Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1942, Pilot Officer Marcus Kidson, 126 Squadron Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, was killed in action during an enemy bombing raid on Malta.
Educated at Lancing College in West Sussex, he was the son of Captain Norman Kidson, Resident Commissioner for the British Solomon Islands. He had won a scholarship to the college, and excelled academically as well as being on the school’s cricket and football teams. In December of 1941, Pilot Officer Kidson was commissioned in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve and posted to Malta, which was under siege. A British colony at the time, it was strategically important.
On the day of his death, a bombing raid began on Ta’ Qali airport – three underground hangars were damaged and three operations-room civilians were injured. The R.A.F. had lost fifty-eight Hurricanes in January, and by the 5th of March were left with twenty-eight. Eight of those were sent to intercept an incoming raid of five Junkers 88 aircraft and six Messerschmitt 109s. Two of the enemy aircraft were known to have been shot down, but a few minutes after noon Oberfeldwebel Heinrich Leschert of 3/JG53 caused Pilot Officer Kidson’s Hurricane to crash into the sea.
His father received a telegram the following day, stating that his son had been reported missing and was believed to have lost his life. He is remembered on the Malta Memorial at Floriana – this monument commemorates the 2,298 Commonwealth aircrew who lost their lives in the second world war and who have no known graves.
Marcus, born in Fiji and raised in England and Ireland, was 20 years old.