Squadron Leader David William McCORMACK DFC & Bar MID

Commanding Officer, No. 615 Squadron RAF

Service No: 400232
Born: Seddon VIC, 27 November 1917
Enlisted in the RAAF: 21 July 1940
Unit: No. 615 Squadron (RAF)
Awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC), 6 February 1942
Awarded the Bar to the Distinguished Flying Cross (Bar), 18 June 1943
Awarded the Mentioned in Despatched (MID), 1 January 1945
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 615 Squadron Spitfire aircraft LV742), Bangladesh, 10 August 1944, Aged 26 Years
Buried: Calcutta (Bhowanipore) Cemetery, India
CWGC Additional Information: Son of David Ralph and Mary Josephine McCormack, of Seddon, Victoria, Australia
Roll of Honour: Footscray VIC
Remembered: Panel 126, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

DFC Citation: “This officer has carried out a large number of operational sorties, many of which have been low level attacks on objectives in Belgium and Northern France. He has at all times displayed greatest determination in the face of enemy fire, pressing home his attacks to the utmost. On one occasion, although wounded by enemy fire, Flight Lieutenant McCormack descended to almost ground level to achieve success. He has set an inspiring example to all” (London Gazette 6 February 1942, page 610)

The Citation for the Bar to the DFC awarded to Flight Lieutenant McCormack (No. 615 Squadron RAF) is as follows: “Flight Lieutenant McCormack has been actively engaged on operations in India since October 1942. He has achieved excellent results on long distance sorties over difficult country. As a pilot and Flight Commander, his cool courage and skill have been invaluable to his Squadron. In attacks on Mandalay and Akyab, despite considerable opposition, he allowed no obstacle to deter him from completing his tasks successfully. (London Gazette 18 June 1943,Page 2769)

Squadron Leader McCormack was awarded the Mentioned in Despatches in the 1945 New Years’ Honours list.

On 10 August 1944, Squadron Leader McCormack was leading a formation of sixteen Sqn aircraft from Palel to Baigachi, India but LV742 failed to reach its destination. In a statement by Squadron Leader Gannon of No. 615 Squadron he said: ‘Slightly south east of Jessore, bad weather was seen, and Squadron Leader McCormack climbed the Squadron. At about 6,000 to7,000 feet the Squadron flew into grey whispy cloud, which later developed into a severe monsoon cloud. The entire squadron were split up and the last heard of Squadron Leader McCormack was when he gave a pilot instructions to turn on 180 degrees. The cloud was extra bumpy and the conditions were so severe that I think it most probable that Squadron Leader McCormack lost control of his aircraft and was unable to regain it in time to prevent a crash. The aircraft and his body were located at Jalapore on 12 August 1944.”

No. 615 Squadron also lost Flying Officer Malcolm Turner Wellesley Pain (420253) and Warrant Officer Alan Lancaster Chappell (413737) during the transit flight on 10 August 1944.


Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records (RAAF Casualty Information compiled by Alan Storr (409804))
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veterans’ Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/26/722


RAAF Directorate of Public Relations, RAAF Saga, Australian War Memorial Canberra, 1944 – Chapter: Burma’s Story

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