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

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