Distinguished Flying Medal (serial number 550348)

Discussion in 'Service Records' started by Tracyd, Apr 18, 2013.

  1. Tracyd

    Tracyd New Member

    Can anyone tell me about my 1st cousin, twice removed, William Ian Mackay? I am not sure what branch he served or when, how or where he died. This is what I have: Born June 19, 1919 in Kendal, Cumbria and Died Sept 6, 1940 in England. Thank you for any information. Sincerely, Tracy
  2. ritsonvaljos

    ritsonvaljos Senior Member

    The D.F.M. citation for your cousin appears within a group of RAFVR awards in the 'London Gazette' dated 30 July 1940 (p.4675).

    It gives the reason for the DFM awards as:

    "The above awards are for gallantry and devotion to duty in the execution of air operations."

    As you have probably already seen he is buried at Lincoln, so possibly another forum member may have a photograph of his headstone.

    This seems to be his CWGC citation:

    Rank: Sergeant
    Trade: W. Op.
    Service No: 550348
    Date of Death: 06/09/1940
    Age: 21
    Regiment/Service: Royal Air Force 144 Sqdn.
    Awards: D F M
    Grave Reference Sec. B. Grave 87 B.

    There are are no 'Next of Kin' details listed so if you have the relevant documents you may like to consider sending a copy to the CWGC and see if they will add the details to their record.

    If you live near Kendal it may be worthwhile visiting the County Archives Office to check the Kendal local newspapers for 1940 which may have additional biographical information of your cousin.

    Hope this helps.
  3. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Too late for me to check now but I have all the DFM citations for WW2. Ask me again over the weekend and I'll try and get it posted up for you.

    GeoffMNZ likes this.
  4. Tracyd

    Tracyd New Member

    Thank you all very much! This is wonderful!
  5. DaveB

    DaveB Very Senior Member

    Possibly Coastal Command or Bomber Command - any hits in any of the Chorley books?? (I don't own them)

    Edit - Stupid me. His SQN is provided on his CWGC entry as 144SQN - flying Hampdens in Bomber Command until mid 1942

    & he was a Wireless Operator
  6. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    As mentioned page of LG.
  7. RAFCommands

    RAFCommands Senior Member

  8. AndyBaldEagle

    AndyBaldEagle Very Senior Member

    Just out of interest, what is your source for them?


  9. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Regarding No 144 Squadron Hampden P4378 lost on return from operations over Germany.The original entry in Bill Chorley's Volume1 is incorrect which he acknowledges in Additions and Corrections to Volume 1, in his Volume 3.Aircraft lost at West Raynham not at home base Hemswell.

    From the Squadron ORB which was researched by the RAF Hemswell Association,Hampdens of No 61 and 144 Squadrons were tasked with Raids Nos EH 348-351..Attack on Target 109 (Oil Refinery at Dortmund.Alternative Target. Electricity Power Station at Herdecke.

    Crew of Hampden P4378

    37108 S/Ldr G.F Lewill. Pilot Injured
    740978 Sgt J W Carter. Navigator Killed.
    550348 Sgt W.I Mackay. W/Op Killed
    76599 P/O Drake Carnell AG Killed

    Circumstances of loss of aircraft.

    On returning from operations,aircraft was hit by enemy fire and compelled to land at West Raynham. Owing to the uncertainty of the engines,Captain gave order to abandon aircraft,but only he escaped,the others were killed.

    The ORB records that on 6 August 1940,His Majesty The King,on recommendation of the Air Officer Commanding in Chief approved the following awards. Three DFCs and Three DFMs at Hemswell. Sqt William Ian Mackay along with an airman who went on to have a distinguished career in Bomber Command....Sgt Jack de Lacy Wooldridge plus Sgt Henry Ian Popay.

    Just checked up on Sgt Carter's designation via CWGC, which was Pilot.....not unusual to find a Pilot in this role...he would be considered as Second Pilot ...the role would be normally an Observer who would be responsible for navigation,bombing and taking over the role of pilot in an emergency from his tandem seat behind the pilot.In 1940,I do not think there was designation of Navigator at this time,this only came about after restructuring of designations when newly trained aircrew for navigation were trained in the designation, Navigator.

    Sgt Carter's service number is shown as 740975 in the CWGC records and 740978 in the Squadron ORB...probably down to the pressure of work on the Squadron Adjutant in completing ORBs.
    4jonboy and ritsonvaljos like this.
  10. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Two Vols by Tavender and someone else off the top of my head. Savanagh publishing and cost £150 brand new.

  11. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    550348 Sergeant William Ian MacKay DFM, No.144 Squadron, RAF

    LG 30/07/1940

    Wireless Operator/Air Gunner

    Air 2/6085
    The Distinguished Flying Medal Register for the Second World War by Ian Tavender
  12. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Tried to trace P/O F J Drake-Carnell via the CWGC website to ascertain his burial details....not recorded even after trying combinations of surname.

    Then tried Geoff's Search Engine and found he is recorded as one of the 183 casualties of 6 September 1940.

    Had a further look at W I Mackay's designation which is recorded as W.Op by the CWGC which is unusual for the period as W.Ops were also trained as W.Op/AG for the Hampden. His DFM award referrred to above,carries his true designation.

    The Observer/Second Pilot and W.Op must have been overworked on the Hampden...the former being responsible for navigation,bombing and control of the aircraft in an emergency, while the latter in addition to wireless operator duties, was expected to man the rear under gun turret in action.
  13. Tracyd

    Tracyd New Member

    Thank you all very much for the amazing information on my cousin. It has been wonderful to share with my family.
    Maurice Earp likes this.
  14. LincsLad

    LincsLad New Member

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