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Thread: RAF Casualty

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    Default RAF Casualty

    Researching a Leading Wren who died July 1946, CWGC quote her husband, Corporal Allan MacDonald, 616420, was killed in action in Germany, 7th November 1946. What "ACTION" would he have been involved in at that time?

    My understanding of the term "Killed in action" suggests hostilities. Would the Berlin Air Lift have been covered by that term, assuming that he was involved in that opertion.

    Forgive my ignorance of RAF activities but my interest is in female service casualties generally.

    Tony

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    Anson TX175 2Gp Comms Flt. took off Gutersloh hit chimney at De Wendel Colliery, Pelkum.


    Pilot: F/Lt. Maxwell Roy Harwood (NZ.415258)
    Nav: F/O Jack Albert Butler (167805)
    Passengers: Cpl. Allan MacDonald
    F/O Arthur Stanley Pinnion (144914)
    F/O Charles King Allan (203421)
    F/Sgt. George William Harry Barkham (563521)
    F/Lt. Noel Joseph Mowat (NZ.2404) DSO

    Sources: For Your Tmorrow Vol.2 Errol Martyn
    Broken Wings James J. Halley

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    Sorry Tony, perhaps I've missed something, but I see no reference to 'Killed in Action' in the casualty details. In fact I can't ever remember seeing either that, or similar terms, used by the CWGC.

    The circumstances John describes make MacDonald's death as 'Killed on Active Service'.

    Brian

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    Bryan

    I agree it is not on his CWGC Cert, But:-

    Name: MacDONALD, CATHERINE MARY
    Initials: C M
    Nationality: United Kingdom
    Rank: Leading Wren
    Regiment/Service: Women's Royal Naval Service
    Unit Text: H.M.S. Dundonald
    Age: 25
    Date of Death: 02/07/1946
    Service No: 53088
    Additional information: Daughter of John and Catherine Murphy, of Glasgow; wife of Cpl. Allan MacDonald, R.A.F. (killed in action in Germany, 7th November, 1946).
    Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
    Grave/Memorial Reference: Sec. 1. Grave 1360.
    Cemetery: BARRHEAD (ST. CONVAL'S) ROMAN CATHOLIC CEMETERY

    Hence my query.

    John

    So he was actually killed in 'Service'? A slight slip by CWGC?

    Tony

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    I think so Tony. The details of his death on the CWGC include the following "His wife also died on service" (I read that as "on active service").

    The following comes from the Times newspaper, 1 Feb 1943 (referring to RAF casualties):

    'Casualties "in action" are due to flying operations against the enemy; "on active service" includes ground casualties due to enemy action, non-operational flying casualties, fatal accidents, and natural deaths.'

    MacDonald's death was a fatal accident.

    Brian

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    Tony,

    Not a 'slight slip' by CWGC. The "Other Information" field of the CWGC record does not contain any information originating from the CWGC. This field contains information that was forwarded to CWGC by the primary next-of-kin of the deceased when they were contacted by CWGC after the war to confirm current address of kin and any other details they wished to have included in the record such as former military service, schools attended, degrees attained, etc.

    The next-of-kin in this case apparently misinterpreted the criteria for "killed in action" and CWGC did not dispute their input.
    Last edited by Ken MacLean; 7th May 2008 at 22:32.

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