454 and 459 RAAF Squadrons
Flying Officer Alex Thomas McKINNON
459 RAAF Squadron
Service No. 417216
Date of Birth: 3 May 1923
Place of Birth: EUDUNDA, SA
Date of Enlistment: 31 Jan 1942
Date of Discharge: 30 Jan 1946
Rank: Flying Officer
Date of Death: 03 Apr 2019
Ken Crook - (Pilot)
Alex McKinnon - (Navigator)
Murray Weaver - (Wireless Operator)
Mick Hunter - (Air Gunner)
Video of Alex T. McKinnon taken at the ANZAC March in Adelaide 2018
The video was taken and shared with us by his Granddaughter Jen McKinnon
The following information has been supplied by Alex McKinnon's son - Peter McKinnon - in March 2006
Alex McKinnon enlisted in the RAAF in Adelaide in January 1942 and did his early Air Force training at Fort Brecken Victor Harbour South Australia, Mount Gambier SA, Port Pirie SA, N Hill Victoria before leaving on the "Westport" for San Francisco California USA en-route to Vancouver and Prince Edward Island in Canada for navigator training on arctic flying. From here he went to Brighton UK and was then sent to the Middle East, St Jean (Palestine) then posted to 459 Squadron Benghazi in Libya. He flew 28 missions out of Al Berka. Most of the missions were over islands such as Melos, Syros, Crete, Piscopi and Rhodes.
After the War Dad returned to South Australia and married Peggy Bidgood in September, 1946. They lived in Norwood before building a war service house in North Plympton, SA (south western suburb of Adelaide). They shifted into this house in 1951 and still live in the same house today.
Dad and Mum had four children (all boys) born in 1947, 1948, 1950, 1958.
Dad returned to work at South Australian Brush Company (SABCO) after the War and progressed to National Sales Manager, Managing Director and then Chairman before retiring in 1987, having worked 47 years for the company.
Dad was also involved as Chairman of the Plympton Primary School Committee, Chairman of the Wiegal Oval Trust, and worked many years with Legacy assisting war service families post war. During his career Dad made many overseas trips, mainly to UK and Canada.
Dad followed Australian Rules football in Adelaide supporting Norwood and The Adelaide Crows and in recent years he and Mum have followed horse racing going to mid week (regional) and weekend (metropolitan) meetings as well as attending the odd cricket match at Adelaide Oval. Dad was a social golfer, but never really mastered the intricate skills of this game!
Dad still drives and is a competent driver (and navigator still) and this mobility allows him and Mum to get around to their grandchildren's sporting venues, (football, cricket, baseball, soccer) and artistic music, singing and acting) events. There are eight grandchildren (4 boys and 4 girls).