SGT Ian Fraser McKellar 165117

Squadron/s79 SQN
Rank On Discharge/Death Sergeant (SGT)
Mustering / SpecialisationPilot
Date of Enlistment01 Aug 1944
Contributing Author/sPaul Carter, David Hopton
and Steve McGregor
The Spitfire Association (July 2013)

David Hopton a pilot of 79 Squadron an amateur historian sent this brief story in on one of the pilots in his Squadron who had a lucky escape from death.

Ian was born on the 8/10/1918 in Glasgow, Scotland. He enlisted rather late in the war on the 1/8/1944.

A few days after the fatality of Virgil Paul Brennan’s flying accident another descent from the heavens occurred when a Spitfire test-flown following maintenance, by Sgt. Pilot Ian McKellar, developed engine failure at the very high altitude of 25,000 feet.

Keeping his cool and through skilful flying, he kept the nose of the aircraft high and glided down in a series of descending circles which brought him right over the airstrip. Coming in without power, his landing was a little rough, and at the end, he ran out of airstrip, which resulted in a nose crash. After exhibiting so much skill, this was unfortunate, but, most importantly, Sergeant McKellar was unhurt. The aircraft was a write-off.

A very lucky and no doubt relieved Ian McKellar was discharged on the 12/2/1946.



79 Squadron RAAF - Los Negros, Mamote Airfield, Los Negros, Admiralty Islands - 28 th May 1944.

Back Row: Ross Cameron, Arch Moore, Ross Day, Jock Haines, Len Reid, Alec Chomley, Paul Seber, Warren Napier, Bill Coffey, Doug Scott. Middle Row: John Vader, Joe Marshall, Dick Long, John Atkinson, Max Brimsley (Acting CO), Bill Wright, Alan Yates, Arthur Clayton Front Row: Viv Pollard, Hugh Kennare, Ian McKellar, Jim Barrie, Tom Williams

Learn more about the squadron/s in which Ian served.