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Arklie, Andrew Melville (Flying Officer)

Prisoner of War 1943-01-02

Birth Date: 1914-12-26 (age 28)

Born: Stony Mountain Manitoba Canada

Charles Hughes Arklie & Margaret Isabel Leslie Arklie

Caroline Julianna Handkamer Arklie

Home: Winnipeg, Manitoba

Enlistment: Winnipeg Manitoba Canada

260 (F) Sqn- Squadron (RAF)
Celer Et Fortis (Swift and strong)
Flight Sergeant
Air Chief MarshalA/C/M
Air MarshalA/M
Air Vice MarshalA/V/M
Air CommodoreA/C
Group CaptainG/C
Wing CommanderW/C
Squadron LeaderS/L
Flight LieutenantF/L
Flying OfficerF/O
Pilot OfficerP/O
Warrant Officer 1st ClassWO1
Warrant Officer 2nd ClassWO2
Flight SergeantFS
Senior AircraftmanSAC
Leading AircraftmanLAC
Aircraftman 1st ClassAC1
Aircraftman 2nd ClassAC2
Service Numbers

Kittyhawk Mk. III FR0xx

Combat Bi'r al Khurjah Libya 1943-January-02 to 1943-January-02

From new base Hamraiet, 19 miles South West of Sirte
Waypoint Gheddahia [Qaryat Al Qaddahiyah]
Target Bi'r al Khurjah, Libya

Eleven Kittyhawk III sent on sweep over Churgia Landing Ground [Bi'r al Khurjah]. Our aircraft proceed out at ground level on a course of ??? and commenced to climb in square (B)X 06. When over Gheddahia at 2/3000' intense accurate light and heavy anti-aircraft fire was encountered. When over Churgia our top cover engaged 5(?) Me. 109s. Meanwhile 10+ Me. 109s took off and a general dogfight started. Squadron Leader Hanbury attacked one of the enemy aircraft at 2000'. It exploded and crashed at (R)S 2927. This incident was witnessed by Flight Sergeant Thomas and Flying Officer Perkins. Flight Lieutenant Edwards "Stocky Edwards" attacked another 109, and later a further 109. The latter enemy aircraft crashed at (R)S 2829 (?). Flying Officer Perkins fired at a 109 at 1/2000' and at a range of 50 yards and saw strikes on airscrew and engine. Flying Officer Perkins claimed this as a damaged. Pilot Officer Fallows also fired but made no claim.

Single engined aircraft were noted dispersed on the South side of the Landing Ground. A burnt out DC 3 was noted 8 miles South East of ??? Landing Ground

On the return journey Squadron Leader Hanbury and Pilot Officer Perkins shot up a German motor bowser and some troops slightly North West of Churgia Landing Ground. From this operation Flight Sergeant Arklie failed to return. Another aircraft (Sergeant Tuck) was shot up, Category II, and made a force landing at (R)S 7500. Sergeant Tuck returned to his unit after being picked up by the army. Visibility was good, 7/10 - 10/10 cloud at 10/12000'

Squadron Leader OV Hanbury, Flying Officer LV Flury, Flying Officer HP Perkins, Flight Lieutenant JF "Stocky" Edwards, Sergeant GD Tuck, Flying Officer G Fallows, Flying Officer RS Kent, Flight Sergeant EB Thomas, Flight Sergeant WH Parlee, Flight Sergeant WE Stewart, Flight Sergeant AM Arklie.

Data from 260 Squadron ORB. Right-click to open in new browser tab

Flight Sergeant Arklie was promoted to Warrant Officer 2nd Class in November 1942, unbeknownst to anyone in the field. Noted on PoW card from RCAF History & Heritage Records Ottawa.

Arklie had noticed an oil leak early in the mission, but made a judgement to continue. He participated in the dog fight over Churgia, but the oil leak became severe and the engine seized. Arklie landed in the desert behind enemy lines on return. Flying Officer Arklie's personal testimony to his son Hugh Arklie, post war.

Operations Record Book Monthly Operations Record Book

Operations Record Book Daily Operations Record Book

General Airfields in Libya and Egypt

Curtiss Kittyhawk

(DND Archives Photo, PL-8346)(Source Harold A Skaarup Web Page)
Curtiss P-40 Kittyhawk from No. 118 (Fighter) Squadron, RCAF, located in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, photographed on 4 April 1942.

The Curtiss P-40 (known as the Warhawk in the USA) is single-engined, single-seat, all-metal fighter and and ground-attack aircraft that first flew in 1938. The British Commonwealth air forces including the RCAF, and the Soviet air forces used the name Tomahawk for models equivalent to the P-40B and P-40C, and the name Kittyhawk for models equivalent to the P-40D and all later variants. The P-40 was in frontline service until the end of the Second World War. It was the third most-produced American fighter of the war after the P-51 and P-47, with 13,738 being built in Buffalo, New York. Based on war-time victory claims, over 200 Allied fighter pilots from 7 different nations (Australia, Canada, England, New Zealand, South Africa, the Soviet Union and the United States) became aces flying the P-40. A total of 13 RCAF units operated the Kittyhawk in the North West European or Alaskan theaters.

In mid-May 1940, Canadian and US officers watched comparative tests of a XP-40 and a Spitfire, at RCAF Station Uplands, Ottawa, Ontario. While the Spitfire was considered to have performed better, it was not available for use in Canada and the P-40 was ordered to meet home air defense requirements. In all, eight Home War Establishment Squadrons were equipped with the Kittyhawk: 72 Kittyhawk Mk. I, 12 Kittyhawk Mk. Ia, 15 Kittyhawk Mk. III and 35 Kittyhawk Mk. IV aircraft, for a total of 134 aircraft. These aircraft were mostly diverted from RAF Lend-Lease orders for service in Canada. The Kittyhawks were obtained in lieu of 144 Bell P-39 Airacobras originally allocated to Canada but reassigned to the RAF.

However, before any home units received the Kittyhawk, three RCAF Article XV squadrons operated Tomahawk aircraft from bases in the United Kingdom. No. 403 Squadron RCAF, a fighter unit, used the Tomahawk Mk. II briefly before converting to Spitfires. Two Army Co-operation (close air support) units, No. 400 Squadron and No. 414 Squadron, trained with Tomahawks, before converting to Mustang Mk. I aircraft and taking on a fighter/reconnaissance role. Of these, only No. 400 Squadron used Tomahawks operationally, conducting a number of armed sweeps over France in the late 1941. RCAF pilots also flew Tomahawks or Kittyhawks with other British Commonwealth units based in North Africa, the Mediterranean, South East Asia and (in at least one case) the South West Pacific.

In 1942, the Imperial Japanese Navy occupied two islands, Attu and Kiska, in the Aleutians off Alaska. RCAF home defense Kittyhawk squadrons saw combat over the Aleutians, assisting the USAAF. The RCAF initially sent No. 111 Squadron, flying the Kittyhawk Mk. I, to the US base on Adak island. During the drawn-out campaign, 12 Canadian Kittyhawks operated on a rotational basis from a new, more advanced base on Amchitka,75 miles (121 km) southeast of Kiska. No. 14 and No. 111 Sqns took "turn-about" at the base. During a major attack on Japanese positions at Kiska on 25 September 1942, Squadron Leader Ken Boomer shot down a Nakajima A6M2-N Rufe seaplane. The RCAF also purchased 12 P-40Ks directly from the USAAF while in the Aleutians. After the Japanese threat diminished, these two RCAF squadrons returned to Canada and eventually transferred to England without their Kittyhawks.

In January 1943, a further Article XV unit, No. 430 Squadron was formed at RAF Hartford Bridge, England and the pilots trained on the obsolete Tomahawk Mk. IIA. The squadron converted to the the Mustang Mk. I before commencing operations in mid-1943.

In early 1945 pilots from No. 133 Squadron RCAF, operating Kittyhawks out of RCAF Station Patricia Bay, Victoria, British Columbia, intercepted and destroyed two Japanese balloon-bombs, which were designed to cause wildfires on the North American mainland. On 21 February, Pilot Officer E. E. Maxwell shot down a balloon, which landed on Sumas Mountain in Washington State. On 10 March, Pilot Officer J. 0. Patten destroyed a balloon near Saltspring Island, BC. The last interception took place on 20 April 1945 when Pilot Officer P.V. Brodeur from No. 135 Squadron out of Abbotsford, BC, shot down a balloon over Vedder Mountain. Harold Skaarup web page and Wikipedia

YouTube Kittyhawk

Wkikpedia Wikipedia Kittyhawk

General Harold A Skaarup Web Page

CASPIR Aircraft Groups:
RCAF On Strength (135), Canadian Aircraft Losses (77)
last update: 2021-09-14 19:32:28

Kittyhawk Mk. III FR0xx

This is not an actual serial. It serves as a link for Arklie who ditched behind enemy lines in the western desert, January 2, 1943.

260 (F) Sqn- Squadron (RAF) Celer Et Fortis

Winnipeg Free Press 1943
Leading Aircraftman Arklie in Tiger Moth at No 6 Elementary Flying Training School, Prince Albert Saskatchewan
Leading Aircraftman Arklie in Harvard trainer at No 11 Service Flying Training School, Yorkton Saskatchewan
Receiving Pilot Wings September 11 1941
Flight Sergeant Arklie back from a battle operation in 1942
Flight Sergeant Arklie with P-40 Kittyhawk 1942 North Africa (likely Egypt)


General After return from Europe Arklie spent some time in an RCAF Convalescent Hospital in Hamilton: Auchmar Mansion

Google Map Auchmar Manison

Warrant Officer 1st Class Arklie (centre) in London after release from Prisoner of War camp in Poland (Stalag VIII B / 344, Lamsdorf Poland)
Pilot Officer Arklie at No 2 Convalescent Hospital in Hamilton 1945

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