Norman Angus Mackenzie, Flesherin

Stornoway Gazette, 2 October 1942
Miss Chrissie Matheson, Flesherin, Portnaguran, has received official intimation that her nephew, sergeant pilot Norman Angus Mackenzie, of the Royal Canadian Air Force, has lost his life in action. Norman, who was aged 27, was the only son of Mr and Mrs John Mackenzie (nee Mary matheson), of 704 Arlington Street, Winnipeg and late of Flesherin, Portnaguran. The family emigrated to Canada when Norman was 8 years old, taking up residence in Winnipeg, Manitoba. At the outbreak of present hostilities, he was on the Canadiian Metropolitan Force, but volunteered for service and enlisted in the Canadian Air Force. He came over to this country in October 1941, and took advantage of his leave to visit relatives at Flesherin the following April. He had gone back again for a second leave a few weeks before his death. Those whose affections he had gained as a lad found in the young man sterling qualities to admire and esteem. Popular with old and young, he made friends wherever he went. Everywhere deep grief is felt at the gragedy and poignancy of his early death, and the heartfelt sympathy of the entire community is extended to his bereaved parents and his three sisters at Winnipeg, and to all his relatives at Flesherin.

Stornoway Gazette, 16 October 1942
Fighting to the last to bring his plane safely to land, Sergeant Pilot Norman Angus Mackenzie, of the Royal Canadian Air Force, a native of Flesherin, Lewis, was found amid the wreckage still at the controls. Three of his companions baled outsafely. They were engaged on an operational flight to enemy territory when the plane was lost.
Norman, who was aged 27, was the only son of Mr and Mrs John Mackenzie, 704 Arlington Street, Winnipeg, and late of Flesherin, Portnaguran.
In a letter to Norman's parents, his Wing Commander writes:
"The body of Norman was found at the controls of the aircraft. It is quite obvious that he was fighting to the last to bring the aircraft down safely. It is one of the most superb actions of heroism of which I know. To die like this, doing his duty to the very last, is given to but few of us and yet it is the hope of all of us here that, if we have to go, we will go in the same manner as your boy.
Your son had been on five operations and had 25.50 operational hours to his credit. Norman was an outstanding lad in his squadron. I can say this honestly and sincerely and he is greatly missed by us all."
Norman was buried with military honours in a Yorkshire cemetery beside two of his comrades who lost their lives in the same operation.
"I am fortunate in having a photograph of Norman and his crew taken earlier in the day on which they took off. I am enclosing it herewith", writes the Wing Commander. "It can be seen what a good looking bunch of lads were this crew. You can understand how deeply they are missed by this squadron".
The crew were evidently very much attached to each other. Expressing his deep regret that it was impossible to send the remains to Lewis to be buried from his aunt's home, the Wing Commander adds that one of his companions was a Jewish lad of good family and his relatives requested that he should be buried with his comrades, although this entailed burial on Saturday, which is contrary to Jewish religious beliefs. "We were all sincerely affected by their generous gesture. It is typical of the outlook of people in this country generally", concluded the letter, which expressed the sincere sympathy of the officers and members of the Squadron.

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