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 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.

Reader’s Contribution – 75 years-ago today

By Linda Duffield

On this day (24th June) in 1943…

A hectic day for 403 squadron. Three short range bombing missions to escort, all led by W/C Johnson.

Sgt. D. F. Small was missing in action after Ramrod 103, his second sortie that day. He was last seen by F/L MacDonald, but even he didn’t see what happened to his comrade.

Sgt. D. Small first appeared in 403 squadron’s Operations Record book at the end of May 1943 and flew roughly half a dozen sorties before tragedy struck on the 24th June. He was flying Spitfire IX BS396, when he was shot down by FW190’s of JG 26 and taken Prisoner of War. I can’t find him on any Memorials or in any cemeteries, so I hope he survived the War, but I haven’t been able to find out anything about his life.

Thank you for your service, Sgt. Small. I hope your life has been happy and fulfilling. Blue skies, Sir…wherever you are.

Here is the entry for Ramrod 103, Thursday 24th June, 1943, from the 403 squadron Operations Record Book…

Today was clear and warm with just a little wind.

Ramrod 103:
W/C Johnson led the Wing on this Ramrod. The role of our Wing was Second Fighter Sweep to 12 Bostons bombing the St. Omer locomotive yards. The Wing started climbing shortly after take-off and crossed out of England at Rye. When they were 10 miles off Hardelot, they were informed of bandits off of Cap Gris Nez at 25,000 feet. The W/C made several orbits and crossed into France at Le Touquet at 24,000 feet proceeding on to Fruges. They were then vectored Northeast of Hazebrouk where Red 3, F/L MacDonald reported 3 enemy a/c below. Red 3 & 4 were given orders to down, which they did to about 14,000 feet nut could not close in on the enemy a/c, thought to be ME 109s, which dived away. Our Squadron reformed and the Wing flew to St. Omer. When at 25,000 feet there were about 15 FW 190s in gaggles of 2 or 3 reported at 18,000 feet. The W/C ordered Yellow Section of 403 down on the first 3 e/a and the W/C took Red Section down onto some of the others. Neither Sections could close on these Huns as they quickly half-rolled and dived away. However, while Red 3 was following his number 1 &2 down, a Spit cut in between him and the rest of the section. Red 3, F/L MacDonald, broke to starboard to avoid hitting him and, on straightening out at about 20,000 feet, he saw two gaggles of Huns being closed on by Spits and a third gaggle of e/a, consisting of six FW 190s, breaking to starboard and going into a defensive circle. Shortly after this, these six FW 190s straightened out in pairs and so Red 3 dived out of a steep turn to port and on to the one of the e/a of the last pair and gave him a short burst of cannon and machine gun from about 150 yards. He saw a couple of strikes on the port wing at about mid-section. He then broke away and noticed the FW doing a series of lazy rolls downward and then a parachute opened at 6,000 feet beside the FW he had hit. This FW 190 is claimed as Destroyed by F/L MacDonald. The last seen of Red 4, Sgt D. Small, was just before Red 3 had dived down to make his attack and it is assumed that Sgt Small probably lost Red 3 when the other Spit had cut between Red 2 and Red 3. Sgt Small, as yet, has not returned from this sweep and is posted as missing. Yellow Section, following its unsuccessful attack, was shadowed to the coast by about 10 e/a but no combat resulted. 421 Squadron maintained cover for 403 Squadron throughout and was not engaged. The Wing came out of France over Cap Gris Nez between 24,000 to 27,000 feet and came in at Dungeness. A medium amount of heavy flak was experienced from Calais and North of St. Omer aerodrome.

The Wing was up at 1125 hours and down by 1315 hours.
The Sections were as follows:
Blue Section Red Section Yellow Section
F/O Bowen W/C Johnson F/L Conrad
F/L Coles F/O Ogilvie F/S Shouldice
F/O Brannagan F/L MacDonald P/O Dowding
Sgt D. Small F/O Browne


Reader’s Contribution


By Linda Duffield

On this day (17th June) in 1943….

Kenley’s Canadian Wing engaged in an offensive fighter sweep over France, which turned into a huge, confusing dogfight involving 80-100 FW190s of JG26 and 24 Spitfires.

403 squadron’s pilots all made it back to Kenley safely, except F/O Marshall who landed at Redhill because his Spitfire had been damaged in combat.

421 squadron were less fortunate, losing Squadron Leader Phillip L. I. Archer DFC, and Flying Officer James E. McNamara in the area of St. Omer, France.

PHILLIP LESLIE IRVING ARCHER was born on the 10th February, 1917, in Bridgetown, Barbados. He was the son of Frederick Leslie Archer (a famous cricketer) and Millicent Beryl Archer, of Hastings and Belleville, St. Michael, Barbados. He left Barbados for Canada in 1936, to study Agricultural Science at McGill University. He was described as a quietly-spoken, dark-haired youth who specialised in Bacteriology. A month after graduating with a B.S.c., he joined the Empire Air Training Scheme, enlisting in Montreal in June 1940.
Having earned his wings, he was posted overseas in February 1941, and joined 92 squadron on the 5th May. He was transferred to 412 and then 416 squadrons, by which time he had started to build up an impressive record in combat.
On the 9th February 1943, he was awarded the DFC, with the following citation:

“This officer has completed sorties over enemy territory and has destroyed at least four enemy aircraft. On one occasion, although wounded in the leg, Flight Lieutenant Archer flew his badly damaged aircraft back to the base where he executed a skilful landing. He is a most efficient leader.”

On the 13th June, 1943, he was promoted to Squadron Leader and attached to 421 squadron, taking command on the 17th June – the day he was killed in action, flying Spitfire Mk.IX LZ996.
His final tally was six enemy aircraft destroyed, the final FW190 on the day he died, though later research shows that this may have been a collision.
He was laid to rest in Longuenesse (St. Omer) Souvenir Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France. Plot 8. Row A. Grave 1.
Phillip was 27 years old when he died.

JAMES EMMETT MCNAMARA of Northcliffe Avenue, Montreal, worked at the Royal Insurance Company, prior to enlisting in the RCAF, in September 1941. He was posted overseas, won his Commission in July 1942 and was promoted to Flying Officer in January 1943. Details about his life are hazy, but he may have served in Malta and had a brother called Howard, who also served in the RCAF. He was flying, Spitfire IX, BS319, when he was killed in action on 17th June, 1943, during Rodeo 231.
Having no known grave, he is commemorated on Panel 174 of the Runnymede Memorial.

Rest in Peace gentlemen, and thank you for your service.

Here is the entry for Thursday 17th June, 1943, from the 403 squadron Operations Record Book. Archer is mentioned, despite being from 421sq, because F/O Marshall sees him go down. McNamara’s loss isn’t recorded here.

It was 5/10ths cloud and very windy today. Rodeo 231: W/C Johnson led the Wing whose role was Third Fighter Sweep. They crossed Dover at 15,000 feet and entered France at Gravelines at 24,000 feet. Thirty plus enemy aircraft were sighted West of Ypres. The W/C took 421 down onto these enemy a/c and 403 Squadron followed down to act as cover. After the first attack, 421 Squadron climbed back to reform and Yellow 3, F/O Marshall identified S/L Archer of 421 Squadron as the a/c that was flying along side him at this time. They were flying at about 21,000 feet when Yellow 3 noticed 2 FW 190s closing in on this 421 Squadron a/c and he was about to call for a break when he himself was hit, forcing him to break to the port and up rapidly. No more was seen of S/L Archer. F/S Shouldice, who at this time saw a FW 190 attack Yellow 3, fired Cannon and MG at him from 200 yards before his own section was attacked by five or six enemy aircraft and so F/S Shouldice broke to the port without observing any results of his fire. P/O Bullick of 421 Squadron saw a FW 190 with bits flying off it, streaming black smoke and going straight down. Since no other attack was made at this time by any other pilot of the Wing, F/S Shouldice is credited with destroying this FW 190. Blue Section, led by F/L MacDonald, came out of France at Sangette at about 16,000 feet while the rest of 403 Squadron turned back into France at Cap Gris Nez to allow Yellow 3 and 4 to catch up before they all returned to England, crossing between Dover and Folkstone. At 1605 hours, eleven of our aircraft landed back at base, while F/O Marshall, Yellow 3, landed at Redhill. He was uninjured but the a/c was damaged by enemy action and was a Cat B. There was heavy flak, accurate for height and position, from St. Omer and also some flak thrown up from Gravelines.
The Sections were as follows:
Blue Section Red Section Yellow Section
F/L MacDonald S/L Godefroy F/L Conrad P/O Sheppard Sgt Small P/O Hamilton P/O Bowen F/O McKay F/O Marshall F/O Brannagan WO Hargraves F/S Shouldice
There were only two non-operational sorties today.


S/L Archer

F/O Mcnamara

Squadron Leader Archer

F/O Mcnamara


Is Mac Reeves on this picture which Greg Bell scanned in 2011?

Hard to tell with his cap on.

Cap is Cap Foster.

There was another Cap Foster in the RCAF.

That Cap Foster flew with 443 Squadron. Google this if you are curious or click here.

Leslie Birket Foster didacted his memoirs to his daughter, but you already know this if you are the curious type. I am curious by nature.

In 2011 Greg Bell’s father told me if I would be interested in meeting his son who had his grandfather’s album. His father and I were talking about my visit to George Stewart a Mosquito pilot with RAF 23 Squadron.

How could I resist?

How could I resist looking for who was this Spitfire pilot whose picture was in the album?

7 years later someone is sharing this…