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Archive Report: Allied Forces

Compiled from official National Archive and Service sources, contemporary press reports, personal logbooks, diaries and correspondence, reference books, other sources, and interviews.
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485 Squadron Crest
25.02.1942 No. 485 Squadron Magister I T9947 Sgt. Arnold G. McNeil

Operation: Training

Date: 25th February 1942 (Wednesday)

Unit: No. 485 Squadron (Ka whawhai tonu - We will fight on)

Type: Miles Magister I

Serial: T9947

Code: OU-Not known

Base: RAF Kenley, Surrey

Location: Three Bridges, Surrey

Pilot: Sgt. Arnold George McNeil NZ/41484 RNZAF Age 22. Killed

Pilot 2: Sgt. James Joseph Burke NZ/41307 RNZAF Age 24. Killed


During a local flying practice and instruction training sortie the Magister stalled whilst at low level and crashed into trees at 15:45 hrs.

Both pilots were killed with the aircraft catching fire on impact.

Burial details:

Sgt. Arnold George McNeil. Whytleafe Churchyard (St. Luke). Row 1. Grave 28. Born on the 09th December 1919 the son of William McNeil, and of Emily McNeil (née Burgess), of New Plymouth, Taranaki, New Zealand. 207 flying hours logged.

Sgt. James Joseph Burke. Whytleafe Churchyard (St. Luke). Row 1. Grave 27. Son of Patrick Burke, and of Annie Burke (née Maher), of Temuka, Canterbury, New Zealand. 228 flying hours logged.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of these New Zealand pilots with thanks to sources as quoted below but also to Errol Martyn - For Your Tomorrow Vol’s 1-3.

KTY 28.04.2017

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Sources used by us in compiling Archive Reports include: Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vols. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vols. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Tom Kracker - Kracker Luftwaffe Archives, Michel Beckers, Major Fred Paradie (RCAF) and MWO François Dutil (RCAF) - Paradie Archive (on this site), Jean Schadskaje, Major Jack O'Connor USAF (Retd.), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Archiwum - Polish Air Force Archive (on this site), Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of CWGC, UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, New Zealand National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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