Kenneth Windsor’s Evasion Report

Evasion report SPG 3314/1367 (complete).

The Spitfire takes off from Kenley around 12:27. Almost half an hour later, while flying at 8000m, he was attacked above the target by an Fw190 fighter, which pursued him north. It seems he was shot down north of Hesdin by the Hptm. Wilhem-F. Galland of Stab II/JG 26. The Spitfire was hit and Windsor was hit by one of its debris, temporarily lost consciousness and regained consciousness while at an altitude of about 4600 m. The fuel supply was cut off and a fire broke out. He decides to head north in order to return to his base. 10 minutes later, his engine shut down and he abandoned his plane at about 4600 m. During his parachute descent, he saw his Spitfire crashing and exploding.

Windsor twists his right ankle when he lands. He buried his parachute and Mae West and crawled south for nearly 2 km. Near a wood, he hears voices speaking English and seeming to be looking for him. He decides to be cautious and does not contact them. He will rest in another wood and remove the badges from his uniform, keeping them in a pocket. Wearing ordinary shoes, he walks until about 11 p.m. and reaches the village of Ledinghem where he crawls into the stable of a farm where he falls asleep.

On the morning of June 21, Windsor, who did not speak French, approached a farmer and showed him his RAF wings. The man shakes his hands, gives him food and some civilian clothes. At around 10 a.m., he set off again in a southerly direction. He walks all day and arrives around 9 p.m. at the village of Bourthes where he spends the night again in a stable.

The next morning, June 22, he stops at a farm to ask for a drink. He was given something to quench his thirst, but people seemed unfriendly to him and he continued on his way. He arrives in the evening in Bimont where he shows his RAF wings to a farmer, HAJARDEZ, about 45 years old, who feeds him and with whom he spends the night. The next day, June 23, HAJARDEZ took him to the house of the mayor of Wicquinghem, farmer Gaston PÉROY, about 50 years old, who gave him food and other civilian clothes. During his stay at PEROY, Windsor saw Robert Barckley there.

Windsor and Barckley stayed with PÉROY until June 27, when Lucien PÉROY, the mayor’s son, about 20 years old, and Michel Peroy’s brother, guided him to Norbert and Marguerite Fillerin’s house in Renty, where he met Barckley. During his stay at FILLERIN, Windsor was photographed and then received new fake identity documents. His escape was therefore organized, as was that of Barckley, with whom he stayed until July 21.

Barckley and Windsor had been taken in charge by Eugène D’HALLENDRE from La Madeleine (Lille) and they both arrived by train in Paris on July 21 where they were then separated. Eugène D’HALLENDRE, born in 1898, railwayman at the SNCF, had just been arrested on July 20, 1943, on denunciation, at the same time as his wife Lucienne, their son Edgar being a little later. Eugène D’HALLENDRE was shot by the Germans in Bondues on 27 December 1943. Edgar D’HALLENDRE, born in 1922, appears like his mother Lucienne, born BUYSSE in 1899, on the list of French Deportees and survived the conflict.]

Rosine THERIER, wife of London’s Sydney Witton in captivity, confirms that she has transported Windsor and Barckley from Mr. DIDIER’s house in Arras to Paris and handed them over to Jacques Le GRELLE. Émile DIDIER and his wife Madeleine CARON lived at 22 Rue de Bapaume in Arras. Subsequently arrested on 24 July 1943, they were both in the “Nacht und Nebel” convoy of 4 May 1944 bound for the Saint-Gilles Prison in Brussels. Deported to Germany, Émile DIDIER, born in 1889, died at Gross-Rosen camp on 15 January 1945 and his wife Madeleine, born in 1892, died at Ravensbrück camp in February 1945.

On page 14 of his E&E 63 report, Bernard Kœnig states that he leaves Paris by train on 22 July from Montparnasse station to Bordeaux with “Alexandre” (another alias of Jean-François NOTHOMB) and William Murphy. Koenig adds, without naming her, that another lady (Rosine WITTON-THERIER) is on the same train, guiding a Typhoon pilot, who is Bob Barckley.

Windsor stays until August 1 at 16 Rue Royer-Collard, Paris VIe with a 55-year-old ex-pilot, Mr. Paul ROUTY and his niece Jeanne, 30, who speaks perfect English. Paul Louis Camille ROUTY, born in 1883, had completed his service in 1914-1918 as captain, Commander of the MF 1 Squadron of the 2nd Air Group. He died in Saint-Briac-sur-Mer on September 30, 1960.] Windsor is staying with the ROUTY until August 1st and then with a doctor, Dr. Pierre HABREKORN at 6 Avenue du Parc in Vanves.

On Sunday, August 8, Windsor was taken to a subway station by Jean-François NOTHOMB (“Franco”) and met Thomas Slack. They are eagerly awaiting Franco’s return and end up attracting the attention of users.

NOTHOMB finally joined them and guided Slack and Windsor to a railway station where they took the 22-hour train to Bordeaux. On the train, the two airmen received a new identity card. In Bordeaux, they take the train to Dax. They met Thomas Hunt and William Aguiar, two Americans who had travelled at the same time without NOTHOMB informing each other. They rent bicycles in Dax and reach the Bayonne exit around 6 p.m., where they go to a café where they spend the night. It is at Pierre ARRIEUMERLOU’s house at 12 Quai Augustin Chaho, along the Nive.

On the 10th, they drive to Saint-Jean-de-Luz where they arrive around 7 p.m. and leave their bicycles at the station. A guide took them on foot from Saint-Jean-de-Luz to Ciboure, where the bridge over the Nivelle was guarded by a German sentinel. They pass safely to the other side and eat in thickets outside Ciboure where they meet two other Basque guides (including Florentino GOÏKOETCHEA) and a Frenchman. The first guide (NOTHOMB) leaves them there.

This is the 50th Comet Passage. They crossed the Pyrenees between Biriatou and Irun around 3 a.m. on the 11th, alone with the Basque guides. They go to a farm and eat there. They then take the tram to San Sebastian and stay three nights in a garage, at Bernardo ARACAMA’s house at n°7, 5th floor on the left, Calle Aguirre, Miramon district in San Sebastian.

On the 14th, a consular car took Windsor, Aguiar, Hunt and Slack to Madrid. They stay there until the 18th. The vice-consul of Seville then came to take them by car to drive them to the Atlantic coast, which they reached on August 19 in the middle of the morning. The four escapees embarked on the 20th on the “Borgholm”, a Norwegian merchant ship, and were hidden under the propeller shaft. On the 20th, the boat leaves for Gibraltar, which it reaches on the 21st.

Kenneth Windsor left Gibraltar by plane on August 23 (probably with Slack, Hunt and Aguiar) and arrived in Whitchurch, England the next day. He was interrogated by MI9 on the same day, 24 August 1943 in London.

After his return to Canada after the war was over, Kenneth Windsor served a few more years as Chief Instructor for the Royal Canadian Air Force Cadets of No. 191 Squadron.

Translate from the French Website

(c) Philippe Connart, Michel Dricot, Edouard Renière, Victor Schutters

About another unsung hero…

Courtesy Dean Black

Kenneth Windsor joined 403 Squadron on April 15th, 1943. (Source 403 ORBs)

Thursday, 15 April, 1943

The weather was clear and bright. Rodeo 204: W/C Johnson led the Squadron which, with 416, acted as 4th Fighter Echelon, crossing into France at Bercks Mer at 25,000 feet. The Wing swept to port, being vectored by Special Control to the St. Omer area where it maneuvered to contact enemy aircraft, which were not sighted. There was neither flak nor enemy shipping sighted. The Wing came out West of Calais at 25,000 feet and in about Dover. Up at 1730 and down at 1850 hours. Sections:

Blue Section Red Section Yellow Section
F/L Magwood W/C Johnson F/L Godefroy
F/O MacKay P/O Dowding Sgt McGarrigle
F/O Fowlow F/O Cameron F/O Aitken
Sgt Brown F/O Wozniak

Thirteen sorties of local flying were made and two sorties went on patrol at Beachy Head. P/O P.K. Gray, W/O J.A. Wilson, F/S G.M. Shouldice and Sgt K.D. Windsor were all posted in for flying duties from 401 Squadron. F/L R.W. McNair, DFC, was posted supernumerary from 412 Squadron. He has a record of eight destroyed, five probable, eight damaged – mostly gained in the Middle East. Cpl S.W. Calvert, Armourer, was posted to the Squadron from 3 PRC Bournemouth.

He was shot down on June 20th.

Sunday, 20 June, 1943

It was sunny and bright today with approximately 3/10ths cloud. Circus 313: S/L Godefroy led the wing whose role was that of forward target support in the Abbeville – Amiens – Poix area while 12 Bostons were bombing the Poix aerodrome. The Wing crossed out at Rye and joined up with the Hornchurch Wing. They began climbing and crossed into France at Quand Plage at 12,000 feet, then flew to Abbeville and Amiens at 22,000 feet and Poix at 23,000 feet. Appledore Control then gave a vector of 010? and the Wing reached Aux-le-Chateaux at 24,000 feet. Yellow Section of 403 Squadron went down on three FW 190s that were 1,000 feet below and going in the opposite direction but were unable to engage them. Six FWs were seen by the Squadron and a further 12 were reported coming in behind the Wing at 24,000 feet. They were first reported as friendly but later were found to be FW 190s and the Wing turned to face them. 421 Squadron were engaged, and their CO, S/L R.W. McNair, DFC, fired at three e/as, two with no results and the other was shot down and destroyed. The Wing was now approaching Abbeville and was somewhat broken up. As the Wing Leader tried to reform the Wing, a further 50 FW 190s were seen coming towards Abbeville at 27,000 feet and this prevented the Wing from reforming. 403 was ordered to dive towards the Somme Estuary which they did but Blue Section had become separated. Near Aux-Le-Chateaux, Blue 1 had spotted a FW 190 making for Blue 4, Sgt Windsor, and ordered Blue Section to crank but Blue 4, Sgt Windsor, did not respond and was next seen with black smoke pouring from his aircraft as he had been hit. Later, while Blue Section was trying to reform, Blue 2, P/O Elliot, lost height on account of oxygen trouble and Blue 1 and 3 followed him as he dove. They lost sight of him in thin cloud and he wasn’t seen again and is posted as missing. By this time, Blue 1 and 3 had lost the Squadron and so made for the coast. A gaggle of about 20 FWs were encountered and, after 1 FW was reported as being right beside them, Blue 1 ordered Blue 3 to break. Blue 3 merely did a gentle turn and was hit by the FW 190. He was later seen by Blue 1 to be in a spin with about eight FWs on his tail. This was the last seen of Blue 3 (P/O F.C. McWilliams) and he is reported as missing. South of Le Touquet Blue 1 out-turned the other FW 190s and crossed out at Hardelot. 421 Squadron did not formate on 403 Squadron but climbed up to 32,000 feet and crossed out at Cap Gris Nez and in at Dungeness at 5,000 feet. There was no flak reported and no shipping seen. The Sections were as follows:

Blue Section Red Section Yellow Section
F/L MacDonald S/L Godefroy F/O Marshall
P/O J.C. Elliot P/O Abbotts P/O Dowding P/O F.C. McWilliams F/O Fowlow P/O Ogilvie
Sgt K.D. Windsor WO Wilson Sgt Small

This Website tells what happened after.

Courtesy Dean Black

Ken Windsor’s obituary

KENNETH DIGORY WINDSOR Kenneth, widow of Della, passed away peacefully, with his family by his side, at Grace General Hospital on Friday, February 1, 2008, at the age of 88 years. Kenneth was born on January, 3 1920, the son of Digory and Dorcas (Lovell) Windsor. Ken was eldest son of a large family, born in the rural town of La Riviere, Manitoba. As a young man he served as a Spitfire pilot of the Royal Canadian Air Force, Squadron 403, in England during the Second World War. While overseas, he met, and married, Della on December 3, 1942. On his return home after the war, he took up the position of salesman with Canada Packers Ltd., where he worked faithfully for nearly 40 years, until his retirement. As well, Ken was actively involved as a Chief Instructor with the Canadian Air Force cadets, #191 Squadron, in particular, as range officer, winning numerous awards. After retiring, Ken and his wife enjoyed many hours outside, spending the summers planting flowers, and reading in their gazebo. His numerous friends, and relatives will remember Ken, as a fair and compassionate man who had a genuine caring for the plight of others. Ken loved to interact with people and would easily converse with anyone who crossed his path. He also cherished his time spent hunting, fishing, and golfing with friends and family and had a real love and respect for nature. Ken will be sorely missed by his brothers, Mike (Crystal City) and Ivan (Winnipeg), as well as his children, David, Kenneth, Craig, Dale, and Kimberly, as well as cherished grandchildren, and great-grandchildren throughout Western Canada. Ken was predeceased by his loving wife Della, three brothers, (Clem, William, Jack), and three sisters (Mildred, Velma, Edna). Thank you to the staff of Grace General Hospital for all your care and compassion during Ken’s latter stage of life. Our heartfelt thanks are extended to the staff at Calvary Place Personal Care Home of Winnipeg, who went above and beyond the call of duty so often to ensure his comfort and care, especially Helmut, Kevin, JoAnne, Christine, Rodger, Thelma, Carol, Pompei, Bonita, Jeremy, and Rodney. A celebration of Ken’s life will be held at 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, February 6 at Chapel Lawn Funeral Home at 4000 Portage Avenue. Reception will immediately follow the service. In lieu of flowers donations may be made in Ken’s memory to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Manitoba, 6 Donald St., Winnipeg, MB R3L 0K6, or The Kidney Foundation of Canada, Manitoba Branch, 730 Taylor Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3M 2K8. Arrangements entrusted to: Chapel Lawn Funeral Home 885-9715

As published in the Winnipeg Free Press on Feb 04, 2008

About Harry Boyle – another 403 Squadron Pilot

Click here.


Harry Vern Boyle was the first child and only son of his parents and was named after his paternal grandfather. He was born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and grew up on a farm in the nearby Grandora District. Always interested in aviation, he spent his childhood working on engines, building model aircraft and reading whatever he could find. After he finished high school, he began studying to be a teacher. When he was 19 years old, war broke out and he saw his chance to take flight.