Kenneth Gillies

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Flight Lieutenant Kenneth McLeod Gillies joined the Royal Air Force in March 1936. According to family stories, not only did life in the insurance industry not appeal, but he saw the destination Europe was taking and wished to chose his position in any future war.

He was posted to 8FTS, Montrose on May 16 and joined 66 Squadron at Duxford on December 25 1936. He was still with the squadron in July 1940 operating from first Kenley and then Gravesend. He was appointed 'A' Flight Commander on September.

On 4 October 1940, he led his flight of Spitfires in the interception of a HE111 off the East Coast. In bad weather, the rear guns were silenced and the attack diverted. Turning for home after sustaining damage, he never returned and was reported 'Missing'. His body was washed up at Covehithe on October 21.

Flt. Lt. Gillies, at 27 years of age, was a senior pilot when compared to many at the time. As such, his comrades reported that his chosen role was to guide pilots through their initial combats, doing his best to ensure they returned home safely.

Flt Lt Gillies was a popular member of the squadron; a fine pilot; a talented piano player and a dedicated husband. Had he lived, he would also have known life as a father. His son was born 25 November 1940. His memory is treasured.

Added by: Mark Gillies on 4th September 2010.


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Picture of Kenneth  Gillies.
Picture of Kenneth  Gillies.
Picture of Kenneth  Gillies.

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Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund
67 Portland Place, London W1B 1AR
0800 169 2942
Registered Charity No. 1081009