Group CaptainMcKECHNIE, WILLIAM NEIL

Service Number 26144

Died 30/08/1944

Aged 37

106 Sqdn.
Royal Air Force

G C

Son of Lt.-Col. William Ernest McKechnie, I.M.S., and Marion A. McKechnie; husband of Mary Roma McKechnie, of Musselburgh, Midlothian.

Citation

The London Gazette of 18th October, 1929, gives the following details in announcing the award to Group Captain (then Flight Cadet) McKechnie of the Empire Gallantry Medal, which was exchanged for the George Cross by the terms of the institution of that award in September 1940

On 20th June, 1929, an aeroplane piloted by Flight Cadet C. J. Giles crashed on landing at Cranwell aerodrome and burst into flames. The pilot was stunned, but managed to release his safety belt and fall out of the machine in a dazed condition. Flight Cadet McKechnie, who had landed in another aeroplane about the same time some two hundred yards away, left his machine and ran at full speed towards the scene of the accident. The petrol had spread over an area about ten yards in diameter, in full blaze, with Giles lying in it semi-conscious. McKechnie, without hesitation, ran into the flames and pulled out Giles, who was badly burned. McKechnie, who was himself scorched and superficially burned, then proceeded to extinguish Giles's burning clothing. There is no doubt that without McKechnie's assistance Giles would have been burned to death, as he was quite incapable of moving himself. His machine was entirely destroyed, and the ground for some distance around was burned up by the spread of the ignited petrol.

Commemorated at RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL

Location: Surrey, United Kingdom
Number of casualties: 20278

Cemetery/memorial reference: Panel 200.

See cemetery plan
Memorial details

CWGC Archives

DISCLAIMER:
This collection of documents was assembled by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and its predecessors as part of the processes involved in the commemoration of individuals. As a result, they contain many corrections and alterations which reflect their use as working documents. For further information concerning the history of the collection, please see our About Our Records page.
Please be advised that some of the documents, especially the burial returns and exhumation reports, may contain information which some people may find distressing. The original archive records and their digital copies remain the property of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, but are available for re-use for private and non-commercial purposes.
DISCLAIMER:
This collection of documents was assembled by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and its predecessors as part of the processes involved in the commemoration of individuals. As a result, they contain many corrections and alterations which reflect their use as working documents. For further information concerning the history of the collection, please see our About Our Records page.
Please be advised that some of the documents, especially the burial returns and exhumation reports, may contain information which some people may find distressing. The original archive records and their digital copies remain the property of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, but are available for re-use for private and non-commercial purposes.