JOHN DRAPER McKENZIE

Photographs courtesy of Ben.

 

Born: 20th December 1910, Ladysmith, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada.

Died: 31st May 1942; age 31 years, 5 months & 10 days; Died from wounds received on an attack from a Me 110 on the journey home after a bombing raid.

Residence: 297, Alexander Street, Three Rivers, Province of Quebec.

Occupation: Traffic Customs Accounting/Purchasing Clerk, for the St. Lawrence Paper Mills Co., Three Rivers, Province of Quebec.

Enlistment Details: Location: Shawinigan Falls, Quebec; Date: 19th August 1940; Age: 29 years & 245 days; Religion: Presbyterian. Signed up for the Duration of the War. Next of Kin: father – Mr. John McKenzie, of 297, Alexander Street, Three Rivers. Height: 5ft 10ins, fair complexion, brown eyes & brown hair. Burn scar 3” right arm. Bone Fracture – Collar Bone – 1912. Speaks English – good and French – fair. Lived in Glasgow, Scotland for 5 years. In debt $150.

 

Character References:

H.R. Smith, of 768, St. Usule Street, Three Rivers – Chemist.

B. Clerk, of Alexander Street, Three Rivers – Editor of St. Maurice Valley Chronicle, Three Rivers.

 

Healthy tall man. Deliberate and intelligent chap. Has been 12 years with the same firm. Anxious to serve and should learn quickly. Stable and good nervous.

 

Aircraftman 2nd Class – 21st August 1940.

Leading Aircraftman – 4th April 1941.

Sergeant – 29th September 1941.

  1. Flight Sergeant – 29th March 1942.

 

Offence: At Hastings – W.O.A.S. absent from 10:00hrs 28th January 1942 until reporting to Sgt, Heslop at 10:00hrs on 30th January 1942 – Absent 2 days – admonished 30th January 1942 by S/Ldr S.R. Clark – forfeits 2 days pay.

 

Rank: Flight Sergeant/Rear Air Gunner; Service Number: R/62807.

Regiment: Royal Canadian Air Force, 12 Operational Training Unit.

Previous a Sergeant, for the  Three Rivers Regiment, Ambulance Corps – 1932 – 1935.

 

Buried 2nd June 1942.

 

Grave Reference:

X.H.436N,

Ipswich Old Cemetery

Ipswich.

 

Relatives Notified & Address: Son of John & Katherine A. Draper McKenzie, of  Three Rivers, Province of Quebec, Canada.

 

Father: John McKenzie, born September 1879, Inchture, Perthshire, Scotland.

Mother: Katherine McKenzie (nee Draper), born Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland – died Nova Scotia, Canada.

 

John attended the River Hebert High School, Nova Scotia – 1917 – 1926 – he completed his Ninth Grade – equivalent to his Junior Matriculation. His father John McKenzie was Secretary on Board of Trustee for the school.

John studied for 1 year Higher Accounting 1933 – 34 with the La Salle Extension University Course, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.

 

Employment:

People’s Store – River Hebert, Nova Scotia – Clerk – 1926 – 1928.

St. Lawrence Paper Mills Co., Province of Quebec – Financial Accounting 1928 – 1937. Cost Accounting – 1937 – 1939. Traffic Customs Accounting/Purchasing Clerk 1939 – Enlisted in R.C.A.F.

 

Hobbies: Mechanics, swimming & basket ball.

 

Royal Message sent to father – Mr. John McKenzie, of St. Olivier Street. Three Rivers, Province of Quebec.

 

John is remembered on a memorial stained glass window at St. Andrew’s United Church, Three Rivers, Province of Quebec.

 Buck, Robert Ferrer, Albin Lucki & John McKenzie

                                                                            The crew were mentioned in the book called ” The Thousand Plan” by Ralph Barker.

30th/31st May 1942

On the 30th/31st May 1942 Bomber Command launched 1000 bomber raid on Cologne, Germany (actual number of aircraft used is reported as 1047). It was not possible to launch sufficient aircraft only from operational squadrons so aircraft and crews from several operational training units were also employed. These were crews nearing the end of their training but not yet operational. John McKenzie was a crew member of Wellington 1C of No 12 O.T.U which took off from its base at Chipping Warden, Northamptonshire, at 23:20hrs.

The aircraft crashed into the sea off Harwich, Essex. John, Ken Buck, and Ronald Gundy, who was also injured were picked up by a motor vessel and taken to hospital at Shotley (H.M.S. Ganges). John did not survive.

Bob Ferrer and Albin Lucki were both killed and their bodies not recovered; they are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial, Surrey.

Crew:

 

Robert Leslie William Ferrer; Pilot Officer; age 21; R.A.F.V.R.

 

 

Albin Lucki; Pilot Officer; age 27; R.C.A.F.

 

Kenneth Howard Buck; Sergeant; R.C.A.F. – survived

Ronald Gundy – survived.

 

Posted in Second World War

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