Interview with Roddy MacKenzie


Interview with Roddy MacKenzie


Roddy MacKenzie’s father, Roland, joined the Canadian Royal Air Force in 1942. He trained as a pilot and worked as an instructor in Canada before being posted to RAF Kirmington, where he joined 166 Squadron and received the Distinguished Flying Cross for completing thirty-four operations between April and August 1944. Born in 1948, Roddy grew up with little knowledge of his father’s wartime role. He describes a rare encounter in 1985 when, after sitting in a Lancaster together, Roland opened up about his time as a pilot. He conveyed his respect for flight instructors, the difficulties aircrew faced during operations, and the dangerous consequences that lack of moral fibre caused. In 2017, Roddy met with his uncle to learn more about his father, who died in 1991. Upon hearing a pre-war description that was inconsistent with his own experiences, he postulates that Roland had been traumatised by his service in Bomber Command, thereby explaining Roddy’s struggle to connect with his father. Roddy expresses his opinion regarding the mistreatment of Bomber Command in Canada, compares this to remembrance in Australia, and cites the negative media portrayals that have tainted national memory. He suggests that as discussions are either heavily critical or romanticised, society lacks an understanding of Bomber Command’s contribution to the outcome of the war. In 2018, Roddy visited RAF Kirmington to attended a ceremony to honour 166 Squadron as the official representative for Canada, which introduced several new contacts that allowed him to conduct further research.




Temporal Coverage




01:01:31 audio recording


IBCC Digital Archive


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Dan Ellin, “Interview with Roddy MacKenzie,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed December 2, 2022,

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