BBC Man and the War Hero Uncle Who Died on a Mission to Find the Tirpitz; Norwegians Honour Spitfire Pilot Who Became a Symbol of Their Struggle against Nazis
Byline: MIKE MERRITT;MARK AITKEN
IT was a daredevil mission to gather vital information on one of the most feared ships in Hitler's navy.
Hiding deep in the Norwegian fjords, the mighty Tirpitz posed a constant threat to Allied convoys in the Arctic and supply routes to Russia.
The Allies desperately needed information on the position of the 41,000-ton battle ship to launch an attack on it - so Flying Officer Frederick Ian Malcolm did not hesitate to volunteer for a hazardous reconnaissance mission.
As the 26-year-old RAF pilot - great-uncle of BBC political editor Andrew Marr - prepared to take off in his Spitfire, he knew his chances of survival were slim.
Not only would he meet resistance from German forces, but he had barely enough fuel to take him there and back.
With the odds heavily against him, Flying Officer Malcolm pointed his Spitfire in the direction of the Tirpitz - but just three miles from his objective, on May 10, 1942, he was shot down and killed by a German Luftwaffe ace over Trondheim in Norway.
Now, 52 years later, his sacrifice is to be honoured by Norwegians at a special ceremony later this month.
It follows painstaking research into his life by a Norwegian war historian, and the creation of a memorial stone at the site where his plane crashed.
The service of dedication will be held at the memorial, which incorporates the propeller from his plane, on the Forbordfjell mountain near Trondheim.
Visiting the stone will be his 85-year-old sister Muriel and her children Malcolm, David, Evelyn, Freda, Linda and Sheila. Mr Marr has also been invited to attend.
Last night, Flying Officer Malcolm's niece Sheila Scott said her family had until recently been unaware of how highly the Norwegians regarded their relative's bravery.
Dr Scott said: 'Andrew knows the story and is rightly proud of his great-uncle.
'The family knew Uncle Freddie had been killed over Norway but we did not know the details of his fate, nor that he had become such a symbol for the local Norwegian population of British sacrifice to free their country from German occupation. …