Ian was born on the 9th February 1917 in Ipswitch, Queensland, and enlisted in the RAAF in Sydney on the 14th October 1940.
His training started at 7 Course Empire Air Training Scheme (EATS) and then embarked for Canada for more training, and finally, he embarked for the UK. There, he completed his training at an Operational Training Unit (OTU) and after serving briefly with an RAF fighter squadron, was posted to 457 Squadron (Spitfires) at Redhill in 1942. There, the Squadron conducted patrols over southeast England and the English Channel. It also escorted bombing raids and conducted sweeps to engage enemy aircraft in the skies above occupied France and Belgium.
Ian then returned to Australia with 457 Squadron. Under orders to return to Australia, the Squadron withdrew from operations in Britain on the 28 Mayth 1942. It sailed for home on the 21st June, arrived in Melbourne on the 13th August, and re-assembled at Richmond on the 6th September 1942. The Squadron then began refresher training at Richmond with a motley collection of aircraft, its Spitfires having being commandeered in transit by the Royal Air Force in the Middle East.
457 Squadron returned to front-line service on the 20th January 1943. It was based at Batchelor in the Northern Territory and joined 1 Fighter Wing, defending Darwin. The Squadron photo, which includes Ian, was taken at Livingstone in October 1943.
Back row: Flying Officer Brian F. Hegarty, Flight Sergeant R.J.K. “Jim” Thompson, Warrant Officer C.R. “Roy” Briggs, Flying Officer W.J. “Jack” Halse, Pilot Officer Allan C. Beckwith, Flying Officer S.W. “Bill” Reilly, Flying Officer Ian Chandler.
Second back row: Flying Officer Ian S. Mackenzie, Flying Officer H. Ken Barker, Pilot Officer W.J. “Bill” Basey, Flying Officer South Creagh, Flying Officer Larry Alderson (Defence Officer), Flight Sergeant T.F.R. “Frank” Payne, Flying Officer Neil C. Ligertwood, Squadron Leader “Pat” Egan (Dental Officer), Flying Officer L.G. “Lock” Munro, Warrant Officer C.V. “Vin” Madigan, Flying Officer P.E. “Phil” Goldin (Intelligence Officer)
Second front row: Flight Lieutenant D.R. “Doug” Edwards, Flight Lieutenant Wally Aldford (Adjutant), Flight Lieutenant Peter H. Watson DFC (OC A Flight), Squadron Leader K.E. “Ken” James (Commanding Officer), Flight Lieutenant D.H. “Don” Maclean (OC B Flight), Squadron Leader D.L. “Des” Peate (Medical Officer), Flight Lieutenant John S. Newton.
Front Row: Sergeant Trevor R. Russell, Pilot Officer F. “Freddie” Feuerhardt, Flight Sergeant W.S. “Bill” Hardwick, Spitty, Pilot Officer A. Evan Batchelor, Sergeant G. “Mac” Jude, Flight Sergeant Harry Whiting.
In 1944, Ian was posted to No.2 OTU in Mildura, and by the end of the War, he was in command of a Boomerang Squadron. Ian was discharged on the 27th February 1946.
After the War, he rejoined the CBC Bank and for five years was the manager in London. He then returned to Australia to run the Bank’s staff training college in Sydney.
Ian was a very popular member of 457 Squadron. All of his friends who visited him in his last six months were amazed at his spirit and good cheer in his fight against cancer. He died on the 28th January 1992 in his 75th year.
Bruce Read and Geoff Litchfield
The Spitfire Association