JACKSON, Malcolm Kirk

Sergeant (Pilot)
Malcolm Kirk JACKSON
Royal New Zealand Air Force
Air Fighting Development Unit (Duxford)
Died on Active Service on 15th February 1943
Age 24

Born in Christchurch on 7th June 1918, son of John and Alice Emma JACKSON, of Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand; husband of Mary Kathleen JACKSON (nee HOLLAND).

On leaving Christchurch Technical College he was a car painter with motor builders, C Hunton Ltd. in Christchurch. After 3 years in the RNVR he joined the RNZAF and was at RNZAF Levin near Wereroa (Initial Training Wing) as an airman pilot under training on 27th July 1941. On 7th September he joined 3 EFTS (Elementary Flying Training School) at Harewood, and then on to 1 FTS (Flying Training School) at Wigram on 18th October 1941, gaining his wings on 29th November 1941 and promotion to Sergeant on 10th January 1942.
He was then attached to the R.A.F. and embarked for UK on 30th January 1942. In UK he was 1st attached to 3 Personnel Reception Centre at Bournemouth before moving on to 17 (P) AFU ( Advanced Flying Unit (Pilot) at RAF Watton on 29th April 1942. Then on 26th May 1942, on to 56 Operational Training Unit (560 Sqdn) at RAF Sutton Bridge flying Hurricanes. Then came 485 (RNZAF)Squadron at RAF Kingscliffe on 23rd August 1942 where he completed 11 ops on Spitfires. On 21st December 1942 he joined his final unit, Air Fighting Development Unit, RAF (Duxford, Cambridgeshire - 12 Group)

On 15th February 1943, in Spitfire IIA P8468, he took off at about 0940 as ‘No 2’ to Flt Lt B G Collyns, RNZAF. Fifteen minutes later, as the pair swept low over Rowley Mile (aka Newmarket Heath) airfield, Suffolk, to inspect the surface prior to landing after heavy rain,he accidentally turned into and collided with Collyns’ Spitfire P8440. The latter succeeded in making an emergency belly landing on the airfield, but P8468 crashed out of control, killing Sgt Jackson. It was thought that he may have been momentarily blinded by the sun. Flt Lt Collyns died on 20 August 1944 while flying with 19 Squadron, RAF.
Information credited to 'For Your Tomorrow - A record of New Zealanders who have died while serving with the RNZAF and Allied Air Services since 1915' by Errol Martyn

Malcolm is buried in Newmarket Cemetery in grave O:380

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details