Flight Lieutenant Charles Alexander McGAW

From Australia serving in the Royal Air Force

Service No: 42414 (RAF)
Born: Peebleshire, Scotland, 3 November 1915
Enlisted in the RAF: 1940
Unit: No. 18 Squadron (RAF), Gerbini, Italy
Died: Air Operations: (No. 18 Squadron Boston aircraft W8398), off Sicily, 1 October 1943, Aged 27 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of William and Agnes McGaw; husband of Margaret Turner McGaw, of Paisley, Renfrewshire
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Panel 6, Column 1, Malta Memorial, Malta

Flight Lieutenant McGaw resided in Stanthorpe, Queensland, from 1920 to the late 1920s. He fought in the Battle of Britain with Nos, 66 and 73 Squadrons RAF.

On 1 October 1943 Flight Lieutenant McGaw was captain of one of eight Boston aircraft detailed to attack a bridge in Italy. They took off from Gerbini but bad weather forced six of the aircraft to turn back, including McGaw’s. On the way his aircraft’s engines failed and he was forced to ditch the aircraft in the sea near Messina. The Boston broke up on impact and only one of the crew members was saved.

The crew members of W8398 were:

Sergeant Walter Lyburn Fulton (1344925) (RAFVR)
Flying Officer John Havelock Spark (135920) (RAFVR) (Navigator)
Flight Lieutenant Charles Alexander McGaw (42414) (RAF) (Pilot)
One crew member rescued (name unavailable)


Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Newton, Dennis A Few of the Few: Australians and the Battle of Britain, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT 2600, 1990
Newton, Dennis First Impact, Banner Books, Maryborough QLD 4650, 1997
RAF Commands Website

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