K

Kay, Corporal S In a searchlight unit, H7-1940. Married Nancy E Coates, H12-1940.

Keeling, Signalman G J Suffering from rheumatic fever, H7-1940.

Kellett, T C Sgt Landed on the Normandy beach 7.30am, D-Day, wounded 7.45am, first stretcher case landed back in England.

cross Kemp, Frederick Jackson Memorial Book Memorial Book: Royal Air Force Frederick Jackson Kemp Born November the eighth, 1920, entered the School January the seventeenth 1936 and left December the twenty-second, 1936. Served in the Royal Air Force, Overseas Despatch Carrying Unit from October 1940. Sergeant Air Gunner. Killed in a flying accident whilst on Active Service September the twenty fifth, 1941. CWG: Frederick Jackson Kemp Wireless Operator/Air Gunner. Sergeant. RAFVR. 20 years. Died 25th September 1941. Service Number 929624. Son of Sam Jackson Kemp and Laura Edith Kemp, of Dutton. Grave Reference: Plot 14 Grave 177 Marton (St Paul) Church Burial Ground.

cross Kempster, Arthur Memorial Book Memorial Book: Royal Regiment of Artillery Arthur Kempster Born February the twelfth 1922, entered the School September the twelfth, 1933 and left July the twenty-sixth, 1938. Served in the Royal Regiment of Artillery from July 1942. Gunner. Killed in action in North Africa April the eighth, 1943. CWG: Arthur Kempster Gunner Royal Artillery 152 (The Ayrshire Yeomanry) Field Regiment. 22 years. Died 8th April 1943. Service Number 14230440. Son of Jonathan and Sarah Alice Kempster of Preston, Lancashire. Grave Reference: 111 . N . 2 Massicault War Cemetery, Tunisia.

Kenyon, Signalman J Finding time to sunbathe, H7-1940.

cross Kerr, David Fisher Memorial Book PGSA about 1940, No 620. 30 Ribblesdale Place, Preston. Membership Register. David Kerr married Doreen Flannery, sister of an Old Boy, on 3rd March 1943, at St James' Church. H-Midsummer-1943. On 19th December 1943, to Mr and Mrs D F Kerr, a son, Neil David, H7-1944. Memorial Book: Army Air Corps David Fisher Kerr Born 27 Ap. 1920, entered the School 14 Sep. 1927 & left 26 July 1938. School Prefect. Served in the East Lancashire Regt. from Sept.. 1940 & in the Glider Pilot Regt. from 1942. Staff Sergt. Awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal for gallant conduct in Normandy 6 June 1944 (D-day) when he engaged in heavy fighting with German reinforcements whom he prevented from reaching their objective. Killed in action at Arnhem October 1944. CWG: David Fisher Kerr Staff Serjeant Glider Pilot Regiment, Army Air Corps. 24 years. Died 22nd September 1944. Service Number 3387884. DFM. Son of David and Georgina Kerr, husband of Doreen Kerr, of Eccleston, Lancashire. Memorial Reference: Panel 8, Groesbeek Memorial. The Glider Pilot Regiment carried much of the attacking force against the Merville Battery on D-Day. Overlooking Sword Beach, it was deemed to be a major obstacle against a successful assault up the beaches. A massive structure believed to be holding several heavy coastal defence guns, protected by minefields, dense barbed wire, ditches, with possible glider landing areas covered with obstacles. Its purpose in the defence of Hitler's Europe required it to be virtually impregnable. Early on D-Day a major bombing raid by Lancasters was launched. Pathfinder Paratroops dropped to clear and mark dropping zones and landing strips for gliders. Seventytwo gliders were to go to the landing zone. Three Horsa gliders carrying volunteers from the 9th Battalion Parachute Regiment were to crash land within the perimeter of the Battery. The British designed and built Airspeed Horsa glider was 88' wingspan; 67' long; 15,250 lbs laden; using an arrester system and parachute could stop in 100 yards. The three heavily laden gliders were towed off in UK but one broke its tow rope and had to land before reaching the Channel. The fair weather plan was to be towed at 6,000 feet to a cast-off point over the Channel some distance from the target. Across the Channel Staff Sergeant Kerr ran into heavy cloud which forced the tug and glider down to 1,000 feet. Radio navigation aids were not being picked up, visibility was poor, the tug began to criss-cross the area and the pilot switched on his landing lights in the hope that paratroopers on the ground could fire recognition flares. The plane, possibly a Halifax or a Stirling, and the plywood glider came under anti-aircraft fire, with many hits. Some paratroopers were wounded, a fire started, and as some of the men had plate-sized slabs of explosive hung on their chests, a hit there would instantly end the mission. A full scale model of the Battery and surroundings had been built for training purposes, David Kerr glimpsed a feature he recognised, cast off the tow, took the glider down and successfully landed at the Battery. Everyone rapidly left the glider and heard German reinforcements approaching. A short range fire-fight took place which held the position. One report states the fighting lasted four hours and prevented the German support arriving at the Battery. To put down onto the Merville Battery a heavily laden glider, bigger than the Wellington medium bomber, was judged to be a supreme test of flying skills. He was a First Pilot. The lowest rank in the Regiment was Sergeant and the great majority were NCOs; only 1,200 Glider Pilots served in the Regiment which was formed in February 1942. The citation (which I haven't seen) will show whether David Kerr was awarded the DFM (Gazetted on 12th October 1944, and shown as "Normandy") partly for his determination to put his glider and troops exactly where the plan required, and partly for his actions in supporting the fire fight. The award was for exceptional skill and determination. There is a multitude of books about the Normandy landings and the Merville Battery will be featured in most. If anyone reads them, David Kerr landed the last of the gliders, B Flight, and the only one on target, if he is named he is sometimes referred to (obviously, coming from Preston!) as Dick or Richard Kerr. He may have been in the Sicily invasion, he was certainly in Italy in 1943. Those started off with the non-stop flying by the tugs and gliders from UK, out beyond the Bay of Biscay before heading into the Mediterranean and North Africa. He lost his life at Arnhem, where there was no way back for the pilots, who were trained to be able to fight alongside the Airborne troops whose red beret they also wore. The Arnhem landings began on 17th September. ('Dick Kerr' - Preston's major engineering company, Dick, Kerr & Co., tram manufacturers par excellence.) Operation Tonga. His glider Chalk 27, Sgt H Walker was Second Pilot, was towed into Merville by an Albemarle of 297 Squadron, Flt Lt Thompson. (Chalk 27 - the wooden gliders had their numbers chalked on them!) It carried 21 Men of A Company 9 Para and 591 Para Squadron Royal Engineers, Lieutenant Hugh C Pond, 9 Para, commanding. Different books claim unspecified Stirling and Halifax as tugs. In training for the raid the paratroopers flew repeatedly in the glider with Kerr landing on a small circle, at which he became expert. The Paras were most impressed with his skill. At least three main force gliders were lost in the Channel and were carrying all the mortars and signalling equipment for use at Merville to identify the target for the three gliders. The intention was to land between two casements which would tear off the wings and leave the glider open for the Paratroopers to make their attack directly onto the Battery. As he was just touching down he saw a large notice warning of a minefield, lifted the nose in a difficult manoeuvre (there was no power), regained flight, cleared the field and was going in to land, deployed his parachute which caught in trees and brought him up just short of landing as planned between the concrete casements. There is a painting for the Regiment of the glider, wings torn off and the fuselage broken in two and on fire, as the paratroopers fought their way out. The direct assault on the Battery did not have a separate Operation name, just "Battery" as part of Operation Tonga. There were 98 gliders in total, each with a 2-man crew. Only ten DFMs were awarded. Some of the Glider Pilots were awarded Military Medals, which may suggest that David Kerr's DFM was awarded primarily for his flying skills. The three gliders from "B" Squadron took off from Brize Norton. The RAF tug pilots always practised with the same glider pilots, including messing together. On the way across the Channel, which included a very difficult time in huge cumulo-nimbus cloud formations near Odiham, Flt Lt Thompson decided to take the glider all the way to the Battery. The gliders were all heavily overladen: the paratroopers took every piece of armament they could carry, including "hand luggage" - bags or buckets full of grenades. Over 700 men took off for the raid on Merville and other tasks. The 9th Battalion was scattered over a wide area and only some 65 men were gathered together in time to make the attack on the Battery. With no signalling equipment, the troops under attack but holding the Battery could not inform the cruiser HMS Arethusa, standing off the beach, of the success of the raid. A few minutes before she was due to move in and open fire a Verey light fired by a Paratrooper was seen by a plane which radioed the news just in time to stop the bombardment. Sicily 1943, there was a shortage of RAF tugs and pilots. The GPR suffered 57 fatalities almost all due to the American tug pilots of USAF Transport Command casting off the gliders as soon as they encountered flak, forcing 60% of the gliders to ditch. Brigadier (General Sir John) Hackett placed the Regiment under arrest for several days to prevent them seeking out the Americans, especially as the latter held a parade at which bravery awards were handed out. David Kerr was wounded at Arnhem and officially reported as missing but for some time was believed to be a prisoner of war.

Kew, Dicky (F Hayes contact), H12-1940.

Kidd, Able Seaman Trevor C was in the Merchant Navy but transferred into the Royal Navy when War broke out, H4-1940. Lieutenant, RNVR. Married Evelyn Whiteside.

Kilner, E J RAF Leading Aircraftsman awaiting transfer to an Air Observer School to train as a Navigator, H-Midsummer-1943.

Kinnear, J R Returned from war service

Kinnear, Ray HM Forces, H-Christmas-1942.

Kinnear, Gunner W Spends his spare Time sunbathing and listening to dance music, H7-1940.

cross Kirby, Brian Chandos Memorial Book Date of Birth 18th April 1921; PGS April 1932 - October 1937; PGSA 16th August 1938 No 579. 14 Gosforth Road, Blackpool N. 95 Broadway, Morecambe. Casualty HM Forces. Membership Register. Born in Preston. Memorial Book: Royal Armoured Corps Brian Chandos Kirby Born April the eighteenth, 1921, entered the School April the tenth, 1929 and left October the twenty-second 1937. Served in the Royal Armoured Corps, 144th Regiment, from May 1941. Lieutenant. Killed in action in Normandy June the thirteenth, 1944. CWG: Brian Chandos Kirby Second Lieutenant Royal Armoured Corps 144th (8th East Lancashire) Regiment. 23 years. Died 13th June 1944. Service Number 311836. Son of Rudolf Chandos Kirby and Muriel Kirby; husband of Joyce Kirby of St Annes-on-the-Sea, Lancashire. Grave Reference: 111-H-11, Hottot-les-Bagues War Cemetery, near Bayeux. Brian Kirby was in the 8th Battalion, East Lancashire Regiment. It converted from Infantry to Armoured and was badged with the Armoured Fist of the 144th Regiment, Royal Armoured Corps. He is listed in the East Lancashire's Roll of Honour as a Second Lieutenant, died 13th June 1944, and is buried in the Cemetery at Hottot-les-Bagues, near Bayeux. Brian Kirby married Joyce Hill of St Annes-on-Sea.

Kirby, Aircraftsman R D has passed out as a flight rigger, second in the examination, H12-1940. LAC, East Africa, attack of sand-fly fever in Egypt. Now further south in a fertile country, H-Midsummer-1943.

Kitchen, D Leading Telegraphist on battleship HMS Duke of York.