LEST WE FORGET

Flying Officer Newton MacDONALD

Service No: 412616
Born: Bowral NSW, 18 November 1921
Enlisted in the RAAF: 20 July 1941
Unit: No. 276 Squadron (RAF), Detachment Landing Ground B 83, Knocke-le-Zoute, Belgium
Died: Air Operations: (No. 276 Squadron Spitfire aircraft BM414), off Dunkirk, 5 April 1945, Aged 23 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Newton Alonzo and Ruby Gladys Irene MacDonald; husband of Lydia Smith MacDonald, of Bowral, New South Wales, Australia
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Panel 283, Runnymede Memorial, Surrey UK
Remembered: Panel 126, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

On 5 April 1945 while orbiting dinghies off Dunkirk on an Air Sea Rescue mission under control of 15081 Ground Control Intercept Station, Flying Officer MacDonald flying Spitfire BM 414 complained of a rough running engine and asked for a vector to base. His section leader saw black smoke begin to puff out from the exhausts of both tanks and the propeller seemed to be windmilling. Flames began to appear around the air intake beneath the fuselage and black smoke started to emit continuously from the exhaust and engine cowlings. Shortly after the vector was given the aircraft went into a steep dive from 1,500 feet pulled up sharply at 50 feet went over onto its back, lost height and hit the sea. The Section leader flew repeatedly over the position which was about 8 miles from Dunkirk, but saw no sign of wreckage or of the pilot. At the time there was no anti-aircraft fire experienced from Dunkirk.

References:

Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records (RAAF Casualty Information compiled by Alan Storr (409804))
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veterans’ Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/26/876