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Thread: J.C. MacGown, Pathfinder Group Medical Officer

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    Default J.C. MacGown, Pathfinder Group Medical Officer

    John Cecil MACGOWN (72766).

    MEDICAL BRANCH.
    The undermentioned is granted commission in the ranks stated. 23rd May 1939:
    Flight Lieutenant John Cecil MACGOWN, M.D., Ch.B

    S/L 16 December 1941

    Mentioned in Despatches 2nd June 1944
    Acting Wing Commander J. C. MACGOWN (72766), R.A.F.V.R.

    Distinguished Flying Cross. 6th June, 1944
    Acting Wing Commander John Cecil MACGOWN (72766), Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. (8 Group HQ)

    Relinquished commission 10th Feb. 1954:
    Squadron Leaders, retaining the rank of Wing Commander J. C. MACGOWN, D.F.C., M.D., Ch.B. (72766).



    This one is intriguing to me. Why was he awarded a D.F.C. when he was an MO? I was under the impression that this award was for flight operations.

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    Hi Dave
    Most of the websites that are about the DFC have it as awarded for acts of Valour, Courage or Devotion to Duty while flying in active operations against the enemy. Is there anything in the wording of the Citation, as clearly he would have had to have flown on Ops with 8Gp and distinguished himself whilst doing so?
    Regards
    Dick

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    Hopefully someone can come up with his citation

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    Hi David

    Not a full answer to your query, but I think your man is the same as this chappie, who served with 41 Squadron during WWI:

    MacGOWN, John Cecil, Lt., 6964, 2/1 Scot. Horse & RFC; 1 SMA, 16 Oct. 1916; 14 RS, d/u; 1 SAG, d/u; Lt. (Flg. Off.) & to 6 RS, 13 Feb. 1917; 41 Sqdn., 21 Mar. 1917; 1/7 Dest. Alb. 2-seater, 27 May 1917; 1 Dest. Alb. 2-seater, 13 Jun. 1917; Dest. Alb. 2-seater with Lt. C. J. Dickinson over Salient by Roulers, 17 Jun. 1917; shot down by AA & WIA in F.E.8, A4937, captured at Le Chatelet, 7 Jul. 1917; Lt., 1 Apr. 1918; repat. to UK, arr. Dover then sent to POW Reception Camp, Ripon, Yorks., 14 Dec. 1918; to UL, 15 Feb. 1919, att. 41 Sqdn. reunion, 27 Feb. 1937 as Dr. J. C. McGown.

    I have no info on when and where he studied medicine, but I trust this is nonetheless of interest

    Steve
    41 (F) Squadron RAF at War and Peace, April 1916-March 1946
    http://brew.clients.ch/41sqnraf.htm

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    Thanks Steve. So we can presume that he got his D.F.C. in WW1. That explains everything!

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    Default J.C. MacGown

    In this case, the DFC is not a First World War award - note the gazetting date as June 1944. Unhappily I cannot furnish a citation for either this or his Mention in Despatches and must assume that the recommendation for the DFC (at least) is buried somewhere in thye fat AIR 2 files that cover awards to Bomber Command personnel about that time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by David Layne View Post
    Thanks Steve. So we can presume that he got his D.F.C. in WW1. That explains everything!
    David,

    I'm afraid not. As it happens he was captured long before the DFC was introduced in WWI.

    His DFC is in fact noted in Maton's 'Honour the Air Forces'. The award appears in the London Gazette of 6 Jun 44, p2699, 8 Group HQ under a general citation. So for specific details you would need to locate the recommendation for the award.

    He may well have undertaken some operational flying in connection with his medical role

    It may be of interest to you to know that in the blurb to his book, 'The Sky Belongs to Them', RAF medical officer Dr Roland Winfield, DFC, AFC, kcvsa, it is said that the author 'flew about 120 night bomber sorties over Germany and occupied Europe'.

    Errol

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    Thanks Hugh and Errol. Errol how does one locate the recommendation for the award.

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    Quote Originally Posted by David Layne View Post
    Thanks Hugh and Errol. Errol how does one locate the recommendation for the award.
    David,

    That's the tricky bit!

    Regular contributor to the forum, Hugh Halliday, has identified many of the relevant AIR files in the TNA collection at Kew, London, and mentioned them on RAF Commands in various posts. Unfortunately there is no name index to files. Apparently it's a matter of trawling in hope.

    Errol

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    Default J C MacGown

    Folk's, don't forget flight global database and google books:

    http://www.flightglobal.com/PDFArchive/View/1949/1949%20-%200532.html?search=j.c.macgown

    Chairman of the Pathfinder association in 1949

    Search for for "Macgown", 23 hits and I'm happy they are all for him.

    Unfortuantly it does't print his citation.

    Also if you run the various versions of his name with and without initials etc in Google Books you will find he published quite a lot on aviation medicine so its likely his DFC was related to this perhaps?
    "Testing of Night Vision by the Shadowgraph.
    by J C MacGown, L C Johnson, Flying Personnel Research Committee, Great Britain - 1945"

    The Journal of the Royal Institute of Public Health and Hygiene - Page 184
    by Royal Institute of Public Health, Hygiene - Medicine - 1937
    ... and Wing- Commander JC MacGown (Medical Adviser, British South American Airways
    Corporation) which appeared recently in the British Medical Journal. ...

    Inter-Allied Conferences on War Medicine, 1942-1945: Convened by the Royal ... - Page 399
    by Henry Letheby Tidy - Medicine, Military - 1947 - 531 pages
    4°4 NIGHT VISION TRAINING AND NIGHT VISION IN OPERATIONAL FLYING by Wing Commander
    JC Macgown, DFC, ...

    And finally in one of the snippets:
    Flight Directory of British Aviation - Page 92
    Aeronautics - 1978

    Born: March 10, 1896
    Educ: Bedford School and Edinburgh University
    Served RFC and RAF as pilot and 1916-19
    Commodore Hong Kong Flying Club 1935
    RAFVR 1939-1945
    In medicle bracnh as Ophthamlmic specialist, 39-41
    Then I think it says
    Senior Medical Officer Pathfinder FOrce 1943 - ....

    the snippet runs out there
    Might help.

    Dennis

    Google Search result
    Flight Directory of British Aviation - Page 92
    Aeronautics - 1978

    MACGOWN, Wing Commander John Cecil DFC. MD Medical Adviser. British South American
    Airways Corp.. and Hon. Medical Adviser. ...
    Last edited by dennis_burke; 13th March 2008 at 08:02. Reason: added info
    Dennis Burke
    - Dublin

    Foreign Aircrew and Aircraft Ireland 1939-1945
    www.ww2irishaviation.com

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