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Fl/Lt. Martin Adam Kilpatrick (Mart) DFC

Information kindly supplied by David Kilpatrick (Son of Martin)

Martin Adam Kilpatrick was born on the 4th November 1918 in New Zealand. 

Joined the Territorial Army as a driver in 1940 following his service with the Army.

He learnt to fly with the New Plymouth Aero Club training on Taylor Club and Moth Minor aircraft. 

Completing 3.05 hours dual instruction and a further 7.25 solo. Armed with this Mart attended RNZAF Pilot training selection committee in New Plymouth and after many problems to do with his eye sight (Unfounded) and a couple of "fails" in some academic tests he was finally accepted for pilot training.

Finally in November 1942 he completed training on the Tiger Moth Aircraft before being posted to Canada in January 1943 to train on the Cessna Crane aircraft and on September 3rd finally received his wings as a Pilot Officer. 

Then sailed to England on the Queen Mary, landed at Greenock and then travelled to Brighton and from there to Wiltshire to train on Oxford's and then finally with Wescott O.T.U. to train on the Wellington.

Trained on the Stirling Bomber at Chedburg and then on to a Lancaster finishing school at Feltwell in Norfolk, finally to 75 Squadron in Mepal, Cambridgeshire.


Back row from left to right, Fl/Sgt. Jock Cattenach - Bomb Aimer, Sgt. Geoff Davenport - Wireless Op, Fl/Lt. Martin Kilpatrick DFC - Pilot (skip), Sgt. Ben Barton - Flt/Eng, Sgt. Bob Olive - Rear Gunner (ollie). Front row FL/Lt Ray Tait DFC - Navigator (Grub ), Sgt. Albert Haliday - Mid - upper gunner (titch).

His crew completed 35 operational missions over Germany an impressive record of survival given that the survival rate of Bomber Command at that time was one in three killed or missing. Most flights according to his log book lasted around six hours and on one occasion a mine laying sortie to the Gulf of Danzig lasted some ten hours and five minutes.


Remarkable photo's showing the engines on the return flight from Osterfield.

David Kilpatrick kindly supplied further details (PDF File shown left) which are available for download.

On one particular trip during the run in to a target at Osterfield, the aircraft took a number of hits from enemy ground defences - with one engine out of action and another running very rough.

Mart held the aircraft on course and successfully completed his bombing run - the second engine failing completely on the run out. 

He nursed the crippled aircraft back to base and for this and his previous record was awarded the D.F.C.

Mart married an English Girl Sylvia Stephenson in July 1945 and moved back to New Zealand where he worked with his father in a transport business, taking it over after his father's death in 1959.

At the going down of the sun, and in the morning we will remember them. - Laurence Binyon

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Last Modified: 28 April 2014, 22:52