ACA Woking News by Paul Holden, PRO

5 September 2003


Four members of the Woking Branch went to Coxyde Air Base at the invitation of the Belgians, on 5th September, to attend a military remembrance service and burial, with full military honours, of Flt. Sgt. Ian Carmichael, a Spitfire pilot who was shot down over Belgium in September 1943.

The NCO in charge of the RAF Pall Bearers prepares to hand the folded Union Flag to the relatives with the words: "We thank you, on behalf of Her Majesty The Queen, a grateful nation and The Royal Air Force".
Handover of the Union Flag

Parachute and dinghy after 60 years in Flanders mud.
Parachute and dinghy

This most moving ceremony, held at a military cemetery adjacent to the airfield, was attended by Mervyn Young, who was the Spitfire Flight Leader on the day. Flight Sergeant Ian Carmichael was his "Number 2" who fell behind during an attack on Focke Wolf 190s over Belgium in September 1945; he then got bounced by other FW 190s and dived into the ground at full throttle, ending up 18 metres below the surface. His body has just been recovered, still in the wrecked Spitfire, together with his parachute and dingy, which were on display in a local church.

Mervyn Young, Flight Leader on the day, shows the entry in his log book for 5 September 1943 to the Deputy Chief of The Air Staff, Air Marshal Wright RAF.
His leader's logbook
Alister (Dinty) More AFC chats to relatives of the dead pilot, Flight Sergeant Ian Carmichael. Dinty was brought up in a small village in Scotland, and by coincidence, it turned out that one of the lady relatives knew Dinty More's mother, from many years ago.... they both worked in the same textile mill.
Parachute and dinghy

In addition to Mervyn Young, the ceremony was also attended by the Chiefs of Staff of both the Belgian and British Air Forces plus ACA Woking Branch members Eric Smith GM (Chairman), Alister (Dinty) More AFC, and Bryan Doughty and his wife (ex WAAF). Dinty and Eric laid a wreath on behalf of the Association.

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