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The Airmen's Stories - P/O J W McKenzie


John Woffenden McKenzie is recorded as being of Johannesburg, South Africa. His parents, Archibald McKenzie and Mabel Woffenden, were married at Dewsbury, Yorkshire in the second quarter of 1905.

JW McKenzie was educated at Aberdeen Grammar School, Scotland from 1927-37. He entered the RAF College Cranwell on 1st January 1938 as a Flight Cadet.

He graduated on 30th September 1939 and the next day joined 263 Squadron, then reforming at Filton with Gladiators.


Above image courtesy of Aberdeen Grammar School via Gordon Crookshanks.


On 21st April 1940 the squadron flew to Prestwick and embarked on HMS Glorious for Norway. It flew off on the 25th and landed on Lake Lesjeskogen. McKenzie flew a defensive patrol along Romsdal Valley on the 26th, the squadron was withdrawn to Veblungsnes on the 27th and on the 28th was evacuated from Aandalsnes and then re-embarked for return to the UK.

McKenzie was posted to 111 Squadron at Wick on 10th May 1940. During a combat off Margate on 11th August he is believed to have been shot down by Me109s. His Hurricane, P3105, crashed into the sea and he was reported Missing.

He was 20 and is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial, panel 9.



His parents were divorced in 1936 but as his mother is recorded as the only next-of-kin it implies that his father had died subsequently. Mabel McKenzie returned to South Africa and died in Johannesburg on 14th August 1966.

He is also commemorated on his grandfather's grave in Aberdeen (below).




Above image courtesy of Dean Sumner


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