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McGavock, John Joseph DFC (Flying Officer)

Killed in Flying Accident 1943-12-21

Age: 24

Son of Frank and Theresa McGavock, of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

Home: Winnipeg, Manitoba

Decorations: DFC


Distinguished Service Cross
Service
RCAF
Unit
1679 HCU- Heavy Conversion Unit
Rank
Flying Officer
Marshal
Air Chief MarshalA/C/M
Air MarshalA/M
Air Vice MarshalA/V/M
Air CommodoreA/C
Group CaptainG/C
Wing CommanderW/C
Squadron LeaderS/L
Flight LieutenantF/L
Flying OfficerF/O
Pilot OfficerP/O
Warrant Officer 1st ClassWO1
Warrant Officer 2nd ClassWO2
Flight SergeantFS
SergeantSGT
CorporalCPL
Senior AircraftmanSAC
Leading AircraftmanLAC
Aircraftman 1st ClassAC1
Aircraftman 2nd ClassAC2
Position
Pilot
Service Numbers
J/17116

Lancaster Mk.II DS615

Conversion 1943-December-21 to 1943-December-21

On 1943-12-21, S/L A. Ross Dawson, Chief Technical Officer at Wombleton, wrote in his diary:

“One of 1679’s Lancasters, DS521 [sic] got closed off our circuit last night due to bad weather & was diverted to Topcliffe. Here he overshot & hit the tail end of a Halifax parked on a dispersal. It tore the tail right off & the Lanc turned end-over-end & stopping flat on its back with its wheels in the air & caught fire burning up completely. Three of the boys got out alive miraculously but the other three were lost.”

Diary of A Ross Dawson document not found

1679 Heavy Conversion Flight. P/O McGavock was awarded the D.F.C. on June 3, 1943 while serving with 420 Squadron. He had trained in Canada at 2 ITS, 14 EFTS., and 10 SFTS. The citation reads, "This officer has taken part in numerous attacks against all types of enemy targets including such heavily defended areas as Hamburg, Mannheim, Essen and Cologne. He has also participated in several mine-laying operations. Pilot Officer McGavock's quiet determination to complete his allotted tasks, regardless of adverse weather or enemy opposition, has proved him to be an outstanding captain of aircraft who inspires the utmost confidence in his crew." He was killed when his Lancaster aircraft DS 615 crashed at RCAF Station, Topcliffe, Yorkshire. 1679 HC Flight RCAF Lancaster II DS 615 was practicing night landings when it attempted a go around. Two engines did not respond and the aircraft went out of control, striking Halifax II DT548 before crashing, F/O T.E. Major, F/O J.J. McGavock DFC and Sgt K. Forster RAF killed, Sgt J.A. Lawrenson RAF and Sgt W.R. Clapham RAF injured. F/S R.T.J. Welch died later Dec. 23, 1943 in hospital. See Dec. 23, 1943. Addendum: correct spelling is MCGAVOCK. This name has been misspelled. F/O McGavock was with 426 Squadron when he earned his Distinguished Flying Cross. Detail provided by Neil McGavock, Mississauga, Ontario. Addendum: P/O. McGavock was awarded the D.F.C. on June 3, 1943 while serving with 4420 Squadron. He had trained in Canada at 2 ITS., 414 EFTS., and 410 SFTS. The citation reads, quote: This officer has taken part in numerous attacks against all types of enemy targets including such heavily defended areas as Hamburg, Mannheim, Essen and Cologne. He has also participated in several mine-laying operations. Pilot Officer MeGavock's quiet determination to complete his allotted tasks, regardless of adverse weather or enemy opposition, has proved him to be an outstanding captain of aircraft who inspires the utmost confidence in his crew; unquote. He was killed when his Lancaster aircraft DS 615 crashed at RCAF Station, Topcliffe, Yorkshire. F/O. T.E. Major, FS. R.T. Welch, and Sgt. K. Forster (RAF) were also killed. Detail provided by David E. Thompson, Stockton-on-Tees, England.

Canada Source Canadian Virtual War Memorial

Canada Primary Source Library and Archives Canada Service Files (may not exist)

Burial
Google Map Stonefall Cemetery, UK
Sec C Row G Grave 19

Crew on Lancaster Mk.II DS615

Avro Lancaster

Avro Lancaster Mk. X RCAF Serial FM 213
Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum

The Avro Lancaster is a British Second World War heavy bomber. It was designed and manufactured by Avro as a contemporary of the Handley Page Halifax, both bombers having been developed to the same specification, as well as the Short Stirling, all three aircraft being four-engined heavy bombers adopted by the Royal Air Force (RAF) during the same wartime era.

The Lancaster has its origins in the twin-engine Avro Manchester which had been developed during the late 1930s in response to the Air Ministry Specification P.13/36 for a capable medium bomber for "world-wide use". Originally developed as an evolution of the Manchester (which had proved troublesome in service and was retired in 1942), the Lancaster was designed by Roy Chadwick and powered by four Rolls-Royce Merlins and in one version, Bristol Hercules engines. It first saw service with RAF Bomber Command in 1942 and as the strategic bombing offensive over Europe gathered momentum, it was the main aircraft for the night-time bombing campaigns that followed. As increasing numbers of the type were produced, it became the principal heavy bomber used by the RAF, the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) and squadrons from other Commonwealth and European countries serving within the RAF, overshadowing the Halifax and Stirling. Wikipedia

YouTube Lancaster Bomber

Wkikpedia Wikipedia

General Harold A Skaarup Web Page

CASPIR Aircraft Groups:
RCAF On Strength (234), RCAF 6 Group (5), RCAF 400 Squadron (7), Canadian Aircraft Losses (1732)
last update: 2021-09-18 14:32:33

Lancaster Mk.II DS615

O-RAF Roundel;

Originally with No. 115 Sqn (KO-N). Later with No. 1679 Heavy Conversion Unit, 6 Group, when it collided with Halifax DT 548 while landing at Topcliffe on 21 December 1943. 3 Canadians were killed in the crash.

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