“Tradition does not die in the ashes but is carried forward in the flames”

Royal Auxiliary Air Force Foundation

 Patron:  HRH  The  Duke  of  Gloucester


Archibald Ashmore McKellar was born in Paisley in 1912.  The family moved to Glasgow in 1915, and he was educated at Shawlands Acadamy .  He learned to fly in secret as his father was opposed to the idea, and in 1936 he was invited to join  602 (City of Glasgow) Squadron Auxiliary Air Force.  In October 1939, the Squadron now being equipped with Spitfires, he shared in the destruction of a Junkers 88 bomber. This was the first enemy aircraft to be brought down over UK soil - an incident that led to a national newspaper proclaiming ‘First Blood to the Auxiliaries!’

602 Squadron Spitfire

In June 1940, the five foot three inches Scotsman was posted to 605 (County of Warwick) Squadron Auxiliary Air Force to fly Hurricanes and was promoted to Flight Lieutenant as a Fight Commander. That September, the Squadron was deployed to Croydon in South London, and it was during this month that he achieved his greatest successes, being credited with the downing of 17 enemy aircraft.  Furthermore, in October he accounted for five Messerschmitt fighters, testimony to his skill as a pilot and marksman since the Hurricane was normally allocated the task of going after the bombers.  For this feat, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and promoted to the rank of Acting Squadron Leader.  Later, he received a bar to his DFC having become the highest scoring Auxiliary pilot in the Battle of Britain.

605 Squadron Hurricane

Sadly, he was killed in action on the first of November, one day after the official end of the Battle of Britain. He is buried in New Eastwood Cemetery in Glasgow, and a memorial plaque was placed at the site of his crash at Woodlands Manor, Adisham Kent.  There is also a Wing at the Erskine Hospital in Glasgow dedicated to his name.  He was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Order and was Mentioned in Despatches in November 1940.

For further information, go to   http://www.wikiwand.com/en/Archie_McKellar