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The Airmen's Stories - F/Lt. M R MacArthur


Malcolm Robert MacArthur was born in Birmingham on 6th January 1913. He attended the Liverpool Institute and was awarded Aero Certificate 10295 at the Liverpool and District Aero Club on 17th December 1931.

His occupation was recorded as 'Tobacco apprentice'.



Macarthur was commissioned on 1st September 1934 in Class ‘AA’ of the RAFO, which was for civilians who already held a pilot’s licence. He relinquished his commission and was granted one in the RAFVR in September 1938. He was called up on 9th September 1939.

Macarthur completed his training at 5 FTS Sealand on No. 41 Course, which ran from 9th October to 9th December 1939, for advanced training only.

He joined 236 Squadron at Martlesham Heath on 16th December.

On 17th July 1940 he claimed a Ju87 damaged over the Channel.

He was promoted to Acting Flight Lieutenant on 21st July 1940 to form the new ‘C’ Flight, which became operational on 29th September. Macarthur was appointed ‘A’ Flight Commander on 26th October 1940.

He married Flora McIvor on 31st December 1940 in Truro.

On 25th January 1941 he led three Blenheims over the Bay of Biscay, they encountered a He115 but the engagement was inconclusive.

On 5th March 1941 he engaged a He111 off the Irish coast, all of the Blenheim's crew were injured by return fire. His gunner Sgt. HG Matthews was awarded the DFM for this action. The He111 was claimed as damaged.


Above L to R: P/O J Watters, F/Lt. MR MacArthur, Sgt. HG Matthews.


MacArthur was awarded the DFC (gazetted 25th April 1941). He was released from the RAF in 1946 as a Group Captain.

He died on 30th March 1993 in Aldringham-cum-Thorpe, Suffolk.

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