July 1943). It was presented to his parents by the Governor General in Wellington on 9th January 1945.
Those lost were:
S/Ldr. BS Ambrose
Sgt. JF McLusky
P/O DC Bovis
Sgt. AD Moore
F/O L Pietsch RAAF
F/Lt. LR Betts
Sgt. JB Donohoe RAAF
They are buried in a collective grave at Rheinberg Military Cemetery, Germany.
Above image courtesy of Fred of Findagrave.