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CAMERON, Ivan McLeod (1908-1939) +

Ivan McLeod Cameron Memorial.

Ivan McLeod Cameron Memorial.

CAMERON, Ivan McLeod (1908-1939)

Ivan Cameron, RAF bomber pilot, is believed to be the first Australian to be killed in action during World War II. He was on a reconnaissance flight over Germany on 28 September 1939 when his Bristol Blenheim bomber, serial N6212, was intercepted and shot down by a German pilot, Feldwebel Klaus Faber, of 1/JG I, Luftwaffe. The Blenheim crashed near Kiel, Germany. The entire crew were killed. Wing Commander Cameron is buried at Reichswald Forest Cemetery, Kleve in Germany. Klaus Faber was later shot down over Bulgaria in April 1941 to become a prisoner-of-war.

Ivan McLeod Cameron was the son of Alexander Cameron (1865-1934) and his wife, Isabel Louise nee Sawell (1868-1917) and was born at Bealiba on 11 April 1908. His father owned Bealiba Station. His uncle, Rev D A Cameron (1862-1940) was a former Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Victoria in 1921 and Moderator-General of the Australian Church from 1930 to 1933. The Rev Cameron had a close association with the College and was a member of the School Council from 1908 to 1910 and supervised the School in the transition period after Norman Morrison's untimely death.

Ivan attended Maryborough High School before being enrolled at the College on 2 June 1926. He attended for 6 months until December that year. After leaving the College he enrolled in a flying Course at Point Cook in Victoria. Pegasus of December 1929 recorded that Ivan Cameron (1926) was selected as one of seventeen out of 300 applicants as a Cadet in the RAAF. After qualifying at Point Cook, he was one of five selected as a pilot to go to England for a four year course in the RAF, and has now been promoted to the rank of Flying Officer. He was recently selected to take part in the Aerial Pageant Exhibition over London.

Ivan then did an engineering course for two years after which he received a permanent appointment to the RAF and a posting to Iraq for two years in about 1934. He then returned to Australia for three months during which time he served with a bomber transport squadron. After returning to Iraq for a year he was transferred back to England and promoted to squadron leader on 1 June 1937. He was subsequently appointed to Acting Wing Commander with 110 Hyderabad Squadron at Wattisham, England. The squadron was part of No 2 Group, 83 Wing Force. ‘No 110 squadron reformed in 1937, as a bomber unit. On 4 September 1939, 110 Squadron led the RAF's first bombing raid of World War Two, when five of its Blenheims flew from the civil airport at Ipswich (to which No.110 had been detached from its base at Wattisham on 2 September) to attack German warships near Wilhelmshaven’ .

Sources: Pegasus December 1929 p53; 'Pegasus' December 1939 p67; Courier Mail (Brisbane) 20 October 1939 p2; The Argus (Melbourne) 2 October 1939 p2; James Affleck, 'Geelong Collegians at the Second World War' p13 (citing Australian War Memorial; Commonwealth War Graves Commission; Dennis Newton, 'First Impact'. Maryborough, 1997; W R Chorley, 'RAF Bomber Command Losses of the Second World War Vol 1, 1939-40.'); www Aircrewremembrancesociety.
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