Flying Officer George RITCHIE

Service No: 400543
Born: Aberdeen, Scotland, 7 July 1911
Enlisted in the RAAF: 15 September 1940 (at Melbourne VIC)
Unit: No. 211 Squadron (RAF)
Died: Air Operations: (No. 211 Squadron Blenheim aircraft Z7699), Malaya, 10 February 1942, Aged 30 Years
Buried: Kranji War Cemetery, Singapore
CWGC Additional Information: Son of George William and Annie Cail Ritchie; husband of Georgina Mary Ritchie, of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Roll of Honour: Tongala VIC
Remembered: Panel 129, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

On 10 February 1942, all the aircraft of No. 211 Squadron and some from No. 84 Squadron RAF took off from Palembang to carry out a raid on Kluang aerodrome (Malaya) occupied by the Japanese. Blenheim Z7699 failed to return from the raid in which all the crew members lost their lives.

The crew members of Z7699 were:

Squadron Leader Kenelm Crispin Vivian Dundas DFC (41000) (RAF) (Pilot)
Sergeant John Blane Keeping (404295) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Pilot Officer George Ritchie (400543) (Observer)

In a report on the raid, Wing Commander Bateson Commanding Officer of No. 211 Squadron stated: “I led the first flight of 6 aircraft on 26 January 1942 to the Far East, followed each day by a further 6 aircraft led by the Squadron Flight Commanders. Squadron Leader Dundas left Egypt on 29 January 1942 with the last flight of 6 aircraft. I arrived in Sumatra on 31 January and Squadron Leader Dundas some 3/4 days later. The operation in question from which Squadron Leader Dundas failed to return was a raid on the Japanese drome at Kluang. The target was heavily defended by anti-aircraft guns and several searchlights were in operation. Several night fighters were also operating. I was No 6 aircraft to attack the target and Squadron Leader Dundas was No 5. Each aircraft attacked at 5 minute intervals from a zero hour. I presume that the aircraft flown by Squadron Leader Dundas was shot down by anti-aircraft fire or by a night fighter.”


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, 163/55/168

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