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The Airmen's Stories - P/O K B McGlashan


Kenneth Butterworth McGlashan was born in Bearsden, Dunbartonshire on 28th August 1920. He was educated at Glasgow Academy and left there to take a short service commission in the RAF.

He began his initial training at 11 E&RFTS Perth on 13th March 1939. McGlashan moved to 9 FTS Hullavington on 2nd June and after completing his training joined the newly-formed 245 Squadron at Leconfield on 6th November.

The squadron flew south from Drem to Hawkinge on 28th May 1940 to help cover the Dunkirk evacuation.


On the 31st McGlashan was shot down by a Me109 near Dunkirk. He was slightly wounded and partially and temporarily blinded by oil and glycol splashing into his eyes. He put his Hurricane into a dive and by the time his sight came back he was very low. He pulled out of the dive, blacked out and came to travelling very fast and low along a beach.

McGlashan made a successful forced-landing and was rescued by British soldiers from some French colonial troops, who thought he was German.

He walked along the beach into Dunkirk and managed to board a Thames paddle steamer. After an eventful crossing McGlashan landed late at night at Margate and was taken by squadron transport back to Hawkinge.

He served with 245 throughout the Battle of Britain. On 17th December 1940 McGlashan was posted to 96 Squadron, then forming at Cranage for night-fighting operations. He served with it until 17th November 1941, when he went to to 60 OTU East Fortune as an instructor.

On 20th July 1942 McGlashan joined 87 Squadron at Charmy Down as a supernumerary. He took part in ground-strafing operations during the Dieppe raid on 19th August.

McGlashan was posted to 536 Squadron at Predannack on 12th September 1942, a Turbinlite Havoc unit. The squadron was disbanded on 25th January 1943 and McGlashan then joined 264 Squadron at Warmwell.

He served with 264 until 15th June 1944. He was then posted to Cairo, seconded to 2 Division BOAC, to work on the opening up of Middle East air routes. McGlashan returned to the UK in January 1946 and joined No. 1 Ferry Unit at Pershore.

He moved to 54 OTU in June, remaining there until October 1948, when he was given command of 25 Squadron at West Malling.

Awarded the AFC (gazetted 8th June 1950), McGlashan also received a Green Endorsement in his log book on 21st August 1950. At great risk to himself he took off in bad weather to lead another Mosquito into Manston, leading it down through cloud and enabling it to land safely.

McGlashan retired from the RAF on 29th August 1958 as a Squadron Leader. He emigrated with his family to Australia in 1964 and died there on 30th July 2005.


He recorded his experiences in 'Down to Earth' (ISBN 978-1904943846).


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