PILOT OFFICER DONALD KINNEAR HODGE
97 "Straights Settlement" Squadron
Hit by enemy flak at the controls of Avro Manchester L7476 which subsequently crashed at Coningsby on 8 November 1941 - P/O Hodge died of his wounds later that day.
(THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION HAS BEEN OBTAINED FROM THE ORB HELD AT THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES AT KEW - REF AIR27/766)
Hodge was part of a crew detailed for ops to destroy docks, firstly at Boulogne and then Dunkirk. Herewith record of his last two sorties, the final sortie on L7476 turned out to be fatal for him.
7/8 November 1941 – Boulogne (To destroy Docks)
L7491C F/O Mackid, P/O Friend, P/O Tree, Sgts Marshall, McDermott, Day, Bennett. Up 1830 Down 2232. 10 x 500lb. Boulogne bombed – no bursts observed owing to haze. One bomb hung up, the other fell out when doors were opened on landing.
L7492A P/O E.E.Rodley, P/O Hodge, Sgts Hawley, Merralls, Cummings, Crisp, Simpson. Up 1746 Down 2340. Jettisoned bomb load east of Harwich in order to conserve fuel. Target not located owing to thick haze and cloud later.
L7382D F/Sgt Harrison, Sgts Crouch, Platten, Preston, Farara, Saw, Townsley. Up 1740 Down 2131. Performance of aircraft good. Two sticks of five bombs dropped along dock no 6. Second stick burst on buildings to south-east of dock.
8.11.41 Three aircraft detailed by A Flight for ops against docks at Dunkirk. Two dropped bombs successfully and one brought them back, failing to locate the target. P/O Hodge (Rhodesia), 2nd pilot in P/O Deverill’s crew was hit by flak and died at 2300 hours at the Station SQ. Much flak and searchlights at Dunkirk. F/L Price DFC and crew and F/O Blakeman and crew took off from base at 1320 for sea rescue work over North Sea in the hope of crews of numerous aircraft from other units which may have made forced landings in the sea. No trace. F/L Price and crew are missing from this operation. F/L Trueman, gunnery leader, of the other aircraft, last saw the aircraft L7466 N at 1600. The missing crew are the Captain and P/O Pickering, Sgt Weston (Aus), F/Sgt Stanley DFM, Sgts Dexter, Manners and Bronson(Can).
8 November 1941 - Dunkirk
L7476 K P/O Deverill, P/O Hodge, P/O Hepburn, Sgts Irons, Hildersley, Canning, Benbow. Up 1745 Down 2038. Target attacked but bombs released due to flak during run up. P/O Hodge badly wounded. Jettisoned 4 x 500lb in North Sea. 2nd Pilot admitted to SSQ on return – where he died of his wounds at 2300 hours.