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Wednesday, 8 May 2013

McKitrick, Roderick Alexander

Squadron Leader Roderick Alexander McKitrick DFC (later Colonel)
was the son of George Evelyn McKitrick (born 2nd August 1879).  Educated at Campbell College, George was in Lower VI in 1895. 
In 1901, the family lived in house 122.1 Duncairn Street, Belfast.  By 1911 they had moved to house 53, Antrim Road, Belfast.  George is described as a Bank Clerk and works for the Belfast Banking Company in Head Office.
Roderick A McKitrick was probably born around 1920 and followed his father into the Belfast Banking Company.

The website, records a Roderick Alexander McKitterick with the following details:
Service Number: 149126 Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve.
  • 14th May 1943 - Pilot Officer (on probation)
  • 14th November 1943 - Flying Officer (on probation)
  • 14th May 1945 - Squadron Leader

Roderick McKitrick flew also with No. 44 and No. 138 Squadron.  With No. 138 Squadron he was involved in dropping of Secret Agents in SOE operations. During Operation Draughts & Backgammon with Short Stirling Mk IV NF-J, LK200 in the night of 8th/9th September 1944, the plane hit the cable of a barrage balloon at 02.50 hours over Texel, the Netherlands and crashed. 
Of the crew Flying Officer Thomas Roger Court, Flying Officer John Hulme and Flying Officer George Evans Fletcher Walton died in the crash.  They later were buried at the cemetery at Den Burg, Texel, The Netherlands. 
Squadron Leader G.M. Rothwell, Flying Officer McKitrick, Pilot Officer Shaw and Flight Sergeant R.W. Wilmott were taken prisoner. Roderick Alexander McKitrick was imprisoned at POW camp L1 (Staluft 4B/L1) at Barth together with Rothwell and Shaw.
Flying Officer McKitrick was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) on 23rd May 1944 (published without citation).

The website, records McKitrick's plane crash over Holland.  Similar detail as above.
Following demobilisation, it is not clear if McKitrick returned to employment in the Belfast Banking Company.
However, the London Gazette continue the reporting of a R A McKitrick DFC as follows:
  • 28th July 1953 commission relinguished, Flight Lieutenant on transfer to Army
  • 25th September 1953 promotion from Lieutenant to Captain with Officer Number 429994 Royal Army Education Corps (seniority back to 1950).
  • 25th December 1953 seniority as Lieutenant (back to 4th May 1945).
  • 1st November 1957 promotion to Major (4th November 1957).
  • 27th January 1967 promotion to Lieutenant Colonel (31st December 1966).
  • 8th January 1974 promotion to Colonel (back to 30th June 1973) - from R.A.E.C.

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Please add any verifiable information to assist me in building on the biographical information already detailed. Thank you.