Kiwi Collision!

King George VI being introduced to pilots of the Kenley Wing after a sweep on 29th April, 1942. Sgt. Maskill is marked by the red arrow.
RAF Kenley by Peter Flint

On 11th January, 1942, Sgt. Maskill, of 485 (New Zealand) Squadron, had a lucky escape when he misjudged his landing..

4 Spitfire Vb’s had left Kenley at 10.19hrs, tasked with a convoy protection patrol between Beachy Head and Dungeness. However the weather conditions were terrible, with 10/10 cloud from 6000ft down almost to sea level and snow! They all returned safely at 11.35hrs, but there was ground haze at Kenley. Sgt. Maskill overshot on landing and his aircraft (P8718) struck another dispersed Spitfire (W3578), damaging both aircraft. Luckily, nobody was injured.

Irvine Philip John Maskill known as “Mick,” joined 485 Squadron in December, 1941, a fresh graduate straight from OTU. He remained with the squadron until October 1943, throughout his first tour of operations, scoring one confirmed victory, a Bf109, during his time at Kenley.

He returned for his second tour as a Flight Commander with No.1 Squadron, and was awarded the DFC for his actions in April 1945. After being promoted to Squadron Leader, “Mick” became the commander of 91 Squadron during the last days of WW2, when they were flying Spitfire F.21’s from Ludham in Norfolk, flying armed reconnaissance patrols over the German occupied Netherlands and searching for midget submarines off the coast.

485 Squadron Operations Record Books
485 (N.Z.) Squadron 1941 – 1945 and The Supermarine Spitfire F.21 by Phil E. Listemann

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